Arts & Culture

NC Veterans Join the Ranks of the State’s Brewers

Former military members across North Carolina have banded together to create craft beer using the skills and principles learned...

North Carolina’s Weird Town Names (Part Two)

Shortly after we published our first Curious Carolinian post on weird town names, we received tons of...

North Carolina Gazetteer Explores the Essential Nonessential

The North Carolina Gazetteer proves that the stories behind how many of our state’s towns were named are almost...

Harry Taylor Captures Ghosts in the Glasshouse

Formulas and methods from the 1850s create remarkable histories in one photographer’s subjects — who are very much...

Music for a Sunday Morning

Durham’s Gospel Jubilators recall the golden age of gospel.

High Point Market Sees Century-Long Revolution

Furniture design is ever-changing. The same is true of the High Point Market, now in its second century of...

Tiki Bar Playlist

Transport yourself to Tiki Pier with these eight songs selected by Abbie Sinclair, owner of the Ocean Grill and...

Photography Tips from Our State Contributors

Each month, stunning photographs of North Carolina and the people who call it home grace the pages of our...

In Praise of Our State’s Clay

Dig into North Carolina, and you’ll find clay nearly everywhere: in ravines, as relics, and even on a windowsill.

Tailor-Made For Perfection

From a medieval helmet to Johnny Reb’s bayonet, a Salisbury craftsman — forger, tailor, tanner — is dedicated to...

The Perfect Sunday

At any age, in any household, the weekly gift of time is treasured.

Civil War Relic Hunting with Joe Crews

Hillsborough collector Joe Crews sought to preserve a Union soldier's identity. In the process, he discovered his own.

Writer Philip Gerard Relives the Civil War

A writer revisits the personal challenges, successes, and doubts in discovering and documenting North Carolina's role in the Civil...

One Nation, Again After Johnston’s Surrender

After four years and thousands of lives lost, the war ends. (Volume 5, Part Four)

‘Pop the Cap’ Initiative Celebrates 10 Years

Ten years after North Carolina's alcohol by volume limit on beer was raised, "Pop the Cap" organizer Sean Lilly...

7 Inches from a Shark at Greensboro Science Center

As if moray eels, mummified humans, and dinosaur skeletons aren’t wildly interesting already, things are about to get a...

NC Towns Foster Friendships with Sister Cities

Many North Carolina towns have formed lasting partnerships with cities across the globe, proving it's the mutual mission of...

A Fan Until the End, and Beyond

A new study uses obituaries to find out what makes the loyal followers of college sports.

Like Learning How to Ride a Bike

A father and his two young sons explore the sights, sounds, and sometimes tastes of North Carolina.

5 Tips to Create a Natural Landscape This Spring

Gone are the days of perfectly manicured lawns as many homeowners choose to create unadulterated natural landscapes. Use these...

The Great Lexington Barbecue Cover-Up

Hidden for decades behind a wall in the mayor’s office, the discovery of the town’s oldest barbecue pits is...

How We Live Now: The Farmhouse Modern

More than 175,000 of you invite us into your homes each month, which got us thinking about, well, the...

Origins of Weird Town Names in North Carolina

Wayne Schmitt, a reader from Concord, asked us, "What is so high about High Point?" His question got us...

The Lush Life: An Essay on Being a Yard Person

Observations, confessions, and mild bossiness from a resolute yard person.

Winston-Salem’s Theater Scene Headlines Spring

On numerous stages in multiple venues, an actor or audience, donor or director, is contributing to Camel City’s decades-deep...

With Seed Catalogs, Anticipation for Spring Grows

Impatient for the state’s April 15 all-clear for planting? For seed devotees, the pleasures of growing begin long before...

Producing a Longleaf Legacy in the Tar Heel State

Our storied pines are more than just pretty to look at: Historically, they produced the tar, pitch, and turpentine...

Finding Writer’s Solitude at Weymouth Center

How writers find scene and setting in self-imposed solitude.

Made in N.C. Products Guide

Your shopping guide for products made right here in North Carolina.

Fresh, Southern Sounds: Spring Playlist

As the flowers blossom, birds are singing a different tune. Celebrate the start of spring with our playlist that...

Blooms and Birdsong at Wing Haven Gardens

A gardener's passion and imagination left a public legacy of urban green and serenity only minutes from Charlotte's skyscrapers.

Highway Marker Program Puts History on a Stick

The N.C. Highway Historical Marker Program, among the first of its kind, ensures that every county in our state...

Johnston’s Last Stand at the Battle of Bentonville

Confederate brigades battle Sherman’s troops in Bentonville. (Volume 5, Part Three)

In Praise of the Pink Dogwood Flower

Dogwoods’ blushing blooms win the we-try-harder competition in the spring landscape.

A Visit to the State Line

A father and his two young sons explore the sights, sounds, and sometimes tastes of North Carolina.

What’s With North Carolina’s Weird Laws?

From a resolution that makes hurricanes illegal to a ban against off-key singing, this state has some unusual laws...

Roadside Chapels: Small Space, Large Presence

Seeking the petite and sacred spaces just off our highways and byways.

Conetoe Family Life Center Farm Grows, Inspires

For Edgecombe County children, a shared garden feeds and provides a sense of purpose.

Wood-Carver Tom Wolfe Turns Pine Into Characters

Many wood-carvers steer clear of our state tree as a medium, but Tom Wolfe has always seen faces in...

Away From It All, We Cherish Our Sacred Places

Ridgetops and river bends. Tiny churches and a luxury spa. Book-lined rooms. Garden paths. Sooner or later we crave...

Now, Voyager: Retracing John Lawson’s Journey

Recalling an early explorer, a canoer seeks the empty spaces in the Carolina coastal marshes.

Homeplace: Captain Charlie’s Cottages

Three of the most recognizable landmarks on Bald Head Island, the historic Captain Charlie's Cottages, provide a sense of...

The Solace of Bookshelves

From Louis Round Wilson to Wilson County, in a library you're always, and never, alone.

A Hymn to Sticky Limbs

On being a sap for the pine tree.

In Search Of Safe Places

My evening walk takes me past Fire Station #43 on Lake Jeanette Road in Greensboro. An American flag and...

Peace Poles Unite Many in Rowan County

The symbol erected in parks throughout Rowan County is simple, its message clear and easy to understand no matter...

Inside The Silence at Belmont Abbey College

Solitude and prayer, historic tradition and modern education, blend beautifully at a campus where monks and students practice the...

Collard Cravings

A sandwich of backyard ingredients represents the heritage and homeland of a North Carolina Tribe.

BRÖÖ Takes Beer “Saloon to Salon” with Shampoo

An Asheville couple taps into the local creative industry with a beer shampoo line, BRÖÖ. What other beauty company...

NoDa Is Charlotte’s Island of Interesting

NoDa, Charlotte’s historic arts neighborhood, reflects the ever-changing New South right now — no telling what it’ll be tomorrow.

Why is Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem?

Many are surprised to learn that Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, more than 100 miles west of...

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Revamped

The factory that originally housed the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has gotten new life as the Wake Forest Innovation...

Revolution Mill Reimagined

If you think industrial, antique, and ornate are three styles that can’t live in harmony, you haven’t been to...

