July 27


Photo Caption: “The New River near Boone, N.C. in the Blowing Rock Section,” reads the title of this postcard of uncertain date. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

July 30, 1903

An article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat under the heading, “The Rev. W.C. Newland” began, “[a]t the close of the Summer School in Lenoir some days ago the teachers of Caldwell county drafted and unanimously adopted the following resolutions expressive of the high esteem in which the Hon. W.C. Newland is held by the people of that county for his untiring efforts in procuring for the teachers of the mountain[s?] the establishment of the Appalachian Training School at Boone.”  One of the resolutions adopted by the gathering of teachers in Caldwell County was quoted as reading, “’We the public school teacher[s] of Caldwell county, in company assembled, realizing the great importance of the teachers being constantly reviewed on the subjects they have to teach each year, and realizing that through the splendid efforts of our honored Representative and beloved fellow-citizen, Hon. W.C Newland, it is now possible for us to receive this training at our door, as it were, without cost at the greatest convenience to ourselves; we desire to show our appreciation of this great help by publicly expressing it. Therefore be it Resolved, That we do hereby express our sincere gratitude to that peerless knight, beloved citizen, and high toned christian gentlam [sic], ‘of the people and for the people,’ for his untiring efforts and unprecedented zeal in securing the passage of the bill authorizing the establishment at Boone, N.C., of the Appalachian Training School for Teachers.’” The paean to this elected representative continued, “[m]ay his star now rise upon the horizon never to grow dim and his name ever be held in the hearts of the teachers of Caldwell as their great benefactor,” and concluded, “[a]nd may the many bright boys and girls throughout our country in after years rise up and call him blessed.’”

July 26, 1917

“SUFFRAGISTS GIVEN 60 DAY SENTENCE,” a bold, banner headline on this week’s front page, introduced a story which reported that, “[s]ixteen women suffragettes, arrested while participating in the woman’s party battle day demonstration in front of the White House were sentenced in police court to serve sixty days in the District of Columbia workhouse for obstructing the sidewalks.” According to the story, the women, protesting for the right of women to vote, “were given the alternative of paying a $25 fine, but they promptly refused the offer and were taken to the workhouse at Occoquan, Va., and turned over to a matron who saw that each got a shower bath and exchanged her clothes for a heavy one-piece prison dress. They were assigned to the sewing room of the prison where they will work seven hours daily.”

Another front-page piece, entitled “When Will It End,” began, “[w]hen, three years ago, the news was flashed to every part of the civilized world that a great war had broken out, there were few who believed it possible such a war could last more than a year, or at most two years. A few suggested that it might last for three years, but it was generally believed that it would be utterly impossible to protract such a strife, on account of the utter national collapse which it was held to involve.” Three years into the conflict which became known as World War I, the article remarked , “the collapse has not come, and there is no apparent [reason] on the surface why the struggle should not last three years longer.”


Advertising from the Watauga Democrat, July 30, 1903

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July 20

Photo caption:

“A group of college students posing for a picture on King Street. Gene Reese, future president of Historic Boone, is pictured in a dark jacket.” Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.


July 18, 1907
Under the byline “Wilkesboro Chronicle,” a reproduced item of news featured on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat reported that, “On Tuesday night of last week, between 9 and 10 o’clock a phenomenon of nature not frequently seen,  was displayed. It was a plainly defined rainbow in the northwest. It was just after a thunder shower had passed over, and the full moon was some two hours high. The bow was plainly defined and every color reflected, but it was softer, mellower and more weird than when reflected from the bright sun.”  “It was a sight seldom seen and abundantly proved Solomon’s words,” concluded the article, “that the heavens declare the glory of God.”
“Watauga County Singing,” another news item this week, relayed, “To the churches and Sunday schools of Watauga county: Our next singing will be held with Mt. Vernon church on Friday Aug. 2nd, 1907. And I hope that every church and S.S., in the county will be represented, either b choir or delegation, and on Monday following Prof. G.W. Bacon, of White Pine, Tenn., will begin in 20 days a Normal school of Music at the same place. Come every body who is invited and wishes to know more about vocal and instrumental music and be with us when the first song is sung, and stay until the melody of the last song reverberates from hill to hill, and the echo brings back the same sweet song and yet there will still be room at the top for us all to learn about music.” The piece concluded, “[s]inging to begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. of Friday,” and was signed, “W.T. VANDYKE Chm.”

