Along with Farmer’s Hardware in downtown Boone, which remained in business for a great portion of the Twentieth Century, the Boone Hardware Co., Inc., was a source for needs of house and farm in the early 1900s. Photo courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
August 1, 1907
“Read This,” begins a bold-type advertisement in this day’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “The attention of the public is respectfully called to these facts,” continues the announcement. “When you are in need of shoes for Men, Women, and Children, don’t fail to call on me as I can save you money on every pair you buy. My stock is new and up-to-date. The ladies’ $3.25 patent leather is truly a beauty. To see them is to buy a pair, to wear them is to be satisfied. I also carry a nice line of Ladies’ Dress Goods at prices to suit the buyer. I also handle a full line of Groceries, that are sold as reasonably as possible. I am always ready to buy your produce at the very highest market prices, and sell you goods at the lowest possible figure. Be sure to call on me when in town, always remembering that it is a pleasure to show you my goods and wait on my customers.” The ad concludes, “[t]hanking my friends and customers for past patronage, and asking for at least a portion of it in the future, I am respectfully yours, D. Jones Cottrell (at the old J.M. Greene Stand).”
In sports news, “Boone Team Defeated” was a feature on this day. “The Boone Base Ball Team [sic] has done most splendid work all the season. Blowing Rock, Mabel, Brushy Fork and Silverstone have exerted their greatest efforts to wrench from them the championship of the county, but to no avail. They have come out victors in every contest until an evil day came when they were doomed to ignominious defeat.” The report first describes a game between the Boone team and “some of the champion players of Caldwell, hailing in part from Hibritan [sic] – a good team, composed of nice, genteel young citizens,” who, nonetheless, in this contest were “doomed to defeat by these mountain knights of the bat [the Boone team].” However, noting that “every sweet has its bitter, and every rose a thorn,” the article then chronicles that “after the exercises had closed at the A.T.S. [Appalachian Teachers School] on Friday evening a ‘scrub team’ was picked up from the large crowd in attendance, and our boys were challenged to a contest.” The pickup game ended in a 16 to 10 victory of the “scrubs” over “our boys.” This sports report concludes by comparing the ironic victory followed by defeat to an anecdote about a Civil War veteran who survived the War Between the States and was killed at home as a result of “fatal injuries received at the butting end of an enraged ram,” the soldier having exclaimed to his doctor that “it does seem hard that I should have faced shot and shell for four long years, to return at the close of the bloody conflict to be butted to death by a d—–d sheep.”
August 1, 1929
“News of Week at Blowing Rock” filled the top spot on the front page of this week’s Watauga Democrat. Among the featured news was “hot weather has sent Blowing Rock sojourners in search of new bathing beaches, besides keeping filled the Mayview lake in the village.” Four car-loads of young people “went to the Brown Mountain Beach for bathing and picnicking” as a relief from hot weather, and another party “including Blowing Rock young folks with their out-of-town guests” were reported as having “enjoyed a camping trip to the Grandfather, chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. Willis.”
Another front-page story was “Ashe County Hopeful Over Prospects of Oil.” According to this item, “Mr. John Moretz of the Fleetwood section of Ashe [C]ounty was a caller with The Democrat last weekend and talks interestingly of the prospects for taking petroleum from that section of the country.” Mr. Moretz’s property contained a section from “which oily outcroppings were noted some weeks ago,” and he reported that “experts from Texas and Washington City have agreed on the discovery of oil, and that now it is only a question of the best means of financing operations to develop the resources.” Concluding the report of Mr. Moretz’s discovery is the note that “[i]t is the purpose of the owners of the lands in that section to have the prospects more thoroughly investigated by government engineers before taking further steps.”
Amidst the summer’s heat, an item from the Boone Coal Company urges, “everyone who can should lay in their winter supply of coal now. Those who order now save a considerable amount on the purchase price, and too, they make sure of their supply.” “J.A. Sproles, proprietor,” who “enjoys a wide acquaintance throughout this section,” having “been actively identified with the lumber business here for years, and enjoys the confidence and good will of all” encouraged Boone residents “who have not yet ordered their winter coal” that they “should phone the Boone Coal Company and place their orders today,” as “many wait until the first cold weather, and then everyone wants their coal on the same day.” This notice was included in a section entitled “Local Business Houses Featured in Write-ups,” which also advertised businesses such as Boone Feed Company, Moretz Motor Company, Boone Chevrolet Company, Highland Furniture Company, Hodges Drug Store, W.S. Goodnight shoe shop, Boone Trail Cafe, City market, and the Watauga Building & Loan Association.
July 31, 1952
“Vesper Services at Horn Theatre” announces an upcoming “vesper service at the Daniel Boone Theatre at 5:00 p.m. Music under the direction of Hoyt Safrit with James Growel at the organ. Scripture and prayer by Pastor H.C. Linn. Vesper Meditation, ‘God’s Great Cathedral,’ by Pastor E.F. Troutman.”
“Blowing Rock Horse Show Begins Friday with Record List of Entries” was a news article prepared by Mrs. Lucille Lett. With a dateline of “Blowing Rock,” the article reports that “The Blowing Rock Horse Show, the oldest annual horse show in the country, is about to begin its twenty-ninth show.” According to “Mr. L.M. Tate, manager,” the 1952 show expected “more horses [that] year than ever before,” and the box stalls had been increased by 30 to a total of 141 to accommodate the large number of equine visitors.
“Drought Playing Havoc with Watauga Crops” reported that the “continuing dry weather in Watauga [C]ounty, which is playing havoc with cabbage and other growing crops, is supplanting the lush clover of the pasture with scar[r]ed, sparse grasses,” which was thus “forcing cattle on the market” earlier than usual. In an effort to save their stock, according to the Democrat report, “it is learned that hay is being hauled into the area from northern points,” and, according to “one cattleman,” “floods of cattle were being bought and taken to Pennsylvania and other states unaffected by the dry weather.”
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Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.