Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
March 11, 1937
More than 100 Watauga County Democrats gathered at the Daniel Boone Inn the previous week to celebrate the latest victory of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and hear calls to keep up support for the party in the future, according to a Watauga Democrat article titled “Victory Dinner Well Attended.”
“Mr. James H. Councill, chairman of the committee on arrangements for the dinner, reports the sale of 138 tickets at $2 each and says that after all expenses have been paid, there remains a net contribution of $165.85 to the Democratic National Committee, to be applied to the deficit created during the last presidential campaign,” the article stated.
Solicitor Spurling, the 16th District Prosecutor, presented the theme “Lest We Forget,” and according to the article, had his address “interspersed with humorous stories and was well received.”
In other news from the week, the second annual Appalachian High School Association basketball meet concluded with the Boone boys defeating Cove Creek 33-28 and the Lansing girls defeating Cove Creek “by two points in extra periods,” according to the article.
“Sixteen teams were entered in the boys’ division and a total of fourteen girls’ teens participated,” the article stated.
Teams from Cove Creek, Todd, West Jefferson, Bethel, Boone, Healing Springs, Fleetwood, Crossnore, Landing, Newland, Cranberry, Virginia Carolina, Jefferson, Blowing Rock, Riverview and Nathans Creek took part in the tournaments.
March 9, 1967
Then-N.C. Governor Dan Moore announced approval by the Appalachian Regional Commission for a $50,000 grant toward the construction of long-term care facilities at the Blowing Rock Hospital, according to the Watauga Democrat.
“The new long-term care addition will contain 76 beds and will serve a five-county area, including Watauga, Caldwell, Wilkes, Ashe and Avery counties in Western North Carolina,” the article stated. “Total construction cost will be $912,000.”
Out of the total, $501,600 would be provided under the Hill-Burton Act, $100,000 by the state, $50,000 by the Appalachia Act and $260,400 by local sources, the article stated.
In other news from the week, visitation to the Blue Ridge Parkway increased by 64.9 percent in February 1967 compared to February of the previous year. The total number of visitors for the month was 140,481 for the month.
“For the 1967 calendar year to date, 318,648 visitors are reported as against 178,596 for the comparable period of 1966, for an increase of 43.9 percent,” the article stated.
In 2019, the Blue Ridge Parkway recorded more than 14.9 million visitors, averaging more than a million visitors per month.
March 12 and 14, 2007
A new road from Bodenheimer Drive at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center to N.C. 105 via Homespun Hills Drive was proposed to alleviate congestion, according to a Watauga Democrat article titled “Connector would drive new campus exit road.”
“We see the connector as an important avenue for visitors, students, faculty and community members to get in and out of the area around the Broyhill Inn,” Appalachian State University Chief of Staff Loren Baumhover said in the article. “As people know, there is only one road in an out of the Broyhill and as we have increasing attendance of athletic games, the need to move traffic away from the heart of campus and away from King street becomes even greater.”
A feasibility study was completed on the road and out of the 26 acres needed for the road, ASU already owned a majority of the space needed.
The project was urged by the town of Boone, according to ASU Director of Design and Construction Clyde Robbins.
The project never got off the ground and to this day, a connector road from the now-former site of the Broyhill Inn to N.C. 105 has not been built.