High Country Magazine April 2022

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Volume 16 • Issue 4 April / May 2022

Boone’s Most


Woman Lillie Dougherty

What’s Inside

Boone Celebrates 150 Years Churches: Always a Cornerstone Health Care Grew with Boone App State’s Impact on Boone Daniel Boone Chapter NASDAR

So, Was Boone in Boone? • Big Weather Events April / May 2022





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18 Boone 150: A Celebration 22 Daniel Boone, Frontiersman

Daniel Boone was not perfect, but he perfectly represented a rugged individualism that captured the hearts of Boone’s founders.

34 Becoming Boone, An Exhibit

A class of master’s students lead by Dr. Andrea Burns curated an exhibit that told the story of Boone, the story behind the exhibit.

44 App State History

From a modest teacher’s college to over 20,000 students.

50 Lillie Shull Dougherty

The third founder of App State: Doris Perry Stam, the 2022 High Country Magazine Author in Residence shares the first in a 6 part series exploring the life and legacy of Lillie Shull Dougherty. Most remember her as a wife, mother, and instructor. Doris remembers her as a great-grandmother named “mama.” After you read Lillie’s story, you will never forget her and her legacy.


60 To Our Health


From a life expectancy of just over 40 years in the 1870s to modern health care today.

66 Doc Watson 72 Our Faith History

“Just one of the people”

Learn about church discipline at Three Forks Baptist regarding the Boone family before Boone was established and about Creation Care today at St. Lukes. Celebrate what our oldest faith communities have done and continue today.

82 VFW 86 Law Enforcement

All gave some, some gave all

From 39 lashes at the whipping post for stealing half a hog to a modern state of art police department, learn about our history of law enforcement. Don’t worry, It would not be a story about law enforcement without the Potter family.

90 Daughters of the American Revolution DAR just celebrated their 55th anniversary and have been watching over Boone’s history for over half a century. Latest project just preserved an original 1788 land grant.

98 Boone’s Weather History

Ray Russell of booneweather.com highlights ten of the biggest weather event of the last 150 years. Find our how weather forecasting have evolved over the years.



April / May 2022

90 on the cover Lillie Shull The cover image is of Lillie Belle Shull several years before she became Lillie Shull Dougherty, one of the founders of Watauga Academy which became Appalachian State University. The photo is believed to have been taken between 1888-1890 when she was still a teenager. The picture would have been taken in East Tennessee. The picture of Lillie is generously provided by the University Archives at Appalachian State University - Doris Stam Collection.

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A Publication Of High Country Press Publications

Publisher Sam Garrett Editor Ken Ketchie

Sam Garrett and Ken Ketchie


Let’s Celebrate Boone

nniversaries are the perfect time to reflect and imagine. Boone 150 is the perfect time to reflect on the organizations, people, and characters that established and advanced the town. It is also a time for citizens and groups to imagine what Boone might be like in the next 150 years. In this issue, we explore various groups, organizations, and individuals dating back to 1872 and before. We discover how Boone has changed and, in some ways, how it is the same. We will also just begin some conversations about the future of Boone. Today, we are proud to introduce you to the 2022 High Country Magazine Author in Residence, Doris Perry Stam. Doris will be sharing her recent writings on Lillie Belle Shull, who we all know as Lillie Shull Dougherty. Doris has carefully curated her work into six segments that will be released with each magazine during 2022. In this issue, she focused on Lillie while she was in preparation to be an educator. This summer Doris will share about Lillie’s early career as a teacher in Butler, TN, and then in Boone. Then we see her in her roles as the Business Manager and Treasurer for the college and learn about her unofficial roles as a hostess and a homemaker. Finally, in December, we will discover Lillie’s lasting influence on the college and on the town of Boone. We are honored to work with Doris Perry Stam and to share her research and writings with you. We also have so many other exciting stories to share in this issue. Harley Nefe takes on a journey of discovery about Daniel Boone. Our town’s namesake was anything but normal. We look at the beginning of Appalachian State University and try to see what life was like in the early years as a small teaching school and watch it become a university with over 20,000 students. Jan Todd gives us a deeper understanding of how healthcare in Boone has changed and grown into the modern operation we know as Appalachian Regional Health System. Kayla McCorrison, App State class of 2022, delivers an insightful history of law enforcement that is sure to have a story or two about the Potter family. We celebrate the Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization that is dedicated to preserving and celebrating our history. We also acknowledge those veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us with our friends at the VFW. We also reflect on the history of several churches that are at least 100 years old and spend some time getting to know Three Forks Baptist Church that started in 1790 right here in Boone. Many of our local congregations launched out of Three Forks Baptist Church and many familiar last names helped launch the church. You will enjoy reading about a matter of church discipline in the early 1800s that involved the Boone family. As a community we look at the past and anticipate the future for Boone. At High Country Press Publications, we are also honoring the past and looking forward with hope and expectation for the future. As you may have read, Sam Garrett is the new publisher at High Country Press Publications, and Ken Ketchie remains as the Editor-inChief. We look forward to continuing to meet your expectations of producing the highest quality magazine in the High Country. We are both honored that you enjoy and ask for High Country Magazine by name. 10


April / May 2022

Advertising Director Jeffrey Green Design Ava Coleman

Contributing Writers Harley Nefe Jan Todd Joe Johnson Kayla McCorison

High Country Magazine is produced by the staff and contributors of High Country Press Publications, which serves Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties of North Carolina.

Visit our online newspaper for the latest news happening in the High Country as well upcoming events and feature stories.

HIGH COUNTRY MAGAZINE P.O. Box 152, Boone, NC 28607 828-264-2262 Follow our magazine online where each issue is presented in a flip-through format. Check it out at:

HighCountryMagazine.com Reproduction or use in whole or part of the contents of this magazine without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Issues are FREE throughout the High Country. © 2022 by High Country Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Calendar of Events APRIL 2022



Watauga County Farmers’ Market, Horn in the West, 828-355-4918 (Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.) 9 Tweetsie Railroad Opening Day, Blowing Rock, 828-264-9061 9 Blowing Rock Easter Festival & Egg Hunt, Memorial Park at 10 a.m., 828-295-5200 9 Banner Elk Easter Egg Hunt, Tate Evans Park at 11:30 a.m., 828-898-8395 9 Boone Easter Egg Hunt, Daniel Boone Native Gardens at 12:00 p.m., 828-264-2120 14 Jones House Jams, Boone, joneshouse.org (Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.) 14 F.A.R.M. Cafe: A Decade of Dedication, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum at 6 p.m., 828-295-9099 16 Beech Mountain Easter Egg Hunt Party, Buckeye Recreation Center at 10:30 a.m., 828-387-3003 16-17 Easter Bunny at Tweetsie, Blowing Rock at 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., 828-264-9061 19 The Red, White & Bluegrass Jam, American Legion Hall Blowing Rock, facebook.com/rwbj.boone.nc 19 Hickory Ridge History Museum Opening Day, Boone, 10 a.m., 828-264-2120 22 Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m., 828-262-4046 23 Spring Thaw with Draba, Daniel Boone Park/Horn in the West amphitheater 4/28-5/1 MerleFest 2022, Wilkes Community College, merlefest.org 30 Beech Mountain Bloomin Craft Festival, Buckeye Recreation Center at 12 p.m., 828-387-3003

MAY 2022 3 5 6 6 6 6-7

7 12

King Street Farmers’ Market Opening Day, Boone from 4-7 p.m., brwia.org (Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m.) Jones House Jams, Boone at 7:30 p.m., joneshouse.org (Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.) First Friday, Downtown Boone, 828-268-6280 Blowing Rock Artisan Market, Tanger Outlets, tangeroutlet.com Tales at the Hill, Mystery Hill at 2 p.m., 828-264-2792 Appalachian State University Commencement Ceremonies, Holmes Convocation Center, 828-262-2000 Ashe County Farmers’ Market, West Jefferson, ashefarmersmarket.com (Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.)


April / May 2022

8 8 12

14 14 15 17 19 19 21 22 22 24 24

26 26 26 27-30 27 28 28-29 29 29

Watauga County Farmers’ Market, Horn in the West from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., 828-355-4918 (Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.) In Cold Mud Run, Beech Mountain at 10 a.m., 828-387-3003 Music on the Veranda, Green Park Inn at 5 p.m., 828-414-9230 Boone Reads Together – Book Talk with Dr. Eric Plaag about “Remembering Boone,” Watauga County Public Library at 6 p.m., 828-264-8784 Pinecones & Pages Literary Festival, Daniel Boone Park from 1:30-10:00 p.m. New River Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, T odd at 7 a.m., newrivermarathon.com Music on the Veranda, Green Park Inn at 5 p.m., 828-414-9230 King Street Farmers’ Market, Boone from 4-7 p.m., brwia.org Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market, Park Avenue from 3-6 p.m., blowingrock.com Jones House Jams, Boone at 7:30 p.m., joneshouse.org Art in the Park, Blowing Rock at 10 a.m., 828-295-7851 Blowing Rock Concert in the Park, Memorial Park at 4 p.m., blowingrock.com Music on the Veranda, Green Park Inn at 5 p.m., 828-414-9230 King Street Farmers’ Market, Boone from 4-7 p.m., brwia.org The Coaches Invitational Golf Tournament, Blowing Rock Country Club at 11 a.m., blowingrockcountryclub.com Last Day of Classes for Watauga County Schools Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market, Park Avenue from 3-6 p.m., blowingrock.com Jones House Jams, Boone at 7:30 p.m., joneshouse.org Memorial Day Weekend Block Party, Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock, tangeroutlet.com Family Fun Field Day Beech Mountain, Brick Oven Pizzeria at 4 p.m., famousbrickoven.com Spring Exhibition Opening, Carlton Gallery at 11 a.m., Banner Elk, carltongallery.com Art on the Green, Historic Banner Elk School at 10 a.m., www.bannerelk.com Beech Mountain Concerts on the Lawn, Beech Alpen Inn at 5 p.m., 828-387-2252 Music on the Veranda, Green Park Inn at 5 p.m., 828-414-9230

Herb Jackson

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Where Did The Name “High Country” Come From?


