“With Love from Your Nephew W.B. Greer,” reads the inscription on this photograph, which bears a photographer’s stamp from “Original Davis Studio,819 Broad St.,Richmond.” Courtesy of Historic Boone.
July 15, 1909
“Schools Take the Place of Stills” was the heading on an article from this week’s front page, reprinted, according to the byline, from the News and Observer newspaper. “Two of the counties that have been cursed with whiskey stills stuck about in the caves and near the creeks, are Wilkes and Yadkin. For years, lacking police protection, these stills debauched many of the young men, increased the crimes on the criminal docket, and often produce murder. Some days ago this paper printed some facts showing the remarkable progress in public schools and rural libraries in Wilkes county. Today,” continues the article, “we are taking the liberty of making an extract from a private letter written to the editor of this paper by a leading citizen in Yadkin county.” The letter referred to is quoted as reporting that, “[t]he closing out of the distilleries simply meant a revolution toward a higher and better life for all our people.” The author also told that, “[a]lmost every man, woman, and child you now meet is interested in improved school facilities,” and noted the dramatic increase in school facilities inYadkinCounty, thus: “[w]e have now only one log school house in the county. Eight years ago more than half the school houses were log and hardly a school desk [could be found] in any rural school house.” Also, says the anonymous letter-writer, “[s]eventy-five per cent of the schools have rural libraries.” “No man can read the above statement,” concludes the article, “without being thankful that the school houses are taking the place of the stills.”
July 14, 1938
“Graham Meeting Draws Big Crowd: Tennessee Evangelist’s Revival Bringing People to Boone From All Sections” told of a religious revival sensation involving the Reverend Dan Graham, a preacher from Blountville, Tennessee, who was drawing crowds in the “Mountain Empire” area when future evangelist Billy Graham [no relation] was still pursuing his college studies. “From two to three thousand people are present each evening in Boone to hear Rev. Dan Graham’s evangelistic sermons in the tabernacle especially built by the noted minister, and at no time in the history of the city have so many people evidenced such an interest in church services,” wrote the Watauga Democrat on this day. “Rev. Mr. Graham’s discourses are the straight-from-the-shoulder type and are meeting with the approval of the people of Watauga and adjoining counties. A large number of the able minister’s hearers have been converted and it is felt that great and lasting good is being accomplished for the community.”
“Prize is Offered at Local Curb Market” announced that,”[o]n July 16, the ladies of the local curb market will give away a beautiful cake to the person who is lucky among the customers who buys a dollar’s worth of food. Their name will be put into a box, and at 2:30 p.m. a small child will draw the lucky name. Come and buy your supplies at the corner market. The ladies of the Home Demonstration invite you.”
“Blowing Rock Has New Skating Rink” told this day that “’Scoot and Sit’ is the name of the new skating rink opened Monday in Blowing Rock at the site formerly the home of the G. Suddreth Lumber Co., and the children of the resort are now learning to parse a new Latin verb. They can be heard at their play mumbling, “Skato, Skateri, Falli, Bumptus.’” After this selection of faux Latin, the feature concluded the falling-down theme by alleging that a “careful check of the department stores reveals that there is not a pillow left in the town and as a consequence Blowing Rock claims the distinction of being the only town in the nation which is profiting from a falling market.”
July 14, 1966
“45th Anniversary Noted: Savings & Loan Building Called Finest In Region,” an article with the subtitle “Open House Is To Be Feature Of Week End” was front-page feature in this week’s newspaper. “An open house Friday and Saturday at Watauga Savings & Loan Association will mark the completion of the firm’s $100,000 expansion program,” relayed the news item. The “modernistic facility, which takes in [the Savings & Loan’s] former offices and a building once owned by Western Auto, has been called the most up-to-date building west of Winston-Salem,” according to the item. An accompanying photograph bore the caption, “Local Financial Institution Occupies Imposing Edifice.” The article noted that the Savings & Loan was chartered in 1921 with the motto to “Encourage Thrift Through Home Ownership,” and at its inception “its first office was upstairs in the Watauga County Bank Building, now the West King Street office of Northwestern Bank,” a site now part of the Shoppes at Farmers Hardware emporium.