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Do you remember the 21st night of September?

From historic buildings that no longer stand to ads promoting Raleigh restaurants, we dug through newspaper archives dating as far back as 1881 to celebrate the 21st night of September.

Newspaper clippings from 1881 to 1978.

Do you recognize some of these Raleigh businesses?

Screenshots via North Carolina Newspapers, North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, The evening visitor, The Carolinian, The twig, The Raleigh daily times, and The Raleigh evening times.

As Earth, Wind & Fire once asked “Do you remember the 21st night of September?” Well, we certainly do not remember every Sept. 21, so we decided to reminisce with some old Raleigh newspaper clippings dating as far back as 1881. So, how much has changed in the City of Oaks? Let’s find out.

These buildings have history

The Evening Visitor, 1881 | A well-versed poem called “City Visits” mentions there being “a large crowd meeting at Metropolitan Hall last night.” This public hall and market house featured market stalls at the street level and city official offices above. The building was torn down in 1920.

The Raleigh Daily Times, 1911 | Thomas H. Briggs & Son claims they can: “Make the tarnish vanish like clouds before the morning sun. Bring in a tarnished knife, fork, or spoon of plated or solid silver and let us show you.” Also known as Briggs Hardware, the historic building still stands on Fayetteville Street today.

The Raleigh Daily Times, 1911 | Folks were getting ready for fall. A large ad in this paper reads “Newest in Early Autumn Styles” by the Boylan-Pearce Company. Once a department store, this building still stands at 216 Fayetteville St. next to Briggs Hardware. Bonus: The historic parcel, called Boylan-Pearce, is currently available for office or retail lease.

The Raleigh Evening Times, 1906 | A small clipping reads “Raleigh’s Best Barbers, Otey and Son, Yarborough House.” This barbershop operated inside of the Yarborough House, which was one of Raleigh’s finest hotels destroyed by a fire in 1928. The building was located opposite of the Wake County Courthouse.

The Yarborough House.

The Yarborough House was one of Raleigh’s finest hotels.

Postcard from addition to the Massengill Collection, PhC.184, State Archives of NC


The Carolinian, 1957 | This ad reads: “A hot dog is a favorite on any campus, Shaw and Saint Augustine’s students, be sure it’s Jones Sausage Company.” This may still ring true, considering Raleigh named Jones Sausage Road named after the company Jesse Jones Sausage Company.

The Carolinian, 1963 | A pair of Heiress Classic Pumps (high or medium heels) cost a discounted price of $6.75 at Hudson Belk Department Store, which was once Efird’s Department Store, at 208 Fayetteville St. Efird’s occupied the site until 1959, when the building was purchased by Hudson Belk Department Store.

The Twig, 1978 | On this date, Irregardless Cafe advertised its Sunday brunch offering, the Cape Charles omelet, something we would definitely try today. Fun fact: Owner and executive chef Arthur Gordon opened Irregardless on Feb. 4, 1975 as Raleigh’s first vegetarian restaurant.