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

Aug. 7, 1969

“Perkinsville Property Is Likely Site” for a school to replace the Appalachian Elementary School, the Watauga Democrat reported in the Aug. 7, 1969, issue.

The gently rolling 20-acre site in east Boone was owned by H. Grady Farthing and his wife Lucy A. Farthing.

“It would be the first elementary school ever built for Boone by the board of education,” the newspaper reported. “Appalachian State University, which owns the present building used for Boone elementary children, is planning to use the facility for college activities in the near future.”

At the time, the newspaper reported that the option to purchase the property included an agreement to name the new school — which today is Hardin Park School — the Lucy-Grady Farthing School.

In another article, the newspaper reported on the state attorney general’s recent remarks warning that “high schools may have trouble.”

“A warning that student demonstrations may pop up on high school campuses in North Carolina this fall came last Wednesday from Attorney General Robert B. Morgan,” the Democrat article stated.

Morgan said the State Bureau of Investigation had “active informants within the militant Students for Democratic Society organization,” the article continued. “The SDS has been regarded as the most effective motivating force behind disruptions on college campuses.”

Aug. 4, 1989

“A 12,000-seat capacity sports coliseum at Appalachian State University should be a reality within the next couple of years,” the Watauga Democrat reported on Aug. 4, 1989.

At the time, the facility was planned to built on the west side of campus near the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, the newspaper reported.

The coliseum project would eventually lead to the Holmes Convocation Center, which opened in 2000 after almost 15 years of planning, according to the Holmes Center website. The site above Kidd Brewer Stadium was rejected due to environmental concerns, and the center was constructed at the entrance to the main campus at the corner of Rivers and Hardin Streets.

“Vermont American expanding with training headquarters” was another headline in the issue.

“Vermont American’s Boone plant has long been one of the corporation’s leading production facilities and will now also house the hardware manufacturer’s new corporate training headquarters,” the article began. “Corporate Training Director Rick Ramseur has had an office at the Boone plant for several years and has utilized local convention facilities at the Sheraton Appalachian Inn and at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center.”

The newspaper also featured an interview with new Watauga High School head basketball coach Marc Payne. Payne retired in 2018 after a 43-year career as a coach and athletic director in Watauga and Ashe counties.

Aug. 3, 2009

The historic Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock was on the auction block back in 2009, but when the winning bid of $750,000 came in significantly lower than the auctioneers had hoped (the auctioneer started the bidding at $5 million, but had no takers), it appeared that the owner would exercise his option to refuse the bid, the Watauga Democrat reported on Aug. 3, 2009.

Later that month, the hotel was sold in a foreclosure auction in the front lobby of the Watauga County Courthouse for $1.66 million.

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