The Week of October 5th


“Boone Junior Women’s Club, 1957.” Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

October 3, 1907

“Monday afternoon on his way to Lenoir with a load of cabbage from Watauga county, Mr. C.C. Waters had a very unpleasant experience getting across Blair’s Creek at a half a mile north of town,” reported a front-page item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, which was cited as having originally appeared in the Lenoir Topic newspaper. “When he reached the creek it was getting dark and when he drove in (he) misjudged his distance and got below the usual fording place. His wagon mired up to the hubs in the mud and sand. He was compelled to unhitch his mules and with great difficulty succeeded in getting them ashored, leaving the wagon over night in the bed of the creek.” “Tuesday morning,” continued the report, “a man by the name of Church, also from Watauga, took his team and helped Mr. Watson’s (sic – the subject of the article’s name seems to have been misprinted at least once in this article) wagon on after a hard tussle with the quicksand and stiff sand.”

October 5, 1939

“Governor Speaks at Cove Creek School,” a headline this week, introduced an article relating that, “some two thousand Wataugans gathered at the Cove Creek high school Friday for an address by Governor Clyde R. Hoey in connection with the ninth annual Watauga county agricultural fair, and heard the executive declare himself as opposed to the present neutrality law, and advocate its appeal.” As the shadow of war was expanding over Europe and Asia, North Carolina’s Governor declared at Cove Creek, “I would rather sell England and France arms which they now need badly rather than to send our youth over there to fight.”

October 3, 1963

“Citizens Will Be Asked To Invest In $650,000 Plant,” a headline in this week’s edition, reported that, “over 50 citizens of Boone and Watauga County attended a dinner meeting of the Watauga Industries Committee at the Daniel Boone Inn Friday.” According to the news item, “Clyde Greene presided over the business section of the meeting and asked guests to introduce themselves. He said that the Watauga Citizens, Inc, is sponsoring the construction of the new Blue Ridge Shoe Company building in Boone and that the new facilities will be ready for use about the middle of October.” Another local leader, Stanley Harris, was quoted as having reported that, “in the next several months a letter will be mailed to over 1,000 people in the county inviting them to invest in the new building which was constructed at the cost of $650,000.” $400,000 of the total cost was provided by bonds financed or bought from the Northwestern Bank of Boone, with the remaining quarter-of-a-million dollars coming directly from “bonds sold to local citizens.” Melville Shoe Company, the parent company of the new Blue Ridge Shoe Company, was reported to have held over 49 million dollars in assets, and was said to be guaranteeing the bonds. “Approximately 40 dozen pairs of shoes” were already being manufactured in temporary quarters at the time of this article. Watauga Savings and Loan representative James Marsh was cited as saying that, “the new industry will do much for the county, and is a step forward,” which would “open a door for other new industry to come into the county.”

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October 12, 2014


“Farmers Hardware,” a scene from downtown Boone in the 1960s (?). Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

October 12, 1899

“The idea of establishing a national park in western North Carolina is now attracting much attention throughout the country,” reported a local news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “It is proposed to reserve some of these beautiful heights and valleys and dedicate them to this and coming generations for a pleasure ground forever. This would be nice for the government to buy and protect some of the beautiful spots, and keep them as nature has made them,” continued the story. “We think a park could be made in the Carolina hills more beautiful than the famous Yellow Stone and far more healthful.”

“It is predicted by amateur prophets that this is to be a mild winter,” announced another short article. “They say that the winters run in periods of ten years, and that the winter of 1889 was unusually mild, and last winter was very severe, therefore we may expect the coming one to be mild.”

Among the local community news entitled “Rutherwood Rustlings,” submitted by “A Subscriber,” was the notice that, “the good people of this community are using every effort possible to erect a new school house for the accommodation and advancement of education, notwithstanding the opposition is very great.” Another Rutherwood report relayed that, “accommodations are being made to enlarge Brown’s Chapel. The addition will surely meet the approbation of the people, as the house is entirely too small to accommodate the congregations that attend church there.”