Roxboro Cotton Mill Remodeled

It wasn't designed to awe or to be beautiful. It was designed to function. But in its new incarnation,...

American Tobacco Factory Revitalized

After falling into a state of disrepair, American Tobacco Factory has been revitalized as American Tobacco Campus, a center...

Sherman’s Final March

The Union lays waste to Fayetteville in its push through the Carolinas. (Volume 5, Part Two)

African American Quilt Circle Stitches Narratives

Members of a Durham quilting circle know that preserving the act of quilting is as important as preserving the...

Imperial Tobacco Company Repurposed

A space that once housed Imperial Tobacco Company has transformed into a cultural center while still keeping many of...

Why Is There a Bump in the NC/Va Border?

Trace your finger along a map of North Carolina, and you'll notice a slight notch in the border our...

In a Seaplane on the Chowan River

A father and his two young sons explore the sights, sounds, and sometimes tastes of North Carolina.

Scott Murkin is Asheboro’s Quilting King

Today’s quilts — and their creators — look a little different from what you might expect.

Depression-Era Denim, Worn But Never Wasted

During the Depression, nothing was wasted. Not even a family’s well-worn overalls.

Barber Reddin Honeycutt is a Cut Above The Rest

With his razor-sharp craftsmanship, Reddin Honeycutt is the boss at Cat’s Barber Shop in Fayetteville.

Tobacco Auction Maestro is a Master of a Lost Art

Without getting winded, seasoned auctioneer Chuck Jordan can sell 300,000 pounds of the golden leaf in 38 minutes flat.

Wild Thing: Making a Career Out of Canyoneering

To turn canyoneering into a career means to trade cubicles for waterfalls, pens and staplers for ropes and chalk....

Field Trip

A father and his two young sons explore the sights, sounds, and sometimes tastes of North Carolina.

Blowing Rock Snowman Creates Winter Magic

Even when there are no clouds, Steve Stanley, mountain manager of Appalachian Ski Mountain, makes so much snow that...

The Wit and Wisdom of a Pinehurst Greens Reader

No one alive or dead has walked more steps on Pinehurst’s courses than caddie Willie McRae. He has carried...

The Weatherman of Ashe County: Joe Mullis

A Creston resident reads the world around him — rather than charts and graphs — to forecast the winter.

Prized Possessions

Don’t ask us to choose just one. Each of these North Carolina objects and artifacts contributes special significance to...

The Fabric of Elkin: The Chatham Manufacturing Company

Thanks to the Chatham Manufacturing Company, the history of Elkin is defined by a single cozy object: the Chatham...

The Union Takes Wilmington

Confederate troops fail to defend the vital port city. (Volume 5, Part 1)

Passion Means Patience to Bakersville Glassblower

Richard Ritter, a glassblower in Bakersville, is a true talent and one of only 19 individuals to hold the...

A Ray of Light at Currituck Lighthouse

For 10 years, Meghan Agresto has lived 40 steps from the 140-year-old Currituck Beach Lighthouse, making certain its light...

JJ Jiang Brings Artistic Vision to Cary

A Chinese-American artist finds inspiration where the waters converge.

To Find Gold: The N.C. State Mineral

The state mineral is plentiful in North Carolina, but it’s elusive, too.

Snow Dazed: Snow Days in North Carolina

On bread, milk, and North Carolina’s complicated relationship with winter weather.

Goliath Falls: Attacks Waged Against Fort Fisher

The battle of Fort Fisher signals doom for the Confederacy. (Volume 4, Part 12)

Piedmont Wind Symphony Brings Passion to Music

Under the guidance of conductor Rob Simon, the Piedmont Wind Symphony celebrates its 25th season and an undeniable love...

Tiny Living: Tiny Homes in North Carolina

North Carolinians find freedom in the smallest homes.

Homes for Bluebirds

Eastern bluebirds, once almost vanished from our state, thrive with the help of friendly (human) neighbors.

Art Inspires Community at Cedar Creek Gallery

A community of artists finds a home, and a family, at a gallery near Creedmoor.

Not Giants, but Windmills: The Whirligig

From scrap to masterpiece, the making of our official state folk art, the whirligig.

History Unwrapped: The Our State Back Catalog

This month, we are thrilled to announce the opening of the State Library of North Carolina's latest digital collection:...

Jug Tucker Band: Live at Our State

Jug Tucker Band brings its coastal flavor and beloved bluegrass to the Our State lobby.

arcBARKS: Bakers for Barkers

Far more than mere ingredients go into a two-inch treat for pooches at arcBARKS, a Greensboro bakery.

Home + Place = Homplace. Or Not.

The multiple meanings of a single word.

A Christmas Wish for a Pony Lives on at Southern Oaks Farm

On a farm in Moore County, a lifelong horsewoman tends a stable filled with dreams come true.

The Toy That Requires a License: Black Cadillac Olds

For decades, the epitome of luxury on Christmas Day has been a Coupe de Ville with a big red...

Toy Stories at Spencer Doll and Toy Museum

In a glittery gown or camo flak jacket, a doll is a doll is a doll. (Unless it’s an...

Ann Bailey Builds a Life on Diamond Dreams

A Nash County orphan at 8, a widow in her 30s, Ann Bailey decided early on that hard work...

Western Carolina University’s Marching Band to Perform in the Big Apple

Start spreading the news — Western Carolina University’s marching band is heading to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

100 Years of Hugging: Winey Bears Country Store

Whether torn to shreds by a jealous pet, or simply loved to pieces after years of cuddling, stuffed animals...

Readers’ Choice: 2014 Story of the Year

With every issue of Our State, our mission is to tell good stories that capture the true essence of...

Readers’ Choice: 2014 Cover of the Year

Each Our State cover is meticulously selected for its ability to capture the essence of the issue and to...

Readers’ Choice: 2014 Recipe of the Year

In 2014, our food bloggers and recipe testers were busy in the kitchen creating dishes that celebrated classic Southern...

Readers’ Choice: 2014 Photo Essay of the Year

From the peaks of Grandfather Mountain to the farms of Iredell County, Our State's 2014 photo essays tell a...

Readers’ Choice: 2014 Video of the Year

Watch stories found in the magazine come to life in exclusive videos produced by Our State, and see the...

Joyride: A Sled Ride with Grandpa

A coastal snowfall, an iconic sled, and a gruff grandpa conspire for a final adventure down the dunes.

Coming Home with Leah Shaw: Performance and Q&A

Leah Shaw, winner of Our State's 2014 Singer-Songwriter competition, performs her song "Carolina I'm Home" and talks about pining...

Grits & Soul: Live at Our State

Asheville's Grits & Soul sings about love, heartbreak, and North Carolina in the Our State library.

Patriot Rovers Brings Healing to Veterans with PTSD

A High Point nonprofit not only trains and provides service dogs to veterans with PTSD, but also names the...

Lords of the Ring: The Raleigh Ringers

When this handbell choir puts on a show, the rhymes and chimes of traditional melodies give way to rock...

Annie Cicale Calligraphy

From the pen of a Fairview artist flows proof of the enduring importance of handwriting.

Paperhand Puppet Intervention Inspires Family Fun

In Saxapahaw, volunteers gather to turn cardboard, cornstarch, and other odds and ends into puppets whose giant size matches...