he name “High Country” is certainly a familiar term de- magazine, which, incidentally, he said was appropriately named. Hensley was a World War II veteran and after the war atscribing where Boone and the surrounding area are located. Today the name just rolls off our tongues. But where tended Wake Forest University and graduated in 1950 with a BA did the phrase come from, you might ask? The phrase was actu- degree in English. He began his professional career in 1950 as a ally coined just 40 years ago in a meeting that was being held sportswriter for the Asheville Citizen. When the Atlantic Coast in Boone to establish a marketing organization to promote the Conference was formed in 1953, he was named Wake Forest’s area. Attending was a small group of the state’s travel industry first Sports Information Director. After two years, he accepted the same job at NC State leaders that included Hugh — where he handled media Morton, Harry Robbins, relations for the ACC and Spencer Robbins and Grady Dixie Classic tournaments Moretz. Bill Hensley, a — and was there five years Charlotte public relations until moving to Charlotte in executive who did work for 1960. Hound Ears and the RobHe was then director bins brothers, also attended of Travel and Tourism for as an advisor. the state of North Carolina At the end of the meetfrom 1965 to 1971 and won ing, when the association numerous national awards had been formed, someone for advertising and promosaid, “And now we need a tional excellence. He was name for the new organizaelected the first chairperson tion.” Hensley said, “Why of the National Association don’t we call it High Counof State Travel Directors try Hosts and then start re(all 50 states) as well as the ferring to the area we will Southern Travel Directors promote as the High CounCouncil (11 states). Henstry? South Carolina gets ley formed his own public a lot of mileage out of its relation firm in 1977 and ‘low country,’ and I think was known as the dean of we could do the same.” the state’s PR practitioners. Before that time, the His accounts included some area of Boone was loosely of the nation’s finest resorts being described as the High and companies. A talented, South, a term the ski induscreative writer, he specialtry was using in their marketing efforts to bring skiers Bill Hensley was the first Sports Information Director at Wake Forrest University, ized in golf, business, and travel and was noted for to the area. started his own public relations firm in 1977 that lasted for 40 years lively stories that took readThe group agreed, and until 2017. During that time, he was known as the Dean of the state’s PR ers behind the scenes. Hensley urged those in atpractitioners. Bill also coined the name, High Country. For more than 40 years, tendance to start referring to the area as the High Country as often as possible to start a trend. he conducted popular seminars on media relations, crisis manageThe name has gone on to be especially popular, and it continues ment, publicity, and public relations and was a mentor to numerto grow. In the Boone area telephone book, there are more than ous industry newcomers. In 1995, he organized the prestigious NC golf panel to rate the state’s golf courses. Appalachian State a hundred firms that bear the name High Country. The man behind that naming suggestion passed away on University named him one of North Carolina’s tourism pioneers March 11 at age 96. He was the last surviving member of that of the 20th century. Bill Hensley was a familiar face around the High Country and group from 1982 that formed the High Country Host organizacontinued to offer advice and encouragement to the travel industion. Hensley was an original resident at Elk River from 1985-2000 try leaders across the mountain region, where his legacy will be and thereafter a summer resident at Hound Ears. A well-known remembered as the man who suggested the phrase High Country, writer, he wrote more than 60 feature stories since the year 2000 a name that surely will live on forever. t on High Country people, places and things, including many for this 14


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Boone Wants to Celebrate All Year Long Story by Harley Nefe


hrow the confetti and join in on the celebration of the Town of Boone! Festivities have been underway this year as January 23, 2022 marked the town’s 150th anniversary since its incorporation in 1872. There is so much information and so many stories to tell that it just would not be possible to share the 150-year history of Boone in one day. Therefore, many groups and organizations have been responsible for putting together projects and events that are ongoing throughout the year to properly commemorate the dynamic and wonderful sesquicentennial of Boone, or Boone 150. “The Town of Boone has been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the community spirit and the number of individuals and organizations getting involved with the Boone 150 celebration,” said Mark Freed, Cultural Resources Director for the Town of Boone. “The celebration could not come at a better time — as we continue to return to more live and in-

person events and gatherings. People are ready to come together to celebrate the common joy we have for our home town, to learn a little more about our past, and to envision our future.”

Calendar of Events The celebration kicked off in December with an exhibition titled “Becoming Boone: 150 Years of History, Community, and Everyday Life” presented by Appalachian State University’s Dr. Andrea Burns and her graduate public history students. Pieces of the exhibit have been on display at the Jones House as well as the Watauga County Public Library. “The graduate public history program at Appalachian State University strives to ensure that students both develop their skills as historians and acquire practical, ‘on the ground’ field experience in interpreting history at places like museums and historic sites,” Burns

Taken around 1905 from the vicinity of Charles Street, this image offers an expansive view of Boone. The home of Judge Leonidas L. Greene (1845-1898) is at lower right, while the steeple of the first Boone Baptist Church is visible in the distance at center right. King Street runs to the east from the vicinity of Judge Greene’s home toward the upper left. Notable buildings on the north side of King Street (in the left foreground) include the 1905 courthouse with its distinctive dome; Sheriff Jack Horton’s house, one of the first built in Boone (behind the 1905 courthouse); and the 1875 courthouse. Notable buildings on the south side of King Street include the Blackburn Hotel, the old Boone Methodist Church, the Rivers Old Home Place, and the town well at the intersection of Water and King Streets. Image courtesy of the Historic Boone Collection, Digital Watauga Project.. 18


April / May 2022

wrote. “I knew that the Boone 150 committee was gearing up to plan for upcoming events, and the Jones House reached out to me to see if my students might be interested in creating an exhibit that would commemorate Boone at 150 years. Brad Farthing, the administrative assistant at the Jones House, is a former graduate student of mine from the public history program. It was great to be able to work with both Brad and Mark Freed as project partners.” Since the installation of the “Becoming Boone” exhibit, the Watauga County Public Library has launched a year-long community reading program called “Boone Reads Together,” where folks are encouraged to join along in reading and discussing several local books written about Boone, with the opportunity to attend some in-person author talks. “The Library will be partnering with the Town of Boone this year as it turns 150,” said Monica Caruso, County Librarian. “We will host a number of local authors at the main library who have written about the town and region.” The first book of the series being celebrated is Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Thomas Whyte’s “Boone Before Boone.” This novel explores the archeological record of the High Country region and the very first residents by detailing time periods in western North Carolina all the way back to the PaleoIndian period. In the preface of “Boone Before Boone,” Thomas Whyte states what he hopes will be gained from its reading. “This book is an opportunity to summarize the discoveries and interpre­tations of archaeological evidence of Native American life in northwest­ern North Carolina in a package that can be readily gotten and enjoyed by anyone,” Thomas Whyte wrote. “In writing this book I have attempted to find a middle road between scholarship and public education. In so doing I have avoided disciplinary jargon and glossed over many tedious details of the find­ ings and interpretations of archaeology to create something that might be enjoyed by any reader with an interest in western North Carolina’s ancient human past.” The next book in the series is “Remembering Boone” by Dr. Eric Plaag, who is the chairperson of the Digital Watauga Project, which is an initiative of the Watauga County Historical Society and the Watauga County Public Library. As part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America Series, “Remembering Boone” focuses on Boone’s historical evolution from the 1870s to the present through a curated collection of historical photos and accompanying narratives.

“My goal was to tell Boone’s story in a chronological fashion and use images to help do that because I think a lot of people, including a lot of locals, don’t understand the patterns of history that shape why Boone has become what it is,” Eric Plaag said. “I really see the book as a way of getting local people to think about how working together helped shape the positive aspects of our history locally. I see this 150th anniversary as an inflection point where we can think about that and what we want our town to be for the next 50 years, 100 years, etc.” Other notable books in the collection being celebrated include “I Came to Boone” by Cratis Williams and Dr. Patricia Beaver, “Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community” edited by Dr. Susan Keefe with assistance from The Junaluska Heritage Association, “The Last Entry” by Dr. Jim Hamilton, and “One Night – Two Moons” by Joe Miller. Through reading and discussing the variety of books in the program, there will be lots of ways for residents and visitors to learn about Boone’s history and participate in the celebration through efforts made by the Watauga County Public Library. However, that’s not all. “The Youth Services Department of the Watauga County Public Library is working on creating a Downtown Walking Tour for Youth as part of their contribution to help commemorate Boone 150,” said Monica Caruso, County Librarian. “The proposed selfdirected walking tour will begin at the library and include access to brief videos of information for stops along the tour. It is hoped that school groups, local families, and tourists will be able to enjoy learning more about Boone through this tour.” Another visual exhibition that has been a popular part of the Boone 150 offerings is titled “Workers of Boone,” presented by the Digital Watauga Project at the Jones House. Showcasing dozens of photographs and accompanying texts as well as the 1947 Sanborn map, the exhibit focuses on Boone’s workers over the years and provides the opportunity to understand the relationship between Boone’s workers and its architecture of the mid-twentieth century. “What you see on the walls there is the work of three technicians: Sai Estep, Jennifer Woods, Ellie McCorkle,” Eric Plaag described. “Ellie, who at the time was very new to our team, but she has a background in historic preservation studies – she said, ‘I would really love to use the Sanborn map as a way of keying the images to the map.’ It helps to place the images into your understanding of space within downtown, and what’s cool about a lot April / May 2022



of those images is they allow you to see the interiors of spaces that we don’t normally have a view of from so many years ago. That just doesn’t happen normally. We were really excited about that as a team, and I think it really works in that exhibit. That’s probably the thing we are most proud of, but there’s a lot of good stuff going on there.” Apart from books and exhibitions, another art form citizens have enjoyed this year is Appalachian dance. Appalachian State University’s Center for Appalachian Studies hosted three days of free dance workshops, demonstrations, films, and social dances that took place at various locations on campus and in the community, including at the Jones House as well as the Florence Thomas Art School in West Jefferson. These opportunities were part of the Global Roots of Appalachian Mountain Dance event that provided attendees with an understanding of how Appalachian dance came to be. “There were all of these cultures being thrown together on the American frontiers through a lot of factors,” explained Trevor McKenzie, Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. “You had British Isles dancing combining with African dances and Native American dances. So, what we were doing at this event was getting back to the roots and showing the threads that got woven together to create things like square dancing, flatfooting, buck dancing, and clogging. All of the things we think of now as Appalachian traditions all pull on these threads from other continents from around the world. At the event, we had Afro-Caribbean dancers, African dancers and drummers, old-time musicians, Irish dancers and musicians, and then a lot of local flatfooters, buck dancers, and cloggers. We brought them all together in one place to have a discussion and to experience how Appalachian dance grew out of these roots. It’s a world-spanning tradition that we have right here in a local way.” Also in the beginning of April, the Town of Boone celebrated an annual spring event, Earth First Friday, and because April is the 150th celebration of Arbor Day, the Town of Boone’s Sustainability Department gave away 150 trees native to Western North Carolina. “We want Boone’s reputation of sustainable practices to continue for 150 more years and beyond,” stated George Santucci, Sustainability and Special Projects Manager for the Town of Boone, in a press release. “What better way to carry on this legacy than to distribute 150 native trees among members of the community?” Not all Boone 150 events are focused on reflecting on the past history of the area, as some of the community events on the schedule are annual occurrences that bring people together and make the town what it is today. One of these examples is the BANFF Mountain Film Festival at the Schaefer Center. For the film festival, Boone celebrated the return of one of North America’s largest screenings of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Other local happenings starting up this spring



April / May 2022

Boone 150 Calendar of Events Here is the current, and growing, list of opportunities to celebrate Boone 150 March 31-April 2 – Global Roots of

