This photograph depicts a scene from the 1949 celebration of Watauga County’s Centennial. Earl “Jerry” Coe, Mayor Watt Gragg, and Wade Brown (in cap and beard) are gathered in front of the Boone Post Office, Downtown Station. Photo Courtesy of Historic Boone.
September 5, 1912
Modern allergy sufferers may feel a kinship with an announcement / advertisement from this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat: “Hay fever and asthma make August a month of intense suffering to many people. Foley’s Honey and Tar Compound gives prompt ease and relief, and is soothing and healing to the inflamed membranes. Wm. M. Merethew, N. Searsport, Me., says: ‘A few doses of Foley’s Honey and Tar Compound relieved me of a severe attack of asthma and less than a bottle caused a complete cure.’ Refuse substitutes. For sale by all dealers.”
“From the melon wagons to be seen on our street during this and last week,” reads a notice reprinted from the Lenoir Topic newspaper, “it seems that Caldwell farmers are all successful melon growers. We do not remember a time within years when large melons were so plentiful. One remarkable feature about them is most of them all have excellent flavor and are very sweet. The prices are not prohibitory and the citizens of the town do not seem to want to wait until the tariff is revised downward before making investments in this luscious fruit.”
A short witticism asks, “[d]id you ever notice that some people when the collection basket is being passed begin to admire the stained glass windows or look to see if there is a crack in the ceiling of the church?”
September 6, 1934
“Parkway Route Hearing on 18th” continues ongoing reporting in the Watauga Democrat about the origins of the Blue Ridge Parkway, seventy-five years ago this week. “Postponement Announced from Capital. Ickes Will Not Hear Cases in Asheville, as First Given Out. Many Will Attend,” proclaims a bold-faced sub caption. “Secretary Ickes of the Department of the Interior will preside at the meeting to be held in Washington on September 17th [sic – apparently at odds with the date in the heading just quoted], when the location of the Parkway boulevard will definitely be determined from Blowing Rock to the Smokies. The meeting had formerly been scheduled for Asheville on the 10th.” Two possible routes were under consideration, one through western North Carolina and another routed through eastern Tennessee. According to this report, “[i]nformation is that the North Carolina delegation is very hopeful that it will be possible to convince Secretary Ickes of the wisdom of adopting the Carolina routing.”
“Rev. A.H. Askew is Freed Under Bond of $5,000.00,” with a dateline of “Goldsboro, N.C.,” reports that “Rev. R.H. [another headline discrepancy] Askew, 28-year-old four-square evangelist charged with attempted extortion for the kidnapping hoax he perpetrated last month, is free under $5,000 bond.” The story relates that “Askew was jailed August 20th after confessing he left Goldsboro voluntarily and himself wrote notes to his wife and Aimee Semple McPherson, head of the four-square gospel movement, demanding $25,000 ransom for his return.” The note also allegedly “contained a threat to blow up Angelus Temple.” Bond was reportedly “signed Saturday night by his wife, the former Miss Hattie Greer of Blowing Rock, M.L. Jones, J.Z. Hinson, Jesse James, and Mrs. W.L. Pierce.” The minister’s trial date was set for the seventh of September.
“County Schools Open Next Week” reported a relatively late start to the school year, by today’s standards, and also noted that “Cove Creek and Valle Crucis are the only two schools in the County which will fail to open their doors next week.” The article explains that “these two institutions are not expected to open until the 17th, due to the fact that the buses to serve them have not arrived,” according to Superintendent Howard Walker. The combination of the Boone and Poplar Grove schools into one was also noted as a major change for Watauga County schools this year.
September 3, 1953
“’Horn’ Attendance Record Given” notes that “[t]otal attendance at ‘Horn in the West’ for the 1953 season climbed to 39,832 this week,” and stated that “Saturday night again set a record, with 2,086 in the audience.” The outdoor drama’s scheduled run extended into September in this year; the article announced that “’Horn in the West’ will be presented nightly at 8:15 through September 7. The performance on September 7, Labor Day, will be the only Monday night performance of the entire season.”
Items in the classified advertising section of the Watauga Democrat on this date included:
“WANT – We still buy Green Catnip Herb at 4 cents per lb., Galax at 70 cents per thousand, Wild Cherries, ripe, not dry, at 7 cents per lb., Life Root Plant at 9 cents per lb., Blue Cohosh Root at 13 cents per lb., Spearmint Leaves at 35 cents per lb., Log Moss at 8 cents per lb. Jerusalem Oak Herb is being purchased by us by contract. WILCOX DRUG COMPANY.”
“Good 6-Room House, bath, full basement, 2 acres land. Located Junaluska Road, Boone, N.C. Price $5500.”
1930s-era Labor day cartoon, from the Watauga Democrat
Ads from the 1950s (Watauga Democrat)
More 1950s Real Estate ads, from the Watauga Democrat