The South’s Gibraltar: Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher endures a punishing barrage by an armada from the North. (Volume 4, Part 11)

The Sound of Dreams: American Idol

Fantasia. Scotty. Caleb. Three winners, more than any other state in the nation. And a slew of famous finalists....

Keepers of the Light: North Carolina’s Linemen

It’s easy to take for granted the gifts of electric heat and light, but it wasn’t so long ago...

Heart and Soul Behind Edward Loewenstein’s Home

In the staid culture of 1950s North Carolina, roofs were to be pointed, nature was to stay outside, and...

Signing and Singing: Sign-Language Karaoke

For the deaf and hard of hearing in North Carolina, sign-language karaoke is a way to stay connected to...

They’re Playing Our Song: The N.C. State Song

Think the N.C. state song is just the state motto put to music? You’re wrong.

Under the Carolina Sun: Frances Mayes on Hillsborough

Frances Mayes pens her own ode to the literary haven of Hillsborough, this corner of Orange County that pulled...

Hands-On History

Our hands are greater than the sum of their parts, but as it turns out, the individual parts of...

The Sound of Unity in a Pittsboro Church Choir

From soprano to bass, a Pittsboro church choir blends the voices — and personalities — of its members in...

Farewell, War Memorial Auditorium

After 55 years, a beloved Greensboro performance venue takes its final bow.

The Sound of Live: First Concert Memories

Some things never change. Like the transformative thrill of a rockin’ first concert. With your parents.

The Sound of Ingenuity: Terry McInturff’s Guitars

The recipe for an epic electric guitar solo is simple: Take one rock legend. Eric Clapton will do. Add...

The Sound of Escape: A Quest for an FM Converter

AM radio is fine if you’re looking for hog prices or want to listen to monophonic versions of Christmas...

The Sound of Community: Carolina Gold

On weekends, when other guys his age are content with kicking back and listening to music, Joe Allen is...

The Sound of Discovery at Lunchbox Records

Records — you know, the big, round, black discs that introduced you to Nat King Cole and Kenny Rogers...

State Strongholds

Through the years, through the wars, these forts have shaped North Carolina's history.

Author Frances Mayes Finds Muse in Chatwood

The Under the Tuscan Sun author has recently taken up residence in the literary town of Hillsborough, making the...

Mipso in Japan

In the summer of 2013, Mipso's Jacob Sharp, Joseph Terrell, and Wood Robinson toured Japan. We caught up with...

The Our State Music Series

For over a year, we've been inviting North Carolina musicians and bands to play their music in our office....

Road Trip Survival Guide

Enjoy the ride on your next road trip with these trusty North Carolina products.

Motor Heads and Motor Courts in North Carolina

Classic car enthusiasts love showing off their polished rides at car shows and cruise-ins. But in the mountains, the...

Our State’s Holiday Gift Guide

Start your holiday shopping with our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

North Carolina’s United Nation of NASCAR

The Charlotte area has been a driving force in stock car racing since the sport’s earliest days, when moonshiners...

The Scuppernong

In Columbia, the river that gave its name to our grape is a lifeline and a family tie.

Up in the Air: The Carolina BalloonFest

From the ground, the sight of a hot-air balloon renders you speechless, breathless. But take to the sky in...

Freedom Nears for Slaves

The slave trade in North Carolina thrives, despite the impending demise of the Confederacy. (Volume 4, Part 10)

Asheville’s Fortress of Art: The Biltmore Estate

A top-secret scheme during World War II made a room at Biltmore a hidden vault for our nation’s most...

Scuppernong Books

At Greensboro’s independent bookstore, good reads are ripe for the picking.

Matt Tommey’s Vine Art Baskets

Grapevines join bark and kudzu in an Asheville artist’s unique take on baskets.

Sailing the Sea in a Shad

The state historical boat blends beauty and utility.

Carolina Classic: Tailgating

Tailgating is tradition in North Carolina. Explore how fans across the state show their team spirit through food, travel,...

Mountain Must-Reads

Whether you’re planning a visit to western North Carolina this fall and need a book for the road, or...

North Carolina Mountain Music Playlist

Your mountain road trip isn't just about arriving at your final destination; it's about enjoying every bend, curve, and...

New Flavor: How Hops are Growing in NC

Hop farms aren’t what we would call typical in NC, but they are beginning to take root. Plus, we...

The Rural Academy Theater

Why would a band of performers traverse western North Carolina in a wagon? Because in entertainment, delivery matters.

A Love Letter to North Carolina

Drew Perry has a crush on North Carolina, and he doesn’t care who knows it. To illustrate his ode...

2014 Singer-Songwriter Competition Results

Presenting the final results of Our State's 2014 Singer-Songwriter competition.

Sisters of Mercy

Nuns from the North travel south to nurse the sick and comfort the dying. (Volume 4, Part 9)

A Man, a Plan, a Park: Founding the Research Triangle Park

Archie Davis, who helped found the Research Triangle Park, recognized in North Carolinians a desire to learn, to look...

Halftime Heros

Whether their team is winning or losing, marching bands at historically black colleges keep the fans on their feet.

A Guide to North Carolina’s College Mascots

The only way we could get this motley crew of birds, beasts, and men to pose together was to...

Saturday Spirit

Food and football give us a reason to gather. But the essence of tailgating is something deeper.

Furniture Moves Forward

A new generation of Broyhill is putting his own stamp on the furniture industry.

Textiles Keep Spinning

An innovative recycled yarn brings hope to a recovering industry.

Tobacco Soldiers On: The Story of the Tobacco Industry in North Carolina

Fifty years ago, the landmark surgeon general’s report on smoking and health shook the tobacco industry in North Carolina....

We Are What We Keep (and Forget)

A former “picker” discovers history, nostalgia, identity, and — oh yes — value in discarded objects and abandoned places.

Carolina Collectors

These three collectors have something in common: they all turned to Jon Lambert to help uncover...

Wright Proud: The Wright Brothers’ Legacy in NC

How 2 men, 12 seconds, and 1 monument changed North Carolina forever.

What Say You

One writer holds forth on the quirks, charms, and cautions of the Southern spoken word.

Who We {Say We} Are

Are you a typical North Carolinian? The Elon University Poll asks residents about their likes, dislikes, and opinions on...

Canvas and Clay

Fine art finds a welcoming home in our state.

Shag, You Say? Oh, Behave!

Our state dance will get your feet moving — just add beach music.

Carolina Classic: Cotton

Discover the ways cotton is shaping art, food, and culture across North Carolina.

The Charlotte Museum of History: Teas of the British Isles

The Charlotte Museum of History is sharing tea, snacks, and history lessons this summer and fall.

Ten Durham-Made Products You Shouldn’t Miss

Durham has become a haven for entrepreneurs and artists alike. Don't miss this list of some of our favorite...

Our Americana: Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

Burnsville’s annual fair has a special craft: to elevate daily life from average to artistic.

The Afterlives of the Dead

Faced with the cruel realities of war, survivors must change their approaches to mourning. (Volume 4, Part 8)

Camp Greene

Before it was a financial center, a boomtown, a skyscraper city, Charlotte was a quiet collection of churches and...