October 9, 1919

The “Local Affairs” column in this week’s newspaper announced, “Alfred Adams is moving from the Gross farm west of the village to Meat Camp,” as well as, “chestnuts are dropping and bringing 8 cents per pound on the local market. Good price, but the crop is light.” A blight of American chestnut trees caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica would destroy this source of food, hog feed, and income in the region by 1940. Up to this time, as many as one-fourth of hardwood trees in the Appalachian mountain range had been American chestnuts.

In other news, “the Blair hotel property in Boone changed hands last week, Messrs. Chas. Lewis and Arthur Johnson, both of Cove Creek, being the purchasers. Mr. Johnson and family have moved in, and Mr. Lewis will be here in the near future. They are among the best citizens of our county, and are gladly received as residents of our town.”

October 6, 1938

“HOMECOMING DAY WAS A BIG SUCCESS AT APPALACHIAN,” a banner headline on this edition’s front page, announced that, “Appalachian College’s best homecoming day in history came to a close Sunday afternoon when the college auditorium was filled with an appreciative audience to hear George E. Shapiro’s Little Philharmonic Orchestra concert, said by many to have been the peak of the institution’s series of entertainment features during the past year.” Other homecoming events included an alumni banquet, which at the time of this 35th homecoming had become an annual tradition; “a flag pole dedication ceremony;” and “the Appalachian-Newberry football game Saturday afternoon.”


The archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from which this feature is compiled, as well as the photographic archives of the Historic Boone society, are housed in the Watauga County Public Library, Boone, North Carolina, USA.


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September 28, 2014


“Everyone is Headed for Boone,” according to the poster displayed in a hardware store window in this photograph, for the “Echoes of the Blue Ridge” celebration, honoring Watauga County’s 100th anniversary. The historical re-creation in 1949 gave rise to the annual historical outdoor drama “Horn in the West.” Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

September 28, 1899

“Bishop Fitzgerald, of the M.E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church, South, recently said: ‘That all ministers accused of using tobacco, must leave the church,’” reported an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Truly if this were carried into effect,” continued the report, “many good and indefatigable laborers would fall from the walls of Zion, for many of them would have to plead guilty if the test were applied.”

Referring to the disease of yellow fever under a nickname, another news article relayed that, “Yellow Jack has Key West Florida in his unwelcome embrace, and it will continue to hold fast until white frost comes. How they would prize the heavy frosts of which we mountain people are complaining,” opined the notice. “It will be some weeks yet before frost is seen there.” A particularly virulent epidemic of yellow fever struck Miami and other locations in south Florida during the year 1899, on top of outbreaks of the disease every couple of years in the Sunshine State throughout the 1800s.

September 22, 1920

“Mr. Editor:” began a letter to the newspaper, which addressed the perennially important matter of the condition of roads, during the earliest days of automobile travel in the county. “On Saturday evening, Sept. 11,” began the letter, “a traveling salesman, Mr. N. C. Parsons, passed through Boone en route to his home at Brownwood, N. C. He stopped at the girls’ dormitory to get his sister-in-law, Miss Pearl Brown, who lives at Brownwood, to take her home for a visit. Mr. Parsons tells me that in trying to get his machine up over a big rock near Rutherwood that was left in the road for convenience (?), tore his car almost to pieces. He, with Mr. W. M. Day to help him, worked all night on his car. Sunday morning Mr. Parsons borrowed a horse and buggy and went back to Boone for repairs for his car, and we learn that he actually paid out $123 before he again got his car in running condition, aside from losing three days time.” Asked the writer, rhetorically, “would it not be better to spend this time and money for road improvement and not let an Ashe county man have this to say about Watauga?” “I think so,” responded the author of the editorial letter, whose identity was semi-anonymously signed simply as, “A.W.”

