Skip to main content

A ride out to Mayberry

On June 5th, Joe Babyak and I took a trip out to Mount Airy, NC.  We went to check out 'Mayberry'.  Little did we know that the trip would be full of 20th century American nostalgia!

The route: I-540, I-40, NC 66, NC 89, US 52 Business, NC/VA 103, VA/NC 8, I-40, I-840, US 70 and local roads home.

For the flickr set from the entire trip, head here.

NC 66 is actually a very nice and surprisingly twisty drive.  There are also a lot of classic rural and roadside finds on the winding route through Forsyth and Stokes Counties.  Here at the intersection of Beux Mountain Road a old country store turned pool hall still has this classic old Gulf sign.

IMG_6604

From there it's a brief drive to Rural Hall and the small town on what was once US 52 has a few treasures of its own.  From an old train station - that can use a little touch up work...

IMG_6610

...to what may be the best find of the trip. 

Pepsi-Cola Ghost Billboard - Rural Hall, NC

This Pepsi-Cola ghost sign may be one of the oldest still viewed within North Carolina.  Sadly, the computer repair shop covers the name of the former "____ Quick Lunch".  And the deck for the apartments on the second floor cover up the rest of the sign.  I wonder if there are any photos of this building in any archives.  The other side of the building also has a similar Pepsi-Cola ghost sign.

Ancient Pepsi-Cola billboard - Rural Hall, NC

After a twisty ride through the Sauratown Mountains, we picked up NC 89 towards Mount Airy.  A couple of miles onto 89, this older shield popped up.

IMG_6618

Now it's only from 1987 - but considering the rate of how NC has replaced signs over the last 10 years, it's 'old'.

We pulled into Mount Airy around 1 pm and quickly found Mayberry.  Main Street in Mount Airy is a walk back to yesteryear, and its easy to spend a few hours here.

IMG_6628

In Mount Airy, the sites and sounds of 'Mayberry' and the 'Andy Griffith Show' are all around.

Mayberry Police Car

IMG_6632

IMG_6634

Over at Carolina Crossroads, I've written more about Mount Airy and how the town has embraced its role as 'Mayberry'.  You can read it here.

To prove that we did in fact enter Virginia, here's a photo from where VA 103 meets VA 8.

IMG_6685

Finally, there's an old country store on Leesville Road in Durham County that I have been wanting to get photos of.  Three years after moving back to North Carolina, I finally captured some photos of it.

Leesville Road Country Grocery

There is a rare - at least to me - Borden's Ice Cream (complete with Elsie the Cow) sign left at this old store.  The sign is rusted out and the light wasn't the best but you can certainly see the classic Elsie Borden logo!

IMG_6692

A trip like this is why I love driving the backroads of rural North Carolina. It is amazing what you can find when you get off the interstate, slow down, and get out and walk around!

Comments

Anonymous said…
You found some great signage on this trip. I especially like the old Gulf sign!

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Transylvania, Louisiana

Back in 2014 I found myself returning home to Florida from Hot Springs National Park.  While passing through East Carroll Parish in Louisiana on US Route 65 I noticed an abandoned school on the side of the highway in a community called Transylvania. Supposedly Transylvania was founded in the early 19th century and was named after the University of the same name in Kentucky.  Supposedly Transylvania has about 700 residents according to the 2000 Census but you wouldn't know it from the total lack of occupied structures.  The earliest map reference I can find showing Transylvania present in East Carroll Parish is from 1878. 1878 Louisiana State Map I really can't find too much substantive information regarding the Transylvania Elementary School but the construction is likely Pre-World War II.  Supposedly the Transylvania Elementary School was abandoned in the late 20th Century and was open to vandals until the property was purchased in 2014. Article Regarding the Transy

Kancamagus Highway (NH 112 through the White Mountains of New Hampshire)

The Kancamagus Highway is a portion of NH 112 spanning from Conway to Lincoln through the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire. Locally known as the "Kanc", the 34.5-mile drive is a recognized National Scenic Byway, offering travelers an abundance of history and spectacular beauty in addition to being considered one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the world. The road opened up one of the last unconquered wilderness areas in New Hampshire, a region that the 1850 state Gazetteer called "unfit for human habitation." The two lane highway links the valleys of the Merrimack, Pemigewasset and Saco rivers, crossing over Kancamagus Pass at 2,855 feet in elevation, winding through some of the most difficult and gorgeous terrain in the state. A number of scenic vistas are found along the way offering remarkable views of the surrounding White Mountains, Swift River, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. You will not find services through much of the drive, until you get to

I-93 Sign Replacement Project Update

Decided to beat the Memorial Day rush and traveled up I-93 north of Boston Wednesday afternoon to check out the progress of the two sign replacement projects. Based on webcam images, I new some signs had been replaced at the southern and northern end of the Somerville to Exit 38 segment. Turns out signage has been updated northbound for Exit 28 (MA 28/38), the first sign for Exit 31 (MA 16) (I guess taking advantage of MassDOT closing I-93 between Exits 20 and 28 for Big Dig Tunnel maintenance a couple nights a month) and for Exits 34 to 38. A photographic summary starts with the first re-signed exit: This is the second overhead assembly. The signs are mounted on the previously existing overhead supports that go back to the opening of the lower and upper deck portions of I-93 in the early 1970's. I don't know about using the left hand side simply for an auxiliary sign for the exit, but there isn't much room to place it elsewhere. The next interchange that  has had