Libba Cotten

From her picking style to her unlikely path to fame, the folk music heroine from Carrboro always did things...

From Dirt to Shirt: Mindful Supply Co.

The story of a Mindful Supply Co. T-Shirt unfolds entirely on Carolina soil.

Elaine O’Neil’s Textile Art

In Chapel Hill, cotton serves an unexpected purpose.

Mill Town Memories

Mill town residents have not forgotten what textile work, and the life they built around it, meant to them.

The Origin of a Symbol: The Scotch Bonnet

Selecting a seashell symbolic of North Carolina was not an easy task, but an even bigger challenge may be...

The Good Road State

The story of how our roads went from muddy wagon trails to the largest state-maintained highway system in the...

Modern Moonshine

Today’s distillers represent the latest in a long and storied history of North Carolina whiskey makers. Using the same...

An Illuminating Personality: Pyrotechnician Jeff Hale

With a playful love of fireworks and a meticulous process, pyrotechnician Jeff Hale creates magic in the sky with...

Thunder Road

The heart-racing, thrill-seeking, breathtaking story of North Carolina’s favorite roller coaster.

Beach Ball: The Morehead City Marlins

College baseball players from across the country come to small Southern towns like Morehead City for a taste of...

To Be Rather Than to Seem

Even though our state motto is Latin, nothing is lost in translation.

The Big Show on the Sounds: Show Boat

“Show Boat” was the one of the most popular musicals ever made. And it all started when writer Edna...

The Crater

The Union Army’s plan to explode a mine succeeds, but the confederate counterattack proves more deadly. (Volume 4,...

Gatsby’s Asheville

Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald defined the ’20s — the boom and bust, the roar and crash —...

Corolla’s Castle: The Whalehead Club

Today, Whalehead in historic Corolla stands quietly. But in the Roaring ’20s, when a wealthy industrialist and his wife...

Summer 2014 Soundtrack

A North Carolina summer sounds like no other. While fireflies and fireworks light up the evening skies, we invite...

Mint Julep Jazz Band: Live at Our State

Durham's Mint Julep Jazz Band turns the Our State library into a dance hall.

2014 Singer-Songwriter Competition

Can you write the next great ode to North Carolina? Enter this year's singer-songwriter contest presented by the Greater...

Carolina Classic: Carolina Moon

Explore how people across North Carolina celebrate their Carolina moon through music, food, and community.

Steph Stewart and the Boyfriends: Live at Our State

Steph Stewart and the Boyfriends play some of their newest tunes in the Our State library.

A Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou

Remembering the phenomenal poet who adopted North Carolina as her home.

The Civil War: General Wild’s Raid

Brig. Gen. Edward augustus Wild raises an army of former slaves who take aim at southern plantations. (Volume 4,...

Dance Till Dawn

In Rocky Mount, June Germans were the high-society highlight of the year, transforming tobacco warehouses and bringing big bands,...

Under a Carolina Moon

During World War II, a chance meeting led to a long-distance romance forever preserved in letters.

Blue Crabs’ Secret

North Carolina fishermen look to the moon to unlock secrets of the natural world.

Quarter Moon Books

Part café, part boutique, the heart of this Topsail Beach shop has always been books.

When Milk Reigned at Biltmore

George Vanderbilt’s pampered Jersey herd was the foundation of Biltmore Dairy Farms, but most folks in Asheville remember its...

The Moon and You: Live at Our State

Asheville acoustic duo The Moon and You stopped by the Our State library with cello and guitar in...

String Towns

There’s great music in every corner of our state. Here are just a few places to hear and play...

Genevieve & Ferdinand: Live at Our State

Durham-based duo Genevieve & Ferdinand consists of Grammy-nominated vocalist Kate McGarry and her husband, guitarist Keith Ganz. Enjoy their...

Occupation of the East

Eastern North Carolina becomes a grim battleground in the fight for control of the state. (Volume 4, Part 5)

The Fish That Built Beaufort

For years, a fish at the bottom of the food chain was king in Carteret County. The menhaden industry...

Fiddle or Violin?

The fiddle is an instrument so versatile it takes on a different name when it's used to play classical...

Fiddle Festivals

Fiddlers’ conventions have long brought North Carolina communities together.

Cigar-Box Fiddles

A craftsman in Asheville combines music, art, and history to give cigar boxes unexpected new life.

The Man Who Taught a Fiddler to Play Guitar

Before he learned to play fiddle, the South’s most famous fiddler learned to play guitar. Charlie Daniels has never...

Lumina Pavilion

“Only when it was gone did we realize what was lost.”

Lakeside Legends

In the ’60s and ’70s, Williams Lake and Lake Artesia became weekend hotspots for teens looking to put on...

Summer in the Sixties

Every generation makes its own beach memories. Summer in the '60s was seafood and station wagons, bathing suits and...

Where Are We? The Story of North Carolina Maps

Sedan-size maps of centuries past weren’t as convenient as our smartphones’ GPS, but without them, we would have been...

David Childers: Live at Our State

David Childers performs in the Our State library.

Catawba Valley

Where the Catawba River flows through Lincoln and Catawba counties, an ancient art form thrives.

Lowland Hum

The Greensboro-based husband and wife duo discuss music, life on the road, and share their newest single, "Ballad of...

Summer’s Soundtrack

There’s no better backdrop for beach music than the ocean or a better stage than the Tiki Pier at...

Artist Spotlight: Joe Newberry

Joe Newberry has been playing banjo since his childhood in Missouri, but since moving to North Carolina he has...

A Carolina Collage: The Wells Stockyard Flea Market

For decades, eclectic bits and pieces from around the world have found their way to Wallace. But they never...

Red Clay Reader

In the ’60s, a professor and her students created a magazine for writers rooted in Southern soil.

The Red Clay Ramblers

Shaped by the ever-changing music scene in Chapel Hill, the Ramblers have always been experimenters.

Not Just An Ol’ Hound

When it came time to pick a state dog, the Plott family knew there was only one canine in...

Hoopskirt Dreams: Wilmington’s Azalea Festival Belles

During the Azalea Festival in Wilmington, the city’s Azalea Belles follow a slow, graceful path to the past.

The Unreliable Reader

An introduction to "10 Poems Every North Carolinian Should Read" by two-term U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

10 Poems Every North Carolinian Should Read

Indulge in the diverse beauty of North Carolina by reading these poems aloud.

The Mythic School of the Mountain: Black Mountain College

Brilliant artists, poets, and intellectuals established Black Mountain College’s reputation as a bastion of innovative thinkers. The college’s brief,...

The Story Collector

Cratis Williams’s love of Appalachia helped inspire a special library collection, where the story of the region continues to...

The National Pastime at War

Troops from both sides — and even prisons — find escape from the slog of war with a bat...

The Invasion of the Underclad Undergrads

For a brief time in the 1970s, college students threw off their inhibitions — among other things — and...

The Old Ceremony: Live at Our State

Songwriter Django Haskins and violinist Gabriel Pelli of The Old Ceremony stopped by the Our State office with instruments...

Appalachian Music Playlist

Joe Newberry may be known as a prizewinning musician, but this month he's also serving as our Appalachian DJ....

