Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

Raleigh Boy – Managing Editor

“I moved to Raleigh from Wake Forest with my family in the mid 1950s. Back then, practically everything was downtown; there was no beltline, no suburban sprawl, and Cameron Village shopping center was relatively new. My Dad worked downtown, my Mom shopped downtown, we went to church downtown and I even went to school downtown. During my junior high school years a couple buddies and I explored downtown on the weekends, and I even took dozens of black and white photos with my trusty Kodak Instamatic camera. In later years I became interested in, and studied Raleigh’s history, but most of what I know about downtown Raleigh is from first-hand experience!”

Karl Larson (aka Raleigh Boy) is a graphic designer at N.C. State University

View all of Raleigh Boy’s posts


Marvin Waldo

I am a native of Raleigh, circa 1950, and wish to find some old photos to purchace for my commercial real estate office. If you can assist let me know. Thanks, Marvin

Raleigh Boy

Marvin – The best source for old Raleigh photos of any era is the State Archives located downtown. Here is a site with a sampling of what they have to offer and with contact info.

Mark Sterling

Hey Raleigh Boy!
Enjoyed reading what you wrote about Mr Ribs. Also enjoyed talking to Viki and she pointed out to me that you were her coworker and neighbor, and that you were Raleigh Boy. I remembered you and I think I remember Becky. Small world! Hope you are doing well and I look forward to seeing you soon. Mark

Karen Havighurst

Think your plan to raise money to restore the color wall of light is a good one.

I wonder if anyone suggested contacting Cree LED Lighting company in the Triangle area. They are most generous with their time and products and just may be willing to supply equipment which would be appropriate and long lasting.

Karen Havighurst


Hey Raleigh boy – was wondering if you are familiar with the Monopoly type game they put out that is called Raleigh ? I have one and it is the only one I’ve ever run across. Found it on a flea market trip and as I worked in Raleigh at the time, purchased it . I would love to know if you know anything about what brought about it’s production .

Nabs K. Lately

From one Raleigh Boy to another….Thank you for all of your posts and work (especially with the Color Wall). I was born at the Old Rex Hospital on Wade Avenue in the 60’s and I grew up in the Matsumoto House on Runnymeade Road (near Frances Lacey School). We should catch up and trade stories sometime. My wife and I live in Cameron Village now.

David Weaver

Esteemed Raleigh Boy,
I have a jpeg of an old map of downtown Raleigh that I have set as my PC desktop image. Actually I think I got it from John Dancey-Jones RaleighNaturlist site. It dates from 1872, so early my old house at corner of Peace and Blount doesn’t eve exit yet! But there is something that looks like an oval track, not unlike a race rack, lying two blocks or so East of Bloodworth, where Martin Street then terminated. There’s a flag in the middle of it. Here’s the link– what is that thang?

Raleigh Boy

hey Cuz,

Yes, that map is the famous Bird’s Eye View of Raleigh, drawn by C.N. Drie in 1872. Actually, your house at the corner of Blount and Peace IS on that map. Look closely and you’ll see it in its original form. It had probably just been newly built in 1872. It has been greatly expanded over the decades, but the original house itself is still extant.

The oval race track with the flagpole is the N.C. fairgrounds. It was located at that site from 1853 until 1875, when it moved out Hillsboro St to where the Fairmont neighborhood is today. 50 years later it moved to its current site.

Thanks for reading Goodnight, Raleigh!

Jay Coop

I love this blog. I find myself showing my kids things Ive found, thanks to you guys, especially you. I was on the corner of New Bern and East Street yesterday looking for that plaque! lol Im a “Raleigh Boy” myself, grew up right across the street from Mt Hope cemetery, so I really appreciate all of the info. Keep up the good work!

John Sharpe

Hello. I just found your site. I am very interested to know more about two downtown buildings–Ravenscroft before it moved out to the Falls of the Neuse, and Devereaux Meadow.

Where, physically, were they originally located–I mean by today’s street locations–and are there any pictures of Devereaux Meadow?

I look forward to talking with you about what you can tell me about that part of Raleigh that has undergone such significant alteration.

