May 25

Old_Lovill_Law_Office

Demolition of the building which once housed the Lovill law office, near the intersection of King Street and Water Street in Boone.

May 23, 1901

Local news items in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat included notice that, “Congressman Klutz of Rowan, who by the way is now in this district, has sent to Capt. Lovill for distribution quite a lot of fine garden and field seeds. If you need any, call at Capt. Lovill’s office and procure them,” encouraged the article. Captain E.F. Lovill was a Civil War veteran and State senator. His home on the western edge of Boone, built in 1875, still stands today, and operates as the Lovill House Inn.
In another posting, “Mr. Moses H. Cone, of Blowing Rock, lost four horses some days since from what is thought to be a mineral poison. Two of the animals, we are told, were very valuable and highly prized by Mr. Cone.” Moses Cone, a noted entrepreneur in the textile industry, built the manor home which bears his name near Blowing Rock.
“We are glad to learn,” began another submission of local news, “that Mr.Henry Ragan, of Meat Camp, who was so horribly mangled with a saw some time since, is getting on well, his wounds healing nicely, and, we are told, his physicians are now satisfied, nothing unusual happening, he will soon recover.”
Another item informed readers that, “[j]ust as we go to press we learn that Antioch church on Watauga River was washed away by the high water on Tuesday. This being the case, the conditions along that stream must be most deplorable.”

May 25, 1933

“Aged Confederate Veteran Answers Final Roll Call,” a headline on this week’s front page, introduced an article which related that, “Elijah Norris, Confederate veteran and esteemed gentleman of the Howards Creek section, died at his home last Thursday evening from the infirmities of advancing age, having never fully recovered from a case of influenza a year ago. [The] Deceased was 89 years old.” According to the details of the feature, “Elijah Norris was born in the Sands community of Watauga county, and was a son of Ephraim and Margaret Norris… When the clouds of the great Civil War gathered, Mr. Norris enlisted in the South’s cause in the 58th North Carolina infantry and was a gallant soldier. He ranked as a lieutenant and was five times wounded. He was at home recovering from one of these wounds when General Lee’s army surrendered to the hordes of Grant. His father was killed in the raid of Stoneman’s marauders.”

In other local news, “Smithey’s Store is Threatened by Flames,” told that, “[a] fire which originated in a poultry house to the rear of the Smithey Store Monday morning threatened to destroy the properties of the large mercantile firm. The fire department managed to extinguish the blaze, however, before any serious damage was done, other than the destruction of the outbuildings.” According to this news item, “a number of chickens, geese, and turkeys escaped from the blazing structure without injury.” The RAM’s Rack store now occupies the building which formerly held the Boone location of the Wilkes County-based Smithey’s chain of retail outlets.

 

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May 18

Laurel_Elk_Lumber_Yard_Poplar_and_White_Pine

“Laurel Elk Lumber Yard: Poplar and White Pine,” reads the inscription on the front of this photograph showing the logging industry in the Watauga County area during the early part of the 1900s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

May 15, 1915

“Wants To Provoke Us,” a headline on this issue of the Watauga Democrat‘s front page, alleged that, “When Germany proclaimed a war zone around the British isles
and told the balance of the world to look out, our government warned the Teutons that they would be held responsible for the loss of American lives. Some weeks ago an American, Leon C. Thresher, was drowned by the sinking of the British ship Falaba.
An investigation of this incident has been completed but a report has not been made and it is not known what the government’s course will be. In the meantime German aircraft dropped bombs on the American steamer Cushing, in the North sea. No lives were lost but Germany will probably be asked to explain about that.  Now comes the report of the sinking of the American steamer Gulflight by German submarines. The captain of the Gulflight died of the shock and two members of the crew jumped overboard and were drowned,” related the news item. “The multiplication of these incidents would indicate that Germany wants to provoke us,” ended the article.

