Wallace, North Carolina has a history as rich as its soil. It was built on the backs of farmers and railway-men and of mothers, merchants and scholars. It flourished from the spirit, wisdom and generosity of its citizens. This book recalls the past and offers a walk down memory lane. The author has presented photos, articles and stories collected from people who lived this history. She recalls a time when our townspeople never needed to set foot in a big box store, because less was more. If Rockfish Plaza didn’t have it, Marshburn’s or A.C. Hall Hardware would. Children were free to make their own entertainment and if it bothered anyone, Chief Whitaker or their parents would find out about it. People were on their best behavior because familiar faces were everywhere.
Let us remember such a time.
Illustrated with hundreds of images, including maps, photos, documents, personal letters from the 1800’s, sketches and more. The author presents the history of Wallace from 1740 to 1990. Discover the man Wallace was named for and why. Where were the first homes located and what did they look like? Who were the businessmen and entrepreneurs that believed in Wallace when it was just a dusty crossroad? Who had the first telephones? What year was electricity installed in Wallace? What is Wallace’s connection with Paul Revere? Who donated the land for the railroad in Wallace? Who introduced the strawberry to Wallace and who named a grape after Wallace? The history of Kramer's Department Store, WLSE, Clement Academy and Wallace High School....and so much more is artfully detailed in this hard cover book that is surely to become a family heirloom.
About the Author
Mary Anne Russ moved to Wallace with her family in 1974. Her father, Jim Russ Sr., was interested in owning a car dealership and Mr. Roy Cavenaugh Sr, was interested in selling one. For many, this would be the end of the story, but Mr. Russ needed to tour Wallace before a decision was made. His introduction to the town took place over one weekend. Roy Cavenaugh Sr., Chief Earl Whitaker, Mayor Melvin Cording and Harry Carlton were his guides. He loved the town, but when he saw the airport and the country club, he ended the tour, purchased the dealership and Wallace became their new home. Mary graduated from Harrells Christian Academy and attended Peace College, graduating with an A.A. Degree. She attended Campbell University and Meredith College where she received a B.S. in Interior Design. She lived in Raleigh for 25 years, where she raised her family and enjoyed volunteering and working at Saint Michael’s Parish Day School. After her marriage to Daniel Ray Norris, who is a native of Wallace also, they moved to Wilmington, NC. In 2018, they purchased a century old home in their hometown of Wallace, NC and personally worked to renovate it. During this renovation many relics of the local past were unearthed. Old newspapers, letters, an old coke bottle that had been bottled in Wallace and other secrets were hidden in the walls of this house. This sparked in Mary a passion to discover and share the history of Wallace, NC with others.