Government and Heritage Library
A few weeks ago I posted a tip of the week about using timelines to help sort out 2 or more individuals who could be the person you are looking for using the example of Rufus Mitchell and Rufus Mitchell, both of Guilford County and born a year or 2 apart. It got me thinking about other uses for timelines. I also realized that some people may be unsure how to create a timeline so I will use some examples of timelines I’ve created for my own research so you can see how I do it and hopefully that will give you some ideas on creating your own. (more…)
April 13, 2013 Genealogy Workshop: Researching Your Civil War Ancestors
Don’t forget to join us on April 13, 2013 as staff members from the Government & Heritage Library and the State Archives of North Carolina, will discuss the top ten questions regarding Civil War ancestors asked by our researchers. We will cover information on Confederate and Union records, including U.S. Colored Troops.
The workshop will take place in the Auditorium at the State Archives/State Library Building (109 E. Jones Street in downtown Raleigh) from 10-11 a.m. The Genealogy Research Room of the State Library and the State Archives Search Room are open from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m., so you can come before the presentation and stay after to start your research.
Parking is available in the visitor lot, immediately opposite the building (parking is free on Saturdays), along with the Jones St. employee lot (entrance on Blount St.) and in the employee lot opposite the Executive Mansion.
Please note that the workshop was originally scheduled for April 27th, but was re-scheduled to avoid conflicting with other major events in the downtown area.
For more information or to register please call (919)807-7450 or email email@example.com.
by T. Mike Childs
First in Flight. First in… miniature golf?! Yes, North Carolina has another first it can claim! A new article written especially for the NCpedia outlines North Carolina’s role in the origins of miniature golf. The miniature golf craze first started in the U.S. in the mid to late 1920s. But a decade earlier, British shipping magnate and golfer James Wells Barber built a mansion at Pinehurst, N.C., no doubt to be near the famous golf resort there. On his estate was the first miniature golf course in America, a private 18 hole course, complete with obstacles. It was designed by Edward H. Wiswell of the Montclair Golf Club of Montclair, N.J. a golfer and “amateur architect of fiendish ingenuity.” Either Wiswell or Barber joked on it’s completion that “this’ll do,” giving the course its name, Thistle Dhu.
I’ll leave a description to an Altoona Mirror article of March 6, 1928:
North Carolina boasts of the “world’s craziest, most scientific and most aggravating golf course which occupies a space no larger than a farmer’s back yard.”
“It measures only 100 yards and approximately the same coming in. You can shoot all of the eighteen holes with a putter and a niblick. The longest hole is 71 feet and the shortest is 13. But par is a thoroughly exasperating 41 and if you break 60 for the 18 holes on your first round you have a right to preen yourself.
‘”The lilliputian links, which, rejoices in the euphonic name of Thistle Dhu, is a golfing nightmare of natural and artificial hazards, perfectly designed slopes and curves whose dangers are generally well masked until the unsuspecting player is afoul of them. If it isn’t a tree trunk that must be missed by a bare two inches for a perfect approach to the hole, then the hazard is likely to be a pair of cement mounds, crescent-shaped, between which the ball must cut with geometrical precision to drop into the hole.
Another tidbit from a March 10, 1928 Galveston Daily News article:
Incidentally, the Thistle Dhu record—in spite of the par 41—is a clean 28 made by E. H. Wiswell, designer of the course. By way of demonstrating the exact mathematical possibilities, Mr. Wiswell recently negotiated eight holes in one and ten holes in two each.
Oh sure, the man who designed it thinks it’s pretty easy. Alas, the course was never open to the public, although Mr. Barber invited lots of folks to come and play, including two former Canadian premiers and Glenna Collett-Vare, the greatest female golfer of her day. By 1920, the course was described as the “celebrated Thistle Dhu miniature golf course” in newspaper articles. Barber passed away in 1928 and the mansion and course was bought by Michael J. Meehan, who gave the property to the Catholic Church for a retreat house for the Sisters of the Raleigh Diocese in 1947. It’s unknown if the course survived to that point, but it’s fun to think about nuns relaxing with a round of miniature golf.
Another North Carolina-miniature golf connection is the widely known Putt-Putt chain of miniature golf courses. It was started in 1954 in Fayetteville, N.C. by Don Clayton.
Here’s a picture from the North Carolina Museum of History showing soldiers playing miniature golf on a home-made course at Camp Butner in Wake County during WWII.