September 26


“Tourist Home– Mrs. A.C. Mast’s Tourist Home, Sugar Grove, N.C.” Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and

1943: Churchill Predicts ‘Big Three’ Summit, Invasion of Nazi-Held Europe

September 20, 1900

“Perhaps the greatest destruction to life and property that ever occurred at one time in the history of the United States (the John’s town (sic) [Pennsylvania] flood not accepted,” began an article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “was the inundation by water of the city of Galveston, Texas, on the 9th. The wind traveled at the rate of 100 miles per hour sweeping everything in its path, and the tides ran so high that a large part of the city was entirely submerged, the combined elements entailing a loss of property that is estimated at $25,000,000 and the loss of at least 5,000 human lives.” Continued the Watauga Democrat’s report, “[t]o read of the horrors, the devastation, the loss of life and property in that once prosperous city, is enough to make the blood run cold in one[‘]s veins. The rich, the poor, the high, the low, of all classes and conditions have been sunk by hundreds into watery graves in the gulf, the rescuing parties not being able to bury them as fast as they were taken from under the piles of debris, into which the proud city was converted, by the merciless elements of wind and water.”
A related item in this same issue opened, “[a]s the people all over the United States are cheerfully responding to the cry of distress that is going up from the ill fated city of Galveston, Texas, is it not the duty of our people to respond to this cry, make up a purse for those poor unfortunate people, and help them provide food and shelter for themselves and families?” The writer urged Wataugans, “[l]et some active man take this matter in hand, call on all our people, get up a collection and forward at once by telegraph to those suffering people.” The appeal concluded, “[l]et us not be last in this duty.”

September 23, 1943

“CHURCHILL SEES MASS INVASION OF EUROPE,” a banner headline in this week’s newspaper which bore a dateline of “London, Sep. 21,” reported that, “Prime Minister Churchill declared today that the second front will be thrown open at ‘the right time’ and a mass invasion of the continent from the west will begin.” According to the report, Winston Churchill, leader of Great Britain, had told “the [British Parliament’s House of] Commons that the second front ‘already exists potentially’ and ‘already is rapidly gaining weight’.” Said Churchill, at a time when a front had already been opened against Nazi-held “Fortress Europe” by invasions of Italy from the south by Allied troops, another front had “not yet been thrown into play,” but, “[t]hat time is coming.” Churchill also revealed that he foresaw a “tripartite conference of representatives of the United States, Britain and Russia” which would “take place ‘at an early date’ and no question will be barred from discussion. Any differences will be set aside for a conference of President Roosevelt, Premier Stalin and the prime minister himself.” These three major leaders of the Allied forces did meet in Tehran late in 1943, then again in Yalta in the Crimea in February of 1945, and the promised invasion began on the beaches of Normandy in German-occupied France in June of that latter year.




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September 19


“The Watauga River on the Road to Valle Crucis in the Unrivaled Blowing Rock Country Blowing Rock, N.C.,” reads the inscription on this antique post card, circa 1920 (?). Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and

1888: Presidential Election Vote Threatened to Be Split by Prohibitionist Third Party

September 19, 1888

A news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat carried the discussions of this election season, with particular focus on the possibility of a third party, running primarily on a platform of prohibition of alcohol, competing with the two major parties, Democrat and Republican. The article, reproduced and with a byline from the State Chronicle, reported that, “[s]ome days ago Rev. Dr. Robey, a prominent and able Methodist preacher in Goldsboro, spoke in favor of prohibition.” According to the newspaper, this anti-liquor speech was “incorrectly reported” and was “published without his [Dr. Robey’s] consent.” The resulting misunderstanding, “as published… made him take ground that the Methodist Church in N.C. was committed to the Third Party.”  According to the source cited, “such a position did so great violence to the position of the Church upon this question that Methodists all over the State hastened to take the issue with Dr. Robey.” Wrote the article’s anonymous author, “[t]he Spirit of the Age, clearly and strongly answered Dr. Robey’s SUPPOSED position” – seemingly a reference to a general opposition to the vote being split and votes diverted away from the major parties, in an attempt to eliminate legal alcohol from public life. Continued the article, “the Chronicle is glad to know Dr. Robey was misrepresented and that he is really AGAINST the third party although strongly in favor of a prohibition party if the conditions were favorable. The reasons why he cannot vote for Walker and the other Third party men he gives are [those which] every honest Prohibitionist in the South ought  to [hold and be] be influenced by the same reasons. Dr. Robey says, “The condition of our State and, indeed, of the entire South, is such, politically, that I cannot vote the Third Party ticket. Nor have I ever advised any one else to do so. I sympathize profoundly with the object which the Third Party people have in view, and I wish that I could help them, but I cannot without POSSIBLY HELPING ANOTHER RESULT WHICH WOULD BE A GREATER CALAMITY THAN THE BAR-ROOM.’” (“[This means Radical success. – Editor],” read a helpful insertion by the State Chronicle editor). The 1888 U.S. Presidential election was nearly evenly split in the popular vote, with the winner, Republican Benjamin Harrison, actually gaining fewer popular votes than the losing opponent, Democrat Grover Cleveland. The two candidates were within 1% of one another in the total of votes. It was the third of four U.S. presidential elections in which the winner did not win the popular vote – the fourth occurring 112 years later, in the year 2000.
September 14, 1944