July 1 – Opening night of Horn in the

Appalachian Dance


March 31-April 2 – BANFF Mountain Film

July 3 – Community Celebration at Clawson-Burnley Park with ASU Arts and Cultural Programs

Festival at the Schaefer Center

April 1 – Earth First Friday April 1 – Trash Trout Art Film Workshop at the Turchin Center Moskowitz Gallery

April 2 – Opening day for the Watauga County Farmers’ Market

April 23 – Spring Thaw with Draba at

July 3 – Concert at State Farm Parking Lot

July 3 – Town of Boone’s fireworks July 4 – Independence Day Parade – downtown Boone

Daniel Boone Park / Horn in the West amphitheater

July 8, 15, 22, 29 – Summer Concert at

May 3 – Opening day for the King Street

July 9 – Boone Reads Together with the

Farmers’ Market

May 6 – Downtown Boone First Friday

Watauga Public Library, “The Cratis Williams Chronicles: I Come to Boone” by Pat Beaver and David Williams

May 6 – Trash Trout Motion Picture

July 9 – Fairy Day at Daniel Boone


Native Gardens

May 12 – Boone Reads Together with the

August 5 – Downtown Boone First Friday

Watauga Public Library, “Remembering Boone” by Dr. Eric Plaag

August 5, 12, 26 – Summer Concert at

May 14 – Pinecones & Pages Literary Festival at Daniel Boone Park

June 3 – Downtown Boone First Friday June 10-11 – Jazzfest – throughout High Country

June 17-18 – Boonerang Music & Arts

the Jones House

the Jones House

August 19 – Doc Watson Day – Jones House and Appalachian Theatre

Sept 2 – Downtown Boone First Friday Sept 9-11 – Antlers & Acorns songwriter festival


Oct 7 – Buskerfest in downtown Boone

June 19 – Juneteenth Celebration

Oct 7 – Downtown Boone First Friday

June 23-25 – Blue Ridge Community Theater’s “Happy Birthday Boone” at Appalachian Theatre

Oct 30 – Boone BOO!

Nov 4 – Downtown Boone First Friday

June 24 – Summer Concert at the Jones

Dec 2 – Festive First Friday in downtown



July 1 – Freedom First Friday

Dec 10 – Downtown Boone Holiday

July 1 – Summer Concert at the Jones


House with the Community Band

To find out details about these and more events visit: www.boone150.com.

include the opening of farmers’ markets, including the Watauga County Farmers’ Market and the King Street Farmers’ Market, as well as multiple events occurring at Daniel Boone Park, such as Pinecones & Pages: The Boone Literary Festival where books come to life as the characters appear and interact with authors and audiences. Looking ahead into the summer, there are plenty of scheduled events to continue the ongoing celebration of Boone. Music fans will get to enjoy the beloved Summer Concerts at the Jones House, the traditional Jazzfest, as well as the inaugural Boonerang Music & Arts Festival that will showcase Boone-based bands, local arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and a beer garden. For theatrical performances, Blue Ridge Community Theatre will be hosting a number of events, including a “Happy Birthday, Boone” performance and party at Appalachian Theatre in June. And in talking about entertainment, there’s even more to celebrate – Horn in the West has reached its 70th anniversary season this year. Since 1952, Horn in the West has offered thrilling outdoor entertainment to High Country locals and visitors, and the 2022 season gets underway in July. These are just some of the past and upcoming events folks have been able to look forward to. Through all the offerings throughout the entire year including concerts and performances, art and history exhibits, guided walking tours, parades and festivals, special publications, and more, there is so much to experience. “In addition to the wonderful programs, projects, and dedications, Boone 150 has inspired collaboration and camaraderie, all in the spirit of community building and making our town a better place to live, work, and play,” Mark Freed said. “The Town of Boone would like to thank all of the people and organizations who have participated and plan to be a part of the Boone 150 celebration this year. These folks and agencies have made a celebration worth remembering for another 150 years.”

History Prior to the Incorporation of Boone In preparation for the Boone 150 celebration, High Country Magazine decided to dive into the history prior to the Town of Boone’s incorporation in 1872 in order

to provide readers with a glimpse of what the mountainous area was like leading up to that significant date. With the assistance of key individuals in the community including Thomas Whyte, Mary Moretz, and Eric Plaag, a story in the December 2021 issue of the magazine was able to explore the region starting with Native Americans back 12,000 years ago, shift to the sights of the first European settlers, and land on what prompted the incorporation of Boone. Thomas Whyte, who has been doing archeology research in the Appalachian Mountains for more than 40 years, shared information about early occupants. “Going back to about 12,000 years ago, we have intermittent evidence of human occupation in the mountains, but it’s all seasonal,” Whyte told High Country Magazine. “It’s migratory hunters and gatherers coming up here during the seasons when there is food here and when it’s not too cold.” He further explained, “It would have been the ultimate grocery store in the summer and fall for people living down the slopes. Small groups of families would come up here and harvest the wonderful abundant resources in the mountains during those months. Hunting and gathering parties would come from lower elevations where it was warmer in the winter. They would travel in the fall because of the nut crops, deer with antlers, squirrels, and turkeys. If you’re dependent on wild foods, that’s the time to go to the mountains, and then you get out in the wintertime and move back to lower elevations.” The Boone area was a seasonally busy place with the cool temperatures in the summer being an attraction. Then by winter, it would become more isolated. The first European settlers came to this area during the 1700s, and Whyte said there is no evidence of contact between them and Native Americans. Local historian Mary Moretz, whose family tree extends way back in the High Country region, enlightened High Country Magazine on how European settlers arrived. English settlers came to America throughout the 1600-1700s because they believed colonial life offered new opportunities. One of the first well-known early settlers in the 18th century to come to the High Country area was Benjamin Howard, who was born in 1742. “Benjamin Howard lived in Maryland,

and he and some of his family members came to North Carolina, specifically western North Carolina, looking for cheap plantations,” Mary Moretz told High Country Magazine. “Everybody was looking for cheap plantations.” Benjamin Howard started a presence in the area; however, he wasn’t the only one that came to the High Country. This reflects that there were probably other people doing the same thing, but he was the one who specifically came to what is now the Boone area. “A lot of people who established Boone and have big names like the Winklers and the Hortons — they all came up here,” Moretz said. “Councill, Hayes, Bryan and other prominent family names — this is where we start seeing these names because they came up here, and they claimed land.” Eric Plaag then shared his knowledge with High Country Magazine on what led up to the incorporation of Boone. As Boone was becoming more populated, there was a push for the county seat to be incorporated. “You can speculate as to why that was done,” Plaag said. “I imagine that there was probably a desire to have greater micro-level control over what was happening within the county seat. So, in other words, when a town is incorporated, it creates a local government, and it enables additional laws to be set for what happens on the streets of the town, which may be different from what the county laws are. Boone was also growing in size and population, and the locals needed the ability to expand its borders in some official capacity. Incorporation allowed the locals to set their own corporate boundaries.” The Town of Boone was officially incorporated on January 23, 1872. According to the 1870 Census, there were 737 people living in Boone Township at the time. Among this population were surnames that are still recognizable and continue to be known today, like Rivers, Dougherty, Hodges, Greene, Hardin, Horton, Grimes, Greer, Jackson, Walker, and many others. These families laid the foundation for the town, and have had a lasting impact. In this edition of the magazine, readers will be immersed into the continuation of the history of the Town of Boone since its incorporation by following prominent characters, groups, and businesses through an in-depth look at their everlasting 150year experiences. t

April / May 2022



Daniel Boone

The Many Interpretations of an Early American Frontiersman By Harley Nefe


Daniel Boone gazes ahead with keen anticipation in this depiction of him in a mural titled “Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip,” done by Alan Tompkins. This complete mural is located nside the historic downtown Boone Post Office, and it was commissioned by the Federal Arts Project program in 1940 as part of the New Deal Art movement. 22


April / May 2022

hen a person hears of the Town of Boone, one of the first connections that is made is to Daniel Boone, for whom the town was named after. The images of an explorer out in the wilderness, the act of hunting, and maybe even the appearance of a coonskin cap may circulate in one’s mind. Through a variety of interpretations as seen in stories, songs, and shows that have been passed down through the years, Daniel Boone’s legacy is long-lasting. In order to celebrate these different perspectives, the Town of Boone has been preparing to host a “Boone Summit” as part of the many Boone 150 events taking place this year. In partnership with the Watauga County Historical Society, the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, and the Center for Appalachian Studies, the Town of Boone intends to present some of the different angles of conversation about Daniel Boone and his presence in the area or region. “The crux of it is just how interesting it is that he’s far enough in the past, and there’s a loose enough historical record that there are things we know, and there are things we don’t know, and there are things we can have fun trying to interpret and imagine,” described Mark Freed, Cultural Resources Director for the Town of Boone. “It’s not black and white; it’s very much nuanced. It’s really not a debate. We’re not putting a side against a side; it’s just present your interpretations, and let’s talk about it. It’s really a celebration of it. That’s the whole point of it.” The focus of the Boone Summit is to bring people together with varying backgrounds to present some of these ideas for those who have an interest in Boone and learning more about the town’s history.

“We think people will have an interest,” Freed said. “We’re celebrating our town’s 150th. We were named Boone. We weren’t named Councill’s Store; we weren’t named Howard’s Junction.” So, this begs the question – who was Daniel Boone? According to the State Library of North Carolina, the Pennsylvania native lived 21 years of his life in North Carolina – more than any other state that he settled in. It was his time in North Carolina that set the future for what would become a thriving High Country town. As a teenager, Daniel and his family left Berks County, Pennsylvania and headed south. His parents, Squire and Sarah Boone, purchased land and settled along the Yadkin River in what is now Davie County, roughly three miles from Mocksville.

“He’s far enough in the past, and there’s a loose enough historical record that there are things we know, and there are things we don’t know, and there are things we can have fun trying to interpret and imagine.” Mark Freed, Cultural Resources Director of the Town of Boone. “There would have been reasons he would have been here,” said Marrena Greer, Operations Manager of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association. “They came to these places in groups. When he came down from Pennsylvania, he, his family, and 25 people were living in a cave on the Yadkin River. They didn’t have a shelter, so they had to live in a cave. They knocked some trees down and built some cabins. After that, Daniel Boone went, ‘OK, we got this up, I’m going to go see what else is on the other side of the hill.’ That’s what he did. This was a big hunting area.” And Daniel’s passion for hunting began to grow. During this time, selling animal pelts was a reliable way to earn money, and pelts were also very popular items to trade. In 1756, Boone married Rebecca Bryan and continued to live in the foothills of North Carolina. Daniel and his wife had 10 children, and his final homestead was in a cabin near modernday Wilkesboro. Daniel’s ties to the High Country come from his service as a ranger defending the area from Native American attacks during the French and Indian War. He also continued to hunt throughout the area and routinely ventured deeper into the wilderness of unsettled areas.

