Todd Johnson
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Smithfield, NC 27577
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Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: 919-934-2836
Historical Image and Manuscript Archives


Catch-Me-Eye Photograph Collection

Collection Date(s):   1940  to 1942

Call Number(s):  PHC 22

Physical Description:  Ten photographs

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Biographical Sketch:  Catch-Me-Eye was the name given to a popular tavern-cabin-service station complex on Highway 301 just south of Selma. A truck bound for Fort Bragg loaded with 30,000 pounds of munitions collided with an automobile and caught on fire about 100 yards north of the Catch-Me_Eye, bringing traffic to a halt. Despite warnings to motorists, a vehicle attempted to pass the wreckage when the truck exploded just before 3 am on March 7, 1942. Four people were killed, and many others were injured. The entire Catch-Me-Eye complex and the 2 1/2 story Hotel Talton across the road were levelled, and windows shattered over a mile away in Selma's Edgerton Memorial Methodist Church. Many local people were convinced the explosion was an air raid by the Germans.

Collection Description:  The collection includes photos of Gurkin's tavern, cabins, and service station, and the Hotel Talton as these buildings appeared prior to March 7, 1942. There are 8 photos showing the aftermath of the explosion, including a large crater and crowds of spectators.

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