The Life of Blum Hiliary Vestal

In preparation for two articles I’m currently working on, I’m uploading a small book about a man named Blum Hiliary Vestal, who will figure prominently in one and to some degree in the other. B.H. Vestal was a prolific evangelist who began his career in the early 1900’s after a miraculous conversion. He travelled inContinue reading “The Life of Blum Hiliary Vestal”

Researchers exhuming the body of “Marshal Ney” in hopes of DNA testing.

The old stories are all new again. Despite all the past efforts and the various learned men and women opining on the matter, it looks like there might finally be conclusive proof as to whether the man who immigrated to America and died in Mocksville was actually one of Napoleon’s most trusted men.Today, French researchersContinue reading “Researchers exhuming the body of “Marshal Ney” in hopes of DNA testing.”

The Bugle Boy Who Was Buried Twice

Thomas Boyd Speaks was born in Union Grove, NC in 1901 to John Peter (J.P.) Speaks and Gillie Lutissen Templeton. Thomas’ father John was a local farmer who lived just off NC-901 and had been in the community his whole life. With a sizeable property of almost 100 acres, he was probably able to keepContinue reading “The Bugle Boy Who Was Buried Twice”

Olive Branch Church

The little hill in Davie County where Olive Branch Methodist Church once stood has been in use for over 200 years in one way or another.The church was organized on paper in 1804, but before that met in an old log schoolhouse building in roughly the same area. It may have been in use forContinue reading “Olive Branch Church”

September, 1975 in Statesville. Murders, rape, and a John Doe.

Humans seemed naturally wired to look for patterns in life. Sometimes coincidences have meaning and sometimes they are statistical improbabilities. Either way, the mind naturally wants to create order from chaos, and the more we do that, the more likely we are to refute the randomness of events that share the same space and timeContinue reading “September, 1975 in Statesville. Murders, rape, and a John Doe.”

Zephyr School

Time has a way of erasing things we used to think of as important. As the world becomes bigger, the size of human history and existence further obscures our knowledge of what once was. Today, we’ll try to push the shadows away ever so slightly to see what can still be known about a majorContinue reading “Zephyr School”

The Unresolved Death of Daria Wade

December 9th, 1976. Howards Bridge road in northern Iredell county.Just after lunch time, a local resident named Claude Howard discovers the nude body of a deceased female on the edge of a farm field just off the main road, and near the bridge the road is named for. How and why she was there andContinue reading “The Unresolved Death of Daria Wade”

Zion School

It always pays to notice your surroundings.On a trip through the back roads of Iredell county while dropping off a family member at a friends house, I happened to spot what I thought to be either a school or church hidden in brush and brambles. What became confusing was the interior of the building. DespiteContinue reading “Zion School”