On the campus of Appalachian State University, stands the Daniel Boone with Hunting Dogs statue. The sculpture is a representation of Daniel Boone without the coonskin cap, as often depicted. He was said to never travel without his hunting dogs.

April / May 2022



“It’s probably true that he was in Meat Camp,” said Dr. Eric Plaag of the Watauga County Historical Society. “We know that Meat Camp is named Meat Camp because it was the place that the longhunters hung and dried their meat, and they would hang out there waiting for that process to cure. And we know that he hunted broadly in this area.” Daniel and his family then left North Carolina in 1773 for a new settlement in Kentucky. Later on, Boone and his family lived in Virginia and eventually Missouri, where he lived until the age of 85 and died peacefully at his son Nathan’s farm in the town of Defiance on September 26, 1820. “The tricky part to understand is that Boone as a town wasn’t laid out until 1849,” Plaag explained. “He is long dead at that point. It’s not as though Daniel Boone, the man, had any direct influence over the town or its development or anything like that. He didn’t. He was never here when there was a town.”

The Town of Boone was incorporated in 1872.

nterpretations of Daniel Boone often show him looking off to new horizons. In the top photo, Glenn Causey played him in the outdoor drama Horn in the West for 41 years. Another well-known portrayal of Daniel Boone is from the 1960s television series starring American actor Fess Parker, who can be seen in the bottom picture (third from left) visiting the cast of Horn in the West.



April / May 2022

“We do know the name Boone was attached to the town with the creation of Watauga County,” Plaag said. “The legislation specifically says that a town called Boone will be the town for the county seat. What’s interesting is that it’s spelled Boon, and a lot has been made of this in the last six months or so because it was sort of a rediscovery the Historical Preservation Commission made and then others who have been talking about this. I suspect this is an issue of variant spelling. If you look at some of the same documents, Jordan Councill’s name is routinely spelled sometimes in the same advertisement with one L or with two. This is normal. This is a 19th-century thing that happened. In names, there were variant spellings. Probably someone who had not read a lot about Daniel Boone spelled it without an E.” Now, why was this particular name given to the county seat and who was behind that? “What’s challenging about that is a lot of people have assumed that it was the first mayor, W. L. Bryan, who pushed hard for associating Daniel Boone with the town, but at the time the county seat was being laid out, W. L. Bryan was 11 years old and didn’t even live locally,” Plaag said. “He was in Wilkes County. So no, W. L. Bryan did not have a say in what the name of the town would be. Yes, he would be the town’s first mayor in 1872, but he was not here in 1849. So who did?” Plaag further shared his insight and said, “We don’t know the answer to that. We don’t know if it was Jordan Councill himself who may have said, ‘Well, there’s a tradition that Daniel Boone was here.’ It is my understanding that Councill does have a distant relationship to Daniel Boone, and so it’s possible that he thought about it in that

GEORGE BOONE (I) GEORGE BOONE (II) GEORGE BOONE (III) 1666-1744 Weaver Emigrated from England to Pennsylvania 1717 m. MARY MAUGRIDGE

GEORGE (IV) SARAH 1690-1753 Emigrated 1713 m. DEBORAH HOWELL


1724-1815 m. JOHN WILCOXSON




1726-1756 (wife unknown)








b. 1692 1694-1696 1696-1765 1699-1774 1702-1785 1704-1776 Emigrated 1713 Weaver m. (1720) m. CATHERINE m. JACOB STOVER Emigrated 1713 JOHN WEBB m. (1720) SARAH MORGAN



1760-1800 m. (1775) WILLIAM HAYS 10 children


1732-1825 m. WILLIAM GRANT


1762-1829 1766-1802 m. (1782?) m. (c.1785) FLANDERS CALLAWAY JOSEPH SCHOLL 8 children

8 children

Boone Family Tree







1734-1820 1736-1819 1739-1820 m. (1756) m. WILLIAM m. ANN REBECCA BRYAN BRYAN LINVILLE


c. 1768-1805 m. PHILIP GOE 7 children



1740-1780 1744-1815 m. MARTHA m. JANE BRYAN VANCLEVE






1773-1820 m. CHLOE VAN BIBBER

1769-1839 m. (1800) SARAH LEWIS 12 children

9 children

1781-1856 m. (1799) OLIVE VAN BIBBER

b. 1775 died in infancy

14 children

Information from Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan

way, but who did it? We will never know.” Boone with Hunting Dogs statue is. Daniel to the area or just a general pride in the At the time of this decision, Howard’s Boone is said to have passed through the mountain region for this person who is Knob was already known, and on maps area in the 1760s on hunting expeditions loosely associated with the area,” Plaag from the early 19th century, there was a and used the cabin as a base for his long said. “Unfortunately, we have arguably no community called Howard, which was hunts, according to Donna Warmuth’s evidence at all that Daniel Boone was ever located more toward in our little valley the current Deep Gap “In American history, there has always been this fascination here that we call area. with adventurers, a fascination with pulling yourself up by Boone now.” “The story is that At the Hickory your bootstraps – the story of the person who makes their Ridge Living HistoBenjamin Howard and Daniel Boone ry Museum, stands own way despite difficult odds.” were both related and the Tatum Cabin, friends and that poswhich is an origiDr. Eric Plaag, Watauga County Historical Society sibly Daniel Boone nal cabin estimated stayed in a cabin that Howard traditionally book, “Boone.” to have been built circa 1785 in what is is said to have built,” Plaag said. “It’s possible; I may even go as far to now Todd, North Carolina. The cabin is The cabin is said to have been located say it’s probable that the town was named typical of the times and represents the type on what is now Appalachian State Univer- for Daniel Boone probably as some sort of dwelling Daniel Boone’s family would sity’s campus, where the current Daniel of homage to either a connection he had have lived in. April / May 2022



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The Daniel Boone Cabin monument is now located at the entrance to Rivers Park. On plaques, it states the monument was built in 1912 and reconstructed in 1969. It was later reconstructed again in 2005. The monument in its original location was thought to have been the site of a hunters’ cabin used by Daniel Boone; however, the Daniel Boone with Hunting Dogs statue now occupies that spot. “You would have had a husband, wife ment of History. “That’s what matters; the and 10 kids living here, but the men neces- marketing of Boone worked. Often in hissarily weren’t here,” said Marrena Greer, tory, the myth is more important than the giving a tour. “Daniel Boone traveled. fact. Whether or not Danial Boone was Once he got established, he was off. He actually here – he could have been; that was everywhere. I think he was here. Why makes sense, or he might not have been would he have not been? He was an explorer, and it was a good hunting ground. He was a businessman, he was a politician, but he was an explorer. Moss never grew underneath his feet. He was all over the place. Again, we can’t prove it, but the thing about history is that things change, and this is just what we know now.” Despite there being no tangible evidence that places Daniel Boone in the town, a long tradition of storytelling has led to tales and characteristics of Daniel Boone being shared that may or not be true; however, the concept of him resonates with people. “It doesn’t matter if he was really here. If people think he was, he The parents of early American explorer Daniel Boone was,” said Dr. Karl Campbell of Ap– Squire and Sarah – are buried in a cemetery in Mocksville, North Carolina, near where the family had palachian State University’s Departonce settled.



April / May 2022

As seen in promotion pictures of movies, books, theater performances, and more, there have been many different types of appearances of Daniel Boone over the years. Each interpretation brings forth a new perspective to his lasting legacy as an icon of exploration. specifically – but the story of him being kill a bunch of 10-foot-tall bears. Some but he wasn’t afraid to go and see. He here resonates with the experience of this of it has been exaggerated. But, let’s just was brave enough to go, and that’s pretty town and the frontier, and the role that it say he wasn’t afraid or he wouldn’t have tough. He was willing to risk himself to played. For us today, the myth in the story done that. He wouldn’t have come out go see what was out there, and then he has meaning of its own and would come back and report in. “He was many things, but out in the value of itself.” He would take a group of 25 and Marrena Greer discussed move them. They were brave too mountains was where his heart was.” that Daniel Boone represents because they went with him; they exploration of new land, as believed in him. He was enough Marrena Greer, Operations Manager of the he was one of the people who of a leader that he could convince Southern Appalachian Historical Association helped get new frontiers and them to come, and they knew that settlements started. when they went that they were go“To me, he was the explorer reach- here in the middle of the woods where ing to be okay. They trusted him. He was ing for the new world,” Greer said. “A he didn’t know where he was going. He a trustworthy person enough to where lot of it is made up. He wasn’t that tall. wasn’t afraid to go and look. He might not they would follow him, which made him He didn’t wear a coonskin cap. He didn’t have been the toughest guy on the block, a leader. He was exploring out here where

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nobody knew. He was many things, but out in the mountains was where his heart was.” The appreciation of the mountains and the environment is one aspect that still makes Daniel Boone relevant today. “Something we need to think about when we think of Daniel Boone and the creation of him as this figure emerging out of the 18th century – which that’s the complex time period in this area – here in the Appalachian region, you had people who are basically landless coming out of Central Europe and the British Isles,” said Trevor McKenzie, who is the Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. “The access to land and the things that were here in

“There is a reason why he is associated with this area. There’s a reason why he has remained popular in the American mind.” Dr. Eric Plaag, Watauga County Historical Society America at the time in this new continent was on their minds. Daniel Boone is a singular figure that is created out of that environment, and he sort of stands for a lot of people of that era.” McKenzie further discussed what Daniel Boone stands for during the time period. “This heightened sense of American frontiersman really engaged people in Europe who were thinking about accessing land, hunting, and owning firearms – that was basically something for the upper class in Europe, and to have a com-




April / May 2022

moner like Daniel Boone out here in the American wilderness or hearing the stories of somebody like him, I think people were just fascinated in that era, especially back in Europe,” Mckenzie explained. “So, that kind of built his image.” However, there’s a slippery slope that exists when people reflect on Daniel Boone’s image and the exploration of new land. There’s a common misconception that it was man versus open space. “Sometimes even looking at the Appalachian region, we have a tendency to portray this as a place where it’s wild and full of recreation, and I think we often forget that there are people here who live and interact with the area and communities here,” McKenzie said. “In that era, it was native people who were left out of

“It’s great that we are taking this opportunity at the 150th anniversary of this town and its founding to look at him in sort of a new light and think about the complexity of who he was and the time in which he lived and how that affects us now and continues to.” Trevor McKenzie, Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University that narrative. I think Boone would have taken an issue with that himself because his livelihood depended on interactions with native people. When we think about that today, all of the communities that we have that surround Boone and surround Appalachian State, sometimes we have a tendency to think of promoting this area as a great place for recreation – it is a great place for people to visit and to feel the experience of the wild – but we have to acknowledge that there are people here, and there have always been people here living and interacting with land. So, that’s the push and pull of the Daniel Boone image. He’s a handy person to have as a window into an era, but as far as this sort of mythologizing, we have to take that with a little bit of a grain of salt and how that often removes a lot of complications of his era and a lot of people and the honesty of this place being inhabited for a long time.” Another complexity of Daniel Boone

