“Pulling Laurel Mtn. near Gap” reads the caption inscribed on this historical scene of agricultural life in the High Country. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
November 2, 1922
With a dateline of “Asheville, N.C.,” a front-page news article entitled “Two Men are Dead and Two Wounded – Deputy Sheriff Lewis Blevins is One of the Killed; Sheriff Pritchard Escapes: Clash Precipitated When Mitchell County Officers Invade Stronghold of Family” relayed that “[o]ut of Bakersville, Mitchell county, at a section in the wilder part of the Blue Ridge, cut off entirely from the outside world through lack of telephones, telegraph or railroad connection, came a story of a mountain feud which, long smoldering, reached a climax, when county officers, headed by Sheriff Clyde Prichard invaded the stronghold of one family in search of blockade stills, at the instigation and under the direction of the rival clan.” Head Sheriff Clyde Prichard had “agreed to wait” for the informants to “bring him three stills within an hour,” and, while waiting, the sheriff “heard shots from the direction where Deputy Sheriff Lewis Blevins had been waiting on his horse for the return of the sheriff.” The sheriff hurried to the scene of this assault and was “in the act of disarming” the assailant (who “according to the sheriff handed over his pistol and said he had killed Blevins”), along with two companions in an automobile, when two other men (one a relative of the killed deputy) “rode up on horses” and commenced an exchange of gunfire with the men in the automobile “before the sheriff could interfere.” “As a result,” reports the news item, “two are dead and two more seriously wounded, while four men wanted on charges ranging from simple assault to murder are at large in the wilds along the upper reaches of Big Rock creek.”
November 4, 1943
“Commissioners to Consider Division Boone Township” reported in this week’s issue of the Watauga Democrat that a “group of citizens of Boone township have given notice through the column of this newspaper today that on Monday, December 6th, they will apply to and petition the Board of Commissioners of Watauga County to divide Boone township into three distinct and separate townships.” The petition was to ask that the existing Boone Township be divided into a township district including “the corporate limits of the town of Boone as now established,” a township called New River Township to the east, and a township to be designated as Brushy Fork to the west. According to the report, “[t]he formal notice of the action to be taken is signed by the following citizens of the township: G.C. Greene, W.H. Gragg, W.I. Cook, Ralph G. Greer, S.C. Eggers, M.C. Hollar, W.C. Carroll, G.F. Cook, Grady Hayes, and L.M. Trivett.”
“Deep Gap Store Robbed on Last Friday Evening” relayed that “the general store of Mr. A.G. Miller of Deep Gap was entered some time during last Friday night, and a large amount of merchandise and ration stamps stolen.” Items taken, as reported by storeowner Miller, included “about 14,000 cigarettes,” “5 Douglas batteries, $50.00 in small change, a number of blankets, a .32 Remington rifle, about 400 gallons of gas ration stamps of the R series, and 200 to 300 of the T series; a number of sugar ration stamps, and all the sugar in store, about 100 pounds.” Mr. Miller “ask[ed] that anyone learning about any of the missing goods, or getting any other information on the robbery, please notify the authorities.”
November 5, 1970
“Speaker Says Russia Interested in Talking” was the headline of an article which began by stating that “[t]he two American generals whose small airplane violated Russian airspace may be in for a prolonged visit in the USSR, a Soviet specialist from the U.S. Dept. of State said here Wednesday.” Michael Wygant, “an analyst with the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, said during a speech to students of Appalachian State University that “the Russians probably see the intrusion as an accident,” but that the Soviet leadership would probably “use the incident to protest the presence of American bases in Turkey.” Wygant “added that the USSR still regards the United States as its number one enemy but said that the Soviets have a real interest in negotiations with America.”
“Bookmobile Report Made” stated that the “Watauga County Bookmobile, which is on the road three days per week, has released the report of its activities for last year. Its circulation of books was 2,462 in community stop, 9,774 at stations and 2,214 at schools for a total of 14,450. It listed 38 direct-service stops in communities, 66 at deposit stations, five at schools and three at institutions.”
Do you have historical photographs of the Blue Ridge Parkway which you would like to share as part of the upcoming Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Parkway? Please send an email to email@example.com.