In local news of the week, “Attorney F. A. Linney, Ex-Sheriff John W. Hodges and Register of Deeds W. R. Gragg, all of Boone, have possessed themselves of automobiles of the Ford variety within the past few days, and joy-riding with them is an everyday occurrence now.”

Construction projects in town were underway with the progression of springtime, this year. “The brick machinery has been moved from the school property and is being put in place on the farm of Mr. J. S. Winkler,” according to the newspaper. “Mr. Alfred Miller, of Lenoir, one of the owners, will be in charge, and as soon as the weather will admit brick making will begin for the new Baptist church.”

May 18, 1933

“Bank Directors Hold Meeting On Tuesd’y; Hopeful,” was a headline on the front page of this week’s paper. “The directors of the Watauga County Bank, in session last Tuesday, reported that the signing of depositors to the reorganization agreement has been going on in a very satisfactory manner, and it was urged that borrowers keep their notes renewed and that payments be made as regularly as possible.” In the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash and the economic collapse which became the Great Depression, local banks often faced challenges to stay open; many closed, either temporarily or for good.  Banks such as Boone’s Watauga County Bank often had to reorganize or start anew in order to survive. “It was moved that President B.B. Dougherty, Cashier G.P. Hagaman and Baxter M. Linney go to Raleigh immediately to confer with the banking Commissioner as to an early opening of the institution,” reported the Watauga Democrat. “The officials left Tuesday for the capital city and belief is that permission may be granted to open the bank soon, as it appears that the requirements have been pretty thoroughly complied with.” Concluded the article, “Mr. Hood’s requirements, state bank officials, are extremely exacting. He is inclined to look at the situation from the viewpoint of a depositor, they say, and wants no questions about the safety of any bank when permission to open is granted.”

 

 

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May 11

May 14, 1891

An item in the “Local News” column this week included notice that, “On Monday a large drove of sheep passed through Boone[;] there was about 300 head, bought by Mr.Doughton of Alleghany [County]. Sheep are high and in demand. We ought to raise more.”

“Frosts in Caldwell were right severe along the water courses,” told another local item, “nipping the corn to the ground, biting garden vegetables and killing much of the fruit in places, but no apparant [sic] damage to the small grain crop.”

A cold weather snap had apparently hit much of the wider region in mid-April of this year. “Reports from sections of this State and S. C. say. the cotton crop is seriously injured by the frosts of last week,” relayed the Watauga newspaper.

An advertisement this week read, “NOTICE! I am just receiving a new stock of goods bought for cash down and will sell for strickly [sic] pay down, at prices to live and let live, you will do well to call and examine my goods consisting of boots, shoes, dry goods, notions, &c. Yours truly, T. A. Critcher, Bamboo, N.C.”

May 11, 1916

“Bud Fisher’s Snug Income,” a feature on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, related that, “‘Bud’ Fisher, creator of ‘Mutt and Jeff’ is the highest paid cartoonist on earth. He gets $150,090 a year for making the American people chuckle – which is twice what the President gets for shaping their National destiny. Furthermore, Fisher is troubled neither by international complications nor by office-seekers. His office is in his hat.” Continued the article, “for drawing six comic strips a week for forty-eight weeks a year this genial humorist receives $78,000, John N. Wheeler explains in the American Magazine for May. The rest of his income is made up from vaudeville engagements, which bring him a thousand dollars a week, the proceeds from five ‘Mutt and Jeff’ shows and animated cartoons; the sale of an annual ‘Mutt and Jeff’ book, post cards, plaster figures, buttons and other novelties.”

May , 1933

“Nine Arrested For Participating [in] Sunday Baseball game, Mabel,” a front-page headline in this week’s newspaper, reported that, “Nine residents of the Mabel community, the members of the neighborhood baseball team, were placed under arrest Sunday afternoon for Sabbath ball playing just as they were about to go into a diamond contest with a nine from Hudson.” According to the report, “Trial was set for Saturday morning before Justice C.F. Thompson, and the local boys went into the game with the visiting team and walked away with a 16 to 8 victory.” “The warrants under which the leaguers were arrested were signed, it is said, by Rev. J.A. McKaughan, Baptist minister,” continued the details of the story, “and served by Sheriff A.Y. Howell.” Concluded the item, “[i]t is said by attornyes [sic] that Sunday baseball comes under a very old statute, seldom used, which provides that offenders may in the discretion of the court be fined up to one dollar for such violation.”

