These little girls were part of a Tom thumb wedding conducted in May 1952. How many of them can you name? Use the comment section to email us. While you are at it, try the picture below as well.


There are a few members of the team that I don’t recognize. I offer my apologies in advance. Leave a comment with the name of the unknown player if you recognize someone who has not been identified.

Front row (l-r) – #25 Randall Tedder, #39 Bruce Sealey, #25 Johnny Joyner, #35 Jetter Lewis, #17 Edwin Lewis, #15 Tommy Grooms, #24 Chuck Coleman, # 16 ?, #23 Shep Oliver. Second Row (l-r) #27 Wayne Bray, #33 Ray Lupo, #32 Robbie Inman, #14 David E Ford, #21 John Lewis, #30 Wimpy McDaniel, #45 Ricky Henderson, #36 Ronald Callahan, #34 Carey Faulk. Back Row (l-r) #21 Ronnie Leggett, #22 Shelton Hayes, #29 Sonny Stanfield, #18 Stanley Ford, #43 Paul Thompson, #32 Abner Harrington, #28 Edwin Leggett, #30 ?, #23 Stuart Callahan, #27 Bobby Owens.


Shown above is a transfer machine operated by the Beaufort County Lumber Company. This company came to Fairmont shortly after the railroad arrived and operated until the early 1930’s, the darkest part of the Great Depression. They operated their own narrow-gage railroad and a kiln for drying their finished product. The general location of this enterprise was west of Main Street in north Fairmont. Please feel free to contribute additional information that you have by using the comments section below.

This postcard and thousands more like it can be found in the UNC Online Library by googling NC Historic Postcards.


Coach Tommy Owen passed away on June 30,2010 in Levine-Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville, NC. He was 78.

Coach Owen (shown above, on the left)  began his tenure at Fairmont High School in August, 1963. He served as Athletic Director, head football coach, head basketball coach and golf coach through the 1966-67 school year. Additionally, he taught PE, drivers education and was guidance counselor.

Though his football teams lacked size and blazing speed, they posted records of 6-4, 8-2, 8-2 and 6-3-1. His last two basketball teams marked the beginning of the strong basketball tradition that still remains today, going 17-5 and 22-4 during those seasons. He organized and coached FHS’s first golf team in the spring of 1966.

Those are the facts but they don’t tell the whole story. He enjoyed his players and tried to be aware of what was going on in their lives. If you had a problem you could always talk to Coach about it and not worry about it becoming public. He kept his promises and honored his commitments.

Many of us who knew him remember his love of Johnny Mathis music. I believe that he had every album that Johnny made and he sang along with Johnny before and after practice each day. At his memorial service on July 10 the prelude music and recessional was, fittingly, Johnny Mathis music.

Thanks, coach, for teaching me to drive responsibly. Thanks for teaching me how to tape an ankle. Thanks for teaching me how to organize and prioritize. Thanks for teaching all of us in Fairmont how a winner is supposed to conduct himself.

Rest in Peace.


One cannot overstate the importance of the Ashpole Institute to the founding of Fairmont. The institute predates the town by 20 years. Shown here is an 1886 photo of the institute courtesy of the First Baptist Church, South Main St.


While this may not be the first band at Fairmont School it was certainly one of the first. See how many of these gentlemen you can name. Mr Ponish (back row, center) is the director and taught with his wife at Fairmont School for many years. Thanks to Mrs. Sandra Mitchell for allowing us to use this photo which includes her father, Woodrow Smith (back right).

Others are Willie Broox Webster (drums), Wilton Baxley (violin, rt. of Webster), Curtis McGirt (clarinet), Milton Teague (back row, left, with trumpet), Dan Inman (beside Teague), Daniel(?) Traynham (with saxaphone, rt. of Ponish), and C. P. “Jack” McGirt (with baritone).


This photo from the P. R. Floyd family collection is one of my favorites because almost everyone has been identified. Mrs. Janet Floyd took the time to identify everyone on the back of the photo. That was so unusual that I made a copy of that and included it here.

As always your comments are actively solicited. Your participation improves this site for all who come to view it.


No matter the name — Otha’s Place or The Richfield — three generations of teenagers and young adults went there. First operated by Otha Perry before, during and just after World War II, it was the place to meet your friends in Fairmont. From what I’ve been told the food was good too!

As you can see in the above photo, Otha Perry, the older man surrounded by a bunch of young guys, was well-liked buy all. He was rough and tough with a heart of gold. At one time I could name everyone in the photo but now I’ve forgotten three or four of them. In any event here are the ones that I’m able to remember. You pick them out — Willis Grey Perry (Ham), James (Rusty) Perry, David Musselwhite, Gaston Floyd, Alton Parker, Glen Smith, Garth Lewis, Bobby Jones, Wayne Floyd, Maurice Prevatte, Billy Pender Mitchell, George Kelly Ashley, C. W. McCormick and Lester Hardin. Please forgive me for not remembering the others.

