Saturday, March 29, 2014


Glennburnie by Mary S. Royster, 1938, is a handsome little privately printed 17-page, one-sided, loose-leaf piece, tightly bound through three holes with a doubled silk rope with tassel. It is so tightly bound that it cannot be opened wide enough for photocopying (the pages would break) without being completely disassembled, including undoing the intricate ribbon with tassels, copying the pages singly, then reinserting and retying the double silk rope (that in itself would require a delicate hand to prevent further damage). (Toward the back of the 17 pages is a two-page poem titled "The Scions of Glennburnie," composed and sung by Mrs. E. J. Stamps and dedicated to her children.") The text is double-spaced, so hand copying the entire 19-page item would not be a terribly lengthy job if one of the girls would come to the North Carolina Collection for several hours. A sandbag (furnished by the staff) would be needed to hold down the left hand bent pages during copying---again careful to prevent breaking the paper. The piece was put together obviously as a keepsake or artifact rather than a cataloged library item---beautifully done but without consideration of its preservation potential. H. G. Jones 14 August 2012.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Rock Academy

Rock Academy

Perhaps the longest-lived and influential school of this period was the Rock Academy and its successor. In 1867 James S. Dameron opened a school in northwestern Caswell County which he called the Ruffin Select School. Shortly afterwards a permanent building was erected and it came to be called the Rock Academy because it was constructed of rock. Associated with Dameron at one time or another in the operation of this school were Miss Jennie Roberts, Miss Alden Combs, Miss Allen Courts, Elder P. D. Gold, and John W. Gilliam. A large number of young people in the neighborhood were educated here. Among them was John B. Cobb who afterwards left the county to seek his fortune. In 1921 he provided $20,000 for a school building nearby which became the first consolidated school in the county. The building was dedicated to the memory of Cobb's parents and was known as Cobb Memorial School. Cobb and his daughters made further gifts to the school and the plant was enlarged.

The original building burned in 1948 but was shortly replaced. With integration in 1969 Cobb Memorial School's role in the county system was changed leaving only grades four through seven there. In 1971, however, an Occupational Education Program was established there and its service to the community thereby enlarged.

Source: Powell, William S. When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977. Durham (North Carolina): Moore Publishing Company, 1977. Pages 396-397.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Semora (Caswell County, North Carolina)

The following is from Whitlow, Jeannine D., Editor. The Heritage of Caswell County North Carolina 1985. Winston-Salem (North Carolina): Hunter Publishing Company, 1985 ("Semora" by Mary McAden Satterfield).


Semora is a community located in the northeast corner of Caswell County, North Carolina, bounded on the north by Virginia and on the east by Person County. There was settlement there as early as 1755, known as Campbell's Crossroads. Two major stage coach lines crossed there, one running east-west, and the other following a north-south route.

The history of many American communities can be traced by studying the history of the area's churches. One of the oldest Presbyterian churches in North Carolina, Red House, is located approximately one mile from the center of Semora. The church dates from before 1755. Another early church is Lebanon Christian Church of Christ, dating from 1845. Later churches include the Baptist Church, established in 1906, and the Methodist Church, organized in 1920.