The collection was compiled by Ethel May Burt. The pictures have been dated to c.1900. Census data reveals that Ethel May Burt was born in March 1878 in Virginia. By 1900, she had moved to Edenton, North Carolina and was living with her sister, Emily, and her sister’s husband Claud Elliott. In 1909, she married J.M. Beatty. Mrs. Ethel May Burt Beatty died in 1956 and was buried in Beaver Hill Cemetery, in Edenton, North Carolina. Her husband, J.M., died ten years later in 1966.
The album includes images of:
Dr. Richard Dillard appear in the album. Dr. Richard Dillard, Sr., (d. 1887) moved to Edenton from Virginia before 1855. Dillard was appointed to the North Carolina Council of State in 1855, replacing William Badham. The doctor resigned his seat on the Council in 1856 to run for the North Carolina State Senate, serving two terms as Senator from the Third District (1856-1859). As the Civil War neared, Dillard was elected to attend both the North Carolina Secession Convention and the Constitutional Convention (1861-1862). In the 1880s, Dillard served as president of the Edenton and Norfolk Telegraph Company (1881) and was appointed (1883) to the School Committee of the Third School District in Chowan County. Source:
Richard Dillard Papers (Manuscript Collection #599), Joyner Library, East Carolina University
Norfolk & Southern Railway Passenger Depot, Freight Depot, and Dock are pictured in the album. Appropriately, its roots reach back to the earliest days of railroading in America. Norfolk Southern's history parallels the economic and social growth of the country, for as one observer said more than a century ago, "Where railroads are not, civilization cannot be. The railroad and the schoolmaster are the two chief agents of human improvement." Today's Norfolk Southern is the product of hundreds of railroad combinations, reorganizations and consolidations. This timeline covers the Thoroughbred's three largest predecessors - Conrail, Norfolk & Western Railway and Southern Railway - and many of the lines that went before them. After each predecessor's name, we've used CR, NW or SR in parentheses to indicate which road eventually operated its lines. Source: Norfolk & Southern Railroad website.
Bank of Edenton is also pictured in the Album. This bank has since been destroyed.
Interior and exterior views of the Cotton Mill, also located in Edenton are pictured in the album. The Edenton Cotton Mill was organized and funded in 1898 by nineteen local residents who wished to provide a market for the region’s cotton growers and thereby keep the industry’s profits in the area. As the founders intended, the mill became and remained a mainstay in the local economy until its closing. It was consistently profitable, with the exception of losses for four years during the Great Depression. Although the mill maintained the village, it did not operate a general store. Thus, the villagers patronized local businesses, further contributing to the local economy. The Cotton Mill closed in late 1995 and donated it to Preservation North Carolina. Source:
Edenton Cotton Mill Museum of History.
Interiors of houses in Edenton and Belhaven are also included in the photo album. Both are examples of Victorian interiors. Victorian interiors were at the height of fashion in the early 1900s with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. The images in the photo album show what we today would call cluttered interiors.
“Lover's Leap,” which was located in Louisburg, also appears numerous times throughout the album.
Ethel May Burt also appears throughout the album. She also captioned most of the photographic prints.
Early County Fair in Edenton North Carolina is also documented.