Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
June 8, 1944
“FRANCE INVADED! Long-heralded Smash at Nazi Fortress Starts Monday Night” screamed a headline in the June 8, 1944, edition of the Watauga Democrat. The dispatch from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force reported that the Allies had landed in the Normandy section of northwest France early on June 6 and by the evening had smashed their way inland, “making good a gigantic air and sea invasion against unexpectedly slight German oppositions.”
Combined fleets of Great Britain and U.S. troops descended on the French coast, with 11,000 planes providing cover for the ground troops.
Typhoid clinics were continuing throughout the county, the newspaper reported, with clinics to be conducted at Howard’s Creek School, Rich Mountain School, Silverstone store, Triplett School, Bamboo School, Aho, Blowing Rock, Meat Camp (Stevens store), Green Valley School, Riverview School, Castle School, Don Hagaman’s store, Reece store, Bethel School, Timbered Ridge Church, Valle Crucis, Matney (Tester’s store), Rominger post office and Victor Ward’s store.
News from Blowing Rock included the scheduled opening of the Green Park Hotel for the season on June 24: “R.H. Gore, owner and operator, was here last week.” Mayview Manor, owned by J.H. Broyhill, was to open the last weekend in June. About 150 representatives of the North Carolina Federated Garden Clubs were to hold a convention at Mayview Manor from June 27 to 29.
The newspaper picked up news from a Baltimore paper about Miss Anne Hagaman of Boone, who was employed at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Corporation in Baltimore.
“Bulging muscles and a sulphurous tongue are no longer the prequisites of good truck drivers,” the article stated. “In fact, since the women have invaded this once sacred realm of mere man, a sweet voice and slight build goes a whole lot further.”
“Anne, not much bigger than a rivet herself, carries the cold type on her truck ... she makes regular deliveries, four a day, and ‘specials’ as required. These chaufeurettes find the little trucks easy to operate, and have perfect driving records.”
June 3, 1974
The June 3, 1974, issue of Watauga Democrat brought news that the Boone Junior Woman’s Club (the predecessor to today’s Boone Service League) planned to finance a children’s playground in the county’s new recreation complex called the “Tot Lot.”
The Daniel Boone wagon train from North Wilkesboro to Boone would be discontinued, the newspaper reported, due to a lack of camping sites. Clyde R. Greene helped to originate the train in 1963 with the help of the Southern Appalachian Historical Society. It was part of the area’s observance of the Carolina Tercentenary Celebration.
“In recent years problems have developed in finding camping sites and routes, but interest has remained high,” the article stated. “Last year 72 wagons and 200 horseback riders participated.”
“Save Old Courthouse,” read the headline of a “King Street” editorial by Rob Rivers, publisher of the Watauga Democrat. “Avery County is to be commended upon current restoration of its 62-year-old courthouse, the highest east of the Mississippi River and built from the same plans as the Watauga facility, erected 8 years earlier,” Rivers wrote.
“We know the progressive people of Newland and of that county will be proud of the historic building when the finishing touches are applied,” Rivers continued. “We think it is a fine thing that some of the old is being restored while the development of the new continues.
“In Boone, we tore the old landmarks down.”
June 4, 2004
The Mountain Pathways Montessori school planned to expand into middle grades education and a new building during the summer of 2004, the Watauga Democrat reported on June 4, 2004.
The private nonprofit school located on Howard’s Creek Road “was established in the late 1980s by parents and teachers who wanted to pursue an educational model that didn’t necessarily follow the required public school curriculum,” the article stated.
Hawksnest Golf and Ski Resort announced plans for a $500,000 renovation of the Seven Devils resort, including a new golf, ski and gift shop, snack bar, full-service restaurant and cocktail lounge, “magic carpet” conveyor belt and more.
The resort would later get into disputes with the town of Seven Devils over its expansion plans, according to media reports, and its golf and ski operations would cease in the late 2000s. Today, the resorts offers snow tubing and ziplining.