April 20

Main_Square_in_Boone (1)

This view of Howard’s Knob from Downtown Boone shows Joe Todd’s service station on the location where Melanie’s restaurant now stands, and the Mountain Burley [Tobacco] Warehouse at the current location of Watauga County Public Library. A barber’s pole stands on the corner of West King Street and South Depot Street. Automobiles suggest that the picture was made in the 1930s or 1940s.

Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

April 20, 1893

A brief notice printed in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat carried a byline which indicated that the item had originally appeared in the Holston Methodist denominational newspaper. “A bully carries off from 10,00 to 40,000 [dollars] for knocking out a compedititor [sic] in a slugging match,” reflected the piece, “but if a preacher knocks the devil out in a hard-fought battle in a protracted [church] meeting, the people will take up a hat collection, and think they do nobly if they reward him with $10 to $40.”

An article entitled “Way Down South in Dixie” reported that, “[t]he solid basis upon which the agricultural, the coal and the iron interests now rests, and the promising outlook before them are duplicated in all other branches of business in the South. Everything is on a good foundation. The whole South, enthused with the certainty of freedom from political troubles[,] strengthened in all of its business operations by the experiences of the past, with more powerful financial influences working in its favor than ever before, starts the new year with the assurance that it is entering upon a career of greater progress and prosperity than it has enjoyed for thirty years.” Reflecting on recent changes since the end of the Civil War, the article announced that, “[t]en years ago the South’s agricultural, manufacturing and mining products aggregated in value about $1,200,000,000; now they are about $2,100,000,000. The increase in population during that period was only 18 to 20 percent.”

April 20, 1933

“Local Firms Expected to Handle Beer; Legal Commodity May 1” was the headline introducing an article detailing the local situation after the repeal of the prohibition of alcohol. “With legal beer only ten days away in North Carolina, indications are that for the first time in the history of the city the foamy liquid is to be offered for sale at several different points within the town of Boone,” reported the newspaper. “Three or four local business men have already signified their intention of securing dispensing permits, and one retail establishment has gone so far as to publish advance announcement today of the coming of the brew,” continued the article, although none of the local business owners nor establishments were named. Introduction of beer was expected to proceed uninhibited, the story detailing that, “[u]nofficial information is to the effect that the city officials will make no attempt at prohibiting the sale of beer locally other than to restrict the licensing in accordance with the State law.” Regulations were to require “a municipal tax of $15 where beer is to be consumed on the premises, or $10 ‘off premises.'” According to the Watauga Democrat, “[l]egal beer, which is rapidly becoming ‘old news’ in other parts of the country, is still a main topic of conversation locally, and an occasional bottle has filtered through to residents of the town, who have pronounced the beverage good but non-intoxicating.”


Published in: on April 22, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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