Editor’s Note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
May 11, 1933
“Nine Arrested For Participating (in) Sunday Baseball game, Mabel,” a front-page headline in that week’s newspaper reported that, “Nine residents of the Mabel community, the members of the neighborhood baseball team, were placed under arrest Sunday afternoon for Sabbath ball playing just as they were about to go into a diamond contest with a nine from Hudson.”
According to the report, “Trial was set for Saturday morning before Justice C.F. Thompson, and the local boys went into the game with the visiting team and walked away with a 16 to 8 victory.”
“The warrants under which the leaguers were arrested were signed, it is said, by Rev. J.A. McKaughan, Baptist minister,” continued the details of the story, “and served by Sheriff A.Y. Howell.”
Concluded the item, “(i)t is said by attorneys that Sunday baseball comes under a very old statute, seldom used, which provides that offenders may in the discretion of the court be fined up to one dollar for such violation.”
Aug. 24, 1939
A 1939 article titled “Elk Knob mining will be resumed after 40 years” told Watauga Democrat readers of the quantities of gold and silver that were to come from the project.
“Resumption after 40 years, mining operation full of promise for Northwest North Carolina was announced (Aug. 24, 1939) by H.J. Bryson, state geologist in the department of conservation and development,” the article stated.
“This is the reopening of the Elk Knob copper mine in Watauga County, some 15 miles northeast of Boone. The mine is being operated by the Copper Corporation, one of the few mining companies financed by North Carolina capital.
“Plans of the company, as announced by Bryson, call for the erection of a crushing and floatation mill for handling the ore at the mine upon completion of core drilling not in process.
“For many years before 1900, the Elk Knob vein of copper was worked, even though, in those days it was necessary to haul the ore laboriously over the mountains in wagons to Abingdon, Va.
“With a good highway available for trucking now, the opportunity to make the mine a profitable venture is greater, Bryson pointed out.
“Preliminary tests have shown the vein to be unusually rich, showing from 10 to 16 percent copper, Bryson explained. In addition, the vein reveals from $1 to $14 of gold per ton and a small percentage of silver,” the article stated.
Aug. 9, 1982
“After years of discussion, controversy and two bond referendums, the town of Boone’s $7.9 million water treatment plant is finally about to become a reality,” read the start of an Aug. 9, 1982, Watauga Democrat article titled “Testing to begin at plant.”
“This is the first time the town has had a dependable source of water, and of high-quality water,” said then-Boone Town Manager Marvin Hoffman.
The Winklers Creek plant was scheduled to open after 22 months of construction that week. Hoffman said that residents might notice some discoloration in the water initially, but not to worry as the flushing of lines would be taking place.
The new plant would be able to produce up to three million gallons of water per day, able to deal with the average daily consumption of between 1.5-1.8 million gallons.
The water plant is still operations today, although the Boone Town Council is looking to pursue additional raw water resources to meet future demand.
In other news from the week, Jim Garner was hired as Appalachian State University Athletics Director, a position he would assume Sept. 1, 1982. Garner held that position until 1990, when he left to take the same position at Oklahoma State University.
And in other hiring news from the week, John Weaver was named the ASU Women’s Track and Field coach.