Credit: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer
Many of the earliest letters in the Wilkes-Smedberg collection feature writing the initial letter horizontally and then continuing the letter in a vertical pattern. The writer did this to save money. Mecklenburg County librarian Shelia Bumgarner has been sorting and transcribing letters from the Wilkes-Smedberg collection since 2009. She calculates that it will take her another three years to finish the nearly 1,000 letters in the collection. The letters date from 1849-1913. The collection also included family photographs as well as friends of the family. Jane Wilkes (bottom left in photo) is featured in the photograph with her (center) granddaughter Araminta Jones and (top right) Rosalie Wilkes Jones.