Watauga Democrat
January 18, 2008


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Noted photographer

dies at 84
By Caroline Monday

A Watauga County legend died Tuesday, but his legacy on film will live on in the community’s memory and with the countless photographs he left behind.

George Arthur Flowers Jr. died at the age of 84.

A native of Hickory, Flowers and his wife, Millie, moved to Boone in 1957 to open Flowers Photo Shop on King Street, near where Dancey’s Shoes is now located.

In a previous interview, Millie said “We came out one weekend to see Boone and I thought I would die.”
The couple quickly fell in love with the community.

The shop became a staple of downtown Boone.

George Flowers and his wife, Millie, moved to Boone in 1957.

The shop closed in 1977 and reopened as Flowers Photography in 1978 on Howard Street, where it remained for 20 years.

The new shop was full-service, offering a studio and dark room.

Flowers also worked as a photographer, shooting for United Press International from 1944 to 1992 and photographing weddings.

He documented the area as it changed from a small town in the mountains to the growing, thriving community it is today.

Flowers once said that perhaps his favorite photograph was of former N.C. Gov. Bob Scott lying on his back beneath a Saint Bernard carrying a whiskey keg. Scott allowed Flowers to run the photo as long as everyone knew it was a gag and if it was not run on a Sunday.

Local photographer George Flowers was perhaps best known for his image of the Tweetsie railroad engine and cars being moved from Hickory to Blowing Rock. Flowers died Tuesday at the age of 84.

Photo by George Flowers

Locally, Flowers' most well-known photo was taken in May 1957, when Tweetsie Railroad relocated to its current location. The pictures shows the train being hauled up the mountain on the backs of multiple trucks.

In addition to his photography, Flowers left a legacy of giving back to the community. He played an instrumental role in forming the Watauga Rescue Squad, along with Oscar Danner, C.P. Calloway, Milton Moretz, J.B. Robinson and Ray Moretz. Before the the rescue squad, local funeral homes would provide basic rescue services.

He was also the voluntary highway safety coordinator in Boone, teaching driving safety lessons for truck and bus drivers.

(Please see the obituary listings for more details on funeral arrangements.)


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