Amidst news of military action towards the close of World War II, a local news item reported, “[t]he open season for hunting squirrels in Watauga county begins on Sept. 15th, and County Game Warden Walter Edmisten states that there appears to be an abundance of squirrels this season. Hunting licenses are on sale at the usual places throughout the county. With an improved situation regarding ammunition, it is believed that more hunters will take to the fields and forest this fall than for the past two seasons.”


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September 12


The caption at the top of this image is, “America’s Switzerland. The unrivaled Blowing Rock Country. Lake on Cone Estate. Near Blowing Rock, N.C.” A copyright mark on the back of this postcard dates the image to 1909. The card was printed in Germany. Image courtesy of the archives of the Bobby Brendell Postcard Collection, Watauga County Historical Society, and

1933 – Only One Day for Voters to Register for Vote to Repeal Prohibition

 September 12, 1888
“Ed[itor] Democrat,” began a front-page item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “[h]aving read your much esteemed paper for some time and seeing nothing from Elk Township, I desire to ask for a few spare lines.” Continued the paper’s correspondent, “politics is on a boom every where, Elk [K]nob an exception. The Democratic party seems to be gaining ground every where… I am unable to see how all who love prosperity more than party can keep from turning. Cleveland and Fowle and liberty and low taxes, is our motto on Elk.” The motto referred to the ticket of incumbent President Grover Cleveland, whose running mate was Allen G. Thurman. Fowle was, apparently, a figure in Democratic politics more locally. The writer continued, after warning young men in particular against voting the Republican ticket, “to beware of the Prohibition party,” also, “which is only a trap to catch Democrats for the aid of the republicans.” Asserted the correspondent, “[o]ur interests will be best served and protected by re-electing Grover Cleveland, so let nothing drive us from this.” “Let every one do his part,” proclaimed the author, “and victory is ours.” The letter was signed, anonymously, by “Good Democrat.” This submission was, seemingly from a local subscriber; the Watauga Democrat newspaper at this time was, like many small-town papers, established and published to support a particular party, as the name suggests.
September 14, 1933
“JUDGES NAMED TO HOLD PROHIBITION ELECTION LOCALLY,’ a banner headline this week, reported that, “R.S. Swift, chairman of the Watauga County Board of Elections, has released a list of the judges which have been elected to serve in the election of November 7th, when voters of North Carolina will vote on the 21st amendment to the Constitution, repealing the Eighteenth, commonly known as the prohibition act. In accordance with the statute, one person generally known to be opposed to repeal and one generally known to favor it, together with the registrars who served in the last general election, will constitute the boards in the various precincts.” The article named the selected judges, one for and one against ending prohibition, from local townships in Watauga County. The article also covered the matter of registration for participation by the public in the upcoming general referendum on the matter. “Mr. Swift particularly calls attention to the provisions of the statute as to registration. The books will be open only one day, on the second Saturday before the election, October 28. The registrars will keep the books open that day for the purpose of registering electors not already registered. The Saturday preceding the election on Tuesday is challenge day, the same being Saturday, November 4th, and the registrars will attend the polling places with their books for the purpose of challenging the voters on that day.” Continued the notice, “[a]bsentee voting is prohibited in the prohibition election.”




