A scene from “Echoes of the Blue Ridge,” an outdoor drama conceived as part of the celebration of the Centennial of Watauga County in 1949. The predecessor to the “Horn in the West” drama featured scenes from events in the history of the area from early times to the Centennial. This tableau, including live horses in the background, appears to be a recreation of a Civil War era event. Courtesy of Historic Boone.
July 28, 1910
“The Troutman Buggy Company at Troutman[,] Iredell County was destroyed by fire on the 19th just [past]. The loss was $5,000 with $3,000 insurance,” reported a brief news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat.
An advertisement for “The Watauga County Bank, Boone, N.C.,” proclaimed, “[t]he stockholders of this bank are among the best citizens of Watauga County, and each one is liable for twice the amount of his stock. Besides having a Time-Lock safe the bank carries Burglar Insurance. The Cashier is required to give bond. Money is loaned only on approved security – no speculation. The bank is run strictly in accordance with the state banking laws. For Safety and Convenience handle your money through this bank. Interest paid on time deposits.” Within a dozen years of this ad, the Watauga County Bank would build an imposing structure in downtown Boone, a building which still bears the bank’s name on its facade.
“The largest find at the premium mines in South Africa,” reported an item of from the wider world, “according to advices reaching Maiden Lane,New York, is a fine white diamond weighing 191 carats, worth $150,000, uncut. It is estimated that the largest perfect diamond that could be cut from it would be pear shaped and would be worth $200,000.”
An announcement for Meredith College from “President R.T. Vann, Raleigh, N.C.” announced, “Among the Foremost colleges for Women in the South,” with a “Course in Liberal Arts covering nine departments.” Offerings noted included “A.B. degree –School of Music, including Piano, Pipe Organ, Violin and Voice,” a “SchoolofArt, including Decoration, Designing, and Oil Painting,” and “elective courses in Education and Bible.”
July 28, 1938
“Local Author Finishes Book” reported in this week’s newspaper that, “David P. Allison, Boone author, states that he has just finished the manuscript for ‘Into the Harbor,’ the fourth book which has come from his pen within the past 18 months.” The write-up notes that, “the new volume, it is said, has a mid-western locale, with a newspaper office with which the author is familiar, as a background.” The writer was already planning his next novel: “Mr. Allison is now outlining a story the title of which will be The ‘Fifth Generation.’ The plot will have a mountain setting and although in the writing of fiction, the correct names of towns and people are not usually given, the author states that persons familiar with this section will easily recognize the communities and characters featured.” The newspaper was undertaking a contest offering “a one year subscription to The Democrat for an appropriate name for the community,” which was to be based upon Boone, and which was to figure prominently in the forthcoming work. It was hoped that “the new book, which will deal entirely with this immediate section, will be of considerable advertising value to the area.” The volume was published as “The Fifth of the Medlocks” in 1940 by the Wm. B. Eerdmans Company.
July 28, 1966
“Fess Parker Coming – Daniel Boone TV Star to Visit DB Country,” announced a banner headline in this week’s issue. “Noted Actor to Appear on Horn Stage,” continued the heading. “And what more likely place for Daniel Boone to visit than Daniel Boone country itself?” After this opening, the article continues, “[s]o it is that on Thursday, August 4, Fess Parker, lanky star of television’s Daniel Boone series, will arrive in Boone for a guest appearance at Horn in the West.” In addition to the guest appearance in Boone’s outdoor drama, scheduled events included a dinner in the actor’s honor, a photography session at the Horn in the West amphitheatre, and a meeting with the press. “As a matter fact,” notes the article, “motelers in the area are each supplying a room, free of charge, for the visiting press.”
“Miss Sherrill, 10, Wins Tweetsie Disneyland Trip,” was a headline accompanied by a photograph bearing the caption, “Fred Kirby, the famous Tweetsie Railroad cowboy, is shown presenting the free family trip to Disneyland to Debbie Sherrill, age 10, of Belmont, N.C. Looking on with approval is Debbie’s 8 year old brother, and Mrs. Sherrill.” The trip giveaway, “for an all expense paid trip to world famous Disneyland in California,” was conducted by Tweetsie Railroad and was estimated to have had almost one hundred thousand entrants. Transportation for the winning family was to be via “jet from Charlotte to Anaheim,Calif.,” then by “helicopter to Anaheim, where the park is located.” Two days of accommodations and park admission, as well as travel expenses, were included in the prize package. According to the article, “Debbie’s eight-year-old brother has decided he likes girls, and especially his older sister, since he gets to tag along with ‘Sis’ to Disneyland, and make his first plane trip by jet.”