July 27


Photo Caption: “The New River near Boone, N.C. in the Blowing Rock Section,” reads the title of this postcard of uncertain date. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

July 30, 1903

An article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat under the heading, “The Rev. W.C. Newland” began, “[a]t the close of the Summer School in Lenoir some days ago the teachers of Caldwell county drafted and unanimously adopted the following resolutions expressive of the high esteem in which the Hon. W.C. Newland is held by the people of that county for his untiring efforts in procuring for the teachers of the mountain[s?] the establishment of the Appalachian Training School at Boone.”  One of the resolutions adopted by the gathering of teachers in Caldwell County was quoted as reading, “’We the public school teacher[s] of Caldwell county, in company assembled, realizing the great importance of the teachers being constantly reviewed on the subjects they have to teach each year, and realizing that through the splendid efforts of our honored Representative and beloved fellow-citizen, Hon. W.C Newland, it is now possible for us to receive this training at our door, as it were, without cost at the greatest convenience to ourselves; we desire to show our appreciation of this great help by publicly expressing it. Therefore be it Resolved, That we do hereby express our sincere gratitude to that peerless knight, beloved citizen, and high toned christian gentlam [sic], ‘of the people and for the people,’ for his untiring efforts and unprecedented zeal in securing the passage of the bill authorizing the establishment at Boone, N.C., of the Appalachian Training School for Teachers.’” The paean to this elected representative continued, “[m]ay his star now rise upon the horizon never to grow dim and his name ever be held in the hearts of the teachers of Caldwell as their great benefactor,” and concluded, “[a]nd may the many bright boys and girls throughout our country in after years rise up and call him blessed.’”

July 26, 1917

“SUFFRAGISTS GIVEN 60 DAY SENTENCE,” a bold, banner headline on this week’s front page, introduced a story which reported that, “[s]ixteen women suffragettes, arrested while participating in the woman’s party battle day demonstration in front of the White House were sentenced in police court to serve sixty days in the District of Columbia workhouse for obstructing the sidewalks.” According to the story, the women, protesting for the right of women to vote, “were given the alternative of paying a $25 fine, but they promptly refused the offer and were taken to the workhouse at Occoquan, Va., and turned over to a matron who saw that each got a shower bath and exchanged her clothes for a heavy one-piece prison dress. They were assigned to the sewing room of the prison where they will work seven hours daily.”

Another front-page piece, entitled “When Will It End,” began, “[w]hen, three years ago, the news was flashed to every part of the civilized world that a great war had broken out, there were few who believed it possible such a war could last more than a year, or at most two years. A few suggested that it might last for three years, but it was generally believed that it would be utterly impossible to protract such a strife, on account of the utter national collapse which it was held to involve.” Three years into the conflict which became known as World War I, the article remarked , “the collapse has not come, and there is no apparent [reason] on the surface why the struggle should not last three years longer.”


Advertising from the Watauga Democrat, July 30, 1903

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July 20

Photo caption:

“A group of college students posing for a picture on King Street. Gene Reese, future president of Historic Boone, is pictured in a dark jacket.” Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.


July 18, 1907
Under the byline “Wilkesboro Chronicle,” a reproduced item of news featured on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat reported that, “On Tuesday night of last week, between 9 and 10 o’clock a phenomenon of nature not frequently seen,  was displayed. It was a plainly defined rainbow in the northwest. It was just after a thunder shower had passed over, and the full moon was some two hours high. The bow was plainly defined and every color reflected, but it was softer, mellower and more weird than when reflected from the bright sun.”  “It was a sight seldom seen and abundantly proved Solomon’s words,” concluded the article, “that the heavens declare the glory of God.”
“Watauga County Singing,” another news item this week, relayed, “To the churches and Sunday schools of Watauga county: Our next singing will be held with Mt. Vernon church on Friday Aug. 2nd, 1907. And I hope that every church and S.S., in the county will be represented, either b choir or delegation, and on Monday following Prof. G.W. Bacon, of White Pine, Tenn., will begin in 20 days a Normal school of Music at the same place. Come every body who is invited and wishes to know more about vocal and instrumental music and be with us when the first song is sung, and stay until the melody of the last song reverberates from hill to hill, and the echo brings back the same sweet song and yet there will still be room at the top for us all to learn about music.” The piece concluded, “[s]inging to begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. of Friday,” and was signed, “W.T. VANDYKE Chm.”

