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

Aug. 19, 1954

“From advance registrations, it would appear that the enrollment at Appalachian State Teachers College for the next year will be up anywhere from five to ten percent, according to H. B. Eggers, registrar,” stated a story titled “Fall college enrollments to be ahead of last year’s record” in a 1954 Watauga Democrat. “The enrollment for the fall quarter of 1953 was 1,678.”

“Mr. Eggers also predicts on the basis of pre-registration, that the freshman enrollment will be up ten percent. Last fall quarter’s freshmen numbered 440.

“It appears likely, Mr. Eggers said, that the largest number in history will be entering the field of training or elementary education. The college has been encouraging more of its young people to go into the phase of training over a period of years,” the article stated.

Aug. 22, 1984

A 1984 Watauga Democrat article, “Appalcart transit system adds new routes,” shared with readers that Appalcart added four new routes — red route, blue route, gold route and green route.

“Transportation routes will begin at the Boone Mall with buses coming to and from the center all day long since the location is a central one for many residents and students,” the article stated.

“Overall, there’s no question that the mall is a pivotal part to this change in our operations, and it speaks to the town of Boone too,” said Lynn Leidersdorff, director of the Watauga County Transportation Authority at the time of the article. “You can get from any route to the Boone Mall or downtown area.”

“Hand signals may be used to stop a bus, and drivers may let passengers off at designated stops and safe intersections upon advance warning of one block.

“Routes are designated by color and may be recognized by signs with those colors posted on the front of each bus.

“Pay fare, 25 cents one way, should be paid in exact amount — drivers do not have change. Fares are based on a countywide zone structure. Maximum fare for anywhere in the county is $1,” the article stated.


ug. 22, 1994

A 1994 Watauga Democrat story titled “Want to be a ‘Wise Guy’ and a champ at it as well?” told readers about a Linville game inventor.

“‘I always enjoyed playing Scrabble when I was young. I really like the camaraderie that goes with playing a board game,’” said game inventor Jim Morton in the article.

“Playing scrabble, chess and Go instilled in me an attraction for challenging games that require a lot of strategic planning,” Morton said in the article.

“Morton, a Linville resident otherwise known as the founder of the Woolly Worm Festival is the game master, and he is definitely a Wise Guy.

”His creation, Wise Guys games, are a first edition series of ‘spelling games’ with 16 different brain teasers variations.

“With Scrabble, you’re limited to seven letters, and you can’t use a dictionary. With my games, you can use up to 12 letters and a dictionary of any language, so you end up learning a lot of words,” Morton said in the article.

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