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May 4

Cool_Springs_School.jpg“Cool Springs School,” a photograph of the class of a small Watauga County school in, perhaps, the 1940s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

May 4, 1893

The McMillan musee [museum] of Omaha owns the largest specimen of the bovine race in existence,” reported a front-page article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “This gigantic ox was bred by C.W. Curtis, of Cass county, Indiana. at last accounts he weighed 3,740 pounds, stood six fet and four inches in height, and measured ten feet and eleven inches in girt[h].”

In other features, “[a]n alluminum [sic] violin has been constructed by a musician of Cincinnati and has been tried in concert as well as in private,” reported the Democrat. It cannot be distinguished by its tone from the wooden instrument,” alleged the story. “It is claimed that it is superior to wood in durability, freedom from accident and susceptibility to moisture.”

In political news, “President Cleveland is attending the opening of the World’s Fair and everything is at a standstill at Washington,” read one short item. Observed the publisher of the paper, “[t[he office-seekers are having a rest.”

“We have cause to complain of a few postmasters in Watauga; we know who they are,” began a much lengthier diatribe from the newspaper’s management. “Our subscribers have told us how they have been treated. A postmaster failing to discharge his duties to the people ought to be dismissed from office, and if they have com plaints filed against them they should not be surprised. We hate to say this for we have no malice toward anyone, but the carelessness and unexcusuble [sic] neglect of postmasters are injuring us and we don’t propose to submit longer. It is to be hoped no one will take offence [sic] at this. It is only intended for those who are guilty of this neglect. They can do better and must do better in the future. There are some good postmasters in this county who do their duty, of this class we have no censure but what ought we to say to those who refused and fail to hand out papers to our subscribers, and thereby cause them to be mad at us? It is impossible for us to stand any more of this treatment as we have our remedy. Now recollect that we are not going to make this a political affair we have better stuff in us; we don’t care about a postmaster’s politics in our little county offices, but we simply want to be treated fairly.” “Sorry indeed, are we,” concluded the piece, “to say this much about any of our county postmasters.”

In other news, “[t]he caterpillar plague is again on us in parts of eastern North Carolina.” Reported the Democrat, “[m]illions of them are near Hillsboro spreading over the forest and stripping the leaves from the trees. The territory now occupied by the worms is about ten miles long and several miles width, so says the Wilmington Messenger.”

 

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April 27

Reverand_Eber_S_Gragg_Holding_His_Birthday_Cake

“Reverend Eber S. Gragg Holding His Birthday Cake.” Portrait of a noted local clergyman in later life. Rev. Gragg was a participant in the early years of the annual Grandfather Mountain “Singing on the Mountain” event. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

April 23, 1891

“The Green Park hotel at Blowing Rock will be completed for the summer visitors and Blowing Rock will be booming this summer,” reported a brief local news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Many more visitors will be at the Rock this summer than ever before; however that is the prediction now.”

In related news, “[t]he turnpike from Linville to Blowing Rock will be completed some time in June[,] a hack line will be put on the route from Lenoir by way of Blowing Rock and Linville to Cranberry, this will no doubt be the grandest mountain scenery and finest road that can be found any where in the South.” The “hack line” referred to in this meandering sentence is a road designed to be traveled by horse-drawn “hacks,” or small passenger-carrying wagons, made for short trips in rural sections.

An anecdote published this week told that, “not long since, one of Watauga’s prominent merchants paid a visit to his ‘best girl,’ and so enamored was he of her charms, that when he started for home he left his trusty steed hitched to the fence and groped his way home through the darkness afoot, never thinking of the mistake he made.” Concluded the tale, “on arriving at his residence he was asked what he had done with his horse? He replied in great surprise: ‘He is hitched down the road about two miles, at Capt’s gate.” Readers of the newspaper at the time might, perhaps, been able to deduce who the young suitor was, from the allusion to the gate of a local Captain and other details in the story.

