“Campus Scene, Appalachian State Teachers’ College, Boone, N.C.” reads the caption to this postcard, which dates from circa 1940. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
July 30, 1903
A news item in this week’s edition of the “Watauga Democrat,” under a byline indicating that the news had been reprinted from the “Charlotte Observer” of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, began, “[t]he question of keeping laborers is getting to be a serious question, not only to the farmers in this county but to the people in Charlotte who employ many hands.” Continued the article, “[f]or three years Mecklenburg has suffered some for the lack of farm hands, and this year it is feeling the scarcity of labor more than ever. Crops suffer and the yield is cut short because of the lack of attention at the proper time. The one good effect this has on the farmers of the county is that it is compelling them to open their purses and invest in improved, in labor saving machinery. More machinery has been sold in Charlotte within the past two years than for any four years previous.” The article suggests that an exodus of African American workers had created the shortage in hired farm help, but that, correspondingly, the “scarcity of hands has greatly increased the size of the wages for the remainder,” and alleged that, “more builders and skilled workmen are employed in the city now than ever before and the demand is still greater than the supply, although the good wages are attracting the class of workmen desired from other towns.”
July 25, 1940
“Work On New Church Started Here: Presbyterians Plan to Have Excavation of Lot Completed by End of the Week,” a front-page item in this week’s newspaper, reported that, “[g]round has been broken for the erection of the new $25,000 James I. Vance Memorial Presbyterian church and the excavation for the construction of the handsome new building is expected to be finished by the end of the week.” The new church was to “occupy a lot near the entrance to the city cemetery,” and was “designed by D.R. Beeson, Johnson City architect, and the interior and exterior of the brick structure will follow the early American style of architecture.”
July 25, 1963
“’Mystery Hill’ Structures Destroyed in Blaze” reported in this edition that, “a small building housing a gravitation phenomenon, an ancient telephone, two curios more than 100 years old, a side saddle and an ox yoke were all that remained of the Mystery Hill Museum of Mountain Life, mid-way between Boone and Blowing Rock, after a fire broke out Sunday morning.” Co-owner Buford Stamey was cited as saying that “the blaze was started by defective electrical wiring.” A brief history of the Mystery Hill museum recorded that the attraction had been “[e]rected about eight years ago by W.F. Hudson of Florida and purchased by Stamey and [R.J.] Underwood of Boone five years ago, [and that] the large frame structure also housed a restaurant in which new equipment had recently been installed.” Mystery Hill’s owners “reported that 30,000 people visited the museum last year and that business had been equally good this season.” Plans were to rebuild the museum site as soon as possible, although the owners did not think that “the curios, which were displayed to show how mountain people lived in the past, [could] be replaced.”
1893 advertisement from the Watauga Democrat newspaper of Boone, North Carolina, U.S.A.