Friday, August 19, 2016

Fayetteville Market House - Then and Now

My thirst for history got me looking around he interwebs this morning, since it's only nephew-in-law Hector and I sitting at the kitchen table in Fayetteville while everyone else sleeps.

We went downtown yesterday to have a look at their Transportation and Local History Museum (the potential for road geeking -- and train geeking for Sean) was too much to pass up.

Well it wasn't entirely that, but it is still a museum that it is worth your time and effort (it's a quick visit). The people are wonderful and full of information, and the price is...well...perfect: free.

As we walked, I kept reading references to the Market House, and came to understand that the building -- where Hay, Gillespie, Person and Green Streets come together -- also played a little role in road lore.

Indeed, this was once the intersection of US 15A (since deleted) and US 301 (since moved). So I trolled around online and came up with this image from NCSU Libraries:

Business-bannered US 301 shield at right (NCSU Library)
They're marking that picture as "circa 1955," but I don't think I agree, given the US 301 sign and some of the cars in the picture, but I suppose it's possible. I'll leave that to those smarter than I.

Anyway, it seemed nobody else in my traveling party took note of the references to the Market House, so after we left, I decided to drive around downtown Fayetteville. Sure enough -- and it didn't take long -- I found it.

Fayetteville Market House, 2016 (My photo)
Before we wrap up, here are a few other nuggets from our visit to the Transportation Museum. I found an old white North Carolina guide sign hanging in a window.

I turned the camera so it would look right on in the picture.

An old street sign blade.
Incidentally, the kind man in the museum couldn't answer Hector's question about when stop signs switched from yellow to red. I didn't have the exact answer (the gentleman mumbled something about "local laws" or something), but Richard C. Moeur's Manual of Traffic Signs has the answer (1954).
Pretty cool yellow STOP sign, pre-1954.
And a license plate with "55" in it. Just. Because.

Anyway, give Fayetteville some love, for a variety of reasons. Cool downtown museums (with minor league baseball on the way as early as next year, so I hear, per the Fayetteville Observer), Fort Bragg, some shopping, restaurants, and more. I've come to really like it here.

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