The Week of Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Ravine Bridge on Boone Trail Between Boone and North Wilkesboro, N.C.“Ravine Bridge on Boone Trail Between Boone and North Wilkesboro, N.C.,” reads the caption on this postcard, depicting a scenic but potentially hazardous roadway of former years.

September 26, 1918

“Reverse the Law,” a headline in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, introduced a news article relating that the “Lenoir Topic reports that a recent automobile collision on the Blowing Rock turnpike, in which ‘it was fortunate no one was killed or seriously injured,’ was caused by ‘blinding headlights.” Opined the article’s author, “(p)erhaps if the next legislature would ‘pass a law’ requiring all automobile drivers to use the brightest and most glaring makes of headlights procurable, the State might automatically drop into an era of dull-lighted automobiles on the streets and highways.” This curious remedy was recommended because, “(s)o religiously are the automobile laws in North Carolina towns and on North Carolina highways disregarded,” in the view of the writer, “that we have about come to the conclusion it is mainly out of a stubborn disposition to do what the law says one shall not…”

A feature under the heading “Hear Our President,” with a dateline of “The White House, Washington,” began, “(a)gain the Government comes to the people of the country with a request that they lend their money, and lend it upon a more liberal scale than ever before, in order that the great war for the rights of America and the liberation of the world may be prosecuted with ever increasing vigor to a victorious conclusion.” The article , bearing the attribution to then-President Woodrow Wilson, continued, “and it makes the appeal with the greatest confidence because it knows that every day it is becoming clear to thinking men throughout the nation that the winning of the war is an essential investment.” The President’s message also asserted that, “(m)en in America, besides, have from the first until now dedicated both their lives and their fortunes to the vindication and maintenence (sic) of the great principles and objects for which our Government was set up.” Wilson’s missive concluded, “They will not fail to sow the world for what their wealth was intended.” The surrender of the first of the Central Powers to capitulate at the end of World War I (Bulgaria) followed just three days after the publication of this edition of the newspaper.

September 28, 1939

“Wade E. Brown is New City Attorney,” announced a brief article on this week’s front page. “Wade E. Brown, Boone lawyer, has been named an attorney for the town of Boone, following the resignation of Mr. Archie Qualls, who accepted a position in Charlotte. The appointment of Mr. Brown to this position was announced on Tuesday.”

“Burley Market Chartered As Plans Proceed Towards Erection of Warehouses,” a feature article in this week’s paper, announced that “(a) charter was issued Monday by Secretary of State Thad Eure for the Mountain Burley Warehouse of Boone, which is to operate warehouses for the sale of burley tobacco under a $50,000 authorized capital, the intention of the corporation being to have the local business in operation for the opening of the season on December 6.” Details of plans for the creation of a physical plant for the new business enterprise included the information that “an architect was engaged to make blueprints of the proposed tobacco market, and bids from contractors are being asked for the construction of the buildings.”

A 1919 automobile advertisement from the Watauga Democrat newspaper, Boone, North carolina, USA

Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, September 22, 2013.

E.S. Coffey Home

The Boone home of E.S Coffey, pictured with his home and family. E.S. Coffey, Esq., is noted as having been “a prominent member of the Boone bar,” as well as serving as a North Carolina State Senator, according to John Preston Arthur’s 1915 volume “A History of Watauga County, North Carolina: With Sketches of Prominent Families“.

Courtesy Historic Boone

September 28, 1939

Under the heading of “European War Briefs,” an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat with a dateline of “Bucharest, Sept. 26,” reported that, “(i)nformed private quarters in Bucharest reported tonight that Germany and Soviet Russia have agreed upon a division of zones of influence in Europe whereby Rumania and the Balkans will come under the Nazi sphere. Russia, it was said, has been given a free hand by Germany to extend her influence among the Baltic states.”

In related news, from “Paris, Sept. 26,” it was reported that “(t)he French government today outlawed the Communist party in France in what political circles interpreted as an answer to Soviet Russia’s line-up with Germany and invasion of Poland. The severe decree adopted by Premier Daladier’s war cabinet also meant the end of all the party’s affiliates and banned Communist propaganda in France.” Both of these stories broke when Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany were adhering to a mutual nonaggression pact signed the previous month; the two nations would become enemies in the Second World War less than two years later, when Nazi Germany launched a surprise attack on the Soviet Union.