Thank you very much.


There are some awesome photos of the original Cameron Village in Cameron’s restaurant. I used to visit Raleigh in the early 1960’s when my big brother was enrolled at NC State- Raleigh was the big city for me, coming from little old Asheville. I would love to see any photos of the Cameron Village Underground shops. Anybody got any?


Question: Tell me I’m not the only person I know who remembers the times that the ‘Historic Oakwood’ signs came down and ‘Hysteric Oakwood’ signs went up? Seems it was back in the 70s sometime.

Just wanna know :)


Just went through all your pics and it was a wonderful stroll down memory lane. I was born in Raleigh in 1946 and left in 1964 to go off to college. Raleigh was such a great town in the 50’s. I walked or biked all over the town. Walked to Murphy School from my home on Mordecai Drive, went to Hugh Morson Jr. Hi. I always get depressed when I come back to visit with the demolishion of all the grand old structures downtown that have occurred over the years. I remember when Fayetteville Street became a mall, we did the same thing in my current town in 1970. As Mayor of my city, I presided over the demolition of our mall and the reopening of the main street. Glad to see Raleigh has done the same. Thanks again for the memories.

Pat H.

Wow! I’d been racking my brains lately trying to remember the names “Player’s Retreat” or as it was known “The P.R”, and to a slighter degree “Bert”! I did a search for The Pier and found all of this! Thanks so much for helping to refresh some really fond old memories of Raleigh from a span of time I lived there during ’60- ’71, and again around the Garner area from ’81-83. I can guarantee you that one band I walked into The Pier to hear in ’81 or ’82 was the Artimus Pyle Band, also called “APB”. I knew of them already from around Spartanburg, SC. I walked in to see their bass player Steve Brewington in his red satin parachute pants with his leg stepped up on Artimus’s drum riser while they were playing “Mabeline”- for sure “motivating over the hill” and then some! APB also played at the Silver Dollar Saloon in ’82 or ’83 (with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, it seems). Anyway, since Steve B. passed away at the age of 53 right before Mother’s Day this year that is an extremely fond memory! As for General Headquarters, yeah I hung out there and remember Tommy and Bitzy Honeycut, Dan Breezly, and “Weird Harold”!! As I recall Tommy changed the name to “The Bells of St Thomas” in ’71 I think, before they lost it to that dumb lot finally. My first (and only EX) husband knew Breezly as an electrician, but the last time I saw him was in Nov 1971, I believe, down on Peachtree Street in Atlanta going into some Head shop there on “The Strip”. He knew full well who I was but he acted like he was busy other than to say hello. No tellin’! Another act I know played the Pier back in ’70 was Mike Cross. As for Cameron Village, My now deceased mom used to take me there shopping back around ’61-62 and we’d always have lunch at the Sandwich Shop there where I’d always get a chicken salad sandwich- toasted, and some sort of ice cream bar for desert,regardless of how cold it may have been outside! Then it was on back to North Hills. I actually lived quite close to where they built North Hills Mall, which really started out as the drug store and some book store. Winn-Dixie was built sort of across the street along with Kwik Pik, then way later the P.O. for 27609. The Cardinal Theatre, Baskin-Robbins, some pizza place, and some other place were added, and so it grew and grew! If you ever gave me and my friends (usually girls) a ride from picking us up hitch-hiking around Raleigh in the late 60s I thank you for that too! Obviously I’ve survived!

TJ Kattermann

If you are interested I have come across a curious piece of artwork inside a building on Hillsborough St. that begs for some kind of preservation and documentation.

Best regards,
TJ Kattermann


With all the Dix HIll plans, has any one considered the Union Army site as a possible dig? They must have left a few jewels here and there. I guess there were several Union occupancy sites, but Dix is the only one I know of.

Raleigh Boy

Phil — The state archaeological division conducted a major dig at Dix Hill when the State Farmer’s Market was relocated to the old dairy farm site in 1990. There used to be a dislpay of some of the Civil War Union artifacts in the Farmer’s Market Restaurant. I have not been there in several years, so I don’t know if it is still there or not.


