Wallace, North Carolina has a history as rich as its soil. It was built on the backs of farmers and railway-men, 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, 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 1730 to 1980. 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 from Bladen County in 1974. Her father, Jim Russ Sr., was interested in buying 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 the family’s new home. Mary graduated from Harrells Christian Academy and attended Peace College and Campbell University, receiving her 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 R. Norris, who is also a native of Wallace, they moved to Wilmington, NC. In 2018, they purchased a century old home in their hometown of Wallace 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 a passion in Mary to discover the history of Wallace, NC.