Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.

May 17, 1945

In a May 17, 1945, article headlined “Watauga County War Loan Effort Off to Good Start,” it was reported that the “Seventh War Loan campaign got off to a rather good start in Watauga County this week … Members of the war savings staff gathered at a dinner at the Gateway Cafe last Friday and finished perfecting the organization, laying plans for a vigorous campaign to sell the $175,000 in government securities, and everyone will be given an opportunity to invest.”

“We are entering a critical period in the war and in the history of the nation. As we move toward total victory over our last enemy, demands for equipment will increase, and the needs of the army and navy will become increasingly greater,” said Clyde R. Greene, chairman, in the article.

In the same issue, it was reported that “Sugar for home canning purposes will be issued on the basis of current needs, but not to exceed a maximum of 15 pounds per person, Gordon H. Winkler, chairman of the Watauga War Price and Rationing Board said.

May 15, 1985

The High Country Fair announced plans to relocate in an article in the May 15, 1985, edition of the Watauga Democrat.

“After two years at the fairgrounds located off U.S. 421 east of Boone, the 10-day fair will have a new, larger home when it opens July 26” at approximately 100 acres of pastureland off Roby Greene Road, the article stated.

“We just needed more space,” the fair’s general manager, Gary Willis, was quoted as saying.

“Vance Keller’s former dairy farm is now being transformed into an attraction in itself,” the article continued.

“Beer, Wine Bill Hits Snag” was the headline of an article about the town of Seven Devils’ efforts to hold a beer and wine referendum. According to the article, then-Rep. James Cole of Watauga reportedly agreed to introduce a local bill in the General Assembly if a majority of county commissioners in the two counties supported it, but he had since learned that the bill might not garner that amount of support.

The town had repeatedly sought legislative approval for ABC votes since it was incorporated in 1979.

May 16, 2005

“Tweetsie Railroad may have to roll up its tracks and head for lower ground in a couple of years,” warned an article titled “Lease worries may close Tweetsie RR” in the May 16, 2005, issue of Watauga Democrat.

The Wild West theme park established in 1957 faced the 2007 expiration of leases for property at the park, with negotiations involving more than a dozen people. But the park ultimately worked with the county, TDA and land owners to keep the park operating in Watauga, according to media reports, and the park celebrated its 60th season last year.

Cobb Milner was interviewed for a story in this issue about the opening of Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock, which replaced the former Dockside Ira’s. Bistro Roca also resurrected the “Antlers” name for its bar.

“This place used to be Antlers, which has been in business more or less legally since the ‘30s, so it’s got a big reputation,” Milner said at the time.

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