You mean they didnt find the rest of Briggs loot?
I will bet its there somewhere, probably near the former shore of the pond. Of course,, MLk blvd may have sealed its fate.

Cole Baker

Hi Karl,

I happened upon your site quite by accident in an effort to learn more about the forgotten, little, overgrown cemetery that it now our next door neighbor. My son and I have developed an undeniable fascination with the 3 acre space and its history. We are interested in leading a grassroots clean up effort. Our hope is to restore some dignity to the memory of those buried there. It’s heartbreaking to see it in such disrepair. I know the Latta House had tried to organize some sort of effort back in 2008 but it does not seem as though anything more has been done since. It may be time to try and spark some interest again.

I will continue to do some research of my own and I am interested in anything else you may know.
Many thanks,

Raleigh Boy

Hi Cole,

I’m guessing you read my post on Oberlin Cemetery — There was a volunteer clean up effort back in the 1990s, but as you can see, today the cemetery is once again in dire need of some major TLC. If your son is in the scouts, a cleanup of the cemetery could be an excellent merit badge project! You might try connecting with the Wilson Temple Methodist Church down the street, as I think they are the administrators of Oberlin Cemetery

Here is a link you also might find helpful–

Good luck in your endeavor!

Rutledge Etheridge Jr


You have done such a wonderful service for so many of us. THANK YOU! I’ll bet that in 1966 you had no inkling of how important your memories and photos would be to so many people 45 years later – and beyond, no doubt.
I left Raleigh in 1964 and joined the Navy in ’66. In ’67 while stationed aboard a nuclear submarine in dry-dock, I drove down from Virginia to visit the old neighborhood (Oakwood Ave.) and see Morson again. I was devastated to find it gone – and still am. I and others are so grateful to you. I’m going to try and post my picture of Mrs. Oswald’s 1961 7th grade class, of which I was a proud member. I’m just glad the picture was taken on a day I actually went to school. I loved that place, but for personal reasons missed a LOT of days. Mr Cook, the boy’s counselor, said that I set the absentee records for both 8th and 9th grades. Mrs Yarborough wanted to fail me in Latin and in English, but Mr. Cook intervened because I carried an A+ average in both subjects. She was furious because in 9th grade, I missed 97 out of 180 school days. I’m not proud of that – but what was, was, and is. (And I did become a professional writer/novelist – and can still conjugate Latin verbs with the best of ’em. So I must have learned something!)

Rut Etheridge

Raleigh Boy

Thank you Rut. I appreciate your kind words. Yes, you are right — I had no idea at the time the effect my photos would have on people with a Morson connection these many years hence. Even though I was only 14 at the time, I knew intuitively back then that I was recording something important, and my simple black and white Kodak Instamatic was my tool. I just wanted to take pictures of everything back then. I was drawn to photograph the passing of my school for some reason — on account of my teachers, my fellow students, I guess, and that incredible building itself, and of course the era in which all that occurred. So long ago.

Thanks man.


Linda Wolffe

Hey, Karl. I told Taylor McMillan about your blog that included his house at 511 E. Jones St (Heck-Wynne House). He says to stop by one day. He loves to talk about the house. He’s taken care of it (owned it) since 1973 or so. Hope all is well! Linda Wolffe


Reply to John Sharpe post 02/13/2010

Old Ravenscroft School was located on the block bordered by Glenwood Ave. Tucker St. Boylan Ave. and Johnson St. It is now Glenwood Towers and the Chapel is still there. As far as I know that is where it has always been. I know it was there in the 1940’s.
Devereaux Meadow was the home of the Raleigh Caps Baseball team. It was where the City Garbage Trucks now park. Peace St. Across the street and down a bit from Finch’s. Used to be Finch’s drive in, car hops and all.
In the late 1950’s we would walk down Peace St. and go sit on the hill behind Devereaux Meadow and watch the baseball games for free. Capital Blvd is there now.
There was an old hosiery mill that I think was on West St. I think it was abandoned but do not remember much about it except it burned down. I was about ten or eleven and we could see the flames from our house on Wilmington St. My mom and I and another kid drove out to see what was happening. I know it was nighttime and I am pretty sure it was summertime.

