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Library Notes: Walls and beams – Salisbury Post

Rowan County Library

Salisbury-Rowan has some wonderful old houses full of spectacular features enhancing the look of the exterior. Those who have gone on the yearly OctoberTour have had the opportunity to see the inside elements as well. Even if your house isn’t in one of the many historic districts, you might be interested in finding out about the special features or architectural style of your home. The History Room has just acquired two new books that might be of interest. 

Virginia Savage McAlester’s “A Field Guide to American Houses” examines house shapes and attributes from Colonial times to the present. There is a terrific “pictorial key” illustrating the differences between gabled and hipped roofs, varieties of dormers and roof elaborations, porch supports, railings and window shapes. The volume is full of drawings as well as beautiful photographs illustrating the types of homes and variations within categories — for example the chapter on Romantic Houses 1820-1880 includes Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Exotic Revivals and Octagons. McAlester explains how house shapes like the American Four-Square also have variants like the Prairie or Craftsman styles. She ends with a chapter on the Millennium Mansion, houses most likely to have been built after 1985.

The second book is entitled “Barber’s Turn-of-the-Century Houses.” George F. Barber was a mid-western builder and architect but there are quite a few of his houses in North Carolina.
Barber published nine house plan catalogues as well as a monthly magazine in the late 1800s. There were at least two dozen or more houses built in North Carolina according to his plans. Some of his clients include industrialists R.J. Reynolds and Benjamin N. Duke as well as textile magnate Charles Holt. The book includes floor plans, illustrations of the completed houses as well as estimated prices.

If your interest lies in finding out the history of homes, these books are supplemented by a set of books in the “Nearby History Series” which explains how to explore the history of structures including “Houses and Homes,” “Local Businesses” and “Places of Worship.” Produced by the American Association for State and Local History, these books suggest resources and patterns of research that will help discover the history of a particular place and its position in social history.  “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” History Room materials are available for research whenever the library is open; all materials are non-circulating.

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Public Notices

Japan just found 7,000 islands it didn’t know it had

Japan has recounted its islands – and discovered it has 7,000 more than it previously thought.

Digital mapping by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) recently found there to be 14,125 islands in Japanese territory, more than double the figure of 6,852 that has been in official use since a 1987 report by Japan’s Coast Guard.

However, the GSI this week stressed that the new figure reflected advances in surveying technology and the detail of the maps used for the count – it did not change the overall area of land in Japan’s possession.

It said that while there is no international agreement on how to count islands, it had used the same size criterion as the previous survey 35 years ago.

That entailed counting all naturally occurring land areas with a circumference of at least 100 meters (330 feet).

The new number does not include any artificially reclaimed land.

The islands surrounding Japan have been at the heart of several territorial disputes.

Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a dispute that dates to the end of World War II, when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.

Japan also says it has a historical claim to the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which it currently administers, but China has repeatedly challenged that claim.

Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea remain locked in a more than 70-year dispute over the sovereignty of a group of islets known as Dokdo by Seoul and Takeshima by Tokyo in the Sea of Japan, which Korea calls the East Sea.

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Yosemite National Park to partially reopen after 3-week closure

Yosemite National Park will begin to reopen Saturday with limited access and hours, the US National Park Service has announced. The park remains closed today.

The popular park, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, was closed because of a series of damaging storms that have swept across the region in recent weeks.

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Public Notices

Charles and Camilla

Britain’s King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, have been married since 2005. They reportedly met at a polo match in 1970 and became friends when Charles was a prince.

When Charles joined the Royal Navy in 1971, Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles.

Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981 but then admitted in 1994 that he had been having an extramarital affair with Camilla. Diana confirmed his infidelity and her own the following year.

Camilla got a divorce in 1995, and Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. Camilla all but vanished from public life at the time as public and media support swung behind Diana.

In 1999, Clarence House embarked on a program to reintroduce Camilla to the public with a carefully orchestrated first appearance with Charles outside the Ritz Hotel in London.

Six years later, their decades-long love story culminated in a wedding that had the consent of Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Camilla was confirmed as Charles’ official consort and future queen.

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