National Poetry Month

In honor of this wordsmith's holiday, here are a list of events you should attend this month.

Chicken Alley in Asheville

These days, you won’t encounter stray chickens in downtown Asheville — just one 10-foot-tall rooster with a proportionately large...

Q&A with Dan Riesser, Director of Stomping Ground

An interview with N.C. native and Los Angeles film director Dan Riesser. His first feature film is set in...

High Beams & Pinholes

A renowned North Carolina filmmaker remembers the scenes from a day — and the recurring appearance of a bad...

Starring: Daniel Wallace

What it was like for a North Carolina author to star in a movie based on his own book.

Our Ava

Ava Gardner lit the world on fire with her breathtaking beauty and fiery spirit. She was raised as a...

Party on the Line

Telephone operators once helped connect folks across the state before “If you’d like to make a call ... ”...

The Art of Tammy Leigh Brooks

If you’ve never seen a Polish chicken before, let this Hickory artist’s stoneware version be your first.

The Rooster’s Wife

At this Aberdeen venue, the rules of the coop are clear: It’s all about the music.

Our Most Maligned Mammal

Considered bird-feeder thieves by many — and even worse by some — these furry critters are still our cutest...

The Great Adventure of the Outlaw Blalocks

A husband and wife stay together — and fight together — through the duration of the war. (Volume 4,...

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Message

At one small-town theater, the comedy starts before you even arrive.

Hometown Theaters

Step inside a vintage theater, and be transported into a glitzy otherworld.

Raleigh’s 50 Foot Librarian: Hunt Library

At North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library, “whoosh” replaces “shhh” as robots zip along the state-of-the-art building’s five-story trove...

North Carolina Should-Be Movie Posters

North Carolina’s history is filled with captivating characters: swashbuckling villains, legendary entrepreneurs, thrill-seeking explorers, great heroines. Which got us...

How to Be a Movie Extra in North Carolina

Ready for your 15 minutes of fame? The N.C. Film Office shares how you can be a movie extra...

The Rooster’s Wife Music Playlist

You don't need to get your hand stamped to enjoy our Rooster's Wife playlist featuring bands that the venue...

Recalling The Southern Bell Telephone Company

The purpose of telephones hasn't changed over the years – they still connect us around the world and to...

Deserters and Outliers

Tar Heel soldiers grow weary of war and leave their regiments — only to fight for the north. (Volume...

The Wilderness Poet: George Ellison

At home in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, naturalist and writer George Ellison and his artist wife, Elizabeth,...

One Man’s Trash: Art by Mark Bannerman

Bits and pieces, scraps and slivers: For Mark Bannerman, every little object is a treasure.

A Home for the Arts

When art lovers in Yadkinville repurposed a long-empty building downtown, they got the cultural anchor they knew had been...

Historic Kitchens

These historic kitchens represent a portrait of life in North Carolina when function was fundamental.

The Big Freeze

For about 10 days in 1917 and 1918, the waters from the Great Dismal Swamp to the Outer Banks...

Readers’ Choice: The Best of Our State 2013

The results are in! See the winners of this year's Readers' Choice Awards.


The bodies of thousands of Confederate soldiers lie stretched across a battlefield in Pennsylvania, and the smell of death...

Poems for Everyone

A citywide art project is bringing together poetry and graphic design in Charlotte, rewarding those who take a moment...

All Creatures Great and Small

Carolyn Blaylock aims for one thing with her colorful animal paintings: joy.

Where the Strong Grow Great: N.C. State Toast

North Carolina is the only state with an official toast, and that deserves … well, a toast!

Photo Gallery: Greensboro’s Woman’s College

See our gallery of historical photos from Women's College of the University of North Carolina.

The Invincible Ironclad

One man builds a warship that seems unsinkable, and his sworn enemy vows to destroy it. (Volume 3, Part...

From Manhattan to Magnolia Farm

Erin Weston left North Carolina wide-eyed with an art history degree and a dream of making it in the...

Stitches and Squares

Each of our community colleges has a place on this quilt, a handmade tribute to learning.

Readers’ Choice: 2013 Cover of the Year

Vote for your favorite Our State cover of 2013 in this year's Readers' Choice Cover of the Year.

Readers’ Choice: 2013 Video of the Year

Vote for Our State's 2013 video of the year in this year's Readers' Choice.

Readers Choice: 2013 Photo Essay of the Year

Vote for your favorite photo essay from this past year.

Readers’ Choice: 2013 Story of the Year

With every issue of Our State, our intent is to tell good stories that capture the true essence of...

Pocket Portraits: Miniature Pet Sculptures

An artist in Welcome gives her customers a way to keep the animals they love close to their hearts.

The Iron Lifeline

The outcome of the war relies on the strength of the state’s railroads. (Volume 3, Part 11)

Sending a Message

When Jennifer Watlington couldn’t find greeting cards for veterans in her hometown, Reidsville, she created her own.

Salute a Veteran

Contribute a personal essay to honor a veteran in this reader story collection.

Burial and Mourning at Poplar Grove

Amid an increasingly hostile society, one estate near Wilmington remains an unlikely refuge. (Volume 3, Part 10)

Crafted and Collected

Traditional artwork finds a home just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville.

Mipso: Live at Our State

Watch this Chapel Hill trio play a few songs from their album, Dark Holler Pop.

Travel Guide: Mountain Art

As you travel this fall, take along this list of 25 art galleries and museums in the North Carolina...

Coca-Cola’s Ghostpainter

Andy Thompson applies fresh coats of paint to fading murals around the state.

Dear My Beloved,

A husband and wife, separated by war, exchange letters to bridge the distance. (Volume 3, Part 9)

Salem Stained Glass

A company in East Bend uses glass to tell new stories and preserve old ones.

Andy Griffith: “What It Was, Was Football”

Sixty years ago Andy Griffith got his big break in show business thanks to football — but not as...

Inspiration, Everywhere for Douglas Hoover

An Archdale artist finds beauty in everyday life and scenery.

The Story of Tobacco Barns in North Carolina

Tobacco barns once numbered a half million and were fixtures on farms across the state. Today, only about 50,000...

How The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music Began

A group of music lovers preserves and shares the sounds of a region.

James Johnston Pettigrew: A Scholar in the Civil War

One of the state’s foremost scholars finds his purpose is not in books but on the battlefield. (Volume 3,...

The History of Cheerwine

Its flavor is sweet, its color is red, and its history is inextricably intertwined with our own. At soda...

Maleku Jewelry: From North Carolina to Hollywood

A Winterville woman’s jewelry — and her cause — helps her become an international success.

Birdhouse Mansions in Blowing Rock

A dentist builds palaces for his feathered friends at his cabin in Blowing Rock.


A closer look at this quiet mountain town reveals a community that’s just now growing up.

Kinston’s Tiny Town

Housed in an unlikely place, a miniature train set-up matches the state’s landscape exactly.

A Spy Among Us

A socialite collects intelligence for the Confederacy. Her loyalty comes at a price. (Volume 3, Part 7)

Full-Time Painter

A man in New Bern closes his art-supply store and finds success when he starts painting for a living.

The Tiniest Homes

After building a dollhouse with her grandchildren, a High Point woman decided to continue the craft — and created...

