The Week of Sunday, November 25th, 2012.

“Austin E. South, Mae Belle Casey South: Honeymoon from wedding in Atlanta, July 1916,” reads the caption to this image of a young Boone couple starting a life together. Photo courtesy of Historic Boone

November 28, 1912

A notice in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat signed by a “Dr. C.W. Flenor, Emmett, Tenn.,” began: “WANTED. A good, reliable man with a family of boys who will lease and clean up to 30 acres of corn land and tend it every year until two hundred acres are ready for grass.” Continued the details of the advertisement, “I also have three hundred acres more of this land that I will sell. I will sell it out in either large or small boundaries to suit the purchaser. I also want a good man with small family to feed and tend to my stock and work on farm. A good place for the righ(t) man.” The community of Emmett listed in the solicitation is located outside of Bristol, Tennessee, some 50 miles from Watauga County. An item reproduced from the Wilkes Patriot newspaper reported that a “most distressing and unusual condition prevails at the home of Mr. J.C. Johnson, whose home is near Hunting Creek postoffice (sic), where he and Mrs. Johnson and their five children, who compose the entire family, are confined to their beds, each suffering from typhoid fever. About four weeks ago Treley Johnson, an 18 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, died of fever and within a short time after his death all of the family contracted the disease.” Outbreaks of typhoid fever we not uncommon in the United States during this period, inventor Wilbur Wright having succumbed to the disease in May of the same year.

November 25, 1954

“Christmas Lights To Be Turned On Next Saturday,” announced a headline in this week’s front page. “The switch will be thrown Saturday, November 27, ‘to light up Boone for the Christmas holidays,’ said Russell D. Hodges, chairman of the Merchants Association committee on lights and decorations.” According to reports, “(t)he most lavish display of varicolored Christmas lights seen here in recent years is now in the process of being installed throughout the length and breadth of the main business portion of King Street. Evergreens and other decorations to enhance the beauty of the lights will be put up as fast as the weather permits.” A new addition to this year’s “Yuletide decorations” was to be “a huge, gaily lighted Christmas tree to be erected in the center of town in front of Todd & Higgins Esso station at the earliest possible time, it is announced.”

November 29, 1973

“Resort Operators Are Optimistic On Skiing,” a banner headline splashed across the opening page of this week’s Watauga Democrat, was a subtitle of a headline reporting the more ominous news, “Fuel Shortage Hits Area.” The accompanying story addressed the potential crisis in energy for heating ahead of the good news a hard winter might bring to area ski slopes, noting that, “(a)s the nation begins to feel the effects of the energy crisis, Watauga is not going untouched.” The report related that, “School officials have begun to talk earnestly about summer classes and resorts are planning special promotions aimed at groups and people within a 200-mile radius.” Local industries were also affected, with both the IRC and Vermont American plants facing shortages of energy supplies to powers their operations. “’I think we will survive the winter,’ (IRC Boone Plant Spokesman) Lee Probst said. ‘But a severe winter would make things critical.”

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, November 18th, 2012.

“Circa 1915 outing,” reads a caption affixed to this antique photograph, showing a Watauga County area picnic or camping expedition in days of yore. Image courtesy of the archives of the “Historic Boone” society.

November 21, 1912

In this week’s Watauga Democrat news, a post-election piece entitled “Two Pitfalls” asserted that “(h)ad this campaign borne no other fruit it would still have been worth while for two crushing blows that it struck at demagogic tactics.” The first such blow was allegedly “the clearness with which it has been demonstrated that the man who is so egoistical and thoughtless that he believes his own unsupported word, like Caesar’s, ‘might have stood against the world’ and who therefore vilifies and slanders his opponent and everybody else who has the audacity to oppose or even disagree with him, with no regard for either truth or decency, is digging his own political grave.” The second pitfall which the article claimed had been exposed by the 1912 campaign season was “the contemptible effort to ride into office on church relationship.” Considering  state-level elections, wrote the anonymous author of the editorial treatise, “in North Carolina church and state are absolutely separate, and when a man attempts to garner votes because he is a member of a certain church he does no more than arouse suspicion that he ought to be turned out of the church.”

