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Collecting Carolina: A Photo Essay

From UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library — housing what’s believed to be the largest library collection in the country devoted to a single state — to personal troves of duck decoys, pottery pieces, trains, tractors, and more: Meet the passionate collectors who curate the past and present, the serious and curious, the tangible items that tell the story of life in North Carolina.

The Little Hardware Store That Could

When a Wilkes County farmer opened his namesake hardware store a century ago in North Wilkesboro, no one could have predicted that Lowe’s would go from selling snuff and horse collars to becoming one of the largest home improvement chains in the world.

Fowl Play

Each summer, families flock to an old-fashioned swimming hole on the South Yadkin River to watch a thousand tiny toy ducks hurtle through the rushes at Cooleemee Falls.

Echo of the Bones

In Carteret County, a marine curator and dedicated volunteers have found a way to bring beached whales back to life. By sharing the creatures’ stories at the Bonehenge Whale Center, they’ve turned heartbreak into inspiration.

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