One Thing Leads to Another

Pick a word, any word. And dive down into the rabbit hole of regional knowledge. For card-carrying Carolinians, the...

Rebel on the Seas

A former U.S. Navy officer raids and razes union merchant ships. (Volume 3, Part 6)

Celebrating Our State’s 80th Anniversary

Our State magazine celebrates its 80th anniversary this June. We look pretty good for our age, don't we?

Our 10 Favorite Stories

In celebration of our 80th anniversary, we list our favorite ten stories that you shouldn't miss.

Celebrating 80 Years: Pages Past

See inside some of the earliest pages of Our State in this special 80th anniversary photo gallery.

Celebrating 80 Years: A Cover Gallery

View a gallery of Our State covers through the years.

Renaissance Man

In 86 years of life in North Carolina, Billy Arthur has pretty much done it all.

Music for All: The Can Joe Man

Herschel Brown constructs buildings and delivers quality — and now he also builds one-string instruments and delivers happiness.

Crab Pot Creation

With a name like Nick, this Down East businessman may have been destined to invent a new kind of...

Sounds of Summer Camp

Writer Jeri Rowe captured the sounds of YMCA summer camp for this exclusive audio slideshow.

Big, Bold, and Lifelike

Sean Ruttkay’s coastal photography is life-size and captures rare moments.

Writing the War

A Catawba County native becomes a trusted correspondent in a time when battle stories are sensational. (Volume 3, Part...

The Getaway

A Yankee fighting for the South is taken as a prisoner of war. (Volume 3, Part 4)

Porcelain with Personality: Colin’s Creatures

A mixed-media artist in Asheville travels the world in search of rare-breed farm animals that inspire his handcrafted collectibles.

Ashe County Cheese is Drawing New Eyes

In West Jefferson, the cows point the way.

Faith & Food

The desire to feed is baked into the language of the church.

Eric McRay Finds Emotional Connections at Artspace in Raleigh

Studio owner Eric McRay’s approach to art is all about connection. And plenty of people have noticed.

Custom Cut

A Charlotte blacksmith forges original chef’s knives.

Tales of the Fourth-Grade Field Trip

Each year, our state’s fourth graders examine North Carolina’s history for a state-mandated project. But one mother found plenty...

Scenes from 64

Landscape artist Chris Wilson has taken on a mighty big project: He’s producing 100 large-scale oil paintings of scenes...

Freedom Fighter

Following Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a lifelong slave, William Henry Singleton, raises an army of black men: the 1st North...

Religion in the Ranks Chapter II of II

The passion of one minister, the Rev. Alexander Davis Betts, pushes him to great lengths with the 30th North...

Filling in the Gaps

Museum workers in Old Salem find unknown objects from the South’s history and search for the story behind them.

One Bead at a Time

At 80 years old, Eric Ennis creates artwork on fine fabrics with skills he’s practiced for decades.

An Earthly Pursuit

Jugtown Pottery, a Seagrove tradition almost a century old, is in good hands — the same ones that have...

Readers’ Choice Winners: The Best of Our State 2012

Here are the winners of our 2012 Readers' Choice voting!

License Plate Special

A North Carolina artist recycles license plates, builds custom guitars, and sells them to celebrities and Tar Heels alike.

Religion in the Ranks Chapter I of II

Many Christians living in the Confederacy Believe there is little doubt that God is on their side. (Volume 3,...

Living Moving Art

Vollis Simpson and his vast hands molded metal into artwork for decades. And when the rust is gone, his...

Homespun Denim

Raleigh Denim and Greensboro’s Cone Denim employ old-fashioned methods to make the most timeless garment in our closets —...

The Story Behind the Troutman Chair Company

The Troutman Chair factory outside of Statesville has made some of the best rockers anywhere since 1924 — long...

A Forgotten Star

Kay Kyser once was the darling of Hollywood, but his name faded from radio charts after he returned to...

A Family’s War

Seven men from Alamance County fight under the same flag, not only as soldiers, but also as family.

The Father of Vicks

We know it for its smell. We know it for its healing powers. Vicks VapoRub has been a household...

The Civil War Series: Life in North Carolina

The war magnified the best and the worst of the human spirit. In each installment, author and historian Philip...

December Reading List

See a reading list of work by the seven acclaimed North Carolina writers featured in our Christmas fiction issue.

Making of the Issue: Pen & Ink

See how editorial designer Jason Chenier created seven unique illustrations.

North Carolina’s Creative Classroom Contest

Find out who won $500 to make their creative classroom project come to life.

A Town of Champions

A paper mill and its workers helped build the town of Canton and paved the way for innovation.

Jars, irons, cigars, and churns?

How thousands of random items ended up together in a museum in Murfreesboro.

Here She Is

In 75 years, the Miss North Carolina Pageant has transformed from a swimsuit contest into a scholarship contest....

Indivisible: Chang and Eng Bunker

Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker tour the world fascinating audiences. After a life in the limelight, they settle...

Thankful Thoughts

Share what you're thankful for this year's thankful thoughts collection.

Abraham Galloway: From Cartridge Box to Ballot Box

A black man in New Bern doesn’t want to be gifted the rights of freedom after the war. He...

The Peanut Man

Remembering a fixture of Raleigh’s Capitol Square.

Web Exclusive: Hart Square Photos

A village sits, preserved in its entirety, right here in the hills of Hickory.

Painting History

Late in his life, one man turned his love for ships into a career.

Little Will’s Cherokee Legion

A white man and the Indians, war and love, and the dream of freedom. (Volume 2, Part 9)

The Lord of the Forest: the American Chestnut

The American chestnut ruled our forests for centuries, but a killer blight made up of microscopic spores needed only...

Before Food Lion, it was Food Town

The Salisbury grocery chain that became Food Lion began as a community effort.


The waters came. The waters went. But the people stayed, giving this eastern North Carolina town the chance to...

North Carolina in Thread

An exhibit in Wilmington showcases the state’s textile industry with spools from abandoned mills.

The Burden of War

The weight the men carry nearly leaves them limp underneath their sacks. But there is only one way to...

Asheville’s River Arts District

In the late 1800s, this area was the booming, industrial heart of the city. Factories and mills lined the...

Southern Hospitality

It’s complicated. Yes, we welcome you. We welcome you to come sit at our supper tables, stay awhile at...

Candlelight Nights

For 11 years, a fancy French restaurant gave Selma a selling point.

Protecting the Press

The NCPA has a history of helping newspapers keep our government in check.

Stories from Hurricane Hazel

Share your stories and memories of one of the greatest hurricanes to affect North Carolina.

The Kinston Hangings (Part 2): A General’s Fatal Anger

The Hangings at Kinston, Part II: Just after another defeat in battle, Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett unleashes his...

Dancing on the Dunes

In Nags Head, teenagers rocked the floors of the Casino when they danced.

Basketball Road: The Story of ACC Basketball

In our state, the ACC isn’t about one school or one player or one game. To name one brings...

The Shaggers

A couple wins ribbons for a classic Carolina dance.

Sip of Relief

Dope wagons delivered a pick-me-up for tired textile workers.

The Backyard Clothesline

Hanging clothes is more than pinning garments on a line. It tells you something about your neighbors, and it...