November 18, 1954

“Flat Top Farmer Is Corn Growing Champ,” a story in this week’s newspaper, told that, “Mr. W.W. Austin of the Flat Top community is the 1954 corn growing champion for Watauga County. Mr. Austin won this honor with the officially estimated yield of 123.55 bushels per acre.” The winner was reported to have “produced this corn on 1953 potato land with W. Va. 1163 hybrid corn. The corn was planted in 34 inch rows about 10 inches in the drill. He used 5-10-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1000 ponds per acre and 400 pounds per acre of calnitro.”

“Honor Plaque To Be Given Burley Grower” announced in another front-page headline that the “Northwest North Carolina Development Association will award an ‘Honor Plaque’ to any burley tobacco farmer who shows proof that he produced at the rate of $1,000.00 per acre on his entire allotment, provided the allotment is 0.7 or more. This is an opportunity for good burley growers to receive some of the honor that they are due for doing a good job.”

November 22, 1973

“Mounties Climb Grid Ladder Despite Disappointing Season,” announced a large headline in this week’s newspaper. Told the story, “(d)espite a 3-7-1 record in what might be termed a disappointing football season in 1973, Appalachian State’s Mountaineers took tremendous strides within the Southeastern Conference. In only its second SC season, ASU moved from eighth place to tie for the fourth spot in the league standings.” Reported the write-up, although “(s)addled with inexperience and depth problems at the season’s outset, ASU encountered a bevy of key injuries along the way they (that) made the road even more difficult.” Clinton Bradshaw and Robbie Kirkpatrick were among the Mountaineers athletes mentioned as having been lost for the season due to serious injuries early in the year.

Published in: on November 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of November 11th, 2012.

“Gone a-Courting – Thanks to Lois P. Hayes of Boone, we get an opportunity to make the acquaintance of two gentlemen, Partee (?) W. Palmer and Dayton Greene – and their horses, Ted and Dan” reads a hand-written caption to this antique photograph. “Miss Lois says this was before cars came out and the men were ‘all dressed up to go courting’.”
Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

November 14, 1912

“Apple Blossoms in Watauga,” a news feature in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, told that, “Mr. and Mrs. Stringfellow of Blowing Rock made last Winter a tour of Asia. They took into their itinerary Japan, a country renowned for blossoms and flowers. They are reported as now saying they have seen more and finer flowers in Watauga County than they saw in all Japan.” The feature, bearing a byline which indicated that it was reprinted from a much larger regional newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, told that the Blowing Rock couple “saw the celebrated cherry blossom festival in Japan and are reported as having said that this festival display of blossoms does not compare with the splendor of Mrs. Cone’s apple orchard of 40,000 trees when in full bloom on their mountainside amphitheater in the Spring.” The Stringfellows were cited as “authorities on flowers,” with a note that “(t)heir home near Blowing Rock is embowered in a splendid show of flowers of their own raising.”

November 11, 1954

“Cops Get It, Too,” reported an article under a dateline of “San Diego, Calif.” which stated that, “(w)hen a truck loaded with roofing nails hit an embankment and overturned on a freeway, nails were scattered everywhere. Before officers, aided by volunteers, could sweep up the 19 kegs of nails, about 50 motorists got punctures, including one police car which had all four tires flattened.”

A brief notice stated that, “(a)ccording to the Department of Agriculture, 80 per cent of the nation’s commercial farms are family-size, and they produce 75 per cent of all farm products sold.”

A sports news feature authored by Larry Klutz, “Blue Devils In 34-0 Victory Over Crossnore Team,” reported that “(t)he Appalachian Blue Devils continued their unbeaten skein by trouncing the Crossnore Highlanders at college field last Friday night by a score of 34-0.” The teams mentioned were representatives of local high schools, the Blue Devils appellation referring to the team of the high school located on the campus of the Appalachian State Teachers College – one of five high schools in Watauga County at the time. Reported Klutz, the “undefeated Blue Devils have won 9 games this year. They go against Millers Creek Friday night in their last game of the season.”

