October 10

This postcard, which was postmarked on the reverse side in 1907, shows “[The] Blowing Rock, The Village, and Grandfather Mountain.” A handwritten note below the photograph reads, “Back in the land of the sky. Are starting for home from here from Ashe Co. Best wishes for you all, J.W. Atkins.” A caution on the opposite side of the back of this early postcard sternly warned users, “THIS SIDE IS EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE ADDRESS.” Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.omeka.net / the Digital Watauga Project.

1936: Project to Extend Electricity to 2,400 Local Homes Planned

October 10, 1888

This year was the first full year of publication of the Watauga Democrat, which was originally launched as a politically-based paper with clear affiliation with the Democratic party. In this presidential election year, political news was a particular emphasis of the journal. The emergence of a third party based on the cause of prohibition of alcoholic beverages was a matter of concern and frequent commentary to the Democratic paper. “There is a man in this county by the name of Jenkins who comes, he says, from Statesville,” began one article. “He claims to be employed by Mr. Leonard to sell organs. We have not heard of his selling any organs, but we have heard of his making several appointments to lecture on temperance and when the crowd assembled, to their surprise, they were to hear, not a temperance lecture but a very abusive third rate Third Party speech. If Jenkins is to be taken as a sample of a Third Party speaker it is not surprising that their following is small.”

October 8, 1936

“BOONE CHILDREN ENTER CONTEST,” a bold headline on the front page of this week’s edition of the newspaper, carried a subheading which read, “Scooter Race is Next Event On New Recreational Program for Local Kiddies.” The details of the story related that, “Coach Watkins, head of the recreational program for the Demonstration School children of Boone, reports that steady progress is being made in this field of work. Daily a more extensive program of athletics for this group is being added to the curriculum and much enthusiasm is being shown by the participants.” Continued the article. “[t]he latest plans include a scooter race which will be an event from twelve thirty to one-thirty Thursday of this week and a bicycle race which will take place next week at the same period. Just as the contests held heretofore, all under fourteen years of age will be allowed to take part.” In addition to these contests, the Democrat article reported that, “[d]aily lectures are being given to the students on highway conduct. By means of these talks the children of Boone are being taught how, when and where to cross the road and the correct place for pedestrians to walk on the highway.”

In other news this week, “[t]hree hundred miles of electric transmission lines are being asked for in the completed REA project which is to be presented to the Rural Electrification Administration in Washington Monday, and twenty-four hundred homes are to receive the benefit of electricity for lighting and for household appliances.” According to this article, “Mr. Richard Olsen, civil engineer of Valle Crucis, who had been named chairman of the temporary local organization, will take the project to Washington Monday, where he and Congressman Robert L. Doughton will present the request of Watauga County to the REA authorities, and it is predicted by the local organization that the project will find a ready approval.”


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