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that often gets left unheard is all In other words, Daniel “It doesn’t matter if he was really here. If the laws he violated and the harsh Boone was the type of perpeople think he was, he was. That’s what encounters he had during his adson who was an adventurer ventures. and wasn’t really afraid of matters; the marketing of Boone worked. “In American history, there anything. He was willing Often in history, the myth is more important to take chances to make his has always been this fascination with adventurers, a fascination a better world, even if than the fact. Whether or not Danial Boone world with pulling yourself up by your it was at the expense of othbootstraps – the story of the perers. was actually here – he could have been; son who makes their own way “Don’t mistake what I’m that makes sense, or he might not have been saying despite difficult odds,” Eric Plaag about him as a way said. “Daniel Boone was maver- specifically – but the story of him being here of saying we need to erase icky in the sense that he didn’t do Daniel Boone from any asresonates with the experience of this town sociation with our town. I’m what the rules said he was supposed to do. He was frequently and the frontier, and the role that it played. not saying that at all,” Plaag going to places he wasn’t supsaid. “There is a reason why For us today, the myth in the story has posed to go. He was violating cohe is associated with this lonial laws and treaties that coloarea. There’s a reason why meaning of its own and value of itself.” nies had with Native Americans.” he has remained popular Dr. Karl Campbell, Department of History at Plaag further said, “If you in the American mind. All want to celebrate Daniel Boone of those things are valid Appalachian State University. as someone who is daring enough things to talk about and to to do the things he did, have at acknowledge. All I’m saying it, but recognize that part of the price of what he did was the is if we are going to be historically accurate, acknowledge what enslavement of human beings, the mistreatment of Native Ameri- we know, acknowledge what we don’t. That also means, in accans, and frankly, the violation of agreements either with his own knowledging what we know, talk about the difficult parts because government or the violation of agreements between that govern- there is a huge difference between legend and history. They are ment and Native American tribes. He was guilty of all of those not the same thing. I think most Americans have trouble making things, so contextualize him and place him in his proper perspec- that distinction.” tive within history. Tell the full story.” Over the years, various legends about Daniel Boone have



April / May 2022

been passed down through generations of storytelling and illustrated storytelling. A lot of people have latched on to what he symbolizes as an avid outdoorsman, hunter, trader, and war hero. “We’ve kind of done the hero thing; I think now we can look at him as a complex figure, and it can still inform how we look at things,” McKenzie said. “Daniel Boone had this heightened sense of self during the time in which he lived. I think that is why we are still talking about him today. Yes, he did fight Native Americans, but I doubt we would be reading so much about Daniel Boone if he had really been that militant because you couldn’t survive that way in that era. He depended The Tatum Cabin, located at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, is an original cabin estimated to have been on native people and their built circa 1785 in what is now Todd, North Carolina. The cabin is typical of the times and represents the type of knowledge of this place. He acts dwelling Daniel Boone’s family would have lived in. as a window into an era – an era sary of this town and its founding and the name to look at him in that we have to understand in order to know where we’re at now sort of a new light and think about the complexity of who he was because so much of the history of Appalachia, and by extension and the time in which he lived and how that affects us now and the early history of America, is wound up in the time that Boone continues to.” t lived in. We’re going to be unpacking that for a long time. I think it’s great that we are taking this opportunity at the 150th anniver-







































































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Becoming Boone

Graduate students from Appalachian State University’s public history program are pictured here in the early stages of installation for their Becoming Boone exhibit. Photo by Brad Farthing.

Graduate Students Document Town’s History


o commemorate Boone at 150 years, a class of graduate students under the direction of Dr. Andrea Burns from Appalachian State University’s public history program worked hard to prepare an exhibit documenting the town’s history for display at the Jones House. Despite a semester full of tight deadlines in order to complete the process, including researching, writing, designing, printing, and installing, the group was able to create “Becoming Boone: 150 Years of History, Community, and Everyday Life.” “I was very excited for this project,” graduate student Collin Jewell said. “I had some background in exhibits, but I had never been able to develop one from start to finish. I loved being able to get creative and thoughtful with my curating, interpretation, and design. I’m thankful that Dr. Burns, the department, and the Jones House allowed our class to have a great deal of freedom and independence with this project.” While working on the project, Jewell said she learned the most about changes in local employment, from evolving agricultural practices to 34


April / May 2022

evolving perceptions of women in the workplace. Her focus for the exhibit was on the changes and continuities in everyday life. Another graduate student who worked on the project, Josie Brown, focused on researching the Native American groups in the area. “I learned that they used Boone, or what would become Boone, as a seasonal camp to hunt and forage for food to get them through the winter,” Brown said. “It’s always great to learn something new, and I really enjoyed the research.” Through her research, Brown said she received a better understanding of the town, specifically of the area before it officially became Boone. “Personally, I did not know much about Boone,” Brown said. “I’m from Rock Hill, South Carolina, and have only been in Boone for about two years, so everything was a surprise to me. I went in knowing almost nothing about Boone and came out with a better understanding of the town I go to school in.”

A Message from Dr. Burns T

he graduate public history program at Appalachian State University strives to ensure that students both develop their skills as historians and acquire practical, “on the ground” field experience in interpreting history at places like museums and historic sites. My graduate public history class, Interpretation in Museums (HIS 5640), offers a unique opportunity for students to achieve both goals. For this class, I always try to pair the students with a community partner to create an exhibit or related project. In the past, students have created exhibits for the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM), Appalachian State University, the Jones House, as well as a master interpretive plan for the Blowing Rock Historical Society (BRHS). I generally start looking for project partnerships at least several months ahead of time. In this case, I knew that the Boone 150 committee was gearing up to plan for upcoming events, and the Jones House reached out to me to see if my students might be interested in creating an exhibit that would commemorate Boone at 150 years. Brad Farthing, administrative assistant at the Jones House, is a former graduate student of mine from the public history program. It was great to be able to work with both Brad and Mark Freed as project partners.

Dr. Andrea Burns


r. Andrea Burns’ public history students can take advantage of several benefits that will help them land and/or thrive in jobs, not only in museums and historic preservation societies but also in corporations, the U.S. military and Congress. One benefit is Burns’ scholarship. She and several colleagues across the country recently began exploring the genesis of public history in the 19th century with the aim of illuminating its connections to social justice and civil rights issues. She wrote “From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement”(University of Massachusetts Press, 2013), which won the National Council on Public History Book Award in 2015. The book “informed how I taught students about what museums do and the power they have with regard to interpreting,” Burns said. “It also showed how audiences react to museums that don’t tell their stories.” Burns’ alma mater is Michigan State University, where her classes had as many as 200 people, particularly in her freshman and sophomore years. At Appalachian, by contrast, a public history class usually has no more than 25 students. “By the middle of a semester, I know everyone and what their needs are,” she said. “That’s going to help if they need assistance securing an internship or advice about their careers.” Burns spoke of many Appalachian alumni who work at museums across North Carolina. “We try to keep those networks going” to help students land internships, many of which lead to jobs. Interns learn practical skills and they document what they’ve done for prospective employers in papers and blogs.

April / May 2022



Graduate students from Appalachian State University’s public history program pause to document their installation of the Becoming Boone exhibit. Photo by Dr. Andrea Burns. This class can be quite intense because of the tight deadlines required by an exhibit installation, and the fact that we only have one semester to complete it. When an exhibit is supposed to be open to the public on a specific date—in our case, the first week of December, just in time for Boone’s “First Fridays” event—then you have to work backwards from that deadline to ensure that content research, writing, design, and exhibit panel printing gets done on time. As I told (or warned) my students in the middle of this process: I’ve never not had an exhibit go up on time—but it can sure get close! My first task is to try to get the students up to speed on the subject content and exhibition methods and theory. Some students are usually a bit familiar with local history, but not to the extent required to create a thoughtful exhibit. I assigned them numerous books and articles on Watauga County history, and they researched and wrote summaries of their content. I then put them into groups; each group began conducting their own research based on their interests and goals, and we thought about what interpretive themes might best appeal to audiences who would come to this exhibit. In other words: what did we want our audi-



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ences to understand about Boone and Watauga County, and what did we think would be considered something that audiences could relate to, even if they weren’t local? Understanding the types of audiences who come to a place like the Jones House is important in crafting an exhibition that is appealing and interesting, both to the non-local who knows little about Boone, and to the local whose ancestors settled here a century ago. I observed the stress level among students (and myself) gradually rise throughout the semester. It is hard for all of us to work at this speed and try to ensure we produce a quality exhibition. Because the students are all working in separate groups, it is very important that communication channels within and between groups are flowing well. If communication breaks down, that could mean we would end up with disjointed narratives. In other words, the exhibit panels would have no relation to each other, and then that would leave audiences confused about what the point of the exhibit was. We decided to try to use a chronological organization for our thematic research and writing. The students started from the earliest history of Boone—the ‘Becoming Boone’ part of our exhibit title. Dr. Thomas

The installation at The Jones House was completed in time for visitors to enjoy during downtown Boone’s First Friday event in December. Photos courtesy of Dr. Andrea Burns.

April / May 2022




Gwyn Hayes Site, 1993. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Thomas Whyte.

Gwyn Hayes Site, 1993. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Thomas Whyte.

Years before early European settlers arrived, Native American tribes met at what is now the eastern half of Boone. These tribes used this site as a travel hub between the New, Watauga, and Yadkin Rivers. In 1993, the Appalachian State University Field Archaeology class excavated the area, now known as the Gwyn Hayes Site. The artifacts suggest that small groups of Native Americans took advantage of the abundant plants and wildlife of the summer and fall months. Aside from hunting and foraging for food, these peoples likely prepared and consumed food, replaced broken or worn out tools, and make new tools and weapons around the hearth. Today, the Gwyn Hayes site is home to a bank, a pharmacy, and an ABC store.

Gwyn Hayes Site, 1993. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Thomas Whyte.

