Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
Aug. 1 and 8, 1968
The Watauga Democrat reported in the Aug. 1, 1968, issue that Appalachian State University had plans to offer a summer college preparatory camp for gifted high school boys at Camp Broadstone in Valle Crucis, a facility formerly used as a summer camp for younger boys.
At the time, the camp was said to consist of 14 buildings on a tract alongside the Watauga River. The camp was originally constructed in 1957 and opened in 1958 (though an Appalachian State website says it was 1956) by Robert L. Breitenstein, former Appalachian and Miami University of Ohio football coach, according to the newspaper, which said Breitenstein was German for “broad stone.”
The camp would go on to offer summer programs and year-round programs to academically gifted youth and to local and statewide school groups, as well as to church youth groups and scouting groups. But in 2012, Appalachian State discontinued the youth camp programs and transferred oversight of the property to its University Recreation division to expand outdoor recreation offerings for students and the university community.
The Aug. 8, 1968, issue of the newspaper included an account of the sixth annual John Moretz Family Reunion, held at the “Horn in the West” outdoor drama grounds in Boone. Over 600 members and visitors were present for the largest attendance ever.
“The Ralph M. Moretz family of Boone was given special attention for being the largest family, numbering 45 from eight states,” the article stated.
“The historian, D. Grady Moretz Jr. of Boone, spoke briefly on the early history of the Moretz family in North Carolina, noting that they came from Pennsylvania to Randolph County, on to what is now Catawba, and in 1939 up the mountains to what is now Watauga County,” the newspaper reported.
July 27, 1988
The town of Boone received funding for a pilot greenway project in Boone, the Watauga Democrat reported on July 27, 1988. The greenway trail was to be a 10-foot-wide gravel path along the South Fork of the New River, extending from the Watauga County Recreation Complex to Daniel Boone Drive.
Aug. 4, 2008
“Tubing slides out skiing at Seven Devils,” read a front page headline in the Aug. 4, 2008, Watauga Democrat. Hawksnest had formerly had provided skiing and a golf course, but had discontinued golf, was now announcing that ski operations would cease as well.
“The ski resort in Seven Devils has announced it will concentrate solely on snow tubing due to continued frustration with the town residents and officials over a planned expansion,” the article stated. “The resort also had conflict with the town and some residents over the fate of its former golf course.”
The golf course closed in 2005 after storm damage.
In other news, Republican gubernatorial candidate and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory attending the grand opening for the Watauga County Republican Party headquarters in Boone.