On the home front, “Governor Hoey Speaks Friday,” announced another front-page headline. “Governor Clyde R. Hoey informed the Democrat Wednesday morning that he will deliver an address at the Cove Creek high school Friday morning at 10 o’clock, and thus the misunderstanding as to whether or not the executive would visit Watauga at this time, has been cleared up,” reported the article. Plans were the State’s leader “would come from Winston-Salem to Boone Friday morning and would stop at one of the local drug stores for his ‘coca-cola’.” The story related that, “(f)ollowing the address by the governor Friday morning there will be a parade by the Boone high school band and an amateur show will be a feature of the evening hours.”

September 24, 1959

“Law Office Being Built,” a heading this week, opened a story relating that, “(w)ork is going forward on the Stacy Eggers law building, being erected on West King Street west of the postoffice (sic) and Mr. Eggers expects to occupy the structure by November 1.” The article reported that, “(b)esides Mr. Eggers’ law office the real estate offices of his father Mr. S.C. Eggers will have space in the new structure, which is modernly constructed of brick, and which contains adequate conference room space and other modern conveniences.”

“G.A.R. Veteran Succumbs at 95” reported this week that, “Andrew Wilson, aged 95 years, a prominent citizen and a veteran of the Union armies in the Civil War, died at his home near Trade, Tenn., in Watauga county, Sept. 17th, after an illness which had been serious for only one week.” Wilson was described as “having enlisted in the 13th Tennessee Cavalry” during the Civil War, and “for about 22 months followed General Grant in the war between the states… Following the war Mr. Wilson returned to his native country and followed agricultural pursuits until ill health forced his retirement. He was a good citizen and well known throughout this section.” The notice mentioned that, “(o)nly one other veteran of the Grand Army of the Republic resides in Watauga county, Mr. Newton Banner of Sugar Grove.”


1938 ad washer

1938 advertisement for a Washing Machine, from the Watauga Democrat newspaper of Boone, N.C.

Published in: on September 22, 2013 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, September 15, 2013.

September 19, 1918

“Public School Houses,” a heading in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, introduced an article which began, “(t)he Board of Education requests that all districts wanting new school buildings must show their interest by sending parties from their respective districts to meet with the Board of Education the first Monday in Oct. to discuss plans, etc. The Board is ready to do its part but the districts that desire new buildings must show proper interest.” Concluded the notice, “(d)ue thanks are given Mrs. Watson and Penley for interest shown in their district.”

“Photographs,” the title to a notice signed “A.J. Campbell, Traveling Artist,” appeared also in this week’s edition. “Call at my tent near R.M. Green’s in Boone on Sept. 19-20 and 21, and have some up to-date photographic work done, as photographic supplies are limited and hard to secure,” began the artist’s appeal. “It seems that the photographic business will soon be a thing of the past in the mountains,” suggested Mr. Campbell. “Boys[,] have your pictures made before leaving for the camps, while you have the opportunity,” concluded the advertisement, urging those young men in the area who might be subject to the draft at the end of World War I to make use of his services.

September 21, 1939

“Skating Rink Is Being Erected Here,” announced a headline in this week’s newspaper. “Mr. Spencer Miller is erecting a skating rink on a lot adjacent to the Woodcraft Novelty Company property, and expects to have the structure ready for use by the end of next week,” related the news article. “The building is to be 60×100 feet, and of the most approved type of construction.””

“European War Briefs” published this week included the notice, bearing a dateline of “Danzig, Sept. 19,” that, “Adolf Hitler served notice on Britain and France today that he was prepared to wage a seven-year war if necessary and asserted that Germany and Soviet Russia, Europe’s ‘two greatest nations,’ would re-establish ‘law and order’ in Eastern Europe.” The report conveyed that the “fuehrer in an hour and 14-minute speech told the western allies – Britain and France – he had ‘no war aims’ against them, but declared that Poland, as created by the Versailles treaty ‘never again will rise.'” German forces had invaded Poland from the West on September 1, with Soviet forces pushing into the besieged nation from the east just days before this news brief was published.