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September 7


“Scene from the Head Spring of the Yadkin River Looking Toward the Green Park Hotel, Green Park, N.C.,” reads the inscription on this antique post card. Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and

September 6, 1917

“Watauga County Patriotic Rally, Wednesday September 12, 1917,” a heading on page two of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, introduced a column beginning, briefly, “[t]o be held at Boone.” “Everybody cordially invited,” continued the announcement. “There will be speeches by Hon. W.C. Newland of Lenoir; Hon. Frank A. Linney of Boone; Hon. S.J. Erwin of Morganton and others. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a march of those who are to go to the camp for training, led by the fife and drum corps of the Confederate army. The speaking will be at the court house. Everybody is asked to bring dinner and spread it on the court house lawn at the noon hour.” The “Confederate army” referred to was apparently an early form of tribute band honoring war veterans, and which, in this case, was called to salute those called to serve at the front in the First World War, which the United States had recently entered, in April of that year. The announcement continued, “Want every man who is to go to the front to be present, and if he has a family to bring his family. The drafted men are to be the guests on this occasion and are requested not to bring dinner. A testament [portable New Testament of the Bible] will be presented to those who are to go in the next draft. About 60 testaments have been ordered. We need about $13.00 for this fund yet. Leave it with the Watauga County Bank.” This feature ended, “”[l]et every body come next Wednesday the 12th and have a good day together with our boys before they leave for the front.”

September 3, 1936

“LOCAL PEOPLE TO HEAR PRESIDENT,” a headline this week, introduced a news article relaying that, “Cleve Gross, chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee for Watauga County, states that he expects no less than fifty local Democrats to journey to Charlotte on the tenth, when President Roosevelt will address the Green Pastures Rally, and when governors and leading figures in five southern states will take part in the huge political gathering.” The item reported, “Mr. Gross says that inquiries are coming to him daily from those who have been appointed as marshals from the county, and to others desiring to attend.” Those invited and designated as marshals were advised that they would “receive instructions after their arrival in Charlotte at Green Pastures headquarters in the Hotel Charlotte,” and that the local party head emphasized “the desirability of local people being on hand early.” “The rally is to be held at the American Legion stadium,” according to the Watauga Democrat, “where arrangements have been made for seating more than 75,000 people. President Roosevelt will speak at 4:30 and the governors, senators from the five states will take part in the program.” This “Green Pastures Rally” was organized to call attention to the beginnings of economic recovery, in the nation and in the Charlotte area, since the passing of the worst depths of the Great Depression.



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August 29


Frank A. Linney, Attorney, of Boone. Frank A. Linney is the grandfather of Armfield Coffey, Frank Coffey and Linney Brewer. He was at one time U.S. District Attorney, but died before being named Federal Judge. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

 August 25, 1910
“Those Pies of Boyhood,” a heading to an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, introduced an advertisement masquerading as a news article. “How delicious were the pies of boyhood,” began the ad with a question. “No pies now ever taste so good. What’s changed? The pies? No. It’s you. You’ve lost the strong, healthy stomach, the vigorous liver, the active kidneys, the regular bowels of boyhood. Your digestion is poor and you blame the food. What’s needed? A complete toning up by Electric Bitters of all organs of digestion – Stomach, Liver, Kidneys, bowels – try them. They’ll restore your boyhood appetite and appreciation of food and fairly saturate your body with new health, strength, and vigor. 50c at all druggists.” A large bottle of the product from this time period was labeled “Electric Brand Laxative, Formerly called Electric Brand Bitters. A Family laxative … contains Senna, Rhubarb, Cascara, Sagrada, Hops, Aloes, Wahoo, Dandelion, Gentian, Uva Ursi, Tansey, Chamomile and Quassia, Combined with Aromatics…[and] 18% Alcohol.”
“Evangelistic Work,” a local news item this week, read, “Rev. K.L. Hagan, a student of the University of Chattanooga, is at present engaged in Evangelistic work in the counties of Ashe, Watauga, and Caldwell.” According to the article, “[o]n Aug. 10 he commenced a meeting at Brown’s Chapel, M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church near Rutherwood, N.C., which lasted for 10 days, resulted in 14 conversions and 12 accessions to the church. That was the first real revival there for ten years. Old-time enemies were found making friends and one young man, W.H. Johnson, felt a call to the ministry during the meeting.”