September 29, 1938

“Local Boy Does Duty in Devastated Area,” a front-page news report of this day, related that, “John Farthing, son of Mr. and Mrs. Zeb V. Farthing, who is a member of the United States marine corps and whose company has been doing emergency flood duty in the region of New London, Conn., has written Mrs. Farthing something of his harrowing experiences,” began the short article. The young Farthing’s letter was quoted in excerpts, which included: “The town of New London is under martial law after the hurricane … we were on rescue parties all day yesterday and fought fire all night. I worked all night. Every building around us was damaged and some blown away. Our barracks were full of women and children. They slept in our bunks and set up others, for we didn’t need ours.

“They had a four million dollar fire in New London, (it) was something to put out. The crowds were crazy. We had to beat them in the faces with clubs to keep them out of danger. They wouldn’t listen to reason.”

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September 21, 2014

Amos_Tester_and_Wife“Amos Tester and Wife.” Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

September 19, 1888

An article under the heading of “The Teacher’s Institute” in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat began, “(t)his body was not as largely attended as I hoped it would be, but the weather was extremely wet, and some of the teachers were sick, while some were teaching, and some did not care to come.” The report, signed by “I.W. Thomas,” continued, “(e)verything considered, the institute was a fair success. Of actual teachers and those preparing to teach twenty were enrolled. So far as I have heard expressions(,) those present were benefited.” Of the participating teachers, “(t)hirteen stood a written examination, having only one hour or less, in which to answer the questions on any one branch. Out of this number only two failed to obtain certificates.” The author continued, “I wish to call the attention of those teachers who are doubting the power of the Board of Education to regulate teachers’ salaries”, alleging that, in North Carolina, “(t)he law makes it the duty of the board to accept the construction placed upon placed upon the law by (the) state Sup(erintenden)t.” “Now,” Mr. Thomas concluded, “if anyone wishes to quarrel, he may please pitch into (sic) the state Supt.” This article was written approximately a decade before brothers B.B. and D.D. Dougherty founded a school for higher education of teachers in Boone.

September 22, 1920

“Talking of Bad Roads,” a short feature this week, began “(a)n article appeared in a local paper this week to the effect that a certain party in the Sadieville neighborhood started to town with some cream, but on his arrival he had butter instead of cream, and he attributed the transformation to the bad condition of the roads.” The item, reproduced from the “Georgetown (Ky.) News),” continued, “(t)his is nothing to a tale brought to this office by a prominent and reputable citizen. He said a man left Corinth in a car with three silver dollars in his pocket and when he arrived at a local garage the dollars had worn down to dimes.” The locations mentioned in the article are approximately 300 miles from Boone, in north central Kentucky; borrowing from other newspapers was a common staple of the local paper in its early years.

September 21, 1939

“European War Briefs,” a feature this week under the dateline “Danzig, Sept. 19,” introduced an article which relayed that, “Adolf Hitler served notice on Britain and France today he was prepared to wage a seven-year war if necessary and asserted that Germany and Soviet Russia, Europe’s ‘two greatest nations,’ would re-establish ‘law and order’ in Eastern Europe.” According to details, “the fuehrer in an hour and 14-minute speech told the Western allies – Britain and France – he had ‘no war aims’ against them, but declared that Poland, as created by the Versailles treaty ‘never again will rise.’” “In one of his best oratorical efforts,” according the writer of this report, “Hitler spoke in the medieval Artushof as the crowning event of his first visit to Danzig since he brought the former free city of the Baltic ‘back home into the Reich.’”

The archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from which this feature is compiled, as well as the photographic archives of the Historic Boone society, are housed in the Watauga County Public Library.

Published in: on September 23, 2014 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

September 8, 2014



“W.R. Winkler Garage:” a photograph, probably dating from the 1920s, of an early automotive business in Watauga County. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

September 5, 1888

“The Three Forks Association will convene in the Baptist Church in Boone, Tuesday, 11 a.m. Sept. 11,” began a notice in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, published during the newspaper’s first year. “The annual sermon will be preached by the Rev. E.F. Jones,” continued the item. “If it becomes necessary to have preaching during the sitting of the Association, our Methodist friends have kindly tendered the use of their church for that purpose. The delegates will be assigned to homes for the session to prevent confusion, and that no one may be unduly burdened. All the families in Boone and vicinity, regardless of denomination, will be kindly asked to keep the delegates of at least one church, and we will ever hold ourselves in readiness to reciprocate the kindness, whenever occasion requires. Each church is entitled to three delegates.” The notice was signed, “I.W. Thomas.” No indication was given as to what conditions might have necessitated additional preaching (apart from the initial yearly sermon) during the meetings.

