A daguerreotype picture of a house, outbuildings, and stream or creek. No identifying information accompanies this image. Close-up viewing reveals the figures of people posing by the house entrances and water’s edge. Courtesy of Historic Boone.
By Ross Cooper
August 27, 1903
An item credited as having originally appeared in the Winston Sentinel reported that, “(t)he State capital at Raleigh no doubt needs enlargement and improvement,” but this brief notice concluded, practically if enigmatically, “and the work should be done when it can be afforded.”
“Macedon[i]a spells murder nowadays,” opined an item of international news, “and many kinds of it, as in Alexander’s day it spelled domination and in Paul’s helplessness.” Unrest in that year saw an uprising by Bulgarians living in the Balkan region then under the rule of the Ottoman Turks.
“The crowd of summer tourists at Blowing Rock still remains though we are told the number is slightly decreasing,” read a note of local news.
“The schools of the county are pretty nearly all in session, and a good attendance is reported from nearly every section,” stated another.
“From the Lenoir Topic we learn that the Solicitor sent Messrs. Squires and Harshaw to Sheridan, Wyoming, after Boone Potter,” according to an editorial note relating to the notorious North Fork criminal character D. Boone “Boonie” Potter, “and we suppose that ere this they have returned.” The item continued “Say, Mose [perhaps the “Solicitor” named?], we had some mighty good men of your political faith in this county who would have liked that trip and they are at a loss to know why they were not given the refusal of it.” The story seems to suggest some political ramifications to the case of Mr. Potter, for whom a request for rendition from Wyoming had been issued by North Carolina Governor Charles B. Aycock, after Potter removed himself from Watauga to the Western state following a violent assault on a Sherriff’s Deputy sent with a posse to serve him a warrant for an earlier attack.
August 25, 1938
“Porto [sic] Ricans Visit with Local Minister” told on this day that, “Senor [sic] Don Jose Diaz and son, Rodolfo Diaz, of San Juan, Porto Rico, passed through Boone and were overnight guests of Rev. and Mrs. J.C. Canipe Friday.” The elder Mr. Diaz was described as “manager of the Merchants Exchange of San Juan,” and the father and son were “touring the United States in the interest of creating better trade relations between the United States and Puerto Rico.” Notes the article, “the son acted as interpreter between the Senor and Mr. Canipe.”
“Army Conducts War Games on the Gulf” was a short front-page feature accompanied by a photograph of the scene described. “More than 25,000 officers and men of the regular army, national guard, and officers’ reserve corps participated in war games on the Mississippi Gulf coast, which ended last Sunday,” read the photo caption. “Soldiers were concentrated at Biloxi, Miss., to defend the river area against an imaginary enemy attacking the Gulf Coast. Maj. General Van Horn Moseley was In command.”
“Dealers in Beer and Wine Asked to Quit Business” reported that, “[r]esolutions against the sale of alcoholic drinks, were unanimously passed at Rev. [Dan] Graham’s meeting Sunday evening, when more than three thousand people indicated their desire to have the intoxicants banned.” A resolution had been drawn up at the popular evangelist’s revival gathering in Boone, which included the statement “that we respectfully request any and all dealers in beer, wine, or other forms of strong drink in Watauga county to stop selling same by September 1, 1938.”
August 30, 1971
“Why Isn’t It Scenic” was a photo caption in this week’s newspaper, elaborated by the expanded footer, “[a] question the Watauga County Planning Board is attempting to get answered is: Why did they drop the South Fork, New River from the directory of rivers to be developed as attractions by state funds under direction of a governor-appointed committee to develop the N.C. Natural and Scenic River System.” The photograph description identifies the area pictured as “a section of the South Fork, New River just east of Todd.”
$25,000 Cannon Gift Puts University Center Nearer” reported that “Appalachian State University is $25,000 closer to having the money it needs to build a mountain-top Center for Continuing Education, thanks to a gift in that amount from the Cannon Mills Foundation.” In describing the planned Center, the article details that it “will be a two-story structure of native stone, designed so that it adapts to the terrain of its mountain-top site. It will feature 15 conference rooms, a library, restaurants, and 100 guest rooms with color television, carpeting, and private baths.” Today, the Center operates as the Broyhill Inn and Appalachian Conference Center.
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.