“Boone Fire Department, 1960.” As listed in the accompanying inscription, fire department members pictured are, left to right, first row: Lewis Reese, Howard Cottrell, Charles Blackburn, Raleigh Cottrell, Joe Crawford; second row: Grant Ayres, R.D. Hodges Jr., Phil Vance, Cecil Greene, Cecil Carter, and Cecil Farthing. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
October 30, 1890
“Railroads in North Carolina” reported on this day that, “[a]lthough railroads are running to only sixty out of ninety-six county seats, they are running their trains within the borders of all but twelve of the counties of North Carolina. These counties are Hyde, Tyrell, Dare, and Greene, in the east; Stanly and Davie, in the center; Allegheny, Ashe, Watauga and Yancey in the northwest; and Transylvania and Clay, in the extreme west. In four of these, Stanly, Davie, Yancey and Transylvania, railroads are now in process of construction. A year hence we shall have railroads to sixty-three county seats and within the borders of eighty-eight counties.” Although the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad had been chartered in 1866 by the Tennessee General Assembly, and had reached Cranberry, North Carolina, by 1882, a line to Boone was not added until almost thirty years after this article, in 1919.
“This issue of the Democrat will be the last until after the election,” announced another item. “In our next we will publish the result, and it is with the democrats to say what the result shall be. If you go to work and work vigilantly until the sun goes down on the 4th of Nov. and bring out all the voters, you will gain a victory to be proud of. The republicans are unusually active and will vote every man in their party. Boone township is wide awake and will do its full duty, and will roll up such a majority as will astonish the natives. Every man to his post and fight the battle of the ballot to its finish and victory is ours.” It was also not until some thirty years after this issue that the newspaper publicly proclaimed itself “politically independent”.
October 25, 1934
“John D. Rockefeller Jr. to Pay Brief Visit to Mrs. Milton at Blowing Rock” captured a featured spot in this week’s edition. “John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Mrs. Rockefeller left Blowing Rock on Tuesday of last week, after having been guests since the previous Saturday of Mrs. David Milton.” Reported the Democrat, “[t]he coming and going of the celebrated oil magnate’s heir and his wife were veiled with such secrecy, it is said, that even the residents of Blowing Rock were unaware of their visit until after it had ended. Since that time, however, there has been speculation as to whether or not the Rockefellers may establish an estate in the Blowing Rock country.”
“Bulwinkle Cites New Deal as Boon to Great Masses” was another front-page item in this edition. “Hon. A.L. Bulwinkle, Major in the Thirteenth Division during the World War and representative in Congress from the tenth district for the past twelve years, answered the foes of the New Deal in an address to a large crowd of Wataugans who gathered in the courthouse Tuesday evening… Repeating the charges being made by Republican leaders that the liberties were being taken from the people, Mr. Bulwinkle entered into a vigorous endorsement of the Roosevelt era and decried the kind of liberties which brought hunger, cold, and general unemployment to fifteen million breadwinners in a land of plenty.” Also in defending the Roosevelt Administration’s policies, “Mr. Bulwinkle declared that mistakes were bound to occur in putting over such a stupendous recovery program, especially as regards the direct relief, but stated that the life of one hungry child was worth the expenditure.”
October 29, 1979
“Dedication,” a caption to a front-page photograph, reported that a “larger crowd than the meeting room could accommodate gathered Sunday afternoon for the renaming of the county senior center to the Lois Evans Harrill Senior Center, in memory of Mrs. Harrill who died this spring. Mrs. Harrill was instrumental in acquiring services for the elderly in Watauga. She also founded and served as director of the Project on Aging.”
“Halloween is for Little Kids” quoted then-Sheriff Ward Carroll as saying that, “Halloween’s the night for little kids, not grown folks,” emphasizing the commitment of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office to making Halloween a safe night for young Trick-or-Treaters and preventing dangerous and illegal activities. According to the article, “[t]wo of the most dangerous pranks that Carroll warned against doing are throwing eggs or blocking small county roads with stones or trees.” Tips on safe trick-or-treating from the Boone Police Department were also included.