“Leaning Rock on Yonahlossee Road”. Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.org / the Digital Watauga Project.
1930: Making Wine Not Illegal, but Selling It Is
October 25, 1900
A short notice, apparently from the editor of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, appeared in this week’s issue: “The greatest epithets yet applied to that pure, upright christian (sic) gentleman, Hon. J.C. Buxton, by his political opponent, are such as these: ‘The big man,’ ‘the big candidate,’ ‘the elephant’, etc. Now, Spence,” wrote the author, naming the opposition candidate, “if you have any thing damaging against that man, great of heart, mind and body, bring it out, for we do not want an unclean man in Congress, but if you have nothing, quit throwing mud, which seems to be one of your greatest accomplishments.” “He is a clean man,” concluded the editorial, “and you can’t disprove it.”
In local weather news, “[o]n last Monday and Monday night Watauga was visited by the most severe rain storm that it has ever had for many years. In twenty four hours the down-pour of rain was so great that the mountain streams were converted into roaring cataracts that swept fences, bridges, etc. before them. Two of the bridges on the Boone and Blowing Rock Turnpike were wrecked; the new bridge just being completed across Cove Creek, near Dr. Bingham’s, was swept away… The old mill house owned by the Winkler Bros. was converted into a wreck, and we are told that the old Lutheran church on Watauga river met with the same fate.”
October 30, 1930
A brief news note under the simple heading, “Wine,” relayed that, “[i]t is not illegal, the Director of Prohibition declares, to make wine or beer in one’s own home for one’s own use. The law does not prohibit the making of beverages which are not ‘intoxicating in fact,’ but prohibits their sale.” Continued the notice, “[i]t does not take a very long memory to recall the time when the domestic manufacture of wine for home use was a part of the year’s regular routine in a large proportion of farm and village homes. Elderberry wine, dandelion wine and wine from other fruits and ingredients shared honors with the grape. And our grandmothers always took pains to see that there was a supply on hand of ‘blackberry cordial’ which was supposed to have sovereign value in digestive disturbances. Probably blackberry cordial would come under the prohibition ban today, for it certainly was ‘intoxicating in fact.’ But one needed a capacity far beyond the ordinary to consume enough of the old-fashioned home made wines to become intoxicated by them.”
A short feature article entitled simply “Eskimos” reported on this same day that, “[t]raders returning from the Hudson’s Bay country tell of Eskimo families whose incomes in actual money run up to $40,000 a year, which they earn by trapping the rare white fox for its fur.” The peoples referred to, allegedly, according to the report, “have no idea of the value of money,” having their essential needs already met, and “spend their incomes on airplane joyrides, commercial aviators having discovered that there is easy money to be made in flying up to Herschel Island, where these Eskimos live, and charging them $375 for a flight to Edmonton.”