D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Sally A. Birge Collection

Summary Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Sally A. Birge Collection
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Linear feet
Physical Description
Contains documents, photographs, and newspaper clippings
Located in Special Collections Row 4, Section 1

Preferred Citation

[Description of item], Sally A. Birge Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville.

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Biographical Note

Sally Ann Goodman was born in Asheville on October 2, 1936. The family lived in Asheville for a few years, before relocating to Hickory, NC, and then Sally moved to Knoxville, TN where she attended high school. After her parents separated, Sally and her mother relocated to Le Mars, Iowa where Sally's maternal grandmother owned a small motel. Sally attended Le Mars Community School and Westmar College in Le Mars, as well as the University of South Dakota. When she was eighteen, Sally moved to California, where in 1955 she married John Birge. The couple divorced in 1978.

For a number of years Sally and John operated a fried chicken business, before she turned to real estate, becoming a very successful real estate broker in the Chapman Woods area of Pasadena, California. In 2011, Sally founded Women of the Woods (WOW), an organization that fostered friendship and arranged activities for women in the Chapman Woods community.

After being ill for a number of years, Sally Birge died on January 5, 2017. She bequeathed her estate to UNC Asheville.

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Scope and Contents

Contains personal materials of Sally A. Birge (nee Goodman), including family photographs, newspaper clippings and handwritten notes covering obituaries and biographies, and personal documents such as her passport and birth certificate.

The clippings are primarily articles about members of Sally Birge's family. These include her father Harris Finley Goodman who, for many years operated the Cheese Market in Knoxville, TN.

Also included in the collection are papers recording the Civil War memories of her paternal great-grandfather Alfred Finley Goodman, and handwritten obituaries and biographies for members of the Houck family, who were related to Sally Birge's paternal grandmother.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504


No restrictions. Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Custodial History

Received from the Sally A. Birge Trust, via University Advancement, as part of a larger donation to UNC Asheville


Sally A. Birge

Processing Information

Processed by Colin Reeve, July 2018

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Digital Access to Photographs

Digital copies of selected photographs can be viewed online in the Sally A. Birge Collection, part of the Western North Carolina Heritage website.

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Collection Inventory

Folder 1: Sally A. Birge Personal Documents 

Includes birth certificate, birth registration, passport, 1954 University of South Dakota - Vermilion school record, Sally Birge informal photographs [birge 50-54], and portraits [birge 55-58] 

Folder 2: Photographs 

Although one subject is identified as "Jack", most are unidentified, including some from the early 20th century [birge 1-10] 

Folder 3: Photographs 

Most likely family photographs from 1950s/60s [birge 11-14] 

Folder 4: Photographs 

4 portraits of 3 women and 1 man, two of which were taken in NC and a family group likely taken in China Grove, NC in the early 20th century [birge 12-16] 

Folder 5: Photographs 

Primarily of people, likely family, dating from the 1950s to 1970s, although are older [birge 20-39] 

Folder 6: Framed Photograph 

Small photograph of a young girl 

Folder 7: News Clippings 

Includes articles about Mr. & Mrs. Goodman of the Cheese Market, Sam McCorkle, and support of orphans in Japan 

Folder 8: Personal Documents 

Includes doll design by Sally Ann from 1947, poem dedicated to John F. Goodman, certificates, postcard, and correspondence 

Folder 9: J. G. Varner Letter 

Letter from Varner, Pastor from Mt. Pleasant, Texas to "John", dated January 5, 1910 

Folder 10: Obituaries/Biographies 

Subjects include several members of the Houck family. Handwritten and removed from binder. 

Folder 11: Photographs 

Two portraits from early 20th century, and photographs of houses and buildings, probably from 1950s/60s 

Folder 12: Photographs 

Photo of man (1940s) and woman (1920s). The photo of the woman taken in Florida studio. 

Folder 13: Special Papers 

News clippings original in envelope labeled, "Special Papers, Miss Elsie Ficker 220 th" 

Folder 14: A.F. Goodman Civil War Experience 

Copy of 5 pages of typed reminiscences of Goodman "written by request, for my Grandchildren" , and a photograph (of Goodman) in military uniform. 

Folder 15: Photographs 

Two undated photographs of a young girl. Matted, and taken at Hardin's Studio, Hickory, NC. [birge 48 and 49]