The Week of February 20th, 2011

“Appalachian Training School c. 1915 – Administration Bldg.” reads a note affixed to this old photograph.

(Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society)

February 28, 1895

“The experience of Mr. R.D. Whitney, an influential and prominent citizen of Martindale, N.C., will no doubt be perused with interest by people in all parts of the country,” notes an article in this week’s issue of the Watauga Democrat. “For years he has been subject to violent attacks of inflammatory rheumatism; on the first of Feb. he had an attack, which settled in one of his knees and caused almost unbearable pain, for two days. He obtained a bottle of Chamberlain’s Pain balm from W.M. Houston & Co., merchants at Mecklenburg, N.C. He writes that it gave almost immediate relief and gives Chamberlain’s Pain Balm the highest praise and advises all persons troubled with like afflictions to use it and get relief. For sale by W.L. Bryan.” This advertisement is nestled neatly at the end of the “Washington Letter” segment of the paper, appearing at first glance as another news item. Other paid advertising of the time was less subtle (see illustration, below).

Within the body of the actual “Washington Letter” column, which bears the subtitle “From our Regular Correspondent,” it was reported that “(n)o attacks ever made upon a President in either House of Congress were more cowardly than those which have been and are now being made upon President Cleveland for having bought gold which he considered necessary for the preservation of the credit of the government upon the best available terms.” The item asserts that “there are not two men in the United States whose reputation for honesty and integrity are higher than Grover Cleveland and (U.S. Secretary of the Treasury) John G. Carlisle,” who alleged that “the contract for the issue of those bonds to purchase the needed gold was the best to be obtained.” The author of the “Washington Letter” feature alleges that the attacks on these two Democratic politicians “are cowardly because those who make them know that the President cannot fully reply to them without saying things which they are certain his patriotism will prevent his saying.”

February 22, 1951

“Vehicle Registration [sic] Reach All-Time High” reported from Raleigh that “(t)otal registrations of motor vehicles in North Carolina mounted to 1,171,228 during 1950, an all time high, the Department of Motor Vehicles reported today,” an increase of more than 140,000 license plates over the prior year. According to the article, in the first month of 1951, 749,736 license plates had been sold already in the new year, noting that “(t)he figure represents an increase of 78,844 over the same date [January 31st] last year.”

“Plant Bed Covers Don’t Carry Mold” was a front-page article, which reported that “(s)ome North Carolina tobacco growers are destroying old supplies of plant bed covers in the mistaken belief that blue mold will carry over from one season to the next in such covers.” The Watauga Democrat writer relates that “(p)lant disease specialists at N.C. State College say, however, that using old plant bed covers will have no effect whatever on blue mold,” and quotes “Howard R. Gariss, plant pathologist for the State College Extension Service,” who suggested that the “two main sources of infection… are wind-blown spores that may travel hundreds of miles, and old plant bed sites where the disease was present in previous years.” Due to short supplies of canvas, tobacco farmers were encouraged to “use all old covers possible and thus prevent shortage in some areas,” and advised the use of “combination weed control treatment or other partial soil sterilization treatment” to combat the blue mold threat.

February 22, 1968

Beneath an underlined header reading “Controversy Continues,” a bold front-page headline proclaimed on this date “Deerfield Citizens Meet Co. Airport Commission,” followed by the caption “Legal Action Airstrip Issue Is Indicated” and a byline crediting Rachel Rivers as author of the article, dealing with controversy on the subject of Boone’s air field. “Stiff pleasantries and charges of conflict-of-interests turned to partial agreement and talk of court action when the Deerfield-Bamboo Steering Committee confronted the Watauga Airport Commission Thursday night, “ wrote Rivers. “After lengthy disagreement on who was supposed to be there, the two groups decided to go ahead and Armfield Coffey of Boone was asked to be chairman” of the Steering Committee, records the article.

“The grievances of the Steering Committee were to be several-fold, starting with an old wound, the authority of the Airport Commission to condemn property for an airport, and ending with a community complaint against a landing strip, known as the Boone-Blowing Rock Airport,” continued Rivers’ summary of the gathering. Other developments of the meeting as reported were the possibility being raised of the intent of the Steering Committee to “go to court June 5, 1968, to see whether the non-profit airport on Deerfield Road can be declared a public nuisance.” The story reports that the Steering Committee had already, earlier in that same month, made appeal to the County Commissioners “to make this declaration and close down the airstrip,” apparently without success.

This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.


An advertisement from an 1895 issue of Watauga Democrat offers employment opportunity in the life insurance trade.

Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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