The Week of June 26th, 2011

Identified with the imprint “Nat. W. Taylor, Elk Park, N.C.,” this photograph captures an unidentified family of ten (plus canine) and their home. Note the distinctive bowler hat and other articles of formal dress, the woman posing with a guitar in hand, and the mortar-less “dry stone” wall. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

June 25, 1908

“The law requires that all Confederate pensioners (soldiers and widows) shall renew their application before the Clerk of the Court,” announces an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, “and that all prospective pensioners must file such application between now and July 6th, to obtain recognition by the pension board.”

“The weather is most splendid just now – sunshine amid showers so interspersed that vegetation is fairly luxuriating,” was a weather item which was balanced by another notice conveying that, “(a) severe wind storm Monday morning did slight damage to growing crops, and much of the young fruit was shaken from the trees.”

“Another Rail Road Meeting” reported that, “(t)he Watauga County Railroad Company held its second meeting at Blowing Rock last Friday. Stock to the amount of $10,000 was taken. It is hoped and believed that all the subscription to the proposed (rail-)road last fall may be turned to this enterprise. Messrs. Cone and Irvin were appointed to a committee to see what the Carolina and North Western road would do for the new road from Edgemont or Lenoir to some point in Watauga.” Two other men, “Messrs. Barnhardt and Hinkle,” were said to be planning to “see the Yadkin Lumber Co. and learn just what they would do to come from Lenoir to Cook’s Gap.” Interestingly, the article suggests that, “(n)o one knows just what will be done, if anything,” a perhaps prescient sentiment at the time, as a rail link would not come into Boone until over a decade later, when the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (or, “Tweetsie”) added a spur in 1919 connecting Boone and Cranberry, North Carolina.

June 29, 1939

“Postoffice (sic) Will be Completed 8th” was a news headline of this day, which was subtitled, “Contractors Rush Work as Finishing Touches Are Being Put On Federal Building.” According to the report, “(a) large force of carpenters, painters, and other mechanics is working overtime in putting the finishing touches on the new federal building for Boone,” which, “barring unforeseen delays, will be finished by July 8.”  A description tells that the “postoffice is of native stone and is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture and workmanship to be found in the state. The trim is painted in a light buff…. The interior will be beautifully appointed. The floor is terrazzo marble chips, wainscot of Tennessee Tavernelle Clair, with a base of dark cedar marble. New fixtures are to be installed throughout.”

A related article in the same issue was headed, “New Postoffice to Contain Mural: Treasury Department Announces Competition for One Mural for Each State in the Union.” The story details that, “(t)he section of fine arts, procurement division, United States treasury, has announced a competition for a mural painting in each of the forty-eight states of the union, and information given to the local newspaper by the department indicates that the mural for North Carolina will be located in the Boone postoffice, which is now is process of completion. The mural is to be 11 feet, 8 inches wide and 4 feet, 6 inches in height and will be located on the end wall of the public lobby over the postmaster’s door, and artists from every state in the union are expected to submit designs in an effort to ‘procure the finest living art for permanent decoration of public buildings.’ No limit has been set on the number of designs an artist may wish to submit, and 48 commissions will be given out as a result of the anonymous competitions.” The story relays that, “(t)he subject matter for the mural will likely be of local interest,” and “any artist may compete for either (sic) of the 48 postoffices, as depending on his knowledge and interest in the region in which the building is located.” Winning artists were scheduled to be announced in October of 1939. The winner for North Carolina was the depiction of Daniel Boone by native New Yorker Alan Tompkins seen inside the Boone Post Office today.

June 29, 1978

“WSOC-TV’s Brad Lacey to Appear at ‘Horn’ Opener” told on this day that, “Brad Lacey of WSOC television in Charlotte will appear in the opening performance of ‘Horn in the West’ this Friday and the show will be filmed for a ‘Lacey Is…’ segment on Chanel 9 news.” According to the article, the Charlotte television star’s appearance would be among a host of festive events at the annual start of the outdoor drama’s summertime run. Other opening night special events were to include “dinner served by the Dan’l Boone Inn,” an appearance by “Bob Matheson of the Miami Dolphins,” music, and “a tomahawk throwing demonstration by the Watauga Party of the American Mountain Men.”

“July 4 Celebration Planned Downtown” reported that, “(h)istoric figures from the past such as George Washington, Betsy Ross, Patrick Henry and Daniel Boone will visit downtown Boone next week during a special Fourth of July celebration.” It was announced that, “downtown employees and merchants will be dressing in colonial costumes and the town will be decorated with flags and red and blue bunting.”

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 a 1931 edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper of Boone, North Carolina.

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Published in: on June 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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