The Week of Sunday, August 25, 2013.

Historic Boone Digitization Box 2.114_0013

Lacking any date or other caption, this photograph appears to capture a fine-weather scene of a dog enjoying the open space in front of a building at Appalachian State Teachers College.

Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

August 24, 1939

“Elk Knob Mining will be Resumed after 40 Years,” a headline in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, announced that, “(r)esumption after 40 years of (a) mining operation full of promise for Northwest North Carolina was announced today by H.J. Bryson, state geologist in the department of conservation and development.” The article, dateline “Raleigh, N.C.”, told that, “(t)his is the reopening of the Elk Knob copper mine in Watauga county, some 15 miles northeast of Boone. The mine is being operated by the Carolina Copper Corporation, one of the few mining companies financed by North Carolina capital.” Historical background included in the Watauga Democrat write-up noted that “(f)or many years before 1900, the Elk Knob vein of copper was worked, even though, in those days, it was necessary to haul the ore laboriously over the mountains in wagons to Abingdon, Va.” Plans for the newly-revived operation “call(ed) for the erection of a crushing and flotation mill for handling the ore at the mine upon completion of core drilling now in process.” The Elk Knob source was asserted to be “unusually rich, showing from 10 to 16 per cent copper,” as well as “$1 to $14 of gold per ton, and a small percentage of silver.” The state of North Carolina’s geologist suggested that, “there is no reason why this mine should not be one of the leading copper and gold producing mines in the south… if it was profitable 40 years ago when there were no trucks, no roads and no railroad nearby, it should certainly be profitable today.”

August 27, 1959

“Too Little, Too Late,” proclaimed a bold (and underlined) introduction to the headline “Horn In West Gains Scant Local Help,” with a byline attributing the news feature to “Ralph Tugman, Staff Democrat Writer,” and which was followed by the heading, “Local Writer Says Actual Work Done By Few.” The report gave details of the operation of Boone’s recently-founded outdoor drama, Horn in the West, which was then in the midst of its eighth season. “Ever since the official audit of the first season of the ‘Horn’ revealed with certainty that its financiers were backing something other than a big money maker, there has been a waning ardor for colonial culture, and for historical preservation, among many of its backers,” according to the opening of Tugman’s article. The article conveyed in a certain editorial tone that, “the only area where there appears to be unflagging energy and an alert interest is on the part of most of us to criticize and find fault.” The piece asserted that, “surely it hardly seems consistent that one would sign a note and vote for a continuance of the production in the spring of each year, and then spend the summer heaping ridicule upon it, almost to the point that it would appear some actually fear it might succeed.” The writer stated that he had personally been in position of having (“with the exception of two nights”) “always worked alone” in the drama’s then largely volunteer-run box office. Tugman wrote that he “would suggest just two things in regard to the Horn,” namely  that “we search our own standards where it is concerned…  if it has value it merits our financial support;” and that “if it has our financial support, we have, in giving it, committed ourselves to a moral support of it that is entitled to our best effort and to as much of our time as we can give.” The article closed with the “guess that, when and if the Horn is favored with a miracle, it will be born in the midst of a unified and unselfish effort.”

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Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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