The Kinston Hangings (Part 1): Caught Between Blue and Gray

The Kinston Hangings, Part I: In eastern North Carolina, poor fishermen and farmers want to be left alone. But...

The Night Hydrogen Bombs Fell Over North Carolina

A plane carrying two hydrogen bombs crashes in Wayne County and residents rush to find and disarm the weapons.

The Real Jugtown

Three towns claim the Jugtown title.

An Artistic Heritage

A painter’s father still guides her work, years after he’s gone.

Imaginary Lines

Have you ever wondered what you’d see if you could gaze clear across the ocean? Who would be over...

Behind the Scenes at The Lost Colony

Go behind the scenes as the stage hands, costume designers, and actors prepare to tell the story of The...

Little by Little

Chip Hemingway fills his canvas, one stroke at a time.

Carolina Camera

A legendary show returns to television.

Mother Earth Brewing

A Kinston brewery makes a new statement in an old space.

Pully’s Barbecue

For 40 years, a local restaurant served Kinston’s working community.

Atrocity at Shelton Laurel

Revenge on the enemy is one thing. Murder of the innocent is another. Two colonels in the Confederate Army...

Baptism by Blood

Just 90 days after he passes his board exam, without any supervision, Dr. Thomas Fanning Wood performs perhaps the...

Colorshow Gallery

Betsy Browne has no problem filling her shelves with art. Here, the artists come to her.

Memory Painter

Ronald Ragland relies on scenes from his childhood in Oxford to inspire his art.

Stories of the Civil War: An Online Collection

You're invited to submit your family stories from the Civil War for this online collection, presented by Visit Kinston.

North Carolina: The Golden State

Two centuries ago, a young boy’s accidental discovery in Cabarrus County led to the first gold rush in the...

Seriously Funny

An Army veteran found his talent in art, and a chance meeting led to an award-winning second career drawing...

First, Do No Harm

Thomas Fanning Wood achieves a dream of becoming a doctor much sooner than he could have imagined. There is...

A War of Songs

From battlefields to minstrel shows, music becomes a rallying cry of loyalty and motivation. But as deaths and hopelessness...

The Making of an Issue: How Sweet It Is!

Want to know more about our February issue? Continue reading for details and insights on our stories that you...

Traditional Voices Group

The Traditional Voices Group of Burnsville preserves the stories and culture of the mountains, and hosts RiddleFest.

Readers’ Choice: Our State‘s Best of 2011 Winners

The results are in! Take a look at the Readers' Choice winners for favorite cover, photo essay, story, recipe,...

Battle of the Bands

Musicians attached to the 26th North Carolina regiment rouse patriotic spirit, bolster flagging morale in the face of gruesome...

Art on the Concourse

In Charlotte, nondescript airport walls become a first-class exhibit.

Messages for the Armed Forces

Submit your messages of thanks and support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

2011 Fall Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2011 Fall Photo Contest! The winning photographs, along with all of those submitted...

Beaufort’s Angel Maker

Edith Lockhart’s crocheted creations usher her through hard times and help her see beauty in life’s imperfections.

Receding Image

Bayard Wootten was a gifted, innovative pioneer as a female photographer in her home state. So why have we...

The Women’s War

With millions of young men lost in — or lost to — battle, and economic calamity a relentless opponent,...

Waterside Weaver

Beth Burns rarely leaves Roanoke Island, but if she does, she wraps herself in one of her scarves —...

Follow His Lead

Allen de Hart began hiking at age 5, and his journeys tally more than 57,000 miles. But he always...

The Keepers of Our Communities

Long before Facebook, service clubs created a sense of community. In order to stay viable now, these meritorious groups...

A Separate Peace

The war reaches North Carolina, but pacifists in the Old North State secretly oppose the Confederacy.
(Volume 1,...

Artistic Impression

Asheville resident Wendy Whitson took up art because of her uncle. Although life pulled her away, she now realizes...

A New Old-Timer

North Carolina native Jonathan Byrd draws upon a style of folk music even older than bluegrass. But he uses...

Rediscover Folk

The 67-year-old Hickory Museum of Art — one of the oldest art museums in the state — thrives on...

Steady Hands

Tina Gregory practices scherenschnitte — an art form of extreme patience. With every snip, she trims away the excess,...

The Dark Hole: Civil War Prison Camps

At first, soldiers from both North and South return to their regiments in prisoner-of-war exchanges. But when officials end...

Glory Bound

The captain of the Yadkin Stars is a fearless and loyal leader. But throughout his tenure and journey north...

Hitting Her High Note

In Durham, Katie Wyatt uses her talent for classical music to teach the next generation how to live in...

Death of a Pinehurst Princess: The 1935 Elva Statler Davidson Mystery by Steve Bouser

All the elements of a blockbuster news story are here: a socialite bride, a $1 million inheritance, an older...

Bob Timberlake’s Lexington Landscape

In the 1980s, world-renowned artist and hometown boy Bob Timberlake took a piece of land just down the road...

Forged from the Soil

With enough red clay to sustain building projects up and down the East Coast, North Carolina’s brick industry has...

Art Lesson

Artists spend a lifetime perfecting their craft, but much of what they learn can be summarized in just a...

Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton

As he heads back to Solace Fork, North Carolina, Martin Owenby has plenty of strikes against him. He is...

One Curious Guy

Piedmont Laureate Scott Huler doesn’t specialize. The Raleigh writer asks as many questions, about as many different things, as...

Writer’s Magic

Asheville native Sarah Addison Allen delights in life’s mysteries and uses those true stories to inspire her fantastic fiction.

A Name for Himself

Cleveland County native David Lee wrote successful songs for other artists for decades. But he never received the recognition...

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

Anna Jean Mayhew draws from her Charlotte roots and builds on the long tradition of North Carolina storytelling in...

A Photo or a Picture?

It took me longer than it should have to realize a photographer is no different than any other kind...

Maritime Hero

By the time he became the first black keeper of a United States Life-Saving Service station, Richard Etheridge had...

River Runaways

For slaves, the struggle began long before the first shots of the Civil War. Now, the unrest and confusion...

Carolina Rails

Long past its prime as the way to travel, a train charging across a field or a city street...

History in a Mason Jar

Today, long after Junior Johnson famously learned to drive hauling outlaw liquor, distillers are again providing the fiery flavor...

Open to Art

In 70 years of collecting modern art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro has become nationally known for selecting...

Moments of Despair by David Silkenat

Read an excerpt from Moments of Despair, where writer David Silkenat explores the affects of suicide, divorce, and debt...

In the Celtic Tradition

Inspired by the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Trip Rogers and Tom Eure team up as the Thistledown Tinkers, producing...

Backseat Blues

All in all, my memories consist of a series of painful, embarrassing moments I almost wish I could forget.

The Legend: Fort Fisher Hermit

Few, if any, people claim to have known Robert Harrill well. He left a troubled life and chose instead...

Unflinching Leader

Poor leadership challenges the Confederacy from the outset of the war, but soon afterward, North Carolina has a bold...

The Ride South

By wagon and on foot, settlers traveled the Great Wagon Road southward in search of land and prosperity, spurring...

