November 7


This is a postcard showing “Moonlight Scene, Tater Hill” an early postcard showing a night view of a mountainside west of Boone. Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and / the Digital Watauga project.

1908: School Halloween Celebration Provides “Refreshing Absence of Everything Akin to Formality”

November 5, 1908
“A Pleasant Occasion,” a report on local news in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, opened, “[t]he students and teachers of the A.T.S. [Appalachian Teachers School] and the public school[,] with the people of the town and community, enjoyed a very unique and entertaining Hallowe’en party in the auditorium of the main building on Saturday night. The stage had been transformed into a mystic land where no one could be surprised at the presence of ghosts and witches. Across the entire stage was a row of pumpkin heads from which lighted candles gleamed. Suspended by strings just over them was a row of apples which the children[,] with hands locked behind them[,] tried to bite, the successful ones being allowed to draw for a prize. Then[,] ducking for apples in a tub of water was enjoyed by the larger boys and girls of the public school, while the little ones seated on jugs which stood on their necks, had a needle threading contest[,] those being fortunate enough to thread them getting the chance of a prize.” Other entertainments named included, the story noted, a game in which “chestnuts were scattered among leaves and they [the children] were allowed to hunt them.” “The evening’s entertainment was opened by a march of ghosts,” continued the report, “who carried lighted candles and as the ones who attended the party ascended the stairs to the hall[,] they were apt to find themselves ushered by a white[-]robed ghost who would speak never a word.” Other features of the evening included “a short but interesting paper by Prof. Roy M. Brown on ‘Hallowe’en, what it is.'” Further, “[a]mong the undergrowth and bushes, laden with autumn leaves, hung the ‘Witche’s [sic] cauldron, and besides this other modes of fortune telling were in evidence.”  The account of this Halloween celebration concluded, “[i]n short, the best of cheer prevailed, and the absence of everything akin to formality was refreshing.”

November 3, 1938

“Actual construction of the rural electric lines starts in Watauga county this (Wednesday) afternoon,” reported an article under the headline, “WORK ON RURAL ELECTRIC LINES HAS COMMENCED: Ceremonies Mark Setting of the First Pole; Congressman R.L. Doughton Invited to Attend; County Officials and Others Asked to Be Present.” The body of the story included portions of a letter from a Mr. G.F. Messick to “patrons of the REA [Rural Electrification Administration] project,” which related that, “[c]onstruction of our new rural electric lines began this morning when Melvin F. Burgess, Inc., moved its crews and machines to this part of the county and began work. Much of the material has already arrived and poles, wire, transformers and other equipment are on the way from many parts of the country.” It was announced that “the REA plan for financing wiring and plumbing will be thoroughly discussed. If you wish to wire your home completely in the beginning and do not have the ready cash on hand at the moment, you will be interested in this plan.”



Published in: on November 7, 2016 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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