History


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...

Tailor-Made For Perfection

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

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)

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...

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)

Now, Voyager: Retracing John Lawson’s Journey

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

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...

Sherman’s Final March

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

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...

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)

Goliath Falls: Attacks Waged Against Fort Fisher

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

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:...

The South’s Gibraltar: Fort Fisher

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

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...

State Strongholds

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

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...

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...

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....

Wright Proud: The Wright Brothers’ Legacy in NC

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

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...

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...

Thunder Road

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

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 —...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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 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 Mineral City: Exploring the Spruce Pine Mining District

The past can be traced deep beneath Spruce Pine’s surrounding mountains — and it also can be mined. ...

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 Great Adventure of the Outlaw Blalocks

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

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...

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...

Gettysburg

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

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...

The Iron Lifeline

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

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)

Dear My Beloved,

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

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...

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...

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...

A Spy Among Us

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

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?

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.

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)

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...

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.

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,...

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...

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...

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.

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.

Tarboro

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...

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...

Sip of Relief

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

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.

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...

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...

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...

Traditional Voices Group

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

Battle of the Bands

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

Messages for the Armed Forces

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

The Women’s War

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

A Separate Peace

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

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...

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...

Forged from the Soil

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

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...

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...

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...

Ocracoke

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...

Parading off to War

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

First Step

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

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...

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...

Boone

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...

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...

Belmont

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...

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...

Cherokee

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...

War Stories

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

The Postcard Collection of Durwood Barbour

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

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...

Cherryville New Year’s Shooters

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

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