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“Daniel Boone Hotel.” A postcard of an unknown date capturing the facade of the former downtown Boone landmark.
Courtesy Historic Boone
April 24, 1913
“It has been alleged that among the enlisted men at the naval station in San Francisco,” reported a front-page article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, “there is a wide spread usage of cocaine. Secretary Daniels has directed investigation, made (? – sic) and says he will not wait for any red tape, or long collection of proofs.” Concluded the news notice, “(i)t simply must be eliminated.”
An item attributed to the Lexington Dispatch, which was apparently included as locally relevant, proclaimed, “(w)hat we all want is a road that is good 365 days in the year. This thing of being cut off from town, church and from your neighbors three or four months out of the year because of bad roads, is not to be borne in these days of progress.”
An advertisement for the “Virginia-Carolina Chemical Co., Box 1117, Richmond, Virginia” announced “Save Farm Labor – Make it Produce More.” The ad alleged that, “(w)ith practically the same labor, horses, mules, wagons and implements, you can produce bigger crops from the same, or less acreage. It takes no more work to raise 60 to 90 bushels of corn, or one and a half to two bales of cotton, to the acre than it takes to make ordinary yields. It is not necessary to plant a larger acreage to get a bigger yield. Simply work and cultivate the same amount of land more thoroughly. You can produce bigger crops of COTTON, CORN, TOBACCO, AND ALL CROPS with Virginia-Carolina High-Grade Fertilizers. They contain plant foods which enrich the soil, increase the yield and make farming more profitable.
April 28, 1938
“Local Hotel Receives Renovation” reported in this week’s newspaper that, “(d)uring the past week Mr. J.B. McCoy has been thoroughly renovating the Daniel Boone Hotel in preparation for the summer visitors, who will soon begin to arrive in Boone. From attic to basement the equipment, floors and walls have been renewed. In the lobby a restful color scheme of tan, white and dark brown has been carried out, while the dining room is a clean and beautiful black and white. Floors have been sanded and waxed and every wall in the hotel retouched. Outside painting has not been completed, but painters are at work on woodwork and signs every day. A new heating and water system and new kitchen ranges are being installed, and within a few days new hangings, rugs and tableware will add to the charm of this popular hostelry.” The downtown Boone landmark “popular hostelry” was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and demolished soon thereafter to make way for a condominium development.
April 27, 1944
“Crimea Become Nazi Dunkirk” reported this week that, “(t)he Crimea again occupies the historical spotlight as Red forces push the Nazis into a pocket at Sevastopol. “ A detailed map inset with the brief story explained that, “(t)his close-up reveals how German and Rumanian armies were trapped (1) when Reds reached Dzankhoi and (2) cut communications link. Meanwhile amphibious forces took over Kerch (3) and moved rapidly towards Feodosiya and Simferopol. Nazis made desperate attempts to evacuate by boat as Russia moved swiftly to check this means of escape.” The accompanying map showed the multi-directional advances by Soviet forces which left the Axis armies pushed to the coast of the Crimean peninsula.
Advertisements from a 1912 edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper feature two products: the latest technology of ironing without a fire, and the more archaic medium of tombstones.
This photograph bears the caption, “Watauga County Court House. Boone, N.C. Altitude 3332 feet. Highest East of the Rockies.” The building shown was built in 1904, just a few years before the article below noted recent legislation mandating that the North Carolina State Flag be flown over the courthouses of the state.
Courtesy of the archives of the ‘Historic Boone’ society
April 18, 1907
“Hagaman Items,” a column in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, reported in this mid-April issue that “all farm work has been suspended until winter breaks.” Other news from the Hagaman community told, “there have been three marriages here since last Wednesday almost within a stone’s throw of each other, but we will be bound to postpone that business pretty soon on account of material” – or, perhaps, the author may have been implying, a lack of further eligible material.
“The law requiring the State flag to float above every court house is now in effect and we expect shortly to see it flung to the breeze from Catawba’s court house. The law requires that it be displayed every day, except when it rains, and that it be placed at half mast on the death of any State officer or other prominent official or citizen,” reported another item, attributed as having originally appeared in the Newton Enterprise. Continued this notice, with a parenthetical note from the editor of the Watauga Democrat, “Watauga, of course, comes under this law, but as yet we fail to see the flutter of a flag from the dome of our pretty county building. It is now up to some man or set of men to see that this law is complied with at once. – DEMOCRAT.”
April 21, 1932
“RABID DOG LEFT TRAIL OF DEATH UP COVE CREEK,” a bold and dramatic headline in this week’s edition, related that, “(a) telegram received by Dr. H.B. Perry last week from the State chemist indicates that the head of a sheep furnished by J.R. Mast of Sugar Grove, brought unmistable (sic) proof of hydrophobia, and since that time the extent of the depredations on Cove Creek from the recent raid of a rabid dog, have become more apparent, and the losses to the herds and flocks of breeders have already reached several hundred dollars.” The news story reported that “(a) number of the people of Cove Creek have started a campaign to rid their community of dogs, and a number of the beasts have been freely killed as a precaution. In the meantime, Messrs. Swift and Mast, who handled their stock more or less after they had been stricken, have made arrangements to make treatment in case they might have become infected.” No cases of human infection, however, were reported at the time of this report. The story concluded, though, that “a lookout for prowling dogs is expected to bring about a steady decline in the canine population.”
April 20, 1944
“Big Herb House Will Be Erected,” according to a feature on this week’s front page. Details of the story narrated that, “Mr. W.C. Greene, local building contractor, has accepted a contract for the construction of a large herb house for the Wilcox Drug Company, a government permit has been granted, and the work will start immediately.” The planned structure was to be “modern in every respect, and built particularly for the needs of the root and herb business.