September 5, 1918

A letter published in this week’s newspaper under the heading “Letter from France,” credited as being from “Corporal Lloyd S. Isaacs, who is with the American Expeditionary Force in France” to “his mother, Mrs. Chaney Isaacs, of Mabel,” began, “Dear Mama: It always gives me a great pleasure to express to you my feelings to you even [if] they are on paper. I trust you are well and enjoying the pleasures of life as they present themselves.” Among the news from the Western European front of World War I, Corporal Isaacs related, “I am getting along nicely. I haven’t been sick a moment since I have been over here.” He related that, however, on his first birthday away from home, “I spent my birthday in the trenches. It shall never be forgotten. Everything was quiet on the line. I did not see any Germans, and if they saw me they sure had a good eye.” Reflecting on duty in active military service, Isaacs wrote, “We know not when we will go to the front for service, but when we do I shall draw my sword in honor of America, and my motto is: Give the Germans trouble and remember my mother. The world needs peace and we must do our bit to bring it about.”

September 2, 1943

“Eight [sic] Airforce Deals Mighty Blow to Nazis,” a front-page headline this week, introduced an article which detailed that, “[t]he U.S. eighth airforce dealt an unprecedented blow to German air strength in the month ended tonight[,] bombing airfields, plane factories and probably topping the July record of 506 planes destroyed in the air.” This series of raids was described as, “show[ing] that the British-based campaign has progressed from individual stabs at enemy war facilities to a farflung smash against German air defenses, paving the way for a possible knockout blow.”

The archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from which this feature is compiled, as well as the photographic archives of the Historic Boone society, are housed in the Watauga County Public Library.


Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

August 24, 2014


Old Lenoir Home on Watauga River. Used as a boarding school in the early 1900s, later a part of the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

August 22, 1907

“The preacher who says that kissing is worse than whisky [sic] must have found something pretty exhilarating and intoxicating,” began a short notice in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, bearing the editor’s abbreviation, “Ex.,” at its end. “But he had no business saying so,” continued the opinion notice, “for the Anti-Saloon Leaguers will be trying to regulate that by law next.” Interestingly, during this period of history, the local party-affiliated newspaper was largely a platform for the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages.

“New Jewelers’ Shop,” a front-page advertisement, announced that, “I will be located in Boone by June the first, 1907, prepared to do all kinds of watch and clock repairing on short notice.  My work is all guaranteed and no work is charged for unless satisfactory to the owner. Bring me your work and I will give you a first class job. Office upstairs in Critcher brick row. Silas M. Greene, Jeweler.” As the announced date was already passes, Mr. Greene apparently took out a recurring advertisement in the local newspaper to help launch his business. “Critcher brick row” would seem to refer to the block of Downtown Boone in which the Critcher Hotel once stood – opposite the spot where the Jones House Community Center stands today.

August 21, 1919

“In these days of inflated prices the problem of the high cost of living is a matter of concern to every household,” opened an article on the second page of this week’s newspaper. “Consequently any remedy that promises even temporary relief is eagerly accepted,” continued the item, while cautiously asking: “…. (b)ut is there promise of any real solution of the problem in any of the various proposals of the various departments of the government?” The article reported on several government programs of the time, including “the selling of stores of army food,” which the author of the article claimed “can bring at best but temporary relief,” and which would, allegedly, not have any impact “at all [on] the cost of food in any except the few immediate communities in which the food is sold.” The article was also skeptical of efforts to prosecute business owners for violating laws against “profiteering,” arguing that “some of our most respectable jobbers and retailers may wake up in jail some morning,” asking, “where does legitimate profit cease and profiteering begin”? The author instead urged that “we turn our chief attention to the system rather than the individual,” asking “for example[,] why should a steer be shipped from Texas to Chicago to be butchered and shipped back as beef to Texas, incidentally passing through the hands of half a dozen ‘profiteers’? Or why should Watauga cheese be sold to a Chicago packing house when every ounce of it is needed in the towns of North Carolina?” This anonymous early advocate of localized food production and distribution as an antidote to inflation and price-gouging wrote that, “[w]hen the producer and the consumer become alive to their common interests there will be no occasion for the prosecution of profiteers, or a hunt for hoarders.”

The archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from which this feature is compiled, as well as the photographic archives of the Historic Boone society, are housed in the Watauga County Public Library.


Published in: on September 7, 2014 at 5:00 am  Leave a Comment  

August 17, 2014


An unidentified baby playing in mud, date unknown; a scene of childhood in rural Watauga County from the past. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

August 15, 1895

“How To Get Along,” a feature in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, included these items of advice: “Learn to say ‘No.’ Don’t snap it out in dog fashion, but say it respectfully and firmly;” “Keep ahead rather than behind the times;” “Learn to think and act for yourself. Use your own brain, but also learn to use the brainwork of others;” “Do not kick every stone in the path. More miles can be made in a day by going steadily than stopping;” and, “Do not meddle with business you know nothing of.”

“We have been over some of the public roads in Boone and Meat Camp townships since they have been worked out under the new system,” read a new report in this week’s issue, “and we are forced to state that in many places where digging has been done the loose rock was left in the road, and we would like to remind the supervisors that the rock in the Shearer lane left after the late working is a serious obstruction to travel, either by horse-back or vehicle, to say nothing about loaded wagons.” Lamented the anonymous author of the article, “(i)t has always been a mystery to us that men will go over the roads, pretending to work them, and leave all the loose stones and not consider them an obstacle to public travel.” The writer, who claimed to have “served many years as a justice of the peace,” during which he issued similar warnings to no effect, concluded with the statement, “we are now free from any official duty on the roads and we are going to speak out plainly against careless road supervisors and call attention to any neglect they may use in keeping up the roads.”

August 16, 1934

“TVA Cannery Has Run for 3 Weeks; Prices are Rising,” a front-page headline this week, carried a lengthy sub-heading announcing, “Various Kinds of Berries and Garden Sass Being Bought at Cranberry for Cash. Blackberry Prices Are on Upgrade, and Huckleberries Bring 30 Cents. Turnips Greens Are Now Growing Under New Program.” Details from the story indicated that, “(t)he Tennessee Valley Authority’s cannery at Cranberry, operated under the Carolina Mountain Co-operatives, is now running full blast three weeks after its establishment, and information coming from Mr. L.W. Arthur is to the effect that prices being paid are advancing, especially as regards blackberries, which have been bought in huge quantities from pickers in Watauga County.” Noted the article, “no products will be accepted without permits from the cannery superintendent.”

“Escaped Convict Is Quickly Recaptured,” a headline from this issue of eighty years ago, noted that, “Joe Spicer, one of the prisoners stationed at the State camp near Boone, walked away Thursday night and was recaptured Friday at his home near Laurel Springs by Carter Farthing of the local camp personnel, and Captain Rackley of Ashe County. He was taken from Boone to the prison camp at Spruce Pine, where he will give up the rank of A-1 prisoner because of his escape. Spicer said he wanted to see his baby, and gave that as the reason for his walk-off.”

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August 10, 2014


“Watauga County Courthouse”. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

