Welcome to
Moving North Carolina

This blog – like the public television documentary from which it emerged – offers a fresh perspective on North Carolina history: it tells the panoramic story of our state as a tale of evolving and improving mobility.

North Carolina transportation history – from ancient footpaths to superhighways – is a saga of vehicles and vessels; of animals and engines; of rivers, canals, rails and roads. But far deeper than that, it is a very human story. It is the story of the people who used those modes of transportation to arrive here, to populate the countryside, to prosper, and to coalesce into one special state. Moving North Carolina is the story of how we got here and why we live where we do. It is the story of who we are.

Here’s what you can do on this blog:

  • Click below on one of the most recent posts to read the full story.
  • Browse or search the entire collection on the Searchable Archive page.
  • Peek behind the curtain on how the blog originated on the About The Blog page.
  • Watch a preview of the Public Television documentary version of Moving North Carolina and purchase a DVD or Blu-ray disc on The Documentary page.
  • Comment on any post (at the bottom of the post) or leave general feedback on the Comment page.
Train Wreck at Bostian Bridge

Disaster at Bostian Bridge

Early on the morning of August 27, 1891, Richmond & Danville Railroad Passenger Train No. 9 plunged off the Bostian Bridge just west of Statesville. Twenty-three people died. It was “A Great Wreck!” “A Frightful Accident!” It was also a mystery.

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Charles Dickens

Dickens on American Rail

Touring America in 1842, young Charles Dickens captured in his journal the manic exhilaration of traveling on early American railroads: “…on, on, on – tears the mad dragon of an engine with its train of cars…”

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A bateau on the Haw River loaded with cotton bales

Bateaux Ruled Our Rivers

When waterways were our superhighways, bateaux ruled the rivers. These open, shallow-draft boats did the heavy lifting that drove North Carolina’s economy. They transported the bounty of upland farms to markets on the coast, and they returned with manufactured goods, coffee and sugar.

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Coming Down The Road

Moving North Carolina will publish a new blog post every Sunday at noon, beginning August 4, 2019. Upcoming posts will feature bateaux, trains (snorting and plunging), road hogs, plank turnpikes, crusading bicyclists, and spooky bridges.

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Please check weekly for new posts. And if you like what you see. please help spread the word.

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