July 18, 1940

“Annual Horse Show to Be Held,” a headline with the sub-heading, “Highest of Blowing Rock Season Comes August 2 and 3; Increased Appropriations” introduced an article telling that, “Blowing Rock’s annual horse show, the highspot of the summer season at the neighboring resort town, will be held August 2 and 3, it was announced last week. At the same time it was announced following a meeting of the officers and directors of the Horse Show Association, that there will be greatly increased appropriations for prize money and trophies this year.” Details included notice that, “Lloyd Tate, general manager and vice-president of the association, stated that important renovations will be made in parts of the showgrounds at Broyhill field, which already includes a $6,000 plant.” The story noted, “[t]he horse show, which is the second oldest in the south, is operated annually on a non-profit basis for charitable purposes.”

“Orphanage Asks For Canned Goods Again” announced, “[p]lenty of fruit jars are now available at the Farmers Hardware and Supply Company for canning fruits and vegetables for the Mills Home, Baptist orphanage at Thomasville. All those desiring to help supply the demand for food at the orphanage during the coming winter are asked to call for their jars.” The article also reported, “[l]ast year 400 dozen jars were filled in the county for Mills Home, and it is hope that this year even that amount may be increased. Full co-operation of the people in this worthy work is asked.”



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July 13


“Mark W. Hodges – 6th Birthday” is the caption on this photograph of a party in Watauga County, perhaps dating from the 1940s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

July 12, 1900

“The situation in China seems to be that the Boxer rebels, strengthened by the aggression of the powers at Taku, have overturned the existing government and set up an anti-foreign anarchy on its ruins,” reported a brief news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat.

“Why has the Democratic convention excited so much more attention than the Republican?” This question opened another news item of this issue. “Simply, because the latter was cut and dried and its duties were practically all performed beneath Mark Hanna’s hat-brim,” answered the article’s author, “while the Democratic was a genuine convention of men who met to fight out their differing ideas for the future of the party and the country.” The 1900 Republican presidential nominee was President William McKinley, and William Jennings Bryan was the nominee of the Democratic party. Marcus Alonzo “Mark” Hanna was a senator from Ohio and prominent Republican leader at the time, who served as campaign manager to the incumbent President. McKinley won the electoral contest with approximately 51.5 percent of the popular vote to Bryan’s 45.5.

An advertisement this week entitled “Fine Nursery Trees”gave notice that, “I have on hand a fine lot fruit trees, such as apples, peaches, pears, prunes etc. etc. : I also have a fine assortment of grapevines that are best suited to our climate. – If you contemplate buying any trees or vines, I can sell them to you at about one half the price you would have to pay at other nurseries and then-  you have the satisfaction of knowing what you get. All trees delivered at my nurseries. Trees from three to six feet tall. For particulars call on or address. W.L. Coffey, Moretz, N.C.”

July 11, 1940

“Edgar Tufts Advocates Help For Refugees,” a headline this week with a dateline of “Banner Elk, July 8,” reported that, “Edgar Tufts, president of the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association, states that he is an ardent advocate for the plan to provide homes for the European refugees, and that he would aid in providing homes for the victims of the European war.” The article noted that, “The Grandfather Orphanage, a unit of the association, has provided care for many orphans from the mountain section of North Carolina and eastern Tennesse, and it is possible that the home could be made available for a number of European children.” Tufts, the Avery county resident cited, was quoted as saying that, “‘Here in Banner Elkwe all have followed with interest the development of the United States committee for the care of European children,’ and he stated that ‘[t]he home here would make an ideal haven for the war refugees.” Edgar Hall Tufts, quoted in this story, was the son of the Edgar Tufts for whom the Memorial Association was named, a Presbyterian clergyman who founded Lees-McRae College as well as philanthropic works, including the Grandfather Home for Children.