August 6, 1891

“It is amusing to read the different papers on the political issues,” began a column in this week’s edition of the openly party-affiliated Watauga Democrat this week, “and particularly on the third party move.” This editorial column alleged that, “the Alliance papers say that the third party is a fixed fact,” while “Pres. Polk,” also referred to in the column as “Col. Polk,” has “recently said that neither the tariff nor free coinage will be the leading issue, but that the entire change of our financial system will be the leading issue for 1892.” In the 1890s, the Populist Party’s run as a third-party alternative to the Democrat and Republican parties began, largely based on alliances of farmers who were pressing for a viable political alternative which would support the free coinage of silver and regulate railroads. “Col. Polk seems to have changed his base,” wrote the Watauga Democrat, “or has left the Alliance to stand alone, until very recently the sub-Treasury and free coinage were only issues talked of by the Alliance in their meetings. War was made on Grover Cleveland for his opposition to free coinage of silver, seemingly making free coinage the only issue.” “The Alliance” referred to the loose grouping of farmer’s groups which opposed the Federal Government adhering to the gold standard alone, and which would, the following year, become the base of the Populist Party. The local newspaper noted that “fervent political prayers are being offered that the Democratic South would fall in line” with the Farmer’s Alliance-based populism, but asserted that, “the South hesitates and says we are afraid,” continuing that, “we will stick to the old Democratic organization,” despite promises from a group called the “Protective League Party” to “develop the great resources of western North Carolina.” The Watauga Democrat newspaper firmly declared itself “against the Alliance, free coinage, tariff reform, Democrats [!], and everything except the present government system.” Emphasizing unity within the Democratic party, including Southerners who might be tempted by some aspects of populism and a third party, the editorial author proclaimed that the “grand old Democratic party stands firm and looks on with satisfaction, believing that Democrats and Southern Alliance people will stand together with the true Democrats of the north, and all will be well in ’92, and let the Boodle party go under, and then the country will be saved.” The term “boodle” was used to describe politicians suspected of taking bribes, a term used in New York City newspapers of the time taken from a Dutch word for property.

August 9, 1934

“Rev. W.R. Savage Succumbs Sunday,” a front-page headline in this week’s edition, reported that, “Reverend William R. Savage, well known Episcopal minister, who for many years had made his home in Glendale Springs, Ashe County, died in a Charlotte Hospital last Sunday, after an illness of two weeks.” The obituary notice related that, “Mr. Savage came to Blowing Rock perhaps forty years ago where he was engaged as an Episcopal minister, and for perhaps a quarter of a century traveled periodically on horseback or in a buggy, ministering both to the spiritual and physical needs of his beloved mountain people.” The clergyman was described as having “made his home for at Glendale Springs” for “many years,” and it was written that he “was well known to the people of the mountain country and beloved by all. His death brings sadness to many old friends.” A large donation of books by Rev. Savage in the early 1900s formed the nucleus of the first library in the town of Boone.

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July 12, 2014

Farm_Landscape“Farm landscape.” Exact location and date unknown. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

July 16, 1896

“Perhaps no crop is more easily raised, cheaper harvested or more profitable than the turnip crop,” began an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “There is no doubt in our mind that cattle and sheep could be wintered much cheaper if they were fed partly on a root crop, such as potatoes, turnips etc.” Concluded the article, “(t)urnip ‘greens’ in the spring is the very best of food for the animal man. Try a crop of turnips.”

In political news of the day, “(t)he populists had a convention at Masonic Hall in Boone on Monday. R.A. Cobb, editor of the Morganton Populist, infused life into the organization. Wiley Farthing, John Robbins and others made speeches. The convention instructed for W.H. Guthery for Governor and R.A. Cobb for Lieut. Governor. There was talk of fusion.” The short-lived party faded away shortly after the 1896 election, and the “fusion” mentioned in this article apparently referred to a joining with the Democratic Party, and the casting of the support of anti-elitist populists for Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

July 16, 1908

Under the bold heading “FARMS FOR SALE,” an advertisement in this week’s newspaper bearing the signature, “Robert Wood, Morristown, Tenn.,” included announcement of a “75-ACRE FARM FOR $2,000.” Details included, “(t)he farm is situated 5 miles of Morristown on first class road: 4-room house, branch through farm, Young orchard. 3-4 mile from flour mill store, rural mail route. 3 miles of Russellville, Tenn., a railroad town. This is all rolling land, you can run a binder over every field. The soil is red clay and black loam, about 10 acres in timber. Title perfect. Possession at once. If taken now we will sell the above farm and $500 personal property for $2,500. Cash down $1,500; balance one and two years.” Morristown, Tennessee is situated about 120 miles from Boone, North Carolina, almost due west of Watauga County.

