Monday, July 18, 2011

Heraldry Found in High Point, North Carolina, Part 1 (of 8)

This seems to be a summer with a lot of traveling for me. In early June, we went to Las Vegas, Nevada to visit with family, and I’ve shared with you a little heraldry, both real and not so much, that we saw there.

Then later in June I traveled to High Point, North Carolina to attend a weekend conference. And by the time you read this, I should have already returned from another conference in Lufkin, Texas, where I hope to prove once again that “you can find heraldry everywhere!”

But to get back to High Point. I had no idea that this little town in North Carolina would be such a hotbed of heraldic display. Taking a little time to wander about downtown with my camera, I found some real heraldry, some “funky” heraldry (that was based on real coats of arms, but which had been modified in one way or another), some totally made up heraldry, and a little non-heraldry, all of which I will share with you over the next several posts.

As a point of historical interest, High Point is named for the geographic “high point,” the greatest elevation between Goldsboro and Charlotte, NC (939 ft./286 m above sea level), identified by the survey crew for the NC railroad in about 1849. The elevation became the city namesake on the granting of a city charter on May 26, 1859.

The first coat of arms I noticed was on a building directly across the street from the hotel where I was staying. Up near the top of the building (which from the decorative elements I suspect used to be a bank) was the heraldic display below.

It’s a depiction of the reverse of a U.S. $20 gold piece, with the arms of the United States (Paly of thirteen argent and gules, a chief azure) on the breast of the eagle, with the other accouterments of the achievement of the U.S. arms about it. (Other panels had depictions of the obverse of the $20 gold piece on them, hence my thinking it maybe used to be a bank.)

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