Materials for this column are drawn from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.
Filmore Bingham House, built in 1860. This Cove Creek-area house was built for a local doctor.
Courtesy Historic Boone
April 13, 1913
“Look At Your Plumbing,” encouraged an item of advertising in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. Continued the ad, “(y)ou know happens in a house in which the plumbing is in poor condition – everybody in the house is liable to contract typhoid or some other fever. The digestive organs perform the same functions in the human body as the plumbing does for the house, and they should be kept in first class condition all the time. If you have any trouble with your digestion take Chamberlain’s Tablets and you are certain to get quick relief. For sale by all dealers.”
In North Carolina news of the day, the paper reported that “(t)he airship on which Mr. Lon Sherrill, of Newton, has been working for two years, will be ready for its first flight in the near future. His model is perhaps crude, but he believes his ideals are all right.”
April 10, 1941
“Eleven Men are Called to Colors,” a bold headline in this issue, headed an article which relayed that, “(e)leven more Watauga county men will leave next Saturday morning for Fort Jackson, S.C., to enter military service under the selective draft act. They are required to report at the office of the local selective service board at 8:15 Saturday morning.”
“Bookmobile Again to Make County Tour” announced that, “(t)he bookmobile travelling library conducted jointly by the State Library Commission and the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) will return to this county on May 6, according to Miss Jewel Hagaman, county librarian. The bookmobile carries 1600 volumes into various neighborhoods of the county and the people are invited to take advantage of this travelling library service, which is given absolutely without cost.”
“Greeks Retreat Before German Blitz” reported from the international scene that, “Greek and British forces are falling back hastily under a smashing German drive down the Vardar valley to within about 23 miles of strategic Salonika after collapse of Greek resistance on the Yugoslav left flank, it was stated today.” The story reported further that, although “shock troops battled savagely to stem the furious assault of Nazi ‘panzer’ forces around Kilkis,” nonetheless “the Greek army of Macedonia was said to be frantically collecting its war materials and supplies for abandonment of all Greece.”
April 12, 1961
“’Country Store’ To Occupy Restored Cabin On Horn In West Property,” was a banner headline in this week’s Watauga Democrat. “A ‘country store’ or trading post is being built near the Horn in the West parking lot. Logs from the old Hayes cabin, near Bamboo, are being used in the construction.” Continued the article, “(t)his is the third log structure that has been reconstructed on the Southern Appalachian Historical Association property. The first was the Tatum cabin that now houses many relics and records handed down in the Tatum clan, pioneer family in this area.” The second cabin referred to was “of the type that Daniel Boone was believed to have used on his trips to the area while hunting,” With the installation of the third cabin, it was “hoped that interest will be revived in quilting parties, and the like.”
One of the stone “faculty houses” built around 1940 by Appalachian State University for faculty members and their families relocating to Boone from other areas. Although the row of such houses has been demolished, the housing still gives its name to the small side street known as “Faculty Street,” near the Holmes Convocation Center.
Courtesy Historic Boone
April 7, 1907
The column “Sweet Water Items,” attributed to a “Smith Hagaman,” reported on this day, “(p)lowing has been almost entirely suspended owing to the continued dry weather, which is a very unusual thing for March.” This notice continued, however, that “(t)he ground is now saturated by the melting of the biggest snow of the season.” Other Sweet Water news reported by Hagaman included the notice that, “I have just returned from the Baptist Sunday School Convention which was held with Timber Ridge church. The convention was right well attended and royally entertained. By the way, there is no section of our country that has a better, more progressive and public spirited citizenship than Timbered (sic) Ridge, and more genuine hospitality is not to be found anywhere.”
“Sugar Grove News” in the same week’s edition told that, “Mrs. Lily McBride, nee Mast, who has been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. F.B. Mast, for some time will leave soon for her new home in Mexico.”
April 4, 1929
“Dougherty and the School Bill,” a headline in this edition with a byline reading “Raleigh, special of March 29 to Greensboro Daily News”, reported that, “President B.B. Dougherty, of the Appalachian Teachers College, is not the author of the new school bill, universal as the tradition has become in two weeks, but he is the author of sections 15 and 10 which make the law existing regarding salary schedules of teachers and superintendents, he told the Daily News bureau today. And he believes he should be crowned with bays rather than pelted with bad eggs.” The educator and co-founder of the institution which would become Appalachian State University was said to have “disclos(ed) the daddyship of that bill,” which had “many fathers,” naming the contribution of several prominent North Carolinians of the day. “Mr. Dougherty,” reported the article, “talked more today than he ever did. He says he would be very proud to be the author of the bill because he would have the satisfaction of making law in 1929 what had been hitherto the fiat of school men in the state. For two years, at least, the teachers are protected by statute from any changes in salaries.”
April 1, 1943
“Overflow Group Campers is Seen in Yonahlossee,” a bold headline this week, reported that, “Dr. and Mrs. A.P. Kephart, owners of Camp Yonahlossee have just returned to the county, after a ten weeks promotion tour through the southeast,” while also noting that this tour was briefer than the couple’s usual tour for the purpose, “(b)ecause of rationing and because travel appears not to be necessary.” For these causes, “they will handle all of their work from now on in correspondence.” The camp for girls was said to have, in the prior year, taken 25 more campers than the 100 previously admitted. Campers for the 1943 summer were to come from “North Carolina (the majority), South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Iowa, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C.” The camp was noted to have added “a number of marked improvements,” including “a new six room crafts house, an enlargement of the kitchen and an addition of an electric dish washing machine, and the building of much stone wall.”