July 18, 1940

“Annual Horse Show to Be Held,” a headline with the sub-heading, “Highest of Blowing Rock Season Comes August 2 and 3; Increased Appropriations” introduced an article telling that, “Blowing Rock’s annual horse show, the highspot of the summer season at the neighboring resort town, will be held August 2 and 3, it was announced last week. At the same time it was announced following a meeting of the officers and directors of the Horse Show Association, that there will be greatly increased appropriations for prize money and trophies this year.” Details included notice that, “Lloyd Tate, general manager and vice-president of the association, stated that important renovations will be made in parts of the showgrounds at Broyhill field, which already includes a $6,000 plant.” The story noted, “[t]he horse show, which is the second oldest in the south, is operated annually on a non-profit basis for charitable purposes.”

“Orphanage Asks For Canned Goods Again” announced, “[p]lenty of fruit jars are now available at the Farmers Hardware and Supply Company for canning fruits and vegetables for the Mills Home, Baptist orphanage at Thomasville. All those desiring to help supply the demand for food at the orphanage during the coming winter are asked to call for their jars.” The article also reported, “[l]ast year 400 dozen jars were filled in the county for Mills Home, and it is hope that this year even that amount may be increased. Full co-operation of the people in this worthy work is asked.”



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July 13


“Mark W. Hodges – 6th Birthday” is the caption on this photograph of a party in Watauga County, perhaps dating from the 1940s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

July 12, 1900

“The situation in China seems to be that the Boxer rebels, strengthened by the aggression of the powers at Taku, have overturned the existing government and set up an anti-foreign anarchy on its ruins,” reported a brief news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat.

“Why has the Democratic convention excited so much more attention than the Republican?” This question opened another news item of this issue. “Simply, because the latter was cut and dried and its duties were practically all performed beneath Mark Hanna’s hat-brim,” answered the article’s author, “while the Democratic was a genuine convention of men who met to fight out their differing ideas for the future of the party and the country.” The 1900 Republican presidential nominee was President William McKinley, and William Jennings Bryan was the nominee of the Democratic party. Marcus Alonzo “Mark” Hanna was a senator from Ohio and prominent Republican leader at the time, who served as campaign manager to the incumbent President. McKinley won the electoral contest with approximately 51.5 percent of the popular vote to Bryan’s 45.5.

An advertisement this week entitled “Fine Nursery Trees”gave notice that, “I have on hand a fine lot fruit trees, such as apples, peaches, pears, prunes etc. etc. : I also have a fine assortment of grapevines that are best suited to our climate. – If you contemplate buying any trees or vines, I can sell them to you at about one half the price you would have to pay at other nurseries and then-  you have the satisfaction of knowing what you get. All trees delivered at my nurseries. Trees from three to six feet tall. For particulars call on or address. W.L. Coffey, Moretz, N.C.”

July 11, 1940

“Edgar Tufts Advocates Help For Refugees,” a headline this week with a dateline of “Banner Elk, July 8,” reported that, “Edgar Tufts, president of the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association, states that he is an ardent advocate for the plan to provide homes for the European refugees, and that he would aid in providing homes for the victims of the European war.” The article noted that, “The Grandfather Orphanage, a unit of the association, has provided care for many orphans from the mountain section of North Carolina and eastern Tennesse, and it is possible that the home could be made available for a number of European children.” Tufts, the Avery county resident cited, was quoted as saying that, “‘Here in Banner Elkwe all have followed with interest the development of the United States committee for the care of European children,’ and he stated that ‘[t]he home here would make an ideal haven for the war refugees.” Edgar Hall Tufts, quoted in this story, was the son of the Edgar Tufts for whom the Memorial Association was named, a Presbyterian clergyman who founded Lees-McRae College as well as philanthropic works, including the Grandfather Home for Children.


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July 6


Labeled “Birdseye View, Boone, N.C.,” this postcard carries a handwritten date and a postmark of 1928. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

July 4, 1889

“Rev. Baylus Cade, a Baptist minister of Louisburg N.C. has made himself famous by the invention of a telegraphic system which operates so to receive messages on moving trains,” reported a news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. Details of the story related that, “[t]hree wires are fastened on the crossties, from the car a wire is fixed to connect with the instrument in the car and a slug of zinc is fastened to the other end[;] this runs on the wire fastened to the ties. A trial was made near Raleigh and proved a success.” “This invention,” concluded the article, “places Mr. Cade along with all the grat [sic] inventors of the age.”