April 24, 1958

“Director Graduate Studies Is Versatile, Popular Tutor,” proclaimed a banner headline on the front page of this week’s newspaper. “The newly-elected director of graduate studies at Appalachian State Teachers College is a man of many talents. Cratis Dearl Williams is one of the most versatile and popular professors on the campus,” began the feature article. “Mr. Williams is a native of Blaine, Kentucky, where he was born in 1911. He received the A.B. degree and the M.A. degree from the University of Kentucky in 1933 and 1937, respectively. He has completed the residence and the examinations for the PhD. degree in English at New York University. He is now in the process of writing the dissertation for this degree on ‘The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction.'” In addition to his many academic accomplishments, the Watauga Democrat noted that, “Mr. Williams is one of the best known folklorists and ballad singers in the Southern Appalachian region. He is in constant demand as a story teller or singer at all sorts of public programs[,] professional meetings, and other group gatherings.” The article also noted that Williams had created a “Remedial Speller which has been published in mimeographed form,” which had been “used as a textbook in the spelling laboratory at Appalachian State Teachers College,” and which was “attracting widespread notice.” Reported the feature, “calls for the Speller are coming to Mr. Williams from many states.” Dr. Cratis Williams is consider the father of the discipline of Appalachian Studies; the Graduate School at Appalachian State University is named in his honor.

 

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April 20

Main_Square_in_Boone (1)

This view of Howard’s Knob from Downtown Boone shows Joe Todd’s service station on the location where Melanie’s restaurant now stands, and the Mountain Burley [Tobacco] Warehouse at the current location of Watauga County Public Library. A barber’s pole stands on the corner of West King Street and South Depot Street. Automobiles suggest that the picture was made in the 1930s or 1940s.

Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

April 20, 1893

A brief notice printed in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat carried a byline which indicated that the item had originally appeared in the Holston Methodist denominational newspaper. “A bully carries off from 10,00 to 40,000 [dollars] for knocking out a compedititor [sic] in a slugging match,” reflected the piece, “but if a preacher knocks the devil out in a hard-fought battle in a protracted [church] meeting, the people will take up a hat collection, and think they do nobly if they reward him with $10 to $40.”

An article entitled “Way Down South in Dixie” reported that, “[t]he solid basis upon which the agricultural, the coal and the iron interests now rests, and the promising outlook before them are duplicated in all other branches of business in the South. Everything is on a good foundation. The whole South, enthused with the certainty of freedom from political troubles[,] strengthened in all of its business operations by the experiences of the past, with more powerful financial influences working in its favor than ever before, starts the new year with the assurance that it is entering upon a career of greater progress and prosperity than it has enjoyed for thirty years.” Reflecting on recent changes since the end of the Civil War, the article announced that, “[t]en years ago the South’s agricultural, manufacturing and mining products aggregated in value about $1,200,000,000; now they are about $2,100,000,000. The increase in population during that period was only 18 to 20 percent.”

April 20, 1933

“Local Firms Expected to Handle Beer; Legal Commodity May 1” was the headline introducing an article detailing the local situation after the repeal of the prohibition of alcohol. “With legal beer only ten days away in North Carolina, indications are that for the first time in the history of the city the foamy liquid is to be offered for sale at several different points within the town of Boone,” reported the newspaper. “Three or four local business men have already signified their intention of securing dispensing permits, and one retail establishment has gone so far as to publish advance announcement today of the coming of the brew,” continued the article, although none of the local business owners nor establishments were named. Introduction of beer was expected to proceed uninhibited, the story detailing that, “[u]nofficial information is to the effect that the city officials will make no attempt at prohibiting the sale of beer locally other than to restrict the licensing in accordance with the State law.” Regulations were to require “a municipal tax of $15 where beer is to be consumed on the premises, or $10 ‘off premises.'” According to the Watauga Democrat, “[l]egal beer, which is rapidly becoming ‘old news’ in other parts of the country, is still a main topic of conversation locally, and an occasional bottle has filtered through to residents of the town, who have pronounced the beverage good but non-intoxicating.”