Wanda H Jackson

I am so happy I found this site. My husband and I are both Raleigh natives (born to Raleigh natives) and plan to never leave. My whole childhood in the late ’60s to early ’70s was spent wandering around downtown on foot, while my parents and grandma explained what used to be where. The Gladys Perry story made me cry. I used to see her all the time and walked by her house constantly. Keep up the great work.

Do you remember when the Flying Saucer was a Baptist bookstore? My grandma used to take us in all the time. She would be sad to know how much I frequent the premises now.

joe snotherly

love this site to was born in 1945 old rex hospital family still there would love to hear from some of the old gang was there from 1959 to 1961 mr kathy was there with proctor


Answer to Maggi.
I believe Hysterical Oakwood sign went up in the 60’s. My sister in law and I were laughing about it and she moved out west before 1970.

Raleigh Girl

Karl, did you attend Enloe High School?

Raleigh Girl

My two older sisters graduated from Morson and I was part of the last class at Hugh Morson. During the Christmas Break (I believe in 1967) we were transferred to Aycock Jr. High and then attended Enloe High School. Morson was torn down and the new Post Office was built.

The last year I was there it seemed we had a “bomb threat” at least 3 times a week!

I remember Mr. Proctor and Mr. Caddy.

Raleigh Boy

Raleigh Girl: I did! Class of ’69.


I really liked the “bomb threats”. Standing outside that old building was many times better than sitting in a classroom. I’m probably the only one here who did not like going to Morson. Aycock was a much nicer place. Now, in retrospect, I realize that I should have appreciated better the history of the building, creepy though it was. My mother, my sister and my brother attended school there. So my family had history at Morson that I didn’t appreciate while there.

Raleigh Girl

Hello RaleighNative 51
I enjoyed being outside also, since it was a disruption of class! I remember the cafeteria being very small and there was almost a groove or slight indention down the middle of the hallways-how many feet had worn that groove.

I do remember the stairwells being damp and cool and it was a mad rush to change classes.

In the mornings if we were early, several of us would cut thru the Church across the street and go to McClellens for a drink or snack before school. Of course, praying we did not get caught.

Not to mention the “girl fights” at the Bryco in the afternoon! I never realized until then that girls would fight like that even though I had 3 sisters. I was amazed!


Miss Tongue taking the class on a walking field trip to Oakwood Cemetery. And to the yellow “haunted house” a block from Morson. Any chance to get outside was great. Although I have to say I did not enjoy the dusty playground where we passed time during the lunch period.

Rutledge - Rut - Etheridge


Wow, your comments awakened even more memories of that great school, and the magic three years I spent there. When you went to Oakwood Cemetery, assuming you used the main entrance, you were right at my house. We lived at 608 Oakwood, the white house on the corner of Oakwood and Linden Ave, from 1962 until the summer (two months after 9th Grade graduation) of 1964. I know that gate is still there, at least up until 2003. My sister Bonnie, who was at Murphy Elementary then, re-visited the old neighborhood and took some pictures – of the house, that gate, the House of Memory, and the humongous ditch that paralleled the first 60 or so feet of the roadway heading up toward the main office. We used to swim there when the water was deep enough, which was not smart at all – the water would be rushing like crazy and we were lucky we didn’t bang our heads on those rocks and exposed roots, and drown.
Speaking of the gate – from the time we moved into the house there ($60.00 per month; can you believe it?:) until late in 1963, all of us kids in the neighborhood were continually challenging one another to climb to the top, and stand on one of the huge stone spheres up there. Well, one day a kid named Bobby Smith – from another part of town – did it! And that shamed the rest of us. So Johnny Bryant, Johnny Bell, Tommy Parish, and Charlie Honeycutt, and I, decided to defend the honor of our neighborhood. No one made it. But three of us returned that night, by ourselves, and two of us made it (it was well lighted). If you’re curious, I’ll tell you which two :) The manager of the cemetery found out about it. He was a nice guy, but he promised to call the police if anyone tried that again. We didn’t, at least during the remaining time my family lived there.

