Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas scenes from Special Collections

Festive holiday greetings from Special Collections! We've dug into some of our collections to find some Christmas images to share.

The first image comes from the Wilma Dykeman Collection, and shows a young Wilma Dykeman and her father bringing home the family Christmas tree in 1929. The photo is from her brother Jerome's scrapbook.
Wilma Dykeman and her father, 1929.
Several photos come from the E.M. Ball Collection, including this photo of the Christmas decorations in front of the Ivey's department store in downtown Asheville. The photo dates from 1960.

Downtown Asheville in Christmas regalia, 1960.
The next photo comes from the Massie Collection of Jesse Morris Photographs, which documents the Oteen Hospital in east Asheville during and immediately after World War I . This photo shows Christmas decorations in the hospital in 1920.
Oteen Hospital, 1920
The Ball Collection contains many photos that Ball took while working as a professional photographer, including a number of photos taken in private homes in and around Asheville during the Christmas season.  This is an example:
Christmas tree in a private home in Asheville, circa late 1940s.
The Annie Rives Nicholson Collection contains a scrapbook assembled by Nicholson during her teenage years in the early 1930s when she was a student in South Carolina.

Christmas Hop dance card, c. 1931, possibly from Clemson University
The final photo is from the Ball Collection and dates from 1948, showing a Christmas party at Leath House, a boarding house on Grove Street in Ashevile.

Christmas party at Leath House

Friday, December 4, 2015

Celebrating Chanukah in Asheville

This December Jews around the world will celebrate Chanukah, the eight day Festival of Lights that runs from December 6-14.  To celebrate, we're highlighting some selections from the Jewish Life in Western North Carolina collections that show how the Jewish community in Asheville has celebrated Chanukah.
Menorah at Congregation Beth Israel

Beth Ha Tephila was founded in 1891 and is Asheville's oldest synagogue. This program is from the Chanukah Festival that was done by the Asheville Hebrew Sunday School on December 6, 1896. The program is from the Beth Ha Tephila Congregation Collection.

Congregation Beth Israel was chartered in Asheville in February, 1899, just a few years after Beth Israel. This 1979 newsletter from the Congregation Beth Israel Papers includes the essay "What You Should Know About Chanukah" by Rabbi Samuel A. Friedman.

This 1983 photo from Beth Israel shows Rabbi Paul Grob and two members of the congregation lighting the menorah.

And while not specifically related to Chanukah, another seasonal event that bears mention is also documented in the Jewish Life in Western North Carolina collections. Lou Pollock was a prominent member of the Jewish community, noted for his work with the Jewish cemetery. He owned Pollock's shoe store in downtown Asheville, and every Christmas he would host a party at his store and donate pairs of shoes to children in need. This photo shows one of the Christmas parties in his store.

Lou Pollock is standing in front of the crowd on the right, holding a young girl. The nuns are from Asheville's St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines school. This photograph probably dates from the 1950s, and is part of the Ada and Lou Pollock Collection