 

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April 13, 2016

Reverend_Eber_S_Gragg

“Reverend Eber S. Gragg,” photo from perhaps the 1940s of a venerable Watauga preacher. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

April 16, 1891

“The South ought to feel and no doubt does feel a great satisfaction in the prospects of the great West coming to her political relief,” opened a political opinion piece in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “ The West has lately signified in her municiple [sic] elections that she is tired and disgusted with Radicalism and will in the future be allied with the South in deposing the party that has well-nigh, mined this glorious ‘land of the free and home of the brave.’” The Democratic-party affiliated Watauga County newspaper apparently associated the Republican Party with “radicalism,” and saw the leaning of local political contests in western states towards the Democrats as evidence of a shift from this radicalism to an outlook in line with that of the local newspaper’s editorship. “The organs and politicians of the West have heretofore slandered and abused the South with all the bitterness that their extreme Radicalism could suggest,” continued the piece. “These radical men and organs are being regulated to the rear and sober men with better thoughts and policies have taken charge and genuine reform is now the watch-word. Such men as Benny Harrison, Blaine, Hoar, Lodge, and others will soon be retired to private life. A revolution has set in and the great West is moving and will join hands with the South to save our common country.” “Let as take heart and be lifted up for our deliverance will surely come[,]” continued the Watauga Democrat, “for radical men and measures are fast passing away, and a united country and prosperity will take their places. Radicalism is already dead in the South – and is now fast dying in the West. Little Ben Harrison will be the last President of the Radicals.” “Little Ben (or, Benny) Harrison” was a somewhat demeaning nickname for then-President Benjamin Harrison, who had been affiliated with the “Radical Republicans” favoring the Reconstruction policies for former Confederate states in the years immediately following the Civil War.

April 17, 1958

“Clean-up Campaign Will Start April 28th,” read a headline on the front page of this week’s paper. “Mayor Gordon H. Winkler has announced tentative dates for the annual clean-up, paint-up, fix-up campaign in Boone as Monday, April 28 through Saturday, May 10.” Details contained in the article announced, “[t]he intensified two-week drive for city cleanliness will be sponsored this year by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, said President James Winkler , Jr., who has appointed W.R. Winkler, Jr., to spearhead the campaign.” Additionally, on the local government side, “Mayor Winkler has announced that town trucks will be available at all times to pick up trash and debris and assist the clean-up in any way possible.” Another participating organization, the local Jaycees, it was announced, “will conduct a city-wide survey of homes, places of business, vacant lots, alleyways, and back lots, and make suggestions to owners or residents for painting or sprucing up their premises wherever the need is indicated.”

 

Published in: on April 18, 2016 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  

April 6, 2016

Snow.on.Poplar.Grove.Road

“Snow on Poplar Grove Road,” a photograph which depicts automobiles perhaps from the 1930s almost completely covered by deep snow drifts in Boone. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

April 7, 1892

“The resurrection we call spring is now here!” exclaimed a very brief item at the top of the “Local News” column in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat.

“Later reports say that the man who killed Julius Miller and stole the horse, was seen in Buffalo Cove on last Tuesday,” related another news update, “and that parties were in pursuit of him.”

This brief post was followed by a fuller recapping of the incident: “A man stole a horse in Tennessee and made his way into Caldwell county, N.C. He was followed by the owner of the horse to Lenoir. Julius Miller and Mr. Small, in a cart, pursued him on the Wilkesboro road and overtook him near the Wilkes county line,” reported the story. “The thief jumped from the horse and ran, Miller jumping also out of the cart and took after him. Shots were exchanged between the two, and Miller was shot through the heart and died in a few minutes. The thief made his escape. He was surrounded near Blowing Rock in a thicket by a crowd of men, but he slipped out and made his escape.” Concluded the story, “[g]reat excitement prevails over the killing of Miller.”

