“Dr. and Mrs. William Matheson – Dentist Office,” reads the brief caption inscribed on this partially-damaged photograph.
Courtesy Historic Boone
October 17, 1889
An article under the headline “Waiting for Gabriel” reported in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat that, “(a) rumor that the little band of Adventists located at Eatontown, N.J., had fixed upon midnight to-night as the end of the world, and that a farewell of all things earthly was to have been taken yesterday, attracted several curious people to the pretty little village yesterday afternoon. It had been asserted that these followers of the doctrine of William Mille(r), the Massachusetts enthusiast and the founder of the secret (sect?), were ready with their ascension robes and were wainting (sic) in the full expectation that the sun was going to rise but once more and that with the coming of Oct. 7, the dread trump would be sounded and the ‘third woe’ of Revelation made manifest.” As reported by the local Watauga newspaper, the expectation of a specific date and hour was “proved to be incorrect,” and, at least according to one Adventist leader cited (“Ezek Wolcott, the local leader” in Eatontown), the non-ending of the world was attributed to differences between the Hebrew and Roman calendars, with the prophesied end having been forecast for “the seventh day of the tenth month,” which had since been discovered to be according to the ancient Israelite reckoning rather than the modern Gregorian calendar. The article reported that “careful and exhaustive research has convinced present believers that they have at last, in their possession the key to the mystery, and that there cannot possibly be a mistake this time.” According to the report, many in the extended Walcott family were members of the group, and one, during a prior anticipated apocalypse in 1873, “mounted to the roof of his house, and there waited until it became dark,” at which time “a brilliant meteor shot across the sky,” whereupon “the Elder took the flight of this heavenly wanderer as a signal; and, crying with a loud voice, ‘The hour has come!’ he leaped into space.” Those “in the lower part of the house were startled by a large crash at the same moment, and they ran out to see the elder shoot through a grape arbor and land partly on his nose and partly on his stomach.” The ill-starred Elder survived with one broken arm and emerged “so bruised that large amounts of liniment were found necessary to ease his pain.”
October 21, 1926
“Election Returns By Radio,” a front-page news item in this week’s paper, narrated that, “In an effort to render the best possible service to Democrat subscribers and friends, the management has arranged with the Boone Electric Company to install its very best radio set in The Democrat office on election day, so that those interested may come in election night and receive state and national returns. The machine to be used is of the best make and there will be no difficulty in hearing reports from the various states. A cordial invitation is extended to all to be our guests at that time.”
“American Airmen Rain Bombs On Japs (sic) in Solomons,” announced an article with a dateline of “Washington, Oct.20,” which told that, “(i)n a strenuous effort to disorganize Japan’s big Solomon island offensive before it can really get started, American flyers are showering enemy troops and supply dumps with bombs in a non-stop series of raids, it is reported tonight.” Guadalcanal was a particular target during the bombing campaign. As of press time, however, it was reported that “there was no means of telling… whether the air raids had altered Japanese plans, or whether the enemy was following a prearranged schedule of getting set and fully prepared before launching a land offensive designed to wrest the vital Guadalcanal airfield from the American marines and army men.” After fierce fighting on land and by sea over the next two months, Japanese military commanders eventually decided to withdraw from the island of Guadalcanal.