 August 30, 1945
“JAP [sic; Japanese] SURRENDER SIGNING SUNDAY,” a banner headline in this week’s newspaper, carried a subheading announcing, “Mighty Battlewagon Missouri Enters Tokyo Harbor; to Be Scene of Formal Surrender.” Reported the news article, bearing a dateline of “Manila, Aug. 29)”, “General MacArthur flew north today on his way to make a triumphal entry into Japan Thursday. As a plane carried him to Okinawa, the mighty battleship Missouri entered Tokyo Bay, where next Sunday Japan’s surrender will be signed aboard her. Admiral Halsey rode the 45,000-ton dreadnaught into the bay while sea and airborne forces were poised for large scale occupational landings. The unfolding of MacArthur’s master plan for the powerful occupation pointed toward the historic surrender signing Sept. 2 aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.” The surrender marked the final end of the hostilities of World War II, and came within weeks of the use of atomic bombs in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On the home front, “Clyde R. Greene, local hardware merchant, and for 19 years a leader in the affairs of the Junior Order in this community, was unanimously elected state councilor of the organization at the convention held in High Point last week.” According to the Democrat, “Mr. W.H. Gragg of Boone, member of the board of trustees of the Junior Order Home, placed the name of Mr. Greene in nomination, and paid glowing tribute to his worth as a Junior and as a citizen. No opposition to his candidacy developed.”

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August 22


“Valle Crucis Methodist Church,” an area landmark which dates back to the 1870s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

August 18, 1904

“Clarence Potter Acquitted,” a headline this week, introduced an article about a case still famous over a century later. “Our readers no doubt are familiar with this noted case,” began the paper’s coverage in this issue. “The defendant, Clarence Potter[,] was tried at spring term, 1903, for the murder of Amos Howell, a special officer, who together with a posse, viz.: Lucky Joe Wilson, Bill Hamby, Stilly Snider and Calvin Turnmire had gone to arrest Boone and Clarence Potter under warrants, charging the defendants with a misdemeanor. For some unknown reason, this posse, after being in company with the defendant for some time, allowed him to leave[,] whereupon these reputed officers of law pursued[,] and a battle ensued in which Amos Howell was slain by Boone Potter. Boone was not arrested[,] however, he was since slain by Bill Hamby.” The Democrat noted that the surviving brother of the slain killer had been “arrested, tried and convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to hang May the 8th 1903,” but “his case was taken to the [North Carolina] Supreme Court,” at which time a new trial was granted, “resulting in the acquittal of the defendant by a jury of our best citizens.” In the court proceedings reported at this date, the newspaper asserted that “[i]t seemed that all the lawyers were at their best and no stone was left unturned for and against the prisoner,” and that “our young lawyers covered themselves with glory in this noted battle.” Having been cleared of the charge of murder, Clarence Potter lived almost sixty more years, passing away in 1965.

August 19, 1943

“AIR PASSENGER SERVICE IS SEEN FOR THIS TOWN,” a banner headline in this week’s front page, introduced a feature which detailed that, “[a]n indication of ‘things to come’ is contained in the recent application filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board by the Greyhound Corporation for a nation-wide air-bus transportation system, in which it is proposed to operate helicopters of large carrying capacity to provide passenger[,] mail and express service to Boone and other points along the 60,000 miles of highway traversed by Greyhound buses.” “The most novel feature of the project,” continued the article, “says Mr. H.W Wilcox, local Greyhound manager and president of the Chamber of Commerce, and one for which helicopters is fitted, is the plan to adapt present bus terminals, bus garages, and other facilities close to central stations of cities and towns as landing ports and maintenance hangars.” The feature reported that “[t]he Chamber of Commerce is working closely with Greyhound so the new service may be made available to Boone as soon as possible.” Concluded the story, “[t]his probably would remove the immediate necessity of this city securing an airport,” as the Greyhound company “intends to build landing decks on top of present bus terminals.” Boone had a new Greyhound bus terminal at the intersection of South Depot Street and Rivers Street at this time.