One of the exhibit panels featured photos provided by Dr. Thomas Whyte depicting the 1993 excavation of the Gwyn Hayes Site. Whyte from the Department of Anthropology graciously agreed From there, we moved on to Boone’s better-known role as part of to let my students display a collection of Native American artifacts the “western frontier” in the late 18th century—the place that Daniel that heand his students had excavated. This ofBoone explored on his way to the Cumberland fered a nice connection to his recently published Gap and beyond. Several of our students have book, Boone Before Boone. We had no idea that “We had no idea that there worked as reenactors who depict that period and there was an important archeological site where was an important archeo- were very enthusiastic about interpreting that pethe ABC Store on Blowing Rock Highway now logical site where the ABC riod. After that, we progressed through the 19th stands! Being able to interpret and display these and 20th centuries, with both prominent citizens Store on Blowing Rock artifacts was important for my students, as so and ordinary women and men who worked, lived Highway now stands!” often the original indigenous inhabitants of this in, and built Boone taking center stage. One of Dr. Andrea Burns area are forgotten or ignored. the exhibit teams created beautiful photo scrap-

Students included Native American artifacts in the exhibit, courtesy of Dr. Thomas Whyte and ASU’s Department of Anthropolgy. Photo by Dr. Andrea Burns. 38


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books that did an excellent job in shining a light on the ordinary scenes of daily life in Boone. My students were also fascinated by the drastic changes to Boone’s infrastructure over the years, such as after the 1940 flood and the resulting destruction of the rail lines. Many of the exhibit panels chronicled these changes. Throughout the course, we constantly discussed the tensions between the growth of the town and (especially) the university, and how this growth is increasingly challenging Boone’s image as a quaint mountain town. As most of my students pay extremely high rents and battle constant traffic, the present-day challenges of living in this beautiful space were always on our mind. We wanted to be able to acknowledge and provoke discussion about the downsides of living in such a high demand town, but as this exhibit was supposed to also celebrate Boone’s 150th, we were cautious about dwelling too much on the negative issues. The complex process of finding this interpretive balance is one that is extremely important for public historians to discuss. The next time I have my students create an exhibit, what I would like to do is try to help the communication flow better between the groups, and—if possible—for us to start writing and editing the text earlier in the semester. Writing the exhibit text is one of the most stressful parts of the whole process because you have many writers, not just one, so the “voice” needs to be generally the same throughout the exhibit. Plus, students need to write in a specific style in order not to overwhelm readers with too much content. It is exceptionally difficult to tell a complex story when you must limit how much text can go on one exhibit panel. One way that I might be able to accomplish this is to start our subject research even before the semester begins. My graduate students are eager gain practical experience, so this idea might work. I am incredibly grateful to three of my students who wanted to take the lead in designing the exhibit panels—thus saving our project time and money. Using InDesign, they planned the entire panel layout and color scheme. The designers (Catie Atkinson, Morgan Courtney, and Collin Jewell) had to put up with me when I frantically texted them over Thanksgiving break about issues that had to be fixed prior to printing. I was even texting them while standing in line at Disney World with my children. It would be nice for that process to be a bit less hectic on all of us, but I am so pleased with the way that Becoming Boone turned out. We hope audiences are, too. Dr. Andrea A. Burns, Associate Professor Appalachian State University College of Arts & Sciences Department of History t


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A Selection of Panels from

Aerial view of Boone c. early 1900s. Courtesy of Digital North Carolina, Historic Boone Collection.

“We were called the Lost Province…About the only people that we would ever see would be the people from Blowing Rock, come over to Boone, now and then.”” - Interview with H. Grady Farthing, 1974 (Courtesy of Special Collections, Appalachian State University) A remote mountain village with dirt roads and a small downtown, surrounded by farmlands and wilderness -- this description does not call to mind the town we know today. At the time of Boone’s incorporation on January 23, 1872, however, this rural landscape was very much a reality. Things began to change for Boone around the turn of the century with the opening of Watauga Academy and the arrival of the Linville River Railroad.”

Linville River Railway Train Arriving in Boone. Courtesy of Digital Watauga, Paul and Ruby Weston Collection.

Today, the only train whistle you can hear echoing through the mountains is that of Tweetsie Railroad, but this was not always the case. First arriving in Boone in 1918, the Linville River Railway provided residents with a connection to the world off the mountain. At a time when mediocre roads made travel difficult, the train provided a convenient means of transportation for both visitors and locals.



April / May 2022

Top: View of Boone with Appalachian Training School administration building on right and original Watauga Academy building in center. Bottom: Appalachian Training School Students c. 1907. Courtesy of Digital North Carolina, Historic Boone Collection.

“The morning the college opened, being an early riser, I went to the building to sign my name in the book, and I was the first one there and the first one to register in the new building.”” - W. Smith Harmon, 1963 (originally featured in the Watauga Democrat) When Watauga Academy first opened its doors in 1899, it started with a total of 53 students and tuition of only $1 to $3 a month. Early on, the community supported the Academy through donations of materials and labor for the creation of a wooden two-story building for the school. Cofounders B. B. and D. D. Dougherty yearned to provide an education to western North Carolina, and that legacy has grown into the University we know today. “

Construction of King Street post office c. 1920-1949. Courtesy of Digital North Carolina, Historic Boone Collection.

While the Great Depression significantly slowed development in Boone, a new infrastructural boom was on the horizon. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) allowed for the construction of many buildings around Boone and on the college’s campus. One of the most iconic buildings completed during this time was the King Street post office, which features an original WPA-funded mural. The post office still stands today.

the Becoming Boone Exhibit

A section of the Linville River Railway track destroyed after the flood, August 1940. Courtesy of Digital Watauga, Paul and Ruby Weston Collection.

Construction Workers Outside Watauga County Bank Building, c. 1923. Courtesy of Digital Watauga, Whitaker Family Collection.

The arrival of the Linville River Railway meant easier access to heavy building materials, which sparked a period of growth characterized by the “Watch Boone Grow” campaign. Local businessmen encouraged the construction of new commercial buildings in downtown Boone, like the Watauga County Bank building featured here. The campaign also led to the creation of residential developments on the edge of town, many of which still exist today.

“’The flood [of 1940] covered what is now the golf course to the depth of about eight feet. The rail track just below the golf course was completely washed away.’’ -Harry Robbins No one is immune to the immense destruction of natural disasters, not even the mighty railroad. On August 13th, 1940, a tropical storm brought a torrential downpour upon Boone, causing widespread flooding and over 2,000 landslides. These landslides closed roads, effectively isolating Boone from its surroundings for weeks. Greater still was the damage to the Linville River Railway line, leading to the premature and permanent ending of the railway’s life in Boone. “

Blue Ridge Tourist Court, c. 1954. Courtesy of Digital Watauga, Estel G. Wagner Collection.

“Has the tourist industry affected [Boone] a lot? Well, it’s helped a lot, I think, don’t you?” - Interview with Nellie Carlton, 1973 (Courtesy of Special Collections, Appalachian State University If you are visiting Boone, where are you staying? Today, visitors have many options, from Airbnb to luxury hotels. But for travelers to Boone in the 1950s and 1960s, tourist courts served as the best option for lodging. Like modern motels, tourist courts provided a convenient rest stop for motorists exploring towns in the High Country, including Boone.

Courtesy of Appalachian State Special Collections. Originally Published November 17, 1887 by the Watauga Journal .

Have you been told to save the bees lately? Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone has a reputation for sustainability and environmental awareness. Boone residents have cared about the bees since at least 1887, as seen in the “Farm and Garden Notes” from the first edition of the Watauga Democrat, then the Watauga Journal. Even today, Boone remains a hive of environmentally­friendly activities, including hiking, skiing, and sustainable farming.

April / May 2022




A passion to educate for over 123 years


ppalachian State University began as Watauga Academy, Watauga Academy to Appalachian Training School for Teachers, founded in 1899 by Dr. B.B. Dougherty, his brother D.D. the two-year Appalachian State Normal School and later the fourDougherty, and D.D.’s wife, Lillie Shull Dougherty. They year Appalachian State Teachers College. The pioneering spirit shared the dream of helping children in North Carolina’s “lost necessary to overcome the area’s isolation and hardships quickly provinces” discover educacharacterized the institution, tional opportunity to match giving Appalachian its special the splendor of the mountains niche in higher education in which they lived. Dr. William H. PlemThis tiny academy quickly mons (1955-69) presided evolved into a school preparover Appalachian’s transing quality teachers to serve formation from a singleour state and beyond. Building purpose teachers’ college on this strong foundation, Apinto a multipurpose regional palachian grew into a destinauniversity. Yet, the precious tion of choice for high-achievfeatures that set Appalachian ing, intellectually curious stuapart – quality teacher traindents wanting to be engaged in ing and a commitment to the community. community spirit, faculty Known as one of North collegiality, and a beautiful Carolina’s greatest educamountain setting – remained tors, B.B. Dougherty led As a tribute to Appalachian’s founders, B.B. and D.D. Dougherty and Lillie Shull secure under his leadership. the institution for 56 years – Dougherty, a new plaza was constructed in the Appalachian sign area off Hardin Known as the builder from its humble beginnings as president, Plemmons overStreet. Founders Plaza, dedicated Sept. 5, 2018

Watauga Academy, built in 1899, opened in 1900. A paid construction manager supervised the construction and was assisted by the Dougherty brothers, students, and towns people. Some students received tuition credit in exchange for labor. This picture is from 1924. Courtesy of University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, Appalachian State University 42


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This is what the campus looked like for students in 1927. (Photo from The Rhododendron in. 1928) saw 25 construction projects and strengthened the Appalachian chian implemented the student teacher program, College of Busispirit through enhanced activities for students and alumni, creat- ness, continuing education program and Watauga College, a small ing an interconnected community called the Appalachian Family. residential college within the greater university. It also secured When fire destroyed the administration building in 1966, it the New York Loft and App House in Washington, D.C., for offsymbolized the demise of the old Appalachian and birth of the campus scholarly activities. To ensure the university’s continued new. Enrollment exceeded 2,400 by 1958, only to double within innovation and success, Wey created the Appalachian State Uni10 years. Full-time faculty grew versity Foundation Inc. to solicit supto more than 300 and became port from individuals, corporations, more diverse. During his tenure, and businesses. Appalachian also began offering Wey was a prolific writer and remaster’s-level programs. searcher. Peers referred to him as the The university became part “educational innovator” for encourof the University of North Caroaging faculty to develop and practice lina system in 1971 under the new theories of teaching and learnleadership of Dr. Herbert W. ing. Wey (1969-79). He introduced Dr. John E. Thomas (1979-93) innovations that earned Appalarecruited a first-rate faculty, believchian national recognition as an ing that strong, effective teaching institution of change, all while enshould be supported by research and rollment doubled to about 9,500. community service. With a focus on B.B. Dougherty with D.D. Dougherty Under his leadership, Appalaimproving campus technology and

An early view of the campus. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University April / May 2022



From the 1929 Rhododendron a memorial to D.D. Dougherty

From the 1929 Rhododendron a memorial to D.D. Dougherty

Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University

Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University

More About the Doughetry Family and the Beginning of the University All quotes from an interview with Dr. Karl E. Campbell, Associate Professor of History at Appalachian State University

