Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Originally known as Finch's Crossroads, Denton is named after Denton, TX by Samuel Moses Peacock after he had been reading about the Texas town.  Peacock would later become Denton's first postmaster.  Denton is also the hometown of former major league pitcher, Max Lanier.  Lanier pitched in the majors over 14 seasons from 1938-1953 mainly for the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2007, Denton celebrated its Centennial.  The town celebrated with a festival and parade along with a very detailed website documenting photos and stories about the town's history.

In 2013, the former M.A. Pickett Store building was overrun with junk storage.  In 2016, Derek and Brittany Campbell began restoring the old building.
The two story building was the former site of the Denton Hardware Company.  The other building once was home to a super market.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Linwood and the Jersey Settlement

Linwood is an unincorporated Davidson County community just off NC 47.  It was named by Dr. William Rainey Holt after his nearby plantation.

Linwood was part of the Jersey Settlement along the east banks of the Yadkin River.  The area was settled by former residents of Hopewell, New Jersey around 1745.  It appears that the New Jersey settlers were aiming to recoup losses from land that they lost when the New Jersey Supreme Court invalidated numerous deeds on land around Hopewell. (1)  The nearby Jersey Settlement Meeting House, built in 1842, traces to the Baptist church founded by the New Jersey settlers in 1755.



FARMER - Farmer was incorporated in 1897 and named as it sits in a very fertile farming area.

Former Johnson's Crown - Chatham County

One of the things I like about this project - and more importantly am enjoying since I started working on it again - is some of the surprises that you come across throughout the state. Take for example the long abandoned Johnson's Crown station along NC 87 in Chatham County somewhere Northwest of Pittsboro.

On this particular find, some friends and I were roadtripping to check out a newly opened stretch of Interstate 74 near Asheboro.  We took a circuitous route there and back and part of the route was NC 87.  I am not sure how long this station has been abandoned and my favorite part of the find was the old Esso gas price board that if you look closely wasn't made for $3.00 gas or even $1.00 gas for that matter.

But this past week when I looked at these photos again.  I noticed a few more things about this old station that I had forgotten.  If you look above the price board, you see "oil - gas" So when you look at a wider shot of this sign - you find....

Tools and groceries - so this served more as a general store and maybe even a repair shop.  I can't make out what the wording on the grey weathered boards are for.  I am guessing Johnson something or other - possibly a phone number as well.

 They sold Pet Ice Cream here.
The old gas pump was adjusted for $1.00+ gas - so maybe the old Esso board was something they just kept.  As I go through my photos - and as I get back to doing more trips like this in the coming years - I am looking forward to sharing more of these finds.  I think they'll find a good home here.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Updated Resources

Well after nearly 17 years - I decided to update my main resource.  Flashback to 2000, I had just recently moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania and was living in Fayetteville.  I somehow came across that a library or historical group was hosting a speaker on North Carolina Town Names or something like that.  It was that event that introduced me to one of my main resources in this project, The North Carolina Gazetteer - A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places and Their History by William S. Powell.

A few years ago - a second edition was published.  I held off on purchasing it, but the old book (on the left) was starting to get worn and was certain to fall apart soon.  Plus, the second edition has 1,200 additional entries and included the work of Michael Hill.  Slowly but surely my collection of items for research for this project and just this state in general continues to grow. 

The Gazetteer is available at many bookstores within the state - or on Amazon.  You can directly purchase the book via amazon through the link below.

Friday, May 5, 2017


GRANTVILLE - Randolph County Community at the intersection of NC 42 and Old NC 13.

Monday, May 1, 2017


BRUCE - Unincorporated Pitt County Community at the intersection of NC 121 and NC 43.  The site of the Cottendale Plantation, named after the Cotten family is nearby.  One of the ancestor's of the family is Bruce Cotten (1873-1954) who had one of the largest private collections on items pertaining to North Carolina history.  Upon his death, Mr. Cotten - though it is not formally said the community is named after him - willed his entire collection to the University of North Carolina.