2019 Summer Road Trip: Richmond, VA and North Carolina

This post was written in collaboration with Caitlin Hucik. As we head down I-95 South (timing our departure to avoid rush hour, but inevitably getting stuck somewhere along the way), we considered the many ways that photographs of Richmond, Virginia, and the surrounding areas featured in Still Picture Branch holdings. As the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, there are naturally many images of Richmond in series related to the war – including the Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes (NAID 524418) and Stereographs of the Civil War (NAID 559265).


View of Richmond, Va
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This view, taken in connection with number 883, form a very good Panoramic View of the “burnt district” in Richmond in 1865. These two views are from the old Arsenal looking down the James River.
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And while these are fascinating, my favorite images of the city in our custody are from “Airscapes of American and Foreign Areas” (NAID512841). This series is a great resource for historical images of locations around the country, and the landmarks shown in these images in Richmond are still there! We’ll take the opportunity while passing through to see if we can find each one.

Select each Image below to view.

The road trip continues south on I-95, heading to North Carolina!

By the time we reach North Carolina on our road trip, we are ready for a break from traffic and the “Old North State” offers plenty of opportunities for that. As the narrator in Meet North Carolina, a film from our U.S. Information Agency holdings, states, “all the way from mountain tops to ocean shore, city to rolling countryside, North Carolina seems to have it all.”

Meet North Carolina Screen

Our visit to North Carolina starts on the eastern shore where the state meets the Atlantic Ocean. The Outer Banks and seaside resort towns that dot the coast are sure to look a little different nowadays compared to these stills taken from Meet North Carolina which was shot in the 1950’s. But, one thing hasn’t changed, vacationers still flock to the sandy beaches to enjoy a little sun, fishing, and surf.

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But, beaches aren’t the only thing North Carolina offers to vacationers. If mountains are more your thing, come along with us as we head to the western side of the state. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smokey Mountain National Park offer beautiful vistas and to guests.

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Activities are endless on this side of the state and you can bet we are going to enjoy them all on our road trip. From camping and boating to horseback riding and golfing, Western North Carolina has it all.

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North Carolina also offers visitors a chance to experience city life and as our trip takes us from east to west, we are sure to stop in the state’s largest cities of Raleigh and Charlotte. Raleigh, the state’s capital, is the second largest city in the state and is home to  several museums and universities. Charlotte, the Queen City, is the state’s largest and a hub of museums, restaurants, shopping and sports.

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After our trip through North Carolina, we have to say, the film Meet North Carolina, sums up the state best: “The grandeur of the Great Smokies, the rolling beauty of the Blue Ridge, the historic North Carolina coast…there’s nothing could be finer.”

Below, you can watch Meet North Carolina before your next road trip through the state.

Stay tuned for the next stop on our summer road trip –Charleston, SC! – as well as the many stops we will make this summer.

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