90 Years of Our State

For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to the readers who inspire us, offering a taste of our earliest recipes, and revisiting old stories with new insights. Follow along to find out how our past has shaped our present.




The Life & Times of Our State Magazine

To commemorate our 90th anniversary, we’ve compiled a time line that highlights the stories, contributors, and themes that have shaped this magazine — and your view of the Old North State — using nine decades of our own words.




The Mentor

After retirement, a teacher continued doing what she loved: opening doors to new possibilities through the written word.


The Seeker

A self-proclaimed minimalist with an eye for the nostalgic sifts through estates filled with thousands of belongings to find the treasures hidden within.

The Advocate

For one former music teacher, promoting equality isn’t always accomplished in big gestures, but often in small, yet remarkable, everyday acts.

The Broadcaster

This man has made a career in the media industry, but transmitting his love of North Carolina to everyone is his true life’s work.

The Spokesman

John Hall’s ancestors played an integral role in the development of Catawba County. He carries on their legacy with a sense of humble pride.

The Explorer

A Nash County couple traveled across North Carolina with Our State in hand. Now, she continues their adventures with his memory in her heart.

The Enthusiast

From baking sweet treats to scoping out tea shops, a computer coder finds her range of passions reflected in this magazine.

The Right-Hand Man

Working for Hugh Morton meant coordinating film crews and helping design the Mile-High Swinging Bridge. One man handled it all with ease.

The Go-Getter

Since moving to the High Country in the early 1970s, one woman has proudly advocated for nearly every cause in her Watauga County town.





A Taste of Fame

These North Carolinians are known for the records they’ve broken and the history they’ve made. In the past 90 years of Our State, they were sometimes known for their culinary contributions, too.


A Plated Past

From decades of North Carolina fishermen, pitmasters, bakers, and creative home cooks, our state’s storied recipes are memorable markers of a rich history.

A Southern Tea Party

A Southern tea party has only a few requirements: crustless sandwiches, sugar-dusted sweets, a well-loved tea set, and good company.

Better Together: 4 Retro Recipes

North Carolina’s culinary history is rich with unlikely pairings. These dishes marry unexpected combinations of ingredients in a harmonious spread.

4 Retro Icebox Recipes

When refrigeration arrived in the home kitchen, it brought delicious possibilities to the dinner table. With warmer days ahead, we’ve revived these treats from the old days.

4 Picnic Perfect Retro Recipes

The recipe for a picturesque summer afternoon in North Carolina is as follows: Mix clear skies with good company and serve with a basketful of these delicious lunchtime classics.

Fare Necessities: 3 Easy Recipes

Thumb through old family recipes, church cookbooks, or the pages of The State, and you’ll find the secret ingredient to dishes that have stood the test of time: simplicity.

Pickles, Preserves, & Jam Cake: 4 Retro Recipes

In North Carolina, canning began as a way to stretch the lifespan of one’s harvest. Through decades of canning clubs, family traditions, and shared recipes, it has also preserved a way of life.

4 Sensational Sweet Potato Recipes

For decades, our farmers have cultivated a seemingly endless yield of sweet potatoes, making North Carolina the leading producer in the country. Beneath our soil, a fall treat awaits.





What It Was, Was Irony

When we wrote about Andy Griffith’s blossoming showbiz career in 1954, it’s safe to say the Mount Airy native didn’t know he would become a pop-culture icon.


Don’t Wake the Baby!

A quirky — and somewhat controversial — rock-a-bye baby contest was held in Washington in 1934.

A North Carolina Painting Pioneer

The mother of modern-day finger painting opened up a new avenue of learning and self-expression for kids.

Make Believe

For generations, locals claimed that a young, unknown Walt Disney came to Asheville to live and work in 1924.

Turbo Turtles

On June 15, 1940, a tiny turtle named Leopold lived up to his royal name by winning first place in Mount Airy’s Turtle Derby. The prize? Twenty dollars.

Real Estate Regret

What’s not to love about living in a historic house once owned by a North Carolina governor? The squirrels and possums and snakes, of course.

Cabbage Concoction

In 1985, a Harnett County couple invented a creative concoction of cabbage and New Coke that they dubbed “Mountain Caviar.”

Trunk Show

When the circus came to Louisburg in the early ’50s — proudly showing off its performers in a caravan through town — the elephants reigned on the parade.

Our Green-Eyed Girl

In 1941, Smithfield native Ava Gardner’s mom told The State about a call with her daughter’s new boyfriend — American box-office star Mickey Rooney.