This photograph bears the caption of “Cecil Miller, Nell Linney, and 1949 Centennial.” Watauga County celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1949. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society.
August 30, 1923
In “Stony Fork News,” with a dateline of “Stony Fork, N.C., Aug. 27,” it was noted that “a movement has been started to build a graded road from the post office here to the highway. Some of the men gave several days work last week blasting and clearing out the roadway. This is something that has been greatly needed and it will mean a great deal to the community when completed.”
Also, “Miss Flora Green went yesterday to Jefferson to visit relatives for a few days and to have some dental work done.”
A lengthy article on a new law requiring registration of motor vehicles told, “[r]egistration of all automobiles and other motor vehicles, including trucks and motorcycles, by their manufacturers’ and engine numbers is required by the new law, which also makes it unlawful for a person to operate a car on or after Oct. 1 unless registration has been made or applied for.” The article also claims that “[i]t was said at the time the act was presented in bill for the legislature that that out of more than 200,000 motor vehicles in North Carolina over 7,000 were stolen and that the majority of the operators of these automobiles were ignorant of the fact, not knowing at the time of purchase that they were buying stolen property.” Also related in this article, “registration blanks will soon be mailed [to] automobile owner[s], accompanied by copies of the new act. The registration blanks must be filled out and mailed to the secretary of state with the nominal license fee required. The money derived from the fees will be deposited to a special trust fund, part of which may be used in maintaining a corps of deputies authorized with police powers to enforce the new act and other traffic regulations.”
August 25, 1940
“Public Schools of County Will Open on Monday” heralded the news that “all of the public schools of Watauga County will open for the 1940-41 session on Monday morning, September 2, it is announced by County Superintendent W.H. Walker.” A disclaimer was included to the effect that “[d]ue to the flood damage to roads, it is expected, the school buses may not be able to get to the end of all the bus routes, but will go as far as possible. School children are asked to co-operate for a few days and walk to where they can be met by the buses. At V.D. Ward’s the children will cross the Watauga River on a footbridge, where another bus will be waiting to take them to Cove Creek school.” The epic flooding of 1940 was still being most tangibly felt as the new school year strove to begin in a normal fashion. The same article notes that “high school students are requested to bring $2.40 to pay their book rental fee in order that they may get their books on the first day. Text books for elementary students are furnished by the state without cost.”
August 27, 1959
“Horn in the West Gains Scant Local Help,” a feature subtitled “Writer Says Actual Work Done by Few,” chronicled the perennial financial woes of Boone’s historical outdoor drama by opining that “[e]ver since the official audit of the first season of the ‘Horn’ revealed with certainty that its financiers were backing something less than a big money maker, there has been a waning ardour for colonial culture, and for historical preservation, among many of its backers… quite truthfully, it has been a matter of too little, too late.” According to this article by Ralph Tugman (Democrat Staff Writer), “[t]he brunt of the load has been, and still is, carried on by five men, each of whom serves without compensation. Those men are James Marsh, G.C. Greene, Jr., R.D. Hodges, Jr., Dr. L.H. Owsley and Hugh Hagaman. Upon their heads falls much criticism, to their side rushes but precious little aid from any of us. They have repeatedly told us they need our help desperately.” The Watauga Democrat author, while proclaiming that “it is not the purpose of this writing to proclaim the value of Horn in the West,” nonetheless suggests that the brave endeavor of producing the outdoor drama might well be worthy of consideration for support by the local community.