When Ernest Davis began running the eatery it was known as The Richfield. There was, for a time, a covered outside area of about 10′x12′ with a juke box. As a kid I wanted to be old enough to be able to go there by myself! Life’s great ambitions . . .

If anyone has a photo or anecdote about The Richfield that they would like to share on this web site, please leave a comment below.

UPDATE — With the help of an old yearbook the missing have been identified as Edwin Floyd and Byron Tedder.


Perhaps the oldest continuing business on Main Street is the barber shop (now Mur Les Salon). The building was build in 1921 by Dr. John P. Brown and has housed a barber shop continuously since then. This photo, made in the late 1920’s, shows a five-man shop. The owner at that time was Sandy McCormick, pictured beside the very back chair. The other barbers are (back to front) Red Huggins, Raymond Sessoms, unknown and John Musselwhite, father of current owner David Musselwhite who made the photo available.


From the Floyd family collection, made available by “L” Floyd, unloading cotton near the railroad depot. Note the rough timber in the foreground. We believe that the photo was made at about the time that the railroad was being built through Fairmont.

If you have additional information please leave a comment below and share it with us.


In 1960 the Fairmont Pool opened on Murphy Street on land formerly owned by the Wiley Taylor family. This photo, made in 1964, shows those who won ribbons in a meet conducted at the pool. How many can you name? Use the comments form below and I will post the results.


I have recently received the opportunity to copy some old Fairmont photographs from Jane Rusher Bryan, who grew up in Fairmont and was the niece of Nettie Ruth Floyd. In those photos was the innocuous 2″x3″ shot shown above. Jane didn’t know any of the people but suspected that the one in the middle might be her uncle, Damon Floyd. Imagine my surprise as I restored the photo and recognized my paternal grandfather, Claud P. McGirt, standing on the far left.

Pa was a merchant in Fairmont from 1918 until his death at age 65 in 1943. He served at least one term as a town councilman and was on the board when the jail (now part of the public works facility) was built in 1925. We had only one photo of him — until this one.

I am forever grateful to Mrs. Bryan for sharing her family history and, in the process, expanding my knowledge of my dad’s family. I hope that some of our readers will experience the same excitement that I did as they browse our content here.

If anyone knows the identity of either of the other two gentlemen pictured here, please leave a comment below and share it with us!


Here is a shot of the soda fountain in Fairmont Drug Company made in the early 1950’s. Note the embossed metal ceiling, a feature of many of the early Main Street buildings.


Here is another view of Main Street, this time looking north. The time range is mid-1930’s.

As always, we welcome your questions, comments and criticisms.


The dominant feature of Farmers Day Parades was floats with pretty girls on them. Here is another from 1951. Enjoy!


In 1956 the First Presbyterian Church moved into a new building on Church Street. The old church and educational buildiing sat facing Red Cross Street where Ed Hodges Oil Company now sits.

Shown above is the moving of the educational building from its old location. This shot is taken from Center Street at the Walnut Street intersection. The building was moved to North Main Street across from the current residence of Charles Kemp and converted into two apartments. If you have additional information on the building or its movement to North Main Street please use the comment form to send us the information. Your contribution will be acknowledged and added to this post.


Here’s a postcard of Fairmont Novelty Works from sometime in the 1910’s. We have no other information regarding this business other than what is visible on the postcard. Can anyone supply additional information? Use the comment section below the post.


One rainy Sunday afternoon I began searching the web for any old photos of Fairmont that I might find. In the UNC online library I found nine postcards pertaining to Fairmont. The postcard shown here dates back to the late 1910’s or early 1920’s. Notice that this was before the Capitol Theater was built. Many buildings are recognizable even today.

Do you have any downtown photographs that you would like to share? Leave us a note in the Comments section below.


In the early 1930’s photographers traveled about making photographs and printing them as penny postcards. The above photo was such a postcard. We have about 1/3 of these school kids identified (I will post the names later). How many are you able to name?


These gentlemen sold tobacco on the Fairmont Tobacco Market for fifty years. The 1952 photograph was made on the front steps of the Fairmont Hotel, now the municipal building. How many can you name? Click on “Comments” to communicate with us and we will acknowledge your contribution.


Here’s another Farmer’s Day Parade photo of the local Girl Scout troop in 1952. Click on “Comments” below the post and tell us who you recognize. We will be happy to credit you as an addendum to the post and make your comment visible for all to read.


In the 1920’s and 1930’s there was quite a bit of cotton grown in the Fairmont area. Mr. A. N. Mitchell was the local cotton broker. Shown here is cotton being unloaded and readied for shipment at the depot. The house in the background was the home of Addie Thompson. It has since been moved west about 50 yards and rotated 90 degrees to face Railroad Street.