“When you talk about Watauga Academy, many people remember the brothers Dr. B.B. Dougherty and his brother D.D. Dougherty, but there was a third founder, Lillie, D.D.’s wife. Appalachian had three founders, all three were invaluable.” “B.B. was also the administrator of the County School, it was called the “free school”, is only ran about 10 weeks out of the year, Watauga Academy was private, and you had to pay to attend. If you wanted more education, you would have to pay for that opportunity. You have two brothers running the County School and the Private School, it is interesting that from the very beginning education is intertwined between the public and the private in Watauga County.” “B.B. had heard a story about minister Baptist minister during World War II, the minister was not sure 44


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if his church would renew him, so at the meeting he said, “Everyone who loves God stand up, everyone who wants to win this war stand up, everyone who loves America stand up, everyone who wants to keep the minister stand up.” Not long after he heard this story B.B. was trying to get funding for a new library, he is in front of the legislator and says, “I see there are no objections, we will vote on this now, everyone in favor of the new library stay in your seats, everyone who thinks North Carolina is the finest state in the south, keep your seats, everyone who wants to whip Hitler, stay in your seats, keep your seats and look wise.” “D.D. was the administrator, B.B. was the promoter, while D.D. and Lillie ran the school, B.B. was lobbying on behalf of the school. He never missed a session of the North Carolina Legislature from 1903 until he retired in 1955”

This is what the campus looked like for students in 1927. (Photo from The Rhododendron in 1928) blending it into teaching, Thomas also ment sensitive to rapid world changes, ing chancellor after 24 years of service as developed Appalachian’s leadership in such as technology and globalization, yet the university’s chief academic officer and distance learning, which 14 years prior as profesexpanded in the late sor, department chair and Under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth E. 1990s and early 2000s associate vice chancellor. to include a formal partDr. Durham served as Peacock (2004-14), Appalachian became nership with 10 regional acting chancellor for the community colleges. Unschool year 2003-04. a destination of choice for high-achieving, der Thomas’ leadership, The results of these leaders’ progressive Appalachian developed intellectually curious students wanting to be changes garnered recogexchange programs in a nition for Appalachian dozen countries includengaged in the community. in U.S. News & World ing China, Germany and Report and other publicaCosta Rica. The focus on international edu- rooted in mountain values and Appala- tions as a top comprehensive university. cation continued with Dr. Francis chian’s tradition of teaching, scholarship The university’s emphasis on international education led the American Council on T.Borkowski (1993-2003), who entered and service. his chancellorship with a respectful vision: In May 2003, President Molly Broad Education to recognize Appalachian as a to create a distinctive learning environ- appointed Dr. Harvey R. Durham as act- model institution for international stud-

From the 1924 Rhododendron, the science building on campus. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University

Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University April / May 2022



Men’s Baseball Team

1924 Rhododendron - Men’s Basketball Team

Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University ies, while programs such as Freshman Seminar, now called First Year Seminar, freshman learning communities and the Summer Reading Program prompted TIME magazine to name Appalachian a “College of the Year” in 2001. Under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock (2004-14), Appalachian became a destination of choice for high-achieving, intellectually curious students wanting to be engaged in the community. In addition to small classes and challenging academics, Appalachian became known for its undergraduate research,

internationalized curriculum, servicelearning and sustainability, both in academic programs and campus practices. The university grew significantly in the areas of healthcare and the nexus of energy, the environment and economics. It received increased national attention for its academics, as well as its three national NCAA football championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007. At the time Dr. Sheri Everts joined Appalachian in July 2014, enrollment had topped 17,800 and the university was attracting international attention with its entry in the Solar Decathlon

Women’s Basketball Team

Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team

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Europe 2014 competition in Versailles, France, and students’ exhibition of designs in the Milan Furniture Fair. Appalachian was also preparing to host its third annual Appalachian Energy Summit, at which leaders from North Carolina’s public and private universities convene to share best practices. On Chancellor Everts’ first day in office, Appalachian joined the NCAA’s Division I FBS, and in 2015, Mountaineer football brought home a record-setting win at the FBS Camellia Bowl. Under her leadership, Appalachian welcomed the most diverse first-year class in university history. t

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April / May 2022



The Hidden Founder of App State


hree people founded Appalachian State University but, on the whole, only two names come to people’s minds, those of B. B. and D. D., the Dougherty brothers. We are hoping to bring to the forefront the name of the hidden hero of Appalachian, Lillie Shull Dougherty, the wife of D. D. Dougherty. She also was a teacher at Watauga Academy at the beginning, when the school was basically what we think of as a K -12 school, not yet a college. Lillie was also the business manager, 1929-1938. Those were her official capacities but there is much more to understand about why we call her a hidden hero and a vitally important part of the foundation of the University and the town of Boone. Doris Perry Stam has done extensive research on the Doughertys and has an upcoming biography of D. D. and Lillie Shull Dougherty. An article she has written about Lillie Shull Dougherty has been broken into six segments and will be published in six successive issues of High Country Magazine between April and December, 2022, with the entirety available online, including many extra photographs. As we celebrate Boone’s 150 years, we cannot help but celebrate vast influence on this woman. The Dougherty brothers were homegrown Boone boys, raised here in the 1870s-90s. But there was no higher education available here for them at that time, so off the mountain they went in pursuit of education. It was in Tennessee, just over the Stone Mountain Ridge, that they met Lillie Shull. Her life story begins a few dozen miles away in a town that is now under Watauga Lake. In 1899 the Dougherty brothers moved back to Boone, bringing Lillie Shull Dougherty. Together they would Pictured at their home with Howards Knob in the background. D.D. and Lillie Dougherty change the educational landscape of North Carolina. t in 1903 or 1904. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University

The 2022 High Country Magazine Author in Residence, Doris Perry Stam.


oth my parents and all four grandparents are from Watauga County, and as a young child I thought I might die of boredom talking to old people in the mountains. I wanted to ride the horses or go swimming! But now I treasure the time spent hearing stories from the old timers. Even though I grew up in Greensboro we were in the mountains an awful lot visiting relatives. I went to summer camp here and have hiked many a hidden trail. At Young Life club I met Chip Stam and followed him to Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead scholar (-I gotta’ boast a bit!). The love of my life was my husband for 36 years until his death in 2011. We have three children: Michael, Martin, and Clara. After studying vocal performance for a master’s Notre Dame I earned a master’s in theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during the years when my husband was a professor at these schools. I’ve been a music, art, and classroom teacher for 43 years in 3 states and overseas, and currently teach piano at my home in Durham. I have a passion to research, preserve and honor the early history of AppState. When not at my computer or reading, I play tennis, ride horses, swim, walk my goldendoodle, garden, serve with my local church, and enjoy my family and five grandkids. The mountains are always calling to me, and I get to Valle Crucis and Boone as often as I can. t 48


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Doris Perry Stam

Lillie Shull Dougherty Her Inspiring Story

Boone’s Story Cannot Be Told Without Lillie


Written by Doris Perry Stam

ucked in the northern mountains of Western North Carolina is a major regional university that had small beginnings nearly 125 years ago. Watauga Academy, which became Appalachian State University, was established in 1899 by the Dougherty family at the request of the people of Boone. The Doughertys saw the need for education and gave their all to the cause. A remarkable trio built this school. They are my maternal great-grandparents and my greatgreat uncle. I know them as “Papa” and “Mama Dougherty”, and Uncle Blan. The story of Appalachian cannot be told without Lillie Shull Dougherty. Less prominent than the Dougherty brothers, Dauphin Disco (D. D.) and Blanford Barnard (B. B.), she was none the less the third pillar, equally holding the weight of the whole undertaking. These three answered the pleading of local families to establish a high school for the area. Prior attempts had not succeeded. The Doughertys shared the vision to give a future and a hope to their mountain neighbors through education and the training of teachers for rural schoolhouses. If the endeavor was to endure, sustaining this calling would require a joint effort of total devotion, which they gave. For nearly half a century Lillie Shull Dougherty provided invaluable support, undergirding the work of two men, one her husband, one her brother-in-law, helping shoulder the load. What were this remarkable woman’s unique contributions? Working first as a teacher at Watauga Academy, and later as Business Manager and Treasurer of Appalachian State Teacher’s College, Lillie had not one but two distinct careers. These are the more formal evidence of her contributions, but beyond these lies her abundant influence in hospitality as informal college hostess, her involvement in the campus and town community, and as homemaker for both the Dougherty brothers.

Lillie Shull, Circa 1888-1889, Lillie was born in 1874, she would have been 1415 years old. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University

First Story of a SixJesse Part Series for Teaching pictured with Aspen •the Preparation cougar around 2003 when he was a kitten. He was just a few weeks old when he first came to Grandfather Mountain. He was basically hand-raised by the staff. April / May 2022



Believed to be from 1903-1904, The Dougherty Family, D.D., Lillie, Clara, and Annie. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University

I. Preparation for Teaching


The Village of Butler, Tennessee

da Lillie Belle Shull was born January 6, 1875, in Butler, Tennessee, the fourth of seven children, to David Harrison Shull and Martha Lewis Shull. David was born in 1844. Coming with the early settlers to the area, still covered in virgin forest, David Shull’s father, John Shull, moved from Valle Crucis in the early 1800s to this fertile valley at the convergence of the Watauga River with Roan Creek Valley. Bottomland for farming was limited in Valle Crucis and the surrounding areas, forcing many to move further west, Tennessee offering more agreeable land opportunities. Martha’s father, William, also came from North Carolina to this area of Tennessee and began clearing land with other pioneers in the 1820s. Lillie’s father, David Shull, was a farmer who had little schooling but possessed a strong mind and was said to be very engaging in conversation. He believed in high ideals -- educational, moral and religious. The Baptist Church was central to his life, and Father Shull made certain his family regularly attended. Friends and strangers were always welcome, with preachers given special honor in the Shull home. Father Shull was noted for having a godly focus and a godly character. Casual attitudes toward school attendance, so common in the rural South, were not tolerated in the Shull family. It was the prevailing view in the mountains that young people did not need school, for life and vocational skills were learned on the farm or in the craftsman’s shop, and civic and moral instruction took place in church and on county court day.