Barns Reborn

For 10 years, Roger Dinger looked past old barns as he surveyed land for development and tried not to...

In the Garden with Our State (July 2011)

As the summer continues to heat up, take a look at these helpful gardening tips that will keep your...

Summer Reading from Our State

Salisbury's Literary Bookpost offers a list featuring staff favorites and must-read suggestions.

In the Garden with Our State (June 2011)

As we head toward mid-summer, here are several helpful tips to keep your garden flourishing. Warm weather and pests...

Summer Reading from Our State

Looking for summer reading suggestions? We've got them! This week's list comes from McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village.

A Musician’s Sanctuary

Artists from around the world, and around the corner, find their sound at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording.


Surrounded by water and filled with warmth, this island is one of the most popular vacation spots on the...

The Story of Hardee’s

Burger chain founder Wilber Hardee abandoned his namesake brand soon after launching it, but he never ventured far from...

The Cup Guy

Art Cozart sketches his masterpieces on the unlikeliest, but most convenient, of places — his coffee cup.

I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden

Jane Borden — bona fide Southerner, sorority sister, and debutante — graduates from the University of North Carolina at...

The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker

Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Michael Parker’s fifth novel takes the form of a biblical narrative...

Parading off to War

Confederate soldiers and their supporters herald the news of North Carolina’s secession with pageantry and pomp. soon, though, the...

Comfort Food

I used to think homesick and cabin fever meant the same thing. The distinction, I thought, was less about...

First Step

In 1920, Lillian Exum Clement couldn’t vote, but that didn’t keep her from winning a landslide election that made...

Benevolent Books

It takes all year for the volunteers at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Greensboro to assemble thousands of titles...

Universal Language

For Sally Spring, music is a bridge. It links her to places she’s been and people she’s met, and...

A House Divided

Doctor Bellamy’s mansion and the beginning of the end of an era.
(Volume 1, Part 1)

An Interview with Philip Gerard

The author of Our State's Civil War series talks about the series and the war itself in an exclusive...

The Story Collector

William Ivey can tell you most anything you’d want to know about longrifles, or pottery in the Seagrove tradition,...

Acres of Antiques

Vito and Mary Ellen Sico started out buying antiques to furnish their first home. Their collection grew into a...

Those were the Days

I used to have an old jukebox in my basement. It was the size of a small car, very...

Holding on to Americana

William McNeill collects handheld fans. He has gathered them from churches and funeral homes and businesses of all kinds....

The Rise and Fall of a Moonshine Capital

A chance detour leads to one man’s discovery of a once-thriving mill town long lost to the swamplands of...

A Behind-the-Scenes Visit to Biltmore

A behind-the-scenes visit to North Carolina’s grandest home reveals more than the inner workings of a mansion. Four tours...

The Women of the Reynolda House

Reynolda House was the realization of Katherine Smith Reynolds's vision. But as the care of the home passed into...

Hot Springs

In the mountains, a town gives off a peaceful feeling that’s as healing as its waters.

Southern Pines

A paradise in the pines that once reeled in Northerners seeking fresh air and natural cures now stands as...

A Place of Life: Concord Memorial Garden

In downtown Concord’s Memorial Garden, personal stories bring character to beautiful landscapes.


A hip college town maintains its old-fashioned soul.

The Life and Art of Miller Pope

The desire to take a risk is in almost all of us. The willingness to follow through is...

The Mountain Doctor

As soon as he arrived in Balsam Grove, Dr. Gaine Cannon knew he could make a difference in the...

A Sense of the World

Students perceive the Martha Franck Fragrance Garden through touch, smell, and sound — experiencing nature’s wonders they’ll never see.

Charlotte’s Crime of the Century

When gangsters hit a mail truck on the Queen City’s peaceful streets, they had no idea whose territory they...

Main Street Merchant

Although Belk stores today pepper suburbs throughout the South, the Charlotte-based retailer remembers its roots as a downtown business...


In its textiles and deeply religious college, it is a town connected to the past. In its trendy downtown...

Saving the Battleship North Carolina

Destined to be scrapped, the Battleship North Carolina got its reprieve in 1958, thanks to a statewide effort that...

Notes to Soldiers

In June 2010, we invited Our State readers to submit a note of thanks to U.S. soldiers. In honor...

Fire Horse Fred

For 165 years, the state’s oldest chartered fire department has collected plenty of tales worth telling. Fire Horse Fred...

Deluxe Playground

In the early to mid-20th century, North Carolina was a popular hunting destination for wealthy sportsmen. Among the many...

Valle Crucis

Visitors flock to Valle Crucis for its mountain beauty and historic charm. Underneath the obvious appeal, however, lies a...

On Top of the World

For more than 50 years, Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge has challenged millions of visitors to abandon solid...

Bath: North Carolina’s First Town

With enough imagination, you can see the Bath that Blackbeard saw when he sailed into North Carolina’s first town...


In the Great Smoky Mountains, a story of survival, endurance, and identity unfolds through the Eastern Band of the...

Women Writers of Hayti

A literary tour of Durham’s Hayti district uncovers the creative expression of dozens of African-American authors during the Jim...

Red Clay Culture

In central North Carolina, red clay is the sod beneath our feet, the bed from which nourishment springs, a...

Built to Stand: Old Stone House

Decades of neglect and abuse couldn’t shake the Old Stone House, a Rowan County landmark with a story to...

Princeton of the South

Rebelling against the king, the founders of Charlotte established Queen’s College. Had the college survived the Revolutionary War, Charlotte...

Now Playing: Drive-Ins in North Carolina

They faded away when the masses sought more comfortable confines inside air-conditioned movie theaters. But across North Carolina, six...

Finding Juan Pardo

An archaeologist from Warren Wilson College is digging up a 16th-century Spanish fort on a site near Burke County’s...

Two Easels, One Vocation: Originals Only in West Jefferson

Painting is a way of life for Lenore De Pree and Joan Bell, owners of Originals Only in West...

War Stories

When one soldier landed at Normandy, he never imagined he’d be living to tell about it 70 years later....

Welding Wildflowers

Metal artist Grace Cathey of Waynesville crafts delicate petals out of steel.

The Postcard Collection of Durwood Barbour

Durwood Barbour of Raleigh preserved forgotten places and memories with 8,000 postcards from across the state.

An Artist’s Perspective: William Mangum

Acclaimed watercolorist William Mangum recreates the world as he sees it through an art form he discovered largely by...

An Appalachian Tunebook from Banner Elk

A rare tunebook passed down from one generation to the next offers a glimpse of the cultural heritage early...

The Other Dogwoods: Redtwigs

While white flowering dogwoods are known for their petals, other varieties make great landscape plants.

Blue Ridge Rembrandt: Blue Ridge Artist Materials

Painter Eric Silver of Asheville wasn’t satisfied with the oil paints he found on most store shelves, so he...

Hollywood East: Screen Gems Studios

During weekend tours of EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, visitors glimpse the magic at work in some of their...

State of the Art: North Carolina Museum of Art

When the doors opened at the new North Carolina Museum of Art in 2010, visitors experienced art in an...

Cherryville New Year’s Shooters

A centuries-old New Year's tradition continues to thrive in Cherryville.