December 31, 1903
“The Library In Boone,” an article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, began, “(t)his is no new subject to many of us but can we talk too much about it? It is by far one of the best moves ever made in our little village. In the first place our people love to read and then think of the little children here in town and of their future. Let’s all pull together shoulder to shoulder for the success of the library. So much depends upon it. Good books are our best friends. No young person is in much danger who forms a taste for reading useful books and read them they will if they are put within their reach. Let’s do all we can for the younger people and we can think of no way that they can receive greater benefit than by putting them in touch with good books. Let’s make a success of the library.”
December 23, 1920
“On Across A Wilderness” reported this week that “(r)ecent discovery of new and rich oil fields in a remote part of Canada has served to impress the people with the vastness of the country.” Reported the story, “Fort Norman is the nearest point to the locality of the oil, and Fort Norman is 1,000 miles from a railroad.” Confronted with this geographical challenge, however, the writer asserted that “London heard of the oil discovery and of the predicament developed, and at once set about to solve the trouble.” The proposed transport solution was “utilization of the war tank for transportation service.” With this solution, “the guarantee is to move freight across any ground, such as prairie, deserts, ditches, small drifts and gullies, scrub and treeless jungle, forests of trees not more than 18 inches in diameter three feet from the ground, also swamp, ice and snow. The tanks are capable of a speed of 15 miles per hour, and are said to be cheaper in operation than agricultural caterpillars.” Commented the article, attributed to the Charlotte Observer, “(t)he fever for oil these days seems akin to that of the fever for gold in the (18-)40s and new and strange sights are being staged for the great wilderness that intervenes between civilization and the remote territory which is now to be brought under exploitation by the overland oil tank transportation line.”
December 31, 1959
“Building Boomed In 1959,” a front-page headline, introduced a news story which related that “(p)ermits for nearly a half million dollars of construction” were issued during the year by the Watauga County building inspector Howard Cottrell. The estimated total included “permits for 17 new residences… at a total cost of $268,000” as well as “additions to two homes for $3,500,” and for “eight new business buildings and renovations at a cost of $158,000, and one new apartment house at $44,000.” Not included in the county figures were additions at the Appalachian State Teachers College, which also had seen additions during the year, including “a new wing to East Hall Dormitory for women,” an “addition to the college library,” and “a new steam boiler.” Together the collegiate and private building projects “boosted total building in the town to over a million dollars,” roughly equivalent to eight million dollars in 2012.