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July 6


Labeled “Birdseye View, Boone, N.C.,” this postcard carries a handwritten date and a postmark of 1928. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

July 4, 1889

“Rev. Baylus Cade, a Baptist minister of Louisburg N.C. has made himself famous by the invention of a telegraphic system which operates so to receive messages on moving trains,” reported a news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. Details of the story related that, “[t]hree wires are fastened on the crossties, from the car a wire is fixed to connect with the instrument in the car and a slug of zinc is fastened to the other end[;] this runs on the wire fastened to the ties. A trial was made near Raleigh and proved a success.” “This invention,” concluded the article, “places Mr. Cade along with all the grat [sic] inventors of the age.”

In an age before accurate weather forecasting, the newspaper reported, “Irl [sic] R Hick, who has become quite famous as a weather prophet has this to say for July. About the 2nd. and 3rd. of July it will turn very warm and the hottest days thus far of the summer will follow, ending in thunderstorms about the 5th. 6th and 7th. This will embrace the first period for the month which is from the 3rd. to the 9th. Cloudiness and sultry weather calling for great care with harvested and unsheltered grain will follow. From the 15th, to the 19th. next change in atmosphere will be noted. This period ordinarily would pass with little or no rain, but owning to the presence of Mars and Jupiter throughout the month, rains may be expected. The last period and of marked activity is from the 25th to August 1st. This period is embraced in the next Venus period which is centered on August 14th.”

July 4, 1940
“The population of Watauga county, according to preliminary figures given out by the bureau of the census, is now 18,084 as compared with 15,165 ten years ago, a gain of 2,919,” according to a front-page feature in this week’s newspaper. “Although Boone and Blowing Rock, the county’s only two incorporated towns, showed large gains, the bulk of the population increase is in the rural areas.” The article also reported, “[i]t is interesting to note that every township in the county has chalked up a population increase with the sole exception of Bald Mountain which has seven fewer people than a decade ago. Also of interest is the preliminary figures for the agricultural census which indicate there are now 2,770 farms in the county, whereas there were only 2,375 in 1930.” The estimated population of Watauga County as of the 2010 Census, by contrast, was over 51,000, with a distribution of approximately 45% urban and 55% rural.

Two portraits appeared in this edition, with a caption reading, “Mr. J.E. Luther, above, Deep Gap, veteran of the Confederate armies, and Newton Banner of Sugar Grove, soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic, are guests today of the Appalachian Theatre. They are to have lunch with Manager Trotler, and in the afternoon attend the showing of ‘Dark Command,’ a Civil War film. The one other Civil War veteran in Watauga, Mr. W.H. Blackburn of Laxon, was invited but was unable to attend.”

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June 29


“Main Street Looking West, Boone, N.C.”: an image of Downtown Boone from an antiques post card, circa 1920s (?). The “Commercial Hotel” is visible in the foreground. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

June 29, 1893

“The President has been suffering from an attack of rheumatism for several days,” reported the “Washington Letter” on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “which, taken in connection with the knowledge that he has been dieting himself for some time to reduce his flesh, which, notwithstanding the enormous quality of the hardest sort of work he constantly does, has been increasing, was made the foundation for numerous sensational rumors considering his health.” The tongue-in-cheek report on the Republican President’s status from the partisan political newspaper continued, “[y]our correspondent is assured by those who know that Mr. Cleveland’s general health, barring the rheumatism, is excellent. He expects in company with Mrs. Cleveland and Baby Ruth, to leave Washington tomorrow or next day for his Buzzard Bay cottage, where Mrs. C. and Ruth will spend the summer.” The report continued, “Mr. Cleveland will return to Washington within a week or ten days, possibly sooner, and will remain, making occasional visits to Buzzard’s Bay until the last of July when he expects to make at least a month’s stay.” Opined the author of the column (credited as “our Regular Correspondent”), “the fact that he expects to spend the month of August away from Washington effectually disposed of the rumored earlier calling of Congress, a rumor that probably had its only origin in the wishes of those who have been here clamoring for an immediate extra session.”

