These incredible photographs, which provide a glimpse into the history of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, are part of a collection held by the State Archives of North Carolina. The collection is attributed to the Tyree and Wharton-Tyree Studios, which were established in the area and operated for many years. The negatives were initially obtained by a local antiques dealer and estate sale manager, J.C. Knowles, in the mid-1960s. He acquired them from Mr. Leavister, who salvaged furnishings and architectural details from demolished homes in downtown Raleigh.
While purchasing a lamp from Leavister, Knowles noticed several boxes of old glass negatives and inquired about them. Leavister mentioned that he had found them on one of his demolition sites and offered them to Knowles. Knowles accepted the offer and took the negatives with him when he purchased the lamp. After holding on to the negatives for a period, Knowles eventually donated them to the Museum of History. Later, the collection was transferred to the State Archives, where it remains today for public viewing and appreciation. These images provide a valuable look into the past and offer a unique perspective on a bygone era in North Carolina’s history.