Editor’s Note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
July 2, 1964
A story in the July 2, 1964, edition of the Watauga Democrat covered the impending arrival of the 1964 Daniel Boone Wagon Train.
“The 1964 Daniel Boone Wagon Train consisting of 75 covered wagons and nearly 600 human and animal participants is scheduled to roll into the ‘Horn in the West’ camping grounds Friday (July 3, 1964) at 3:30 p.m.”
Thousands were expected to line the streets of Boone to see the parade of wagons on Saturday, July 4, 1964.
“Parade Marshal Austin Adams has a number of colorful entries lined up to lead the train. Included are a National Guard Color Guard, the Appalachian High School Band, Miss Rhododendron, Miss Watauga County, ‘Horn in the West’ stars and Indians, Fred Kirby of Tweetsie Railroad and many others.”
The train, which made its way from North Wilkesboro, was started in 1963 to commemorate the 300th birthday celebration of the state of North Carolina and took place every year until 1973.
July 1, 1976
The July, 1, 1976, edition of the Watauga Democrat was a special bicentennial edition, celebrating 200 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The edition had stories about the history of Watauga County, including its first people, black history, wars, religion, transportation, education, agriculture and much more.
“When the colonists proclaimed themselves ‘free and independent states’ on July 4, 1776, they were referring to independence of many kinds,” the foreword to the Watauga Democrat stated. “But even though they created separate states, their intentions were not to be independent of each other.
“Their’s was a different time. A time when unity meant livelihood. True, many mountaineers reveled in an independent spirit, but they quickly learned the advantages of being a community.
“In the early days of our country, the community became the backbone of government, of religious activities and naturally of fulfilling social needs. The community became all-important, as the colonists held house raising, corn shucking and even gathered together to get in a neighbors crop,” the article stated.
“As our nation celebrates its bicentennial, community spirit is being revived. Across the nation community activities are commemorating this important national birthday.
“With this in mind, the Watauga Democrat dedicates its bicentennial edition to the community that is Watauga County. Stories inside this special edition concern the people and events that have made our community what it is today. In fact, many of the stories have been written by the members of our community who volunteered their personal experiences and — or research.
“This edition is our way of saying we’re proud of our forefathers, our country and our nation.”
July 3, 2006
In the July 3, 2006, edition of the Watauga Democrat, one of the lead stories was that the 2006 Comprehensive Plan Update was unanimously approved by the Boone Town Council in the month of June.
“A document designed to provide policy-foundation for governmental decisions related to town growth and development, the Comprehensive Plan was originally adopted in 1993. The planning commission began updating the plan in 2003.”
In updating the plan, then-Boone Development Services Director John Spear explained that the planning commission and staff found that 90 percent of policies in the original plan were still valid, but only around 15 percent of it had been implemented in the previous decade.
The 2006 Comprehensive Plan Update was later followed to the Boone 2030 Land Use Master Plan, which was approved in 2009. The 2030 plan was repealed by the Boone Town Council in March 2018, with talks about potentially incorporating parts of the 2030 Plan into the Comprehensive Plan.