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Chatham County Historical Association

Preserving and sharing the history of Chatham County North Carolina

snippets ~ chatham history BLOG

Little Bits of Chatham History

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  • 2 Jan 2022 9:34 PM | Anonymous

    Historic Columbus Lodge #102 AF & AM in Pittsboro. Built in 1838, modified in 1849, it has many interesting features, including a "lean" of about nine inches. All that is explained on the Columbus Lodge website! Learn more here:

    The site also includes photos of the Lodge's collection of antique Masonic aprons.

  • 8 Dec 2021 7:38 PM | Anonymous

    Downtown Pittsboro 1964, from the Pittsboro High School yearbook.

  • 28 Nov 2021 8:53 PM | Anonymous

    Elder Theater, Siler City, early 1950s. 

    The Elder Theater opened March 27, 1939. It was on the north side of East Raleigh between street numbers 109 and 117. The first film shown was "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Admission as 25 cents -- 10 cents for kids under 13. The building was removed after being seriously damaged in a fire in March of 1963. From Wade Hadley's The Town of Siler City: 1887-1987.

    The segregated balcony is a sign of the times and a part of our history that is not often documented.

    Thanks to Duane Hall for contributing this photo from his Siler City collection.

  • 28 Nov 2021 8:45 PM | Anonymous

    Egypt, now Cumnock, was envisioned in the 1880's as a town with hundreds of houses, churches, stores, a grand hotel, bank and more, all centered around the coal mine. The hotel was built, but the town never came close to what was planned.

    Thanks to Forest Hazel, who has researched all of the Deep River mines, for this information, and to Larry Pickard for the photo of the Egypt store.

  • 18 Sep 2021 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    This photo of a Chatham County smokehouse in the Chapel Ridge area was taken in 2016. We are told that it is still standing.

    The structure appears to have been built as a cabin and later converted to another use. The floor is dug out so that you'd need to step down to the level of the ground on entering. Several farmers who have seen the photos believe that it was used as a smokehouse. Some tobacco sticks inside suggest that it may have been used to cure tobacco at some point--perhaps for home use.

    Old, functional structures such as this one are quickly disappearing from rural North Carolina. Please help us document Chatham's old agricultural buildings by telling us about them and submitting photos. Contact us at

    See more photos of the structure on our Facebook page:

    #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #smokehouse #agriculturalbuildings #ChapelRidge #preservation

  • 18 Sep 2021 8:36 PM | Anonymous

    Do you recognize this Pittsboro place?

    In the 1954 photo, Lindsay's Hatchery is pictured. Today, the building houses Angelina's Kitchen, Patti Whacks, and Carr Amplifiers. Now you know why the chicken mosaic is appropriate!

    #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #LindsayHatchery #PittsboroNC #hatchery #chicken

  • 26 Aug 2021 5:27 PM | Anonymous

    Tiffany Hancock's grandfather and great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were tobacco growers in northeast Chatham. The photo here shows her great-great-grandfather, James Cummings, standing in a field of tobacco on his farm off Mt. Pisgah Church Road with a sign advertising the fertilizer that he used.

    Back in the early 1900s, the fertilizer companies would recruit local tobacco farmers to help advertise the fertilizer. They would take a picture of the farmer posing with the fertilizer sign while standing in their fields and then publish the photos in various magazines and newspapers. 

    #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #Tobacco #farming 

    Many thanks to Tiffany Hancock for sharing this great Chatham photo with us!

  • 26 Aug 2021 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    These trucks used to be a common site on area roads. Who remembers the flying feathers?

    Loading those crates--especially when they were full of chickens--could not have been an easy task!

    When and why did this method of transporting chickens change?

    Chicken truck in front of Clapp Brothers Implement and Truck Co., Siler City, 1949.

    Thanks to Larry Pickard for sharing from the Goldston Studio collection!

    #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #chickentruck #SilerCityNC #ClappBrothers #poultry

  • 26 Aug 2021 5:21 PM | Anonymous

    Pictured is Arthur L. Smith, postmaster of Bynum, NC c. 1948. At the time of his appointment in February of that year, Chatham County boasted to local newspapers that they had “the largest postmaster in North Carolina”—with the hearty Smith weighing in at 360 lbs. Martha Collins says the Post Office pictured here was part of the old Moore store.

    Several folks who grew up in Bynum remember Mr. Smith running a little store called "Fat's Place" next to the Post Office. When Mr. Smith died in 1962, Jerry Partin's father purchased the store and called it "Sid's Place."

    The 22 June 1961 Chatham Record carried a story of Mr. Smith's "unusual hobby" of raising crickets for fishermen. Smith reported that the crickets were fed ordinary chicken laying mash. He noted that the brooder at his store normally contained about 2,000 grown crickets (with more in a more modern brooder at his home), and reported having sold 20,000 crickets in the first six months of 1961.

    #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #BynumNC #ArthurLSmith #PostOffice #FatsPlace #SidsPlace #crickets

  • 3 Aug 2021 10:53 AM | Anonymous

    Pictured here is the Joseph B. Stone House in New Hope Township. This home is on the National Register of Historic Places. Joseph B. Stone’s father, John Stone, bequeathed him this home in 1847. Joseph Stone was a wealthy planter and enslaver who owned over one thousand acres in 1860. After the Civil War, he declined and lost much of his land. He died in 1878. His daughter, Martha Fearrington, sold the home to her son in 1907. Most of the original tract of land was claimed by the impoundment of Jordan Lake.

    The Stone House is one of many documented by CCHA volunteer Kimberly Steiner, who has resumed documenting historic structures in several Chatham townships. We've recently updated our listings of New Hope and Williams Townships and you can see documentation and photos on our website.

    If you own a historic structure in one of these townships that was missed in the inventory, Kimberly will be happy to visit and document. Contact us at and we'll put you in contact with her.

    We'll be posting documentation for Baldwin and Center townships soon, and Kimberly will begin documenting Pittsboro in September. Please respond if you get a request from her to visit your home!

    If you own a historic structure in one of the townships that Kimberly won't be working on, please document it for us! We'll send you a list of questions to answer and would like photos of the exterior for our records and to share. Again, contact us at if you are interested. We would love to have your help creating a record of Chatham's architectural history!

    Direct link to the Joseph B. Stone house.


    #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #architecture #ChathamsArchitecturalHeritage #NewHopeTownship #WilliamsTownship #JosephBStoneHouse

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Chatham County Historical Association  ~   ~  PO Box 93  ~  Pittsboro NC 27312  ~  919-542-6222  ~  

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