“Back to Betsy After Forty Years Absence…Recognizes Only Two Faces and the Plastering in The Southern Hotel,” from the July 23, 1920 issue of the Elizabeth City Independent.
Tom Garner, who ran a newspaper in Elizabeth City forty years ago was in Elizabeth City this week for the first time in 39 years. He came to renew acquaintances in the old town and found only two of them living: J.T. McCabe and M.B. Culpepper. He tried his best to find something that looked like Elizabeth City 40 years ago, but the only thing that looked like old times was the Southern Hotel. Even the plastering and the plumbing in that hostelry seemed familiar to him.
Mr. Garner went from Elizabeth city to Western Virginia in the mining section of that state, established a successful paper. He was getting along fine with it until strikes became the order of the day out there. He says that recently it has been worth an editor’s life to write about the strikes and there has been little else of local interest to write about. He sold his paper a few weeks ago for $40,000 and will take the rest of his life easy. He is now 60 years old.