In an age before accurate weather forecasting, the newspaper reported, “Irl [sic] R Hick, who has become quite famous as a weather prophet has this to say for July. About the 2nd. and 3rd. of July it will turn very warm and the hottest days thus far of the summer will follow, ending in thunderstorms about the 5th. 6th and 7th. This will embrace the first period for the month which is from the 3rd. to the 9th. Cloudiness and sultry weather calling for great care with harvested and unsheltered grain will follow. From the 15th, to the 19th. next change in atmosphere will be noted. This period ordinarily would pass with little or no rain, but owning to the presence of Mars and Jupiter throughout the month, rains may be expected. The last period and of marked activity is from the 25th to August 1st. This period is embraced in the next Venus period which is centered on August 14th.”

July 4, 1940
“The population of Watauga county, according to preliminary figures given out by the bureau of the census, is now 18,084 as compared with 15,165 ten years ago, a gain of 2,919,” according to a front-page feature in this week’s newspaper. “Although Boone and Blowing Rock, the county’s only two incorporated towns, showed large gains, the bulk of the population increase is in the rural areas.” The article also reported, “[i]t is interesting to note that every township in the county has chalked up a population increase with the sole exception of Bald Mountain which has seven fewer people than a decade ago. Also of interest is the preliminary figures for the agricultural census which indicate there are now 2,770 farms in the county, whereas there were only 2,375 in 1930.” The estimated population of Watauga County as of the 2010 Census, by contrast, was over 51,000, with a distribution of approximately 45% urban and 55% rural.

Two portraits appeared in this edition, with a caption reading, “Mr. J.E. Luther, above, Deep Gap, veteran of the Confederate armies, and Newton Banner of Sugar Grove, soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic, are guests today of the Appalachian Theatre. They are to have lunch with Manager Trotler, and in the afternoon attend the showing of ‘Dark Command,’ a Civil War film. The one other Civil War veteran in Watauga, Mr. W.H. Blackburn of Laxon, was invited but was unable to attend.”

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June 29


“Main Street Looking West, Boone, N.C.”: an image of Downtown Boone from an antiques post card, circa 1920s (?). The “Commercial Hotel” is visible in the foreground. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

June 29, 1893

“The President has been suffering from an attack of rheumatism for several days,” reported the “Washington Letter” on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “which, taken in connection with the knowledge that he has been dieting himself for some time to reduce his flesh, which, notwithstanding the enormous quality of the hardest sort of work he constantly does, has been increasing, was made the foundation for numerous sensational rumors considering his health.” The tongue-in-cheek report on the Republican President’s status from the partisan political newspaper continued, “[y]our correspondent is assured by those who know that Mr. Cleveland’s general health, barring the rheumatism, is excellent. He expects in company with Mrs. Cleveland and Baby Ruth, to leave Washington tomorrow or next day for his Buzzard Bay cottage, where Mrs. C. and Ruth will spend the summer.” The report continued, “Mr. Cleveland will return to Washington within a week or ten days, possibly sooner, and will remain, making occasional visits to Buzzard’s Bay until the last of July when he expects to make at least a month’s stay.” Opined the author of the column (credited as “our Regular Correspondent”), “the fact that he expects to spend the month of August away from Washington effectually disposed of the rumored earlier calling of Congress, a rumor that probably had its only origin in the wishes of those who have been here clamoring for an immediate extra session.”

June 29, 1933

“600,00 Bushels Estimate Local Yield Potatoes,” proclaimed a bold headline in this week’s newspaper. “Despite late fronts and continued dry weather in some sections of the county, prospects for a bumper crop of potatoes, cabbage and the like, continue bright in this section, according to farmers,who predict that at market time prices for their products will be at a decidedly higher level.” The story relayed that, “the season has been extremely dry in some sections of the county, but no material damage is thought to have resulted on that score. The late frosts, however, did do considerable damage on river bottom plantations.”

“Mrs. Doughton Felicitated by Mr. Roosevelt,” a front-page entry of local news, reported, “Mrs. Rebecca Doughton, mother of Congressman Robert I. and Hon. R.A. Doughton, was felicitated recently by President Roosevelt upon having attained her ninety-fifth birthday.” The article included the text of the presidential message, which was reported to have been “one of hundreds received from prominent individuals.” Roosevelt’s message was, “‘Dear Mrs. Doughton: Your boy Bob tells me that you will be ninety-five years old in June and I want to send you this line to wish you many happy returns of the day and also to tell you that I am leaning very heavily on your son and that he is doing splendid work for his country.'” The missive closed, “Very sincerely yours, (Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt.”





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