November 8, 1973

“Booze Is Barred; No Pun Intended,” a banner front-page headline in this week’s newspaper, introduced the news that, “(l)iquor by the fifth and by brownbag remains, but the hope of North Carolina’s liquor-by-the-drink forces was smashed early Tuesday night as election results began pouring in to (the) board of elections.” According to the story, in “Watauga County LBTD (liquor by the drink) netted only 1.357 pro-votes while the noes (sic) totaled 5,131 in the balloting to be officially canvassed here Thursday morning.” Early reports relayed in the newspaper indicated that in this statewide referendum, “only five North Carolina counties were carried by LBTD supporters.” Said the write-up, “election-watchers were quick to point out in the aftermath of the news that the liquor issue was not solely a rural-urban battle,” noting that “(m)any an urban and resort-oriented county fell before the opposition (to legalizing liquor by the drink), with Moore, Forsyth, Dare and Durham among their numbers.”

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The Week of November 4, 2012

“Teams Pulling Lumber Across Blue Ridge Mtn.,” reads the caption inscribed on this old photograph, underneath the inscription “Gragg & Loizeaux”. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

November 7, 1912

“Keep after your flies these cool autumn days,” advised an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Keep them out of the house.  They are more persistent in their annoyances after the first few cool nights than ever before. Don’t harbor them over winter. You don’t need any of their seed for next spring.”

A post-election editorial advised, “(n)ow, that the election, the long talked of election, is over, let us all settle down to our usual vocations again, remembering that the State, county and nation are still in safe hands, if a majority of the candidates are defeated. If there have been any wounds inflicted during the stirring campaign let them heal as quickly as possible. Many sharp things are often said in the heat of a political battle that would not have been said under any other circumstances. Wrong it is for hard feelings to exist between friends and neighbors over politics. We all did what we could for our respective candidates and let it stop at that.”

November 4, 1954

“Gangsterish (sic) Rampant On TV Screens” reported and editorialized in this week’s paper that, “(t)hose who look with horror on the flood of comic books which feature thrill stories and who are trying to get some sort of censorship, are perhaps doing the country a good service, but we wouldn’t know right offhand how the practice of publishing these hair-raisers would be stopped. But we have wondered if there couldn’t be something done to rid the tv (sic) screens of the thugs and the killers. So many of the programs feature gangsterism on its basest level, tortures of more or less innocent people, robberies and killings galore, that the fine variety shows and comedy productions that come sandwiched in  between, are particularly pleasing to those of us who spend a good deal of time before the television.” Perhaps hitting on a more perennial truth, the opinion piece expressed a desire that, “if or when they do get some of the horror stuff off the tv, we hope that by that time there will be some more pleasant way of financing the show than by the medium of the singing commercials, which are for a fact an abomination.”

November 1, 1973

“Friends of the Library Organizing in Community” reported in this week’s edition that a “planning committee for a new, local organization, Friends of the Library, met Wednesday. Approximately 15 attended the meeting to discuss possible ways an organization could help the local library.” According to the Democrat article, “Darleen Stanley, temporary chairman, told the group that Friends of the Library would be ‘A group of citizens in the community who have a common concern for their library’s active expansion and participation in community life. They have a conviction that good library service is important to everyone in our county.” The initial meeting discussed plans for a “membership drive later in the year and a county-wide organizational meeting.” The temporary chair was quoted as stating that “the two critical needs of the library are a new bookmobile and a new building,” but that additional emphases of the new Friends of the Library organization would be to “work to increase community awareness and to add to the cultural life of the community.”

An ad for a new heater, from a 1954 edition of the “Watauga Democrat” newspaper of Boone, North Carolina.

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