Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

North Carolina Postcards

Posted August 22, 2007

What is your favorite old North Carolina postcard?

If you don't have one now you soon will. Nicholas Graham has compiled quite an amazing collection of old North Carolina postcards at UNC's Wilson Library in Chapel Hill. You don't have to fight the traffic to see it. You can view this marvelous addition to the North Carolina Collection online.

More than 1,000 images are part of this digital collection. Many postcards will give you a glimpse of what life was like in North Carolina in the early to mid 1900's. I was so captivated by the website that I couldn't get any work done this morning so I decided to blog about it.

I began collecting postcards several years ago after finding one published by my grandfather who was a Morganton druggist. I may donate my Morganton collection to UNC for others to share. Nicholas says others are welcome to do the same. You can contact the North Carolina Collection at or by calling (919( 962-1172.

Browse through this neat collection and let me know your favorite postcards. Here are some of mine: "Piping on the Peaks," "Atlantic Beach," "Mt. Mitchell Station," "Fayetteville Street - Raleigh." and "A Day's Catch in Croatan Sound."


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  • Broker - Back from Lurking Aug 23, 2007

    Great Link! I noticed on one of the Hatteras Post Cards an image of something I heard a long time ago from Rany Jannette at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: folks once drove on the island on the *left* as they do in the Caribbean and UK since that was where their predominant trade once was! It is on the "Main St. Hatteras, NC" postcard when you zoom in on the background. cool stuff!

  • CestLaVie Aug 23, 2007

    Bill: I didn't look at this yesterday, but wish I had because I had more time to browse.

    In just a few moments this morning, I clicked on a couple of counties at the coast and then on Buncombe because I love the mountains too.

    My favorites are:

    (1) Lumina Hotel, Wrightsville Beach, circa 1915-30. What a grand-looking hotel. Not like the modern, glassy boxes built today.

    (2) Building the Macadam Drives of the future Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, circa 1915-30. Reminds me of ALL the labor that went into building our beautiful Parkway with its panoramic views. Still a great place to take a ride when you're near it, but a shame at its downhill slide in maintenance.

    (3) Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, circa 1906. Another grand, old hotel in a beautiful vacation spot and city. I wish I lived in Asheville.

    I don't collect postcards, but can sure admire the collection of others. The stories these postcards tell!!!

  • kricketts Aug 22, 2007

    Hi Bill, love your music! A friend of mine has a website: As he says, most of the postcards he has are "older than 1960" - which almost earned him a smack because I told him I was too! He's a young whippersnapper! Anyway, enjoy the website!

  • knightslady Aug 22, 2007

    Bill all the cards are great!! I just wish there was a little more history on the places shown. Some I know, but others I have never heard of. I think the Sandhill Peach Orchard in Southern Pines is really beautiful.

  • Legswilson Aug 22, 2007

    Wow, what a collection! Bill, I can see why you didn't get any work done this morning. Thanks for sharing the site.

  • dbass Aug 22, 2007

    Thanks for the neat link! I've been collecting Raleigh and Wake County postcard for several years, so I have most of the local ones, but I liked the real photo card of the A&M campus. Thanks to eBay, it's pretty easy and relatively inexpensive to find some of the more common cards (Fayetteville Street, for example). They are truly windows into the past!

  • luvtoshag Aug 22, 2007

    My daughter collects postcards from all her school field trips across the U.S. She has them from a trip to Hersey, PA, Washington, D.C., and Charleston. The ones she has from N.C. are from the Don Lee Center, Wilmington and the Outer Banks including all the lighthouses. They are a great way to remember your visits without having to worry about losing your camera (when you are a student).

  • Historians 12th Aug 22, 2007

    Bill I collect them from home town Paducah,Ky. I have several but I only collect them from 1890-1920's. I also collect Christmas postcards from the Victorian Period, they were the first Christmas Cards. And since Paducah was a prominent river town in the early years I developed an interest in collecting Steamboat postcards. I really enjoy it. At Christmas Time a get all of my Christmas postcards out and decorate with them all over the house, since I decorate in Victorian Style it adds a nice period touch. Thanks Bill!

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