June 29, 1933

“600,00 Bushels Estimate Local Yield Potatoes,” proclaimed a bold headline in this week’s newspaper. “Despite late fronts and continued dry weather in some sections of the county, prospects for a bumper crop of potatoes, cabbage and the like, continue bright in this section, according to farmers,who predict that at market time prices for their products will be at a decidedly higher level.” The story relayed that, “the season has been extremely dry in some sections of the county, but no material damage is thought to have resulted on that score. The late frosts, however, did do considerable damage on river bottom plantations.”

“Mrs. Doughton Felicitated by Mr. Roosevelt,” a front-page entry of local news, reported, “Mrs. Rebecca Doughton, mother of Congressman Robert I. and Hon. R.A. Doughton, was felicitated recently by President Roosevelt upon having attained her ninety-fifth birthday.” The article included the text of the presidential message, which was reported to have been “one of hundreds received from prominent individuals.” Roosevelt’s message was, “‘Dear Mrs. Doughton: Your boy Bob tells me that you will be ninety-five years old in June and I want to send you this line to wish you many happy returns of the day and also to tell you that I am leaning very heavily on your son and that he is doing splendid work for his country.'” The missive closed, “Very sincerely yours, (Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt.”





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June 22


“Train (engine and two cars) with Appalachian State University’s first Administration Building and mountains in background. The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad line ran near present location of Rivers Street.” Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

June 22, 1899

International news, and criticism of the sitting President’s handling of events in the far-away Philippines, made front page news in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Everybody is asking everybody else why,” began the article, “the administration is trying so hard to keep the people in the dark about what is going on in the Philippines, when only a short time ago it was its boast that it published all the official dispatches received.” According to the Watauga Democrat‘s writer, “it is known from the press reports that are allowed to pass the Military Censor at Manila, that hard fighting has been going on, and the suspicion is growing that Gen. Otis is making some use of the volunteers who should be on their way home, if any of the numerous promises made had been kept that the administration does not wish their friends at home to know until whatever is being attempted is all over.” Claimed the article, “[t]he public doesn’t care a continental about the claims made by officials, but wishes to know and feels that it has a right to know hat is being done with our volunteers: hence, there is a general feeling of resentment against the suppression of official dispatches.” This editorial piece was published towards the conclusion of the fighting of the Spanish-American War, which resulted in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and other former possessions of Spain becoming protectorates of the United States. The expression “not give a continental” hearkens back to the Revolutionary War period, when money issued under the authority of the Continental Congress, without gold or any other backing, quickly became the victim of devaluation, so that a “Continental Dollar” was almost worthless.

July 22, 1933

“Recorder Rules Against Board in Suit Over Bus,” a headline this week, introduced an article which reported that, “a civil action wherein the Board of Education of Watauga County was the plaintiff and Earl Ward, resident of Tennessee, was the defendant, occupied the spotlight in this Tuesday’s session of the Recorders Court. The Board sought to recover $100 actual and $400 punitive damages as a result of the attachment of a Cove Creek school bus as it passed through a strip of Tennessee with a load of pupils. The chassis to the vehicle, the property of Messrs. L.L. Bingham and Will Payne of Boone, had been contracted to the county for the purpose of conveying students of the North Fork section to the Cove Creek school.” According to the article, “[t]he body [of the bus] was furnished by the local school board. It developed that Lonnie Henson of Vilas held a note against the owners of the vehicle, which in turn was traded to Mr. Earl Ward of Mountain City. He attached (sic) the school bus for the debt as it passed through the edge of his State near Trade. The vehicle was loaded with children at the time, many of whom, it was charged, had to walk long distances, and 13 were said to have been loaded in one Ford car at the peril of life and limb.” The plaintiff, the Watauga County Board of Education, lost the case, and “the damages asked were not granted.” The county attorney, it was reported, “made it plain in court that there was no official deposition on the part of the Board to stand between citizens and their debts, but that actual damage had been sustained by reason of the unusual attachment.” “Attachment” in this context is a legal term referring to the seizing of property in anticipation of the property being granted as payment for a debt.


