Special Collections and University Archives

Recently, the Southern Pines Civic Club donated a copy of their only cookbook to the North Carolina Cookbook Collection.  Published ca. 1920s, this cookbook strives to live up to the founding principles of the club:

  • To improve the sanitary conditions of the town
  • To foster the love for the beautiful
  • To educate the children in good citizenship 
  • To welcome winter guests and to enlist their interest in making Southern Pines more attractive [1]  

On the inside cover, facing the Preface, is a full-page advertisement for the Highland Pines Inn. The connection between the creation of the Southern Pines Civic Club and town development is as close as the connection between sister and brother, namely Helen Boyd Dull and James Boyd.

Detail of the Preface for the Southern Pines Civic Club Cook Book

The Highland Pines Inn was the first collaboration of Boyd and his fellow Princeton grad, architect Aymar Embury II. Built in 1912, it served to house winter guests after the loss of the Piney Woods Inn to a fire in 1910. Embry designed the “Colonial Revival style Highland Pines Inn [which] featured capacious porches punctuated by gabled pavilions. The grounds were planned by Alfred Yeomans, a landscape architect from Chicago and a Boyd relative.” [2] Alfred Yeomans, also known as A. B. Yeomans, would design the building plans for the Southern Pines Civic Club in 1925.

Detail of the Highland Pines Inn advertisement

But what about the recipes – certainly the main ingredient of any cookbook? The recipes in this cookbook are of the narrative variety as would be found in Fannie Farmer’s The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, one of the most-widely known cookbooks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One other aspect of the recipes is that the writer assumes the reader knows how to cook. For example, in Mrs. A.C. Andrew’s recipe for ‘Surprise Cookies’, she does not tell you the temperature or length of time to bake these cookies. The art of cooking is usually an oral tradition, passed from one matriarch to the next generation. Recipes, and these community cookbooks by extension, are often the only written evidence that remains of those traditions.

Recipe for ‘Surprise Cookies’

I know that I would need to experiment several times before I determined how Mrs. A.C. Andrew expected these cookies to turn out. The women who contributed to this cookbook certainly knew how to welcome both family and guests to their table.

-Carolyn Shankle


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