Rutledge - Rut - Etheridge

addendum to my last – Anyhow, Hollywood, thanks for the memories – that time and place are so rich with good memories!



Rut, sounds like you had a great childhood. I certainly would have loved living in that house.

And, being the boy you were, sounds like you are lucky to have survived. Put a half dozen boys together, they will make their own trouble. Fortunately, those were innocent days.


I was at Hugh Morson before 1969 when it was a Jr high. I thought it was Mr. Caty and Mr. Procter. I remember Mr. Procter was quite heavy and the boys would walk up the stairs behind him and say elephant walk. Mr. Procter was very good natured about it.
I remember spraying hairspray on our hair and then sprinkling glitter. The problem was the glitter was metallic and the sharp edges made your head itch like crazy also if any got it in your eye you had to go to the eye doctor to have it removed.


Hey, beauty is hard work, and can have an element of danger. Hmmm…glitter and zits??? Teenage angst.

Is Mr. Caty, Mr. Kahdy?


Answer Hollywood Girl

Yes you are right it was Kahdy. That was many years ago.


Raleigh Boy,

This is a great site. I was born at the old Rex at Wade and St. Mary’s and grew up in Chestnut Hills. Thanks for bringing back memories!

Robert Hutchins

The name that you folks tried to recall from Enloe was George Kahdy. His wife, Nell, taught German and French at Broughton. Both were still living a couple of years ago when my SIL and husband attended a reunion that included a visit with the Kahdys.

Reading about the fire on West street reminded me of great fires I remember. One was the fire that destroyed Edenton Street Methodist Church. I was there when the bell crashed out of the bell tower.

Another fire was in the car dealership on Wilmington Street a block or 2 south of Hudson-Belk. The fire was so hot that the manager brought out a board of keys and gave them to anyone who would drive the cars away to save them. I think some stayed away for a number of days before being recovered.

My family originally came to the area (Walnut Creek) in the 1730s when the county was still a part of Johnston County. The family moved west, but in the 1840s one of my distant uncles was in the State Legislature and helped recruit a company of men to serve in the war with Mexico.

My earliest memory of downtown Raleigh is of the time when the old wooden hotel structure on Wilmington Street between Morgan and New Bern Avenue was being torn down and the Highway Department building was being built. I remember that one of the gangs of laborers had a chanter who intoned work chants much like those of gandy dancers on the railroad or old time sailors did. That was some time before 1948 when Harry S (for nothing) Truman came to Raleigh to speak at the dedication of the statue of the 3 president from NC that sits east of the old Capitol Building. I was there at that dedication in 1948. I remember that Truman rode from the Seaboard Railway station near Peace College in the Governor’s cadillac limousine down Blount Street. All of the children at Murphey School – and maybe others – were given small US flags (only 48 stars then) and lined Blount Street waving and cheering the President. If I recall correctly, President Truman also paid a courtesy call on the Daniels family because Josephus Daniels, owner of The News and Observer, was a national political figure having been both the Secretary of the Navy and Ambassador to Mexico.



i too remember Hysterical Oakwood and still refer to it as that.
It would have been in the 60’s. We moved to the Five Points area in ’69 it was before that.


It looks like I answered Maggi before. I plead insanity.

John Thompson

Gladys Perry’s photo is on page 67 of the 1927 yearbook her name is listed on page 66 under Commercial class 2nd year student, she is also listed as one of the typists for the yearbook. Thanks for the article I’m not from Raleigh but have been around since 81, I remember the garbage Shute that ran into the dumpster and I now work at William Peace University John


Longtime reader and big fan of the site. Never realized you were a one time resident of Woodcrest…where I live now (and love it!)
Would love to hear more about Woodcrest and any pics you might have.


Robin Harrison

Enjoyed your story on the Bland Hotel
I looked it up as I found a letter from 1919
With The Bland Hotel (Raleighs only fire proof hotel)
Fancy letter head.
It was a letter to my grandfather from JC Benjamin.
I looked him up and found him under road equipment using
The Bland as an address in the advertisement.
Also he was under Taps and a NC commander
He was writing grandfather as to going to NC to work.
They’d not been home long from WW1 .

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