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August 10


“Scene from Horn in the West, Kermit Hunter’s Great Outdoor Drama, Boone, N.C.,” circa 1965. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

August 13, 1908

“Cruelty to Animals” a headline in this  week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat introduced an article which opened, “The following is copied from the Charleston, S C. Lantern, and should be read and considered by many of our people: ‘We have seen protests in some of our exchanges against the custom of leaving horses standing in hitching lots for hours in the broiling sun. This is a cruel practice and should be prohibited by law, if the owners are too heartless to correct it themselves. It is only fair to say that there are times when it is almost unavoidable, but the merciful man will not make it a practice.” Continued the posting, “There is another evil, however, that is even worse, and that is leaving horses standing with the diabolical overcheck hooked up.” An overcheck is a type of horse tack connected to the bit in the horse’s mouth and attached near the back which is meant to keep the animal from lowering its head. Continued the article, “We trust that an appeal will not be in vain to our readers that they will use their influence to have every one in charge of a horse loose the check when the animal stops, if only for a few minutes, and even while driving let down the beast’s head, as some of the liverymen do as soon as they get out of town or out of sight of those in whose presence he wishes to show off. Better still, cut the abomination off the bridle altogether. The horse will look just as well, many of them look better, he will last much longer and his master will fare better in the sweet bye and bye.”

August 10, 1922

A feature on the front page of this week’s newpaper bore the bold heading, “TEN REASONS FOR SUPPORTING YOUR COUNTY PAPER.”The list of reasons was as follows: “1. Because when you were born it was the home paper that introduced you to the world. 2. When you grew up and graduated at the head of your class the home paper again gave you a nice write up about it. 3. When later you found your life companion and were happily married the home paper gave you and your bride a half column free complimentary account of the affair. 4. When sickness and misfortune invaded your home the sad news was distributed among your friends and relatives thru the medium of the home paper. 5. When you have been so successful in life and had been promoted to some important position perhaps, it was the home paper that heralded your ability. 6. If you sold out and removed to some other location the home paper followed and brought the news from friends and neighbors. 7. When some unscrupulous person tried to injure your character, it was the home paper that came to your aid. 8. Because the home paper boosts your town and its institutions, its people, its schools and churches and helps to promote good fellowship throughout the community. 9. Because the live merchants advertise their most attractive goods and best or lowest bargains in the home paper, which if bought, may save you many dollars. 10. And last, when you are finally laid away to rest in your silent grave, the home paper donates much space in giving your relatives and friends a complete history of your past life, extolling your excellent qualities and passing over many human frailties.”


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August 3


“Night-time scene of Daniel Boone Hotel,” a postcard showing a former Downtown Boone landmark, constructed in 1925. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and










August 6, 1896

“Are You One,” began a heading for an item of advertising in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, continuing: “… Of those unhappy people who are suffering from weak nerves, startling at every slight sound, unable to endure any unusual disturbance, finding it impossible to sleep?” Advised the ad, “[a]void opiate and nerve compounds. Feed the nerves upon blood made pure and nourished by the great blood purifier and true nerve tonic, Hood’s Sarsaparilla.”

“Our mountain resorts are now thronged with people,” offered a news posting. “Blowing Rock has its usual large crowd, and Linville also, and quite a large quota have left their sultry city homes, and sought shelter under the famous Hanging Rock, in the beautiful valley of Banner Elk.”
Related weather reporting noted, “the heat is now extreme, in the eastern and southern states”; and, “[t]he weather is now beautiful, but very warm. Just the time of year to make one good-humored and happy.”

“For a long time there has been a blockade still running in Ashe county that it seemed impossible for the officers to capture,” according to another news article. “But on Thursday of last week Deputy Collector J.C. Horton and Deputy Marshall N.N. Colvard located it on Horse Creek and now only scraps of copper are left t remind one of its former glory.” A “blockade” was a term for a moonshine still, having its origin in the reference to one making illegal alcohol as a “blockader.”

August 1, 1912

“FOR SALE & RENT,” a bold heading to an advertisement, introduced an announcement which read, “I have for sale a stock of goods, consisting of groceries, books, stationary, white goods[,] underwear, notions, novelties, jewelry, & etc., including fixtures, which I will sell at a BARGAIN. I have a good trade and location, situated nearly opposite the court house. Cash one-third down, reasonable terms on balance. Will rent the store building at a reasonable price.” The advertisement continued, “I also have for rent my 12 room Hotel property and lot situated on the same lot as the store. Will rent house furnished or unfurnished for a year with the privilege of longer time. Also have a good stable, well house and fine garden, I have a splendid run of custom. It is a good money maker for the right man. The town has an altitude of 2500 feet, four churches, a good city and co. high school and an intelligent and sociable people. Would like to let Hotel and store to the same person as they go together nicely. Will dispose of them separately if I don’t find a suitable person for both.” The notice ended, “[f]or full particulars write or call on me, Respectfully, M.W. Jackson, Mountain City, Tenn., July 17, 1912.”

1912 advertisement

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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

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


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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