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

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

Old US Route 40 on Donner Pass Road

While completing California State Route 89 between Lassen Volcanic National Park and US Route I took a detour in Truckee up the infamous Donner Pass Road. Generally I don't dispense with the history of a roadway before the route photos but the history of Donner Pass is steeped within California lore and western migration.  The first recorded Wagon Crossing of Donner Pass was back in 1844.  The infamous Donner Party saga occurred in the winter of 1846-47 in which only 48 of the 87 party members survived.  Although the Donner Party incident is largely attributed to poor planning and ill conceived Hastings Cutoff it largely led to the infamous reputation of Donner Pass. The first true road over the Sierra Nevada Range via the Donner Pass was known as the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road.  The Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Wagon Road was completed by 1864 to assist with construction of the Central Pacific build the First Trans-Continental Railroad over Donner Pass.  The websit

California State Route 159 (former California State Route 11 and US Route 66)

California State Route 159 was a post 1964-Renumbering State Route which was designated over former segments of California State Route 11 and US Route 66.  As originally defined California State Route 159 began at Interstate 5/US Route 99 at the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles.  California State Route 159 followed Figueroa Street, Colorado Boulevard and Linda Vista Avenue to the planned Foothill Freeway.  California State Route 159 was truncated during 1965 to existing solely on Linda Vista Avenue where it remained until being relinquished during 1989.  California State Route 159 was formally deleted from the State Highway System during 1992.   The history of California State Route 159 Prior to 1933 the Division of Highways was not actively involved in maintaining urban highways outside of occasional cooperative projects.  The responsibility for signage of US Routes in cities was thusly given to the Automobile Club of Southern California in the Southern California region.  This bei