The location of Buffalo Cove mentioned in the update is a spot in the Yadkin Valley about 17 miles from the town of Lenoir.

“Court commences next Monday week at Jefferson,” began another item. “We hope to meet our numerous subscribers in Ashe during court,” wrote the editor of the newspaper, “and expect them to pay us some on the DEMOCRAT.”

April 3, 1958

“Parkway Toll Proposal Killed” was a headline in this week’s paper. “Secetary of the Interior Fred Seaton tolled the death knell for Blue Ridge Parkway tolls Wednesday of last week,” reported, poetically, the Watauga Democrat. “He said plans to collect fees on the Parkway have been abandoned and promised they won’t be revived again.” The article’s author indicated that the Interior Secretary had “expressed his hope his decision finally disposes of the controversial toll idea, which has cropped up at intervals since 1940.” At a hearing before the U.S. Senate’s Appropriations subcommittee, “protests against imposition of tolls were carried to Seaton last week by a large North Carolina delegation including Gov. Hodges and the Tar Heel Congressional delegation.”

“Watauga Herfords Take Awards At Bristol Show,” proclaimed another headline. “Watauga Herefords demonstrated once more the quality for which they have been noted for years when three herds from this county came away with two first, two second, and one third place awards at the Tri-State Hereford Show and Sale in Bristol, Va., last Wednesday, reports B.W. Stallings.” The Hereford breed of beef cattle originated in Herefordshire, England, and spread to remote corners of the globe including Japan, South Africa, and the mountains of Western North Carolina. Local cattle raisers who won ribbons at the fair included the aforementioned Mr. Stallings, The Diamond S. Ranch, V.C. Shore, and Harry M. Hamilton, Jr.

Published in: on April 8, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of March 30

Appalachian_School_and_Students_1907.jpg

Appalachian School and Students, 1907

“Appalachian School and Students, 1907.” This image combines two photographs: the top gives a view of the campus of Appalachian State Teachers College and the town of Boone, and the lower portion a portrait of that year’s class of students. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

March 27, 1889

A poem printed on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, entitled “Her Charms,” was subtitled “written by a skeptical lover.” The verses began, “Her fair complexion, creamy and clear / Would dazzle and craze a saint; / I could gaze at it forever, and never tire – / But I wonder if it’s paint?” Continued the paean, “Her hair is wavy, and rich, and brown / The fairest I’ve ever known / No mermaid had tresses so fair – / But I wonder if they’re her own? / Her beautiful, even, pearl-like teeth / Behind red lips do lurk; / They’re fairer than the richest pearls – / But the dentist’s handiwork.”

Another humorous article in the same article, with the heading “His Substitute” and with a brief attribution to another publication simply titled “American,” informed readers, “’I’ll never use tobacco, no / It is a filthy weed. / I’ll never put it in my mouth.’ Said little Robert Reed. ‘I’ll never use tobacco, no: / Its use all woe begets. I’ll scorn the weed in ev’ry form: / I’ll just smoke cigarettes.”

A more serious item in news gleaned from across the nation reported that, “Archibald Campbell, while out driving near Cincinnati, pulled out his handkerchief to wipe his nose. Mrs. Osborne was at her gate, and thought he meant to flirt with her, and she followed him up and shot him in the arm.” The presentation of fancily embroidered handkerchiefs to the object of one’s affections as “love tokens” during the Victorian era seems to have been the source of confusion underlying this violent misunderstanding.