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June 15


“School Portrait,” a photograph from Watauga County circa 1910-1915, showing members of an unidentified school’s students. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

June 16, 1892

A feature entitled “Marriage” on the second page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat began, “[m]arriage is a serious affair, but when both are mated and congenial in interest and affection, and that [sic] they live for each other and promote each other’s happiness, marriage proves to be a blessing for both.” Continued the item, “but if crosses and contentions are allowed to enter between the two, causing bickerings and distrust and ultimately alienation, then in that case trouble, unhappiness and a wrecked life are the consequence. We believe that marriage, with the great majority, proves a blessing to the human race. A good wife is undoubtedly the greatest friend and comfort, and his imperative duty is to treat her in the kindest manner. When a woman marries she expects love and kindness, and with these she can be a happy wife.” The anonymous author of the story continued, opining that “[w]omen are more devoted than men. They require more of human kindness, and if their lives are happy, it is because she is held by her husband as his ideal, and he shows her he is true and kind and loves her above all others and is loyal and attentive. Perhaps the greatest source of unhappiness in the married state is on account of indifference of the man and sometimes the wife. Many husbands become indifferent, owing to much business on the mind. No one sees this quicker than the wife, and no one is so affected by it, and she becomes unhappy, and alienation sets in and trouble follows.” Concluded the item, “[t]he interests and happiness of the wife should be looked after in preference to anything else, because it pays better and brings consolation to both and a happy life.”

 June 17, 1943

“Axis Invasion Jitters Spurred by Allied Moves,” a front-page headline this week, reported from the European Theater of World War II combat that, “the spotlight of the Mediterranean war shifted dramatically today from the center to the east, where the Allies were reported semi-officially from Ankara [Turkey] to have closed Syria’s frontier with Turkey.” The story told that, “the first implication” of the news “was that the British ninth and tenth armies and U.S. troops that have been training quietly and building up strength for months in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Iran might be on the move.” The article, with a byline of “London, June 15,” told that the “Daily Herald quoted German reports that the allies were massing an ‘invasion army’ in Syria and that all British garrisons had been reinforced.” Uneasiness on the side of Germany and its Axis allies was described as, “thus was added new fuel to the fires of axis invasion anxiety. During the day the Italians reported an Allied fleet massing near Sicily, the Germans warned of a possible new Russian offensive, and the Germans were said to have reshuffled their top generals to commands along the edges of the ‘European fortress.'” The Allied invasion of Sicily, code-named “Operation Husky,” began in early July of 1943, and was the first breach of the hold of Germany and its Italian ally’s hold on Europe, nearly a year before the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy.

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June 8



This photo shows the Shirley-Ragan Service Station in about 1950. The station once stood at the corner of Hardin and Howard streets in Boone. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

June 8, 1899

“It is a practically settled fact that Asheville will soon have an ostrich farm to add to her large and varied list of attractions and industries,” announced a news item on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “A.Y. Pearson, who was at one time a resident of Asheville, he having recovered his health at the Winyah sanitarium, and who has of late years conducted an ostrich farm in California, will establish a branch farm near this city,” continued the item, which attributed as its source another newspaper, simply named as “Gazette.”

In other borrowed news, from the Shelby Star, an editorial posting from that newspaper opined that, “The whipping post is not gone forever! It is possible that it will become necessary to restore this time honored institution, the abolition of which caused all criminals to rejoice, and to again enforce obedience to law by the method that some of our modern apostles of civilization would have us believe is barbarous.” Warned the piece, “[t]his sentiment is not confined to semi-literate North Carolina either[,] for the great enlightened state of New York is agitating the restoration of the whipping post for wife-beaters, and the Asheville Citizen truly says that it will stop crimes as well as this one, and should be adopted.” Continued the writer’s opinion, “A good whipping humanely but soundly administered, will stop petty stealing more effectually than all the chain gangs ever provided.” “No,” concluded this controversial offering, “the whipping post is not gone for good.”