“Work began more than a week ago on the Eastern Carolina Training School for Teachers,” announced a news item of the day, “ex Governor Jarvis throwing the first shovel of dirt.”

July 18, 1940

“Auto Dealers to Gather Sunday,” a prominent front-page article this week, related that, “(s)ome three to four hundred delegates are expected to gather at Mayview Manor, Blowing Rock , Sunday evening for the get-together supper, inaugurating a three-day convention of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.” According to the article, local organizers were “busily engaged last week in working out the details for what they believe will be the most interesting convention enjoyed thus far by the automobile men.”

“Annual Horse Show to be Held” told that, “Blowing Rock’s annual horse show, the high spot of the summer season of the neighboring resort town, will be held August 2 and 3, it was announced last week.” Officials of the show had made known “that there will be greatly increased appropriations for prize money and trophies this year.” “The horse show, which is the second oldest in the south,” concluded the article, “is operated annually on a non-profit basis for charitable purposes.”

This weblog’s postings are being gradually caught up, after a period of non-publication. Look for (sporadic) new postings in the coming weeks, and (hopefully) weekly postings thereafter.

Published in: on August 12, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

July 5, 2014

View of Downtown Boone, date unknown; Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

A view of downtown Boone from above, date unknown. Structures on the Appalachian State Teachers College campus indicate that the photograph was taken sometime between the late 1930s and the 1960s. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

July 8, 1897

“The new school law is puzzling our county authorities,” reported an article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “It is hard to do what is required by the new law and at the same time accommodate all the school children in the county,” according to this account of difficulties in meshing state and local expectations of schools over a century ago. “Requiring the township lines to be observed in forming the school district will cause such trouble and confusion among the people. As our school districts are now organized(,) we have had very little trouble and our free schools were improving, good and comfortable school houses were built in almost every district. Now in many instances these houses will be abandoned to comply with the new, and to us, unnecessary and foolish change.” The editorial piece concluded by speculating the election results might be influenced by the required change, as “the special school tax in the townships” might come to be viewed as money that would be “squandered on new (school-)houses and will really not prolong the school for the next two years at least,” as was the intention of the school tax.

“Most of the Congress members have gone home,” reported a national news item on this day, “but Speaker Reed is still in session about twice a week. He opens and adjourns at will(,) he himself being a quorum from Quorumville. Speaker Tom is all that is necessary to have on hand to open and adjourn,” opined the newspaper, lampooning Maine Republican Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed, who was nicknamed “Czar Reed”. “When the history of this special session of Congress is (written), if it ever is,” according to the Watauga Democrat, “it be on a par with our late North Carolina legislature, a daisy.”

July 4, 1940

“New Church is to Open on Sunday,” a front-page headline this week, introduced an article which began, “(d)edicatory services will be held at the new St. Luke’s Episcopal church in Boone Sunday afternoon at 5 o’clock, it has been announced by Rev. E. Dargan Butt, priest in charge. Rt. Rev. Robert E. Gribbin, of Asheville, bishop of the Diocese of Western North Carolina, will conduct the services.” The article traced the history of this church community, noting that, “St. Luke’s congregation is one of the oldest in Boone. The first frame building was on King Street opposite the present location of the Daniel Boone hotel and was erected in 1882. In 1903, Rev. W.R. Savage, the pastor for many years, enlarged the structure. After a number of years, however, it was razed and the lot traded for the property on which the church now stands.” The 1940 church was located on College Street, and was described as, “of brick construction and contains a vestibule and vesting room, besides the nave chancel and sanctuary.” Its dimensions were “53 feet long and 22 feet long,” the sanctuary could seat 100, and the cost of construction was “near $4,000.” In the 1990s, this building was relocated to the current home of the congregation on Councill Street, where it now serves as a chapel.

This weblog’s postings are being gradually caught up, after a period of non-publication. Look for (sporadic) new postings in the coming weeks, and (hopefully) weekly postings thereafter.


Published in: on August 10, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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