Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
Oct. 2, 1930
“South’s Soldiers Feted as the Last Reunion is Held,” the Watauga Democrat announced on the front page of the Oct. 2, 1930, issue.
“Seven survivors of Lee’s gray-clad armies, each of them well along toward the century mark in age, closed the final reunion of Camp Nimrod Triplett, United Confederate Veterans, at State Teachers College here Friday afternoon,” the article stated.
“Captain E.J. Norris, 87, who for thirty-odd years has commanded Camp Nimrod Triplett, was in charge of the program, which closed with memorial addresses by Professor A.M. Norton of the college faculty, and Rev. Mr. Worley, of Johnson County, Tennessee. Rev. P.A. Hicks, of the Boone Baptist Church, had charge of devotional exercises, and Dr. B.B. Dougherty, president of the college, provided meals for the veterans.”
“Captain Norris, known to his many friends as ‘Uncle Lige,’ enlisted in Company D, 58th N.C. Regiment, at the age of 17; was ‘baptized with fire’ at Chicamauga and Missionary Ridge, witnessed the ‘Battle Above the Clouds’ at Lookout Mountain, and received a gunshot wound at that place which sent him home for seven months,” the article continued. “After his wound had healed sufficiently, he went back to this regiment, was in the skirmishes around Chattanooga, and at the Battle of Lovejoy Station (Georgia) was shot through the hips with an ounce ball. Captain Norris returned to his home near Boone and, being unfit for further service on the battlefront, was made an officer in the ‘home guard.’ When Stoneman’s raiders paid their destructive visit to Boone near the close of the war, his father, Ephriam Norris, was shot down as he ran from the Yankees near the present site of the Daniel Boone Hotel.”
The article also mentioned local Civil War veterans William Spainhour, “Uncle Harve” Davis, Tom Love, Marion Millsaps, Marshal Made, Enoch Swift, Wyatt Hayes, S.J. Bishop, L.N. Perkins, Newt Greer, Lem Greene and Elihu Luther.
“Just one dozen soldiers of the Confederacy remain in the county,” the article stated. “Only a few years ago this annual reunion was attended by scores of veterans, but the years have taken their toll. So Boone will witness no more reunions.
Sept. 25, 1989
Flood and wind damages estimated at around $1 million occurred as the remnants of Hurricane Hugo slammed into the High Country on Friday, Sept. 22, 1989, according to the Watauga Democrat article “High Country recovering.”
The damages were not enough to qualify for federal disaster aid, according to county officials, but neighboring counties Alleghany, Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell, Avery, Mitchell and McDowell were recommended for federal aid.
Nearly all Watauga roads were passable by that Saturday, with the most damage occurring in Deep Gap. Blue Ridge Parkway officials spent thousands of hours cleaning up the damage.
Local parking areas were flooded, leaving emergency crews to use boats on Meadowview Drive to reach stranded people. According to the newspaper and subsequent reports, no deaths were recorded in Watauga County.
Sept. 24, 2008
Postal services were allowed to continue after the town of Boone paid $1.25 million to purchase the downtown post office, as reported in the Watauga Democrat in the article titled “Boone buys post office.”
The purchase came after the U.S. Postal Service announced in January 2008 their plans to sell the building. Renovations were also completed at the location.
“The renovations sectioned off a 625-square-foot section of the building, which the U.S. Postal Service has agreed to lease at the rate of $18 per square foot for 20 years,” the article stated.
The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, a Great Depression-era program designed to provide people with jobs, the article stated.