Durham History Told from the Grave

To me, the evolution of Durham started with John Ruffin Green and his cured bright leaf tobacco that placed Durham on the map. Malbourne Angier, a store owner, and a passionate citizen of our city made a huge impact on expanding Durham beyond the few store fronts on Main Street. And then there is W.Continue reading “Durham History Told from the Grave”

Durham in Lights

The year is 1913, and Richard Harvey Wright and Julian Carr have acquired a fifty year franchise to provide the city with electric lights and power to run the streetcars. Durham Traction Company has finally begun to see a surge in ridership and now with the license to provide power to the city, they decideContinue reading “Durham in Lights”

Hidden Women

Where did their stories go? As I have studied the men that were known to be the founding fathers of Durham, I began to wonder about the women that loomed in the shadows. We live in a different time where women can shine brightly, but in the late 1800’s, women in Durham were only knownContinue reading “Hidden Women”

1893 in Durham

The year is 1893 in Durham, North Carolina. Julian Shakespeare Carr is the president of the William T. Blackwell Company. This company, with its playful bull painted on the sides of buildings all over the United States, has dominated the industry since the early 1870’s. But there is shift in the winds. Just across theContinue reading “1893 in Durham”

Durham’s World Traveler

Below is an article published by The Herald Sun on September 11, 1911. The title is Mr. Wright Returns He is back from a trip to London Many times crosses “Richard H. Wright has returned from London where he spent a few days recently on business. This last trip abroad on one of the bigContinue reading “Durham’s World Traveler”

History in the Present

Stepping back into history has been a journey unlike anything I have ever experienced. For the last two years I have made the thirty minute car ride to Duke University where the four hundred boxes of the Richard Harvey Wright archives are stored. Before entering the Rubenstein Library, I must walk past Duke Chapel, oneContinue reading “History in the Present”

A Step into the Past

Let’s take a trip into the past. It’s 1931 and Richard Harvey Wright has died. His two nephews, Richard Harvey Jr. and Thomas Davenport were running the Wright’s Automatic Machinery Company. They decided to move the manufacturing company to Durham where they purchased the Yarborough Hosiery Mills Building for $12,000. Given it was in theContinue reading “A Step into the Past”

The Bull

I know that many of us, me included, assumed the bull was the trademark of the American Tobacco Company. But for those who think this way, they are as far from the truth as you can get. James Buchanan Duke, the president of the W. Duke Sons and Company, (later to become the American TobaccoContinue reading “The Bull”

The Events of 1901

Yesterday, I spent time going through box twenty-three of the four hundred boxes in my great uncle’s archives. The box was a treasure trove of documents that clearly defined what Uncle Richard was doing in January and February of 1901. If Uncle Richard wasn’t discussing the purchase of tobacco through his Gorman Wright Leaf TobaccoContinue reading “The Events of 1901”

The Complexities of a Man

A few years ago, Julian Shakespeare Carr was at the forefront of the Silent Sam controversy in Chapel Hill. If you do any research, what Julian shared as he was presenting this monument to the University of North Carolina will alarm you. My intention is not to defend him or his actions, but to enlightenContinue reading “The Complexities of a Man”