Winkler’s Creek resident H.W. Horton is shown in this photograph costumed and mounted to participate in the “Echoes of the Blue Ridge” dramatic commemoration during the 1949 Centennial of the founding of Watauga County. Horton was described in the caption originally accompanying this photograph as having encouraged tourism in the area for years by developing his land on Winkler’s Creek with the addition of small cabins for summer rental to visitors to the area.
Courtesy the archives of the Historic Boone society
May 28, 1913
“Moonshine Still Captured By Girls” was a front-page headline in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. According to the story, reproduced from the Jackson County Journal, “Dorothy Moore and Janie Conard, two little girls, discovered a distillery within half mile of their homes at Webster, May 4. They were out walking in the woods near Webster when a dog fell in an old mining shaft. The girls went in to search of (sic) their dog and found a complete distillery, covered with leaves and brush. They flushed it out and carried it to Webster, where they turned it over to authorities.” Concluded the news article, “(e)ach of the little girls received a reward of $10 for their discovery.” The award amount would equal over $230 in 2013 dollars, adjusted for inflation. Jackson County and the town of Webster are located in Western North Carolina, approximately 125 miles from Watauga County.
May 30, 1929
“Mr. Hagaman Thinks County Farm Agent Would Be Asset To Watauga,” a headline in this week’s edition, introduced a submission attributed to “SMITH HAGAMAN (County Superintendent of Schools).” Hagaman’s missive began, “I do not think a farm demonstration agent would cure all the farmers’ troubles; but I do believe a good man associated with, say three, five, or a dozen good farmers of our county, as an advisory board would in a few years wonderfully improve farming, trucking and livestock conditions in the county.” Superintendent Hagaman suggested that, “every business, every profession that is worth a continental must necessarily have some overhead expense,” and he asserted that the cost of hiring a professional farm agent would cost less than the expense of Boone’s segregated minority school house, and that the proposed agent’s yearly salary would amount to less than the price of “(o)ne dozen eggs, at a low price, per taxpayer.”
In related news, an article entitled “Most Mountain Counties Employ Farm Agents” cited “John W. Goodman, district agent, state agricultural co-operative extension work,” who noted that, “Haywood county made the appropriation for an agent last Monday,” and noted that, if Watauga proceeded to make arrangements to hire a farm agent, “(t)his would leave in the mountain counties only Mitchell and Transylvania counties without an agent.”
May 25, 1950
A bold banner headline this week announced, “Population Boone 2,964; Watauga Total is 18,296.” The news item beneath this heading noted that the figure reflects “a phenomenal growth since 1940, when the enumerators could muster only 1,754 in the decennial count of the noses” in the Town of Boone. Further details in this article told that, “(w)hile Boone continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the population of the county remains almost static, which would indicate that the migration of Watauga countians to the industrial centers and to the western farming regions continues unabated, due largely to the lack of employment in this predominantly rural county.” In a closing note, the feature speculated that, “the growth of Boone is in large measure attributed to the expansion at Appalachian State Teachers College, the movement of numbers of rural residents to the county seat, and an expanding business establishment which has attracted many from other communities.”