Continuing the pro-corporal-punishment stance, a page two article, seemingly proceeding directly from the editor of the Watauga Democrat, claimed that, “Many of the newspapers of the State are advocating the re-establishment of the whipping post for small offenses, like petty stealing, fighting, etc. It might be the best thing in some respects, as it would do away with the expense of feeding them for months at a time in the county jail. We are convinced that the greater number of those who are imprisoned for these light offenses have not self-respect enough to care. It means cessation from work, plenty to eat, and they care nothing about it. It might be that the fear of forty-nine lashes with the cat-o-nine-tails might cause better behavior throughout the country.”

June 8, 1939

 “Service Stations are Being Completed,” an article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, reported that “[t]hree important addition s to the automobile servicing business in Boone are in the process of completion.” “The handsome new Sinclair station,” said the story, “east of the Democrat office, is rapidly being completed, and it will be one of the most modern in this territory. Todd’s Esso service station is about ready to use their new and attractive addition for the washing and greasing of autos, while work is steadily going forward on Letcher Teague’s addition to his Gulf place.” The article concluded with an editorial observation, “[t]he oil dealers stay out front in the procession of progress.”



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June 1


“Construction of Downtown Boone Post Office,” a photograph showing the first stages of the Works Progress Administration project on King Street in Downtown Boone, in the year 1938. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

June 1, 1899

An advertisement this week in the Watauga Democrat, included in the same format as a news item, read: “A startling incident, of which Mr. John Oliver, of Philadelphia, was the subject was narrated by him as follows: ‘I was in a most dreadful condition. My skin was almost yellow, eyes sunken and tongue coated, pain continually in back and sides, no appetite[,] gradually growing weaker day by day. Three physicians had given me up. Fortunately a friend advised trying ‘Electric-Bitters’ and to my great joy and surprise the first bottle made a great improvement. I continued their use for three weeks, and am now a well man. I know they saved my life and robbed the grave of another victim.” Concluded the ad, “No one should fail to try them. Only 50c. a bottle at M. B. Blackburn’s.”

Regional and national news of the day included notice that, “The Protestant Episcopal clergy of the diocese of Alabama have requested the resignation of Rt. Rev. H. M. Jackson, Bishop Coadjutor of Alabama, on the ground of ‘excessive indulgence in stimulants’. This action was taken at the Episcopal State Council, which recently met at Anniston.” No details regarding the stimulants allegedly excessive indulged in were given.

“A writer on China says that the Chinese believe the Yellow River has always been of its present color except one day about 3,000 years ago,” according to another item, “on which occasion a great man was born and the river was perfectly clear.”

June 1, 1939

 “Cornerstone Of Postoffice Will Be Placed Saturday,” told a front-page headline this week. “The cornerstone for Boone’s new postoffice [sic] building will be set into the niche provided, promptly at noon next Saturday, according to an announcement made by Postmaster W.G. Hartzog, and the people of the town and county are cordially invited to attend the exercises being arranged for the event,” reported the story. According to the article, “Dr. B.B. Dougherty, president of Appalachian College, has been asked to deliver a brief historical sketch on the occasion, while Mayor W.R. Lovill will preside as master of ceremonies. The exercises will be short and have been set so as to occur at the noon hour so that workmen on the postoffice structure may not be inconvenienced by the ceremony.” The building of the Downtown Station Post Office was a project of the Federal Government’s Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression; work on the structure apparently continued apace even on Saturdays, and during this ceremony.

Of possible interest to readers in later generations, the article noted that, “[v]arious historical papers, including newspaper files and typewritten copies of the program of the hour will be sealed in a copper box and placed behind the sandstone in the west front corner of the handsome building.”

The article reported that, “[t]he exterior of the federal building has almost been completed and within sixty days the structure is expected to be occupied. Furniture and fixtures are now being delivered.”



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May 25


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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