Photos shared by Mr. Carol McLean    Myrtle Bridges October 18, 2007

L to R: Dr. John M. Maness, Maggie Cavenaugh, Preston O'Brien and his wife Lila Womack. Dr. Maness, I understand, first practiced medicine in Ellerbe, and later Hamlet, NC. Cemetery records show he was born Sept. 2, 1878 and died Sept. 24, 1936. He is buried in Ellerbe Town Cemetery. The cemetery book indicates that he married Sara O'Brien. The photo was made in the front yard of a house in Ellerbe, NC. (House no longer in existence).

The game the group is playing is thought to be carrom. It was played on a board of lacquered plywood, normally with a 29 inch square playing surface. The edges of the playing surface are bounded by bumpers of wood. Instead of the balls of billiards games, carrom uses disks (also known as pucks or coins). The object of the game is to strike or flick with a finger a comparatively heavy disk called a "striker" such that it contacts lighter object disks called "carrom men" (alternatively, "carrom seeds") and propels them into one of four corner pockets. The carrom men come in two colors denoting the two players (or, in doubles play, teams). Traditionally, these colors are white (or unstained) and black. The breaker always plays white. An additional carrom man is colored red and called the "queen".

Photo made about 1908-1910 in the interior of Preston O'Brien's general store in Ellerbe, NC. It was in one of the 2 story brick stores on the main street in Ellerbe. These structures are still standing. I believe this photo was made circa 1908 to 1910. Preston O'Brien stands alone back of the counter in his store. Look on the top shelf slightly to the right of his right shoulder and you will see Kellogg Corn Flakes.

Preston, (locally called "Press") stands with others back of the counter. He sold his store around 1910, and moved to Gainesville, Florida were he died in 1939. He and his wife, Lila C. Womack, are buried in the Hawthorne Cemetery.

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Copyright October 18, 2007