Saturday, August 1, 2020

New Bern in 1934

or how a newspaper supplement provides images of old New Bern available nowhere else

Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company, southwest corner of Broad and Hancock streets.

by John B. Green III

The fifth year of the Great Depression seems an unusual time to publish an eight-page illustrated newspaper supplement touting the business advantages of the City of New Bern. Perhaps, though, it was the right time after all.  In the midst of all the loss and despair of the Great Depression, it might demonstrate that the town and its people hadn't given up all hope.  The place might yet survive.

The supplement was published on April 22, 1934 by the New Bern Tribune, a paper founded a year earlier in 1933.  To our eyes, eighty-six years later, the Tribune's supplement opens up a lost era.  Its eight pages contain nearly sixty images of businesses and business owners as well as city officials.  It contains advertisements and hopeful commentary on New Bern's prospects.  The supplement even contains a small section on African American businesses and community leaders.  

The Kellenberger Room is fortunate to have such a resource in our collection. What follows is a selection of some of the most interesting images.

Front page, New Bern Tribune supplement, 1934.

"W.B. Blades, Distributor of Texas Products," 100 block Middle Street, east side, on river front.

Farmers Supply House, 500 block South Front Street, north side. 

Hotel Gaston, 300 block South Front Street, south side.

Gaston Hotel cafe.

Hill's Men's Clothing, 200 block Middle Street, east side (presently 248 Middle Street)

Tidewater Power Company, office, 200 block Middle Street, west side; gas  plant, 500 block South Front Street, north side.

Citizens Funeral Home, possibly at northwest corner, Elm Street and Scott's Alley.
I.P. Hatch, funeral director and businessman.

Rev. D.F. Martinez, A.M.E. Zion minister, and editor of the African American newspaper The New Bern World.

New Bern office of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, northeast corner of Queen Street and Darst Avenue.

St. Luke's Hospital, northwest corner of Broad and George streets.

Belwood Farm Dairy, rural Craven County.

T.F. McCarthy & Son, General Merchandise and Hardware, southwest corner of Pollock and Norwood streets.

Dr. Z.V. Parker Health Institute, 400 block Craven Street, east side.