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.”