September 10, 1942

A headline announcing “Trucks, Buses and Taxis Are Ordered Under Federal Control” introduced an article under the dateline of “Washington, Sept. 8” this week which related that, “(t)he nation’s entire commercial transportation facilities, excepting railroads, airlines and private passenger vehicles, will be placed under strict government wartime control on November 15, the office of defense transportation announced tonight.” Details in the article indicated that, “(c)overed… are all types of trucks and other rubber-tired vehicles used for transporting personal property, except motorcycles, and all motor vehicles carrying passengers or which are available for public rentals.” Such vehicles would not be able to purchase gasoline, replacement tires or other parts without a “certificate of war necessity” issued by the government.

Published in: on September 15, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mayview Manor

Mayview Manor, an elegant hotel near Blowing Rock, built in 1921, flourished as a popular tourist resort until being finally closed in 1966.

Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

September 11, 1919

“The common people long for the end of the war,” began an item on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “and the common people have only to exert themselves to make themselves heard.” Continued the article, “(t)he farmers forced Congress to repeal the daylight saving law after the bill had been twice vetoed by the President. A few hundred letters from a Congressman’s district will make him hesitate before voting for universal military training.” World War I had ended nearly a year before this editorial was published, and the first implementation of Daylight Savings Time as a war conservation measure during this conflict, instituted in the United States in March of 1918, was repealed when farming interests successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to repeal the measure, despite an attempted veto by President Woodrow Wilson.

An editorial feature entitle “The Narrow-minded Man” encouraged, “(w)henever you see a narrow-minded man, get out of his way. He is a miserable creature and he’ll make you miserable if you give him a chance by association. Whenever a man insists that his side of the question is the only side, write him down as an ass with a Gothic A. In this world of wickedness and woe and lemon sherbet and corn likker (sic), there are several and many side to any question… The great overshadowing sin of the world is intolerance. It belongs to the class of men who look through a knot hole and imagine that they are seeing the whole universe, but it exists and it exists everywhere.”

September 14, 1939

“Judge Winston Gives War Views,” read a headline to a story relating to international events in this week’s newspaper. “Judge Robert W. Winston of Chapel Hill, who possesses one of the state’s most brilliant minds, is spending some time in Boone, and on a visit to the office of the local newspaper Saturday, referred to the ‘cash and carry’ policy in connection with the government’s policy of neutrality as a snare and a subterfuge, and a certain avenue to another war,” according to the article. Winston was reported to have “said that the cash and carry method would result in America’s furnishing food and munitions of war to England and France, and thus make of this country their storehouse and arsenal.” The Chapel Hill intellectual alleged that,”‘ under this proposal… Germany and Russia, which have no ships, will be unable to secure war supplies from this nation.” Instead of thus creating a situation which would be “a certain avenue to war” for the United States, Winston urged that, “(t)he answer is to sell food and supplies to no nation whatever.” Judge Winston’s comments at the Watauga Democrat office suggested that “congress should enact such neutrality legislation as would make America truly and definitely neutral,” as “(o)nly through this course does he see a hope of America staying out of another world war.”

September 10, 1959

“‘Watauga County In Action:’ Annual Progress Day Is To Feature 42 Exhibits,” proclaimed a bold headline on this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. A sub-heading, “Pet Show Is An Added Attraction,” introduced a detailed account of what was described as the “second annual Progress Day,” featuring “more than forty booths filled with displays, designed to show ‘Watauga County in Action.’” The article related that “(b)ooths have been built by the carpentry classes of Appalachian High School in Mountain Burley Warehouse No. 2, for both educational and commercial purposes.”

Published in: on September 8, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

September 1, 2013

“A Look Back at Watauga” is on Vacation this week.

Newland Hall, Appalachian State Teachers College postcard

Newland Hall, Appalachian State Teachers College postcard

Check back again soon!

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment