Postcard Past Cards

The inspiration for this week’s Throwback Thursday feature comes from Sanford native William Makepeace IV, whose family has lived here for many generations.  In spinning through some family archives recently, William discovered this 1926 postcard that features the home he grew up in.  Like many homes in the era represented on the card, the Makepeace residence doubled as a Tourist Home; in many respects, the forerunner of today’s bed & breakfasts.  Travelers — often in the midst of a long journey along the east coast on US 1 — would book rooms and be the guests of local residents, who earned an income as independent hoteliers. Thank you for your assist William!

Bill inspired us to revisit some other stacks of postcards from the past. In the 1950s, it was common for motels and nearby restaurants to team up and create combo cards that featured both establishments.  Here we see two businesses that were located in that time at the intersection of Deep River Road and what is now Horner Boulevard — the Sir Walter Motor Lodge and Bill’s BBQ House.

In the 1950s, the first bypass around Sanford was completed and a 4-lane version of US 1 appeared just west of the city.  This was still a time before interstates were completed, so significant north-south travel found its way to the bypass and so did many new, emerging businesses.  One was an establishment that is still familiar to local residents today. In 1959 Donald and Virginia Johnson erected the Palomino Motel and Restaurant.

It wasn’t uncommon 75-to-100 years ago for many businesses and area attractions to have postcards that promoted their goods and services. In addition to the numerous restaurants and hotels that were previlant in the area, here we see cards for the original location of the Central Carolina Hospital when it was located at Maple & Fourth Street, Rimmer’s Drug Store in downtown Sanford, the community’s swimming pool built in 1935 and even a 1908 postcard from the Buffalo Church and cemetery.



Editorial content, pictures and research background , compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase. All book proceeds go to Sanford’s Railroad House Historical Association, Inc.