August 17, 2014


An unidentified baby playing in mud, date unknown; a scene of childhood in rural Watauga County from the past. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society / Watauga County Public Library.

August 15, 1895

“How To Get Along,” a feature in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, included these items of advice: “Learn to say ‘No.’ Don’t snap it out in dog fashion, but say it respectfully and firmly;” “Keep ahead rather than behind the times;” “Learn to think and act for yourself. Use your own brain, but also learn to use the brainwork of others;” “Do not kick every stone in the path. More miles can be made in a day by going steadily than stopping;” and, “Do not meddle with business you know nothing of.”

“We have been over some of the public roads in Boone and Meat Camp townships since they have been worked out under the new system,” read a new report in this week’s issue, “and we are forced to state that in many places where digging has been done the loose rock was left in the road, and we would like to remind the supervisors that the rock in the Shearer lane left after the late working is a serious obstruction to travel, either by horse-back or vehicle, to say nothing about loaded wagons.” Lamented the anonymous author of the article, “(i)t has always been a mystery to us that men will go over the roads, pretending to work them, and leave all the loose stones and not consider them an obstacle to public travel.” The writer, who claimed to have “served many years as a justice of the peace,” during which he issued similar warnings to no effect, concluded with the statement, “we are now free from any official duty on the roads and we are going to speak out plainly against careless road supervisors and call attention to any neglect they may use in keeping up the roads.”

August 16, 1934

“TVA Cannery Has Run for 3 Weeks; Prices are Rising,” a front-page headline this week, carried a lengthy sub-heading announcing, “Various Kinds of Berries and Garden Sass Being Bought at Cranberry for Cash. Blackberry Prices Are on Upgrade, and Huckleberries Bring 30 Cents. Turnips Greens Are Now Growing Under New Program.” Details from the story indicated that, “(t)he Tennessee Valley Authority’s cannery at Cranberry, operated under the Carolina Mountain Co-operatives, is now running full blast three weeks after its establishment, and information coming from Mr. L.W. Arthur is to the effect that prices being paid are advancing, especially as regards blackberries, which have been bought in huge quantities from pickers in Watauga County.” Noted the article, “no products will be accepted without permits from the cannery superintendent.”

“Escaped Convict Is Quickly Recaptured,” a headline from this issue of eighty years ago, noted that, “Joe Spicer, one of the prisoners stationed at the State camp near Boone, walked away Thursday night and was recaptured Friday at his home near Laurel Springs by Carter Farthing of the local camp personnel, and Captain Rackley of Ashe County. He was taken from Boone to the prison camp at Spruce Pine, where he will give up the rank of A-1 prisoner because of his escape. Spicer said he wanted to see his baby, and gave that as the reason for his walk-off.”

Published in: on August 23, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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