Big things are coming your way in our September issue. From the mighty Cape Fear River and the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry to the American Chestnut and Merchants Millpond, North Carolina is a land of grand things.

And of course, there is barbecue. We’ve devoted 36 full pages to the kings of our Carolina ‘cue.

Keep reading to learn more about this issue.

Our State in miniature

The September issue in miniature.

Our State‘s editorial team spends an extraordinary amount of time going over every detail of the magazine before it goes to print. The pages of each story are often enlarged so that text and photos can be fully proofed. As the print date nears, the staff will also shrink the magazine into a miniature format and lay it out, in its entirety, to see how the issue works together as a whole. Click the image to see a miniature version the September issue.

A little change to our masthead

You may have noticed something extra in the masthead of our September issue. The “o” in Carolina has a little more personality than usual. The pig was drawn by our Associate Art Director Joseph Edwards. Joseph’s design work can be found throughout the magazine, including in the “Barbecue Kings” story in this issue, and his work exceptional as an illustrator has appeared in many of our Civil War series stories.

Gertrude Carraway

From Associate Editor and writer Sarah Perry: I first learned about Gertrude Carraway from the Raleigh News & Observer’s Past Times blog. I check the blog regularly for history story ideas, and as I read this particular blog entry, I wondered who this woman was. How in the world could one woman save a building that was so important to North Carolina’s history. Well, of course it wasn’t just her who saved it, but she sure had a heck of a lot to do with it. And the more I researched her, the more fascinating she became.

Gertrude was one spirited woman. As I wrote about her, I hung up all the photos I’d gathered of her around my cubicle. And until I finished her story, she stared at me, and I kept thinking, “What would Gertrude do?” We all fell a little in love with Gertrude Carraway.

Photographing Food

Our “Barbecue Kings” story is about so much more than food. It was important for us to tell the story not only of the great food found at each location, but also of the people who cook, prepare, and serve that barbecue. With that in mind, photographer Travis Dove was dispatched to the 10 featured locations to capture both the pork on the plate and the people who make it happen. In each story, the end result is a true portrait of a place, where you feel like you could walk right in, place an order, and enjoy our finest in Carolina ‘cue.

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Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.