“Carpenters all in a row,” reads the caption to this photograph of six men bearing the tools of their trade and standing alongside the storefront of the Boone Hardware establishment. “The gentleman on the left and the one second from right are unidentified, but the others (from left) are: Ezner Beach, Will Hodges, Frank Cullers (a brother of Ed Cullers) and, on the end, at right, Pink Hodges. A.T and Daisy Adams place the date of this picture at about 1922, when Boone Hardware occupied the building known since 1924 as Farmers Hardware,” notes a description attached to the image. Courtesy the archives of the Historic Boone society.
*** Note: a word was passed along via the Watauga Democrat that ” the photo caption should say that the building was known as Farmers’ Hardware since 1932, not since 1924″. The caption above was as originally written (in a printed format, actually, which looks as if it may have come from a clipping from the ‘Watauga Democrat’, but that is just a theory, as no such identifying information exists on the caption…) in the information affixed to the original archival image, and was reproduced therefore with the 1924 date, which may, indeed, be inaccurate.
July 25, 1901
“The Democracy should temporarily postpone the consideration of all subordinate problems and make the principle of constitutional liberty the paramount issue,” according to an item in this week’s edition of the “Watauga Democrat” newspaper. “It should nominate a man who can conciliate all of the anti[-]imperialistic forces. And it will be in a position to command the unqualified support of the various organizations. Meanwhile we congratulate the anti-imperialists upon their courageous determination. – Henry Watterson.” The undersigned Watterson was the editor of the Louisville “Courier-Journal”, and was a leading critic during the time of the “imperialism” of Spain, and ran articles in his newspaper encouraging the efforts of the United States to counter Spanish influence during and after the Spanish-American War.
Another editorial item asserted, “[w]hen anything good is said for the mountain people the first inclination is to ‘blab’ it by the one who bears it. A gentleman who has taught much in different counties below the mountain and has also taught in Watauga different times, says that he would much rather teach here, as the children are so bidable [sic] and nice, and the patrons are not forever picking flaws with the teacher. He said, also, that the most advanced school that he had ever taught had been in Watauga.”
July 24, 1941
“Aluminum Drive Gets Underway in This Section: Boone and Blowing Rock Collaborating in Campaign to Raise Aluminum” proclaimed an article heading in this week’s paper. The aluminum was “being used in the air defense program,” according to the story. “Miss Elizabeth Bridge, who is working with the various county units, reports excellent co-operation of all units,” reported the article. A personal note recorded that “Robert Greene of Blowing Rock has agreed to contribute his antique Franklin automobile, which is almost entirely aluminum, at a minimum charge of $10.”
A related news article, “Aluminum Good For Movies On Friday,” relayed that, “Manager H.C. Trotter of the Appalachian Theatre, in an effort to aid in the defense drive for old aluminum, has announced that Friday afternoon from 2 to 3 o’clock , any person, child or adult, may gain admission to the theatre with the presentation of any kind of piece of aluminum. The film being shown on this occasion is ‘Down Argentine Way,’ one of the most popular of recent cinema releases.”
July 23, 1968
“Coffey Signs With Metropolitan Opera,” a story by Rachel R. Coffey of the “Watauga Democrat”, began, “[w]hen he says he’s with the Met some people think he means he makes a living playing baseball. Stretching the point less are some who assume it’s the Metropolitan Life Insurance Agency he’s talking about.” The story continued with the clarification, “after years of study and aiming for the top, Frank Coffey is at last with “the Met” – as in Metropolitan Opera.” Coffey “used to be a soldier, an Indian, and a settler” in the summer outdoor drama “Horn in the West” in the 1950s, during which time he “’was killed four times – twice in the same battle.’” The story tells that a “baritone, he wasn’t in the Horn chorus, but studied with his Aunt Virginia Linney of Boone.” The opera star’s career path had included stints in the U.S. Air Force and working for an Asheville bakery as well as the Parkway Company of Boone in the years prior to his landing a spot in the prestigious opera company.
An 1894 advertisement from the Watauga Democrat newspaper of Boone, North Carolina.