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Siler City: 1939

Siler City: 1939

July 1939. "Siler City, North Carolina." Resting place of Aunt Bee. Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


See "where the neons turn to wood"?

To borrow the phrase from John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, look there, down the road to see just how quickly you leave town proper, and are back in countryside, driving past mailboxes and farmsteads, without a hint of the bright lights of town that you drove through just moments ago. Follow the village speed limit of 25 mph, and you've still covered those 6 blocks in a flash, and you're following that thread of asphalt, dipping through hollows crowded with the dark blue-green woods, and fields covered with tobacco and soybeans.

Lots of Coca-Cola Signs

I remember even up until the 1980s we'd see lots of signs like that in small towns. What's the story with those signs? I've seen Royal Crown versions, Dr. Pepper (especially here in Texas), Coca-Cola, and to a limited extent, Pepsi. Did a sign company have a deal with certain soft drinks and then they put the actual store name on the sign?

[The deal was between the soft drink company and the store owner. These were called privilege signs. Also, see this. -tterrace]

Tag Type

I like the typeface on the license plates -- maybe they can bring that back.

Frances Bavier 1902-1989

A sad later life was Aunt Bee's. Though never regarded as a warm and engaging person by castmates on the Andy Griffith Show, she became positively reclusive after retiring to Siler City, where her cat-filled home decayed around her.

Interestingly, she was a New York City goil who had fallen in love with North Carolina's natural grandeur during her working years. The "real" Aunt Bee would of course have been a sixth-generation Tar Heel.

[Especially interesting, considering that her working years were spent in New York and Los Angeles. - Dave]

Then and Now

Love the Then and Now comparison. Nice to see not much has changed. And how many times do we ever see more awnings in the Now picture than in the Then picture?!!

Nothing has changed

OK, so they installed new traffic lights and the citizens have bought new cars, but otherwise ...

How it looks today

The intersection of Raleigh Street and Chatham Avenue.

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