Many thanks to Jack Mitchell for contributing this photograph.


Here is Mrs. Grace Hales’ first grade class in September 1956. How many can you name? Click on Comments below this post to identify any of the kids. We will credit your contributions in an addendum.


There has been one state championship football team at Fairmont High School – the 1949 team shown above. Coached by Cameron West, Bill Brown and Bob Laudermilk, they defeated Walnut Cove for the North Carolina Class B state title. Many of these men remained in the area to live and raise families.

Please help us name each of these players by completing the contact form below. List the player’s number, then his name. Don’t guess. It will only confuse us more than we are already!

Here are those whom we can identify:

31  John Fulton Floyd
23  Edgar (Tiny) Johnson
40  Walter Perry w/ football
33  Bobby Jones
21  Shot Griffin
44  Michael Finnegan
25  David Musselwhite
47  James (Rusty) Perry
49  Jimmy Oliver
46  Alton Parker
30  Hayes Lewis


This photograph is from December 1957 and was made in the sanctuary of Trinity United Methodist Church. Those in the picture are:

(front, l/r) Marvin Page, Woody Floyd, Luther Floyd, Adrian Whichard, Steve Teal, Nancy Taylor, Cindy Hodges, Libby Stanfield; (second, l/r) Jay Capps, Robbie Taylor, Curtis McGirt, Carol Faulk, Anne Pittman, Jessica Floyd, Susan Floyd, Dawn Mathis; (back, l/r) Mrs. Grace Hales, Charles Pearce, William Oscar Floyd, Marilyn Ashley, Ada Ruth Andrews, Nan Nance, Caroline Scott, Linda Pate Floyd, Mrs. Julia Taylor.


This is the earliest know photograph of downtown Fairmont. These buildings are located on the west side of Main Street and are the five buildings south of the barber shop.

Please contact this web site if you have any old photographs of our downtown area that you would be willing to share.


For many years Charlie Stafford was the sales supervisor of the Fairmont Tobacco Market and functioned as a one-man chamber of commerce. Mr. Charlie is pictured above broadcasting from WFMO, the local AM radio station.

During tobacco season he had a radio show during the noon hour. He would open it something like this:

“Mr. and Mrs. Tobacco Grower, and all you little tobacco growers out there in tobacco land, the news is good! Fairmont — the Old Reliable — has had another outstanding sale on the Border Belt today.”

Mr. Charlie would then give some of the individual sales figures from that morning’s sale. At some point in his show, he would tell everyone what he wanted for dinner that day, and it was always a large, homemade country meal.


Beginning in 1950 the Fairmont Civitan Club presented Farmers Day, one aspect of which was a parade through downtown Fairmont. Pictured above is the Rosenwald High School band in the 1952 parade. Look closely — you may see someone you know!

To view more parade photos, click on “Galleries” above, then click view in PicLens to see the slideshow.


An integral part of Fairmont’s history, the tobacco sales season was the culmination of a year’s effort by farmers. The sale pictured above is believed to have taken place in Chambers and Reaves Warehouse in the late 1930’s.

Should you be able to identify any appearing in the photo, please use the comment form to pass along the information. We will update this post and credit you for your contribution.

The success of the 2009 Fairmont High School baseball team brings back memories of FHS’s run during the 1967 NCHSAA 2A Baseball playoffs. Pictured above is that team prior to a game.

Members are (kneeling, l/r) Ben Brady, Kenneth Barnes, Mike Davis, Braxton Freeman, Tommy Purvis, Bob Capps; (standing, l/r) Mike Walters (scorekeeper), Wesley Freeman, Joe Frye, Johnny Bare, Charles Adams, Bill Brady, Jay Capps, Roger Ivey, Terry Grier, Larry Walters, Coach LeRoy Vaughn, Gene Ivey.

This team lost in the state finals to North Davidson after winning the first game of that series. Joe Frye went on to play college baseball at NC State and Larry Walters played at East Carolina, then played several years professionally.

1945-46 FHS Football Team

This photo was contributed by Bill Lewis who played on this team. We believe that this was the first organized interscholastic football team at Fairmont High School.

The photograph was made by Cecil Ashley, longtime Fairmont resident and “character.”


Ashpole Institute was a private boarding school established in 1878 by the Cape Fear Baptist Association. It preceded the incorporation of Fairmont by twenty years. The founder and headmaster was Rev. Stinceon Ivey, pastor of Fairmont First Baptist Church. Shown above is an 1899 photograph of the school, its teachers and students. It was located on the site of the present-day Fairmont Municipal Building.

Thanks to Paul Thompson for making this photograph available.

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