Greetings! And Welcome to Carolina Crossroads and Small Towns.
This has been a project that I have kicked around in my mind for a number of years. How can I share the stories of the countless number of the sometimes well-known - often times overlooked small towns and communities of North Carolina.
There are a number of key moments that lead to the creation of this blog site. First, in 2000, I purchased William S. Powell's The North Carolina Gazetteer - A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places. This book has become an invaluable reference for telling a brief history on how almost every geographic feature (cities and towns, streams and rivers, mountains and swamps) in North Carolina received its name. Some are more detailed than others.
Another key influence for me was the success of the Keystone Town Markers project that I have ongoing in Pennsylvania. That project, and the influence of the late Fred Yenerall, spurred my own interest in doing the same for my "home" state of North Carolina.
Finally, returning to North Carolina in 2007 after two years in Upstate New York, urged me to go back and not take North Carolina for granted and to really go out and explore the state more. After all, one of the state tourism slogans is "Discover the State Your In."
So over the past two years, I have slowly been collecting photographs of small towns and crossroads. I have culled a lot of these photos on my personal flickr site, in a set that shares the same title as this blog. Obviously, some of these small towns are more unique than others. Some have very little history at all. In some cases, I'll learn more after I post the town on here. But, that's ok...this has been a project of great discovery of North Carolina for me. And as a result, I know more about this great state than I ever did before, and I hope as a result of your visits, the same will happen with you.
The format of this blog is for now very straight forward. I'll have more time to tinker with design and features as time goes on. But the presentation will be the same, the town (Sometimes captured by a sign...or a view of the downtown...) followed by a brief history of how the town was named, and any other storied and items of human interest that goes along with it.
I am very excited about moving forward with this project...and I hope that you have enjoyed your visit.