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

The Easter Blizzard of 1915

N.53.15.4971 From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives; Raleigh, NC.

N.53.15.4971 From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives; Raleigh, NC.

Pictured is Morgan Street looking west at its intersection with Boylan Avenue. The large house seen on the left is roughly the same location as present-day Planned Parenthood. The house seen on the right (704 West Morgan Street) is extant, although modified. Likely sometime in the 1950s it gained asbestos siding and lost its porch. Thankfully, its Italianate eave brackets remain to this day.

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Incredibly, this photograph wasn’t taken in the icy grips of winter—it was taken in spring, Easter Sunday of 1915 to be exact, after a destructive and record breaking weather event that crippled North Carolina and several other states. The front page of the News and Observer read, “Raleigh Flounesed [sic] In Grasp of Its Greatest Blizzard.” It was the deepest snow seen so late in spring and it decimated North Carolina’s electrical and communications infrastructure—toppling telegraph, telephone and power poles. The streetcars halted and the Edison bulbs dimmed as a result of high winds and wet snow falling continuously for over 17 hours. The newly formed Carolina Power and Light was the supplier of the juice and tasked with restoring service. To begin surveying the damage in Raleigh, CP&L sent employees and a photographer (possibly Cyrus P. Wharton or Manly Tyree) out to document the damage and cut live wires. They set out from the central substation at Method Road and headed east on Hillsborough Street, making photographs and surveying the destruction.

The entire series of photographs taken that day can be seen here. This photograph was the last of the series to be identified, being confirmed just last week using the 1914 Sanborn Insurance map and a healthy amount of study. In fact, there is an early historical marker in this photo. Can anyone spot it?

A Storied Structure: The Heck Andrews House — Inside Out

8x10 black glass ambrotype. c. February 2015

8″x10″ black glass ambrotype c. 2014 by Ian F.G. Dunn

What’s inside?
Generally speaking, this question has been nibbling at our collective elbows for millennia. What we can’t see, what we can’t quite imagine, possesses us with wonder. From the ancient pyramids to that perfectly good golf ball you destroyed at age 13, we just have to know what’s inside — we just have to. Many have wondered what opulence, or perhaps squalor, lie within the walls of the Heck-Andrews House on Blount Street.

Read more »

The Conductor, the Flag and Sherman

 

PhC.19.58 Dallas T. Ward c. 1885 From the R. Beverly R. Webb Collection; State Archives, Raleigh.

PhC.19.58
Dallas T. Ward c. 1885
From the R. Beverly R. Webb Collection; State Archives, Raleigh.

It’s been said that every few minutes we take as many photos as all of humanity took in the 1880’s. In the mid 1800’s a photographic representation of reality was considered technological marvel. Needless to say, photography has changed a great deal over the past 150 years. Before camera phones, digital cameras, disposable film cameras or Kodak Brownies, there was the carte de visite — a small albumen print mounted on card stock measuring about 2″x3.5″. These small portraits about the size of a modern business card were traded among friends and family. Many times these small portraits ended up being pasted into blank books – the debut of the photo album.  Read more »


Discuss Raleigh

  • Recent Comments:

    • Dennis Barrington: Many thanks for this. Since we came in ’91 we always looked at the old houses on Bount...
    • Pam: So, now I’m thinking that the pool was on the top of the 3rd or 4th floor – the bottom floors have a...
    • LJG: Google Earth shows a black roof w/ lots of HVAC equipment there.
    • Pam: I am looking for some history on the Holiday Inn that describes the pool that was on the roof! I was there in...
    • Arjoon: Nicely written and properly explained article. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    • Mike Bozart: My family and a childhood friend stayed there in 1977. Funny how I thought about that motel some...
    • Krystyna: This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your...
    • Jim: Does anyone remember “Table Supply”? It was located just on the right of the Hobby Shop and was...


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