March 29, 1945

A letter to the editor this week bore the heading, “PVT. WINKLER WRITES.” The letter began, “Editor Democrat: Since I have been in the army I have received The Democrat, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy reading it. I see news in it that the folks back home don’t think to write to me.” Continued the missive from the front lines of World War II, “[w]hen the breakthrough came at St. Lo and we were moving through France so fast, the paper was two months old when it did catch up with me but I still enjoyed it very much.” The letter concluded, “I want to take time out now to tell you that the boys over here realize what a swell job everyone at home is doing now, and with such a swell job it means but one thing, and that is a quicker return for us boys over here. [Signed,] PVT. ROBT. C. WINKLER, Somewhere in France, Feb. 13, 1944 [a seeming typo for 1945 *].” The breakthrough mentioned at the French town of St. Lô was a part of “Operation Cobra,” the military advance of Allied forces during the Normandy Campaign, following the D-Day invasion towards the end of the Second World War.

*The bombardment of St. Lo by Allied forces, battle for liberation, and a second bombardment by German forces occurred in July of 1944. See http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/100-13/st-lo_1.htm.

Published in: on April 1, 2016 at 5:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of March 23

Greer_and_Councill_Family.jpg

“Greer and Councill Families,” a family portrait from the Boone area in the early 1900s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

March 22, 1894

“NEW GOODS CHEAP!” was the heading on a large advertisement in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “I HAVE JUST RECEIVED MY SPRING AND SUMMER GOODS,” continued the advertiser, “and have a beautiful line of calicoes at 7 and 7 1/2 cents per yard; beautiful line of drapery at 9 cts. [cents], worth 12 cts.; black nainsook at 10 cts., worth 15 cts; one[-]piece silk plaids 12½ cents. Bed ticking, good, at 15 to 20 cents; bleeching 8 to 12; fancy lawn 5 cts.; challis, fine, 6 to 7 cents; Bedford cord dress goods, 12 cts., worth 15; nice crape [sic] 10 cts. Peracles 12½ cents, worth 18 cts.; black satine at 11 cts. And up; domestic 7½ cts. A large lot of cotton jeans from 16 cts up, and everything else at BED ROCK PRICES.”

Many of the terms used in this announcement are technical terms relating to fabrics and clothing.”Challis,” for example, is lightweight woven fabric, originally a blend of silk and wool developed in England in the 1830s. “Nainsook” is a specific kind of muslin, soft and light – muslin referring to a cotton fabric, particularly one which is printed or embroidered. The Boone merchant seems to have been promoting lighter-weight fabrics in preparation for the end of winter and the coming of warmer weather.

This merchant was also a buyer of locally-produced or gathered items. The advertisement declared, “WANTED! 500 pound of balm of Gilead buds, 5,000 dozen eggs, 500 pounds nice yellow butter, 200 pounds bees-wax, 200 pounds new feathers, and all other kinds of good country produce at highest market prices. I will want All the roots, barks, and herbs in the mountains this summer.” Concluded the notice, “[s]o when in need of anything in the goods line call and see me and I will do you right every time.”

The ad bore the signature, “Yours Anxious to please, WILL W. HOLSCLAW.”

No address or store name was given; local citizens of Boone at this time would presumably have known where Mr. Holsclaw’s shop was to be found.

March 23, 1922

“MARKETING WITH THE MOUNTAINS,” proclaimed a headline this week, which reproduced news from the Charlotte Observer. “A ‘staff correspondent’ of the Winston Salem Journal, who is up in the mountain section, sends that paper a quotation from the Watauga Democrat which uncovers a commercial project between the people of Watauga and Charlotte,” reported the front-page item. “The Watauga County paper is quoted as having learned that there is “a company being organized in Charlotte to operate produce houses in Boone, Blowing Rock, Hickory, Gastonia and Charlotte. This company will operate a fleet of trucks from Boone to Charlotte and will market Watauga county products direct to the textile country.” It is explained that, “the primary purpose of the company will be to buy and sell farm products, but a reasonable freight rate will be made on the return trip, which will enable the merchants to do what they have long wanted to do, that is to buy in their own State. They expect to start operations this Spring and will be prepared to handle the entire farm products of the county.”

Published in: on March 23, 2016 at 5:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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