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A 1903 photo of Lillie Dougherty with daughters Clara and Annie. Clara age 4 and Annie not yet 1. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University But David and Martha Shull strongly supported the broader and literary education of all their children. Butler was a small community when Lillie was a child. Today it lies under the waters of Watauga Lake, a project of the Tennessee Valley Authority, or T.V.A., during the 1940s to bring electricity to rural Appalachia. The “town that refused to drown” was relocated nearby, house by house, including the moving of

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Historic Butler, TN is where Lillie Shull met D.D. Dougherty at Holly Spring College. The Tennessee Valley Authority started construction of the Watauga Dam in 1942, construction was put on hold for a period during World War II and was completed in 1948. Butler, TN now sits bellow Watauga Lake. Butler is sometimes referred to as, “the town that wouldn’t drown.” a cemetery. Not to be forgotten, an historical museum honoring Old Butler is currently in operation in the new Butler village. Using today’s highways Butler lies about an hour’s drive of 30 miles northwest of Boone, but before the roads were built in the 1920s, it was a 2-day buggy trip. A wagon trip in 1894 from the N.C.Tennessee state line village of Trade, Tennessee, involved two days of a rough wagon trip winding through the gorge down Roan Creek to finally reach Butler. The settlement, later named Butler, had its first store, livery stable and hotel in 1872 just when a school, Enon Seminary, was being established on the bluffs overlooking the river. A seminary in such a remote location? The term seminary was in general use at that time for institutions established by churches, and similar to the broad use of the term “college,” both had a looser definition at times. A train line was not extended to Butler until 1901 when logging companies became active in the area. David Shull’s obituary says that what grew into the town of Butler was built on the Shull farm. A school catalogue from 1895-96, some twenty years after Lillie’s birth, describes Butler as “a small village of about two hundred inhabitants, containing three good stores, cabinet shop, a fine roller process flouring mill, and other industries” which have grown up around the school. “Also, a good iron bridge, spanning both Watauga River and Roan Creek is now completed and adds materially to our place.” Having three older siblings and three younger ones, Lillie helped in managing the household of nine, which she would later find, as a career teacher, was not 52


much different than managing a classroom full of youngsters.

Enon Seminary With the school’s founding in 1871, the Shull family began sending their children to the Baptist-associated Enon (or Aenon) Seminary. Enon, which means “spring” or “fountain” in Hebrew, where John the Baptist met Jesus, was an apt term because of the large spring at this spot near a giant holly tree. Enon Seminary, with its attachment to a wider Baptist audience in Tennessee, drew educators with college degrees – quite unusual at that time in the mountains. Teachers with education beyond the 8th grade were rare, even until 1925 when state normal schools were established. Most mountain teachers had no opportunity for schooling beyond the Common School

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A young Lillie Shull

course in the poorly funded and poorly taught public schools, with their emphasis on loud, group memory drills for reading and “ciphering,” or arithmetic, lessons. “Common schools had no standard course of study or plan of advancement,” wrote James LeLoudis. “Students moved ahead at their own pace and stayed in school until they had exhausted the neighborhood cache of readers and spellers or until their parents had decided that they [their children] had acquired enough book-learning.” “As late as 1925 “only a few of the elementary teachers in this northeastern part of Tennessee in Johnson County had more than a few hours of college education, and many had no college training at all.” Tax payers in this area just after the war resented supporting schools “for the poor,” the public schools, referred to as “pauper schools” and preferred to rely on private schools . In the 1870s, when the Shulls began attending Enon, there was still a prevailing negative attitude towards public schools, which had sparse financial support and whose quality was low. Pioneers who came across the mountains from North Carolina or down the valley of Virginia and Pennsylvania colonies brought with them a desire for education for their children. But ill will developed over the Federal Government Compact of 1806 and the designation of public lands for schools, political wrangling and squabbling over so-called vacant land that was in fact settled, some with permanent homes. These landowners resented the take-over of their property. Taxpayers in Tennessee objected strongly to supporting public schools and felt that people should educate their own children at their own expense. This negative bias toward public

A class picture at Holy Springs College while Lillie was attending. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University education seems to have placed a stigma on “free schools,” or Common School, often referred to as schools for the poor. Those with means sent their children to private schools. State funding for public schools was exceedingly low, and the quality of teaching equally low prior to 1873. The U. S. Census of 1870 revealed significantly dropping literacy rate in Tennessee, prompting interest in education

and school legislation in 1875, though not without enraged opposition from opponents of public education who persuaded legislators. The bill passed only because of a pocket veto by Governor Porter, a friend of education.

Civil War 1861-1865 All schooling had ceased during the Civil War, leaving many parents greatly

concerned about their children’s education during Reconstruction. Bitterness between neighbors was rank in Northeastern Tennessee, where Union sympathizers dominated but Confederate supporters sprinkled each area, and guerilla warfare continued between the Southern Home Guard and Union Bushwhackers. Herman Tester writes about the incessant violence during and following the war in his book, Butler: Old, New, and

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During her classes at Holly Spring College, Lillie caught the eye and heart of her geometry teacher. Carderview. “Many of the young men who called themselves ‘home guards’ actually had not joined any army” Tester said, “and would not be commanded by anyone. On their own they raided and terrorized the countryside, robbing, stealing, and killing as they pleased. These young undisciplined outlaws were a constant threat to every loyal citizen. Guns for hire, these men were given the ‘kill list’ with names of 14 loyal citizens they were to track down and kill on sight.” Growing up so soon after the war, stories and local family alignments would naturally have been common topics for a child like Lillie to hear. Johnson County had voted 787 against secession, and 111 for the Southern cause, as did most of East Tennessee. Butler was similarly fiercely divided in Northern and Southern loyalties. When he founded Enon Seminary in 1871, Reverend L. L. Maples brought a reconciling presence and message to the county, becoming a strong influence for healing, as well as an advocate for the lasting power of education. Maples’ example and beliefs informed Lillie’s maturing young mind. One of the few college-educated men in the area, Rev. L. L. Maples was elected as a young man to the state legislature for Mossy Creek [renamed Jefferson City in 1901] and Jefferson County but retired in 1871 from the Tennessee Legislature to return to his first love, preaching. After the Civil War Maples had moved north about 100 miles and rotated preaching in several churches in Johnson County where his revivals were attended by former At the age 22 Lillie Shull married Dauphin Disco (D. D.) Dougherty on June 9, 1897. slaves and former soldiers, some from each scene, guns blazing, killing four of the six bounty hunters. Rev. side. His Christian love for all people drew many to his services and to his God during the 60 years of his Baptist Maples must have been an unusually conciliatory presence in preaching. “He was well known by Union and Confederate soldier Johnson County, in the areas of Butler and Taylorsville [renamed [s], as well as slave owners and underground operators alike. ‘One Mountain City in 1885]. of a kind’, they said of his oratory.” This was the Shull family pastor, EdEducation During Reconstruction who surely had a strong influence on each family member, including young Lillie Shull. The Shulls, like other families during Reconstruction, were Accustomed to “having both coloreds and whites at his revival beginning to think towards the future for their children, schools meetings”, Maples barely escaped the violent hatred of deep South- having been closed during the years of fighting. Education, with ern bounty hunters during the war in Jefferson County, Tennessee, Rev. Maples at the helm of Enon, was viewed more and more as a where, with the slaveholder’s permission, he was preaching to a pathway towards hope. group of slaves when the group was attacked and Maples tied to Lillie Shull was fortunate to have such a school to attend, with a tree while his congregation was loaded into a wagon cage full of a man of Maples’ character as the headmaster. Rev. Maple’s wife, captives (blacks and mixed race Melungeons) from west of Sevier, Amanda, taught music at Enon, having been a full-time voice and Tennessee and some from Virginia. The local slave owners Ma- piano teacher in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Their four daughters ples had spoken with became aware of the attack, burst upon the became “well-instructed in voice and piano.” Together the Maples 54


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brought the gift of classical music and training to Butler, so very rare in the mountains. Lillie Shull would eagerly learn and excel at music-- Mrs. Maples was her first teacher. The Maples built a large house on the bluffs over the creek running to the Watauga River. Because of its location, the Maples’ house was often referred to as ‘the house on the hill.’ It was always open to students who were taking music or who just wanted to study with his daughters. Music grew in importance in Lillie’s life, but after running the school for ten years Rev. Maples focused his energies on his ministry and on public service in Nashville where he again served in the legislature, this time from Butler and Johnson County.

To Lillie’s delight, a music teacher was hired, Miss Selma Rosenblatt, from Greenville, Tennessee. Smith built a new large, brick facility, and he changed the name to Holly Spring College. Maples had brought a high level of education to the area, insisting on college-trained leaders for the Enon Seminary. But in Mrs. Maples absence would music training cease for Lillie?

Holly Spring College In 1882, when Lillie was eight years old, James H. Smith, who had distinguished himself as a graduate “with high honors” of Milligan College in Elizabethton, Tennessee, where his father was a District Chancery Judge, took over leadership of Enon Seminary. Enrollment had dwindled, but soon grew to over 200 students under the new Principal, reaching full capacity in 1886. To Lillie’s delight, a music teacher was hired, Miss Selma Rosenblatt, from Greenville, Tennessee. Smith built a new large, brick facility, and he changed the name to Holly Spring College. The term college is misleading because the Preparatory Department of younger students through high school was a significant part of the enrollment. When Lillie was age 15, Mollie Shull, older sister of Lillie by four years, married President Smith in 1890. None could foresee that another Shull daughter would folApril / May 2022



Lillie Shulls, Circa 1890-1891, This photo is the inspiration for the monument on campus at Appalachian State University. Courtesy of University Archives, Appalachian State University low the same path as partner in leading a large educational endeavor. In the early years of Smith’s presidency, the performing arts at Holly Spring College grew as a priority which boasted a school auditorium seating 600 --room for the entire local community and student families from surrounding areas. Lillie gave dramatic recitations with the literary society on programs and commencement exercises at the College. Saved among Dougherty family artifacts was a sheet with the following: “Programme, Young Men’s Literary Association” from May 1894, and lists two numbers by Lillie: “Recitation – An Old Man’s Story,”; and “Comic Song – Georgie, Georgie”. But it was her musical, accomplishments on piano, guitar, and voice for which she was most highly regarded in Butler, and later in Boone.

Dauphin Disco Dougherty and Romance During her classes at Holly Spring College, Lillie caught the eye and heart of her geometry teacher, a new graduate from Wake Forest College in North Carolina, who had won top honors in mathematics. Her May 10, 1893, report card indicates geometry grades of 93 for the 1st month, 97 for the 2nd month, and 98 for 56


April / May 2022

the 3rd month. Family letters show that Professor Dauphin Disco Dougherty was immediately captivated by Lillie, a student in his classroom in 1892. Letters also reveal that she had other suitors and was probably in no hurry for marriage. In a school literary society photograph Lillie holds her head high, gazing confidently past the camera, poise and polish evident to all. Professor “Dauph”, as he was known by students and faculty throughout his life, (although he is now generally known by his initials, D.D.), grew up in Boone, N. C., but had close connections with grandparents and extended Dougherty family near Butler, close to Neva, Tennessee. Having attended Wake Forest College, at that time a Baptist college, he continued a strong lifelong Southern Baptist attachment. Professor Dougherty’s admiration for the talented and attractive Lillie Shull never diminished while he pursued her for five years. Letters indicate that they were both deeply committed to the church and Christian life, (and both were to spend their lives in service to the church.) The extended, often one-sided, romance eventually blossomed. Finally, at ages 22 and 28, she accepted his proposal and the two were married June 9, 1897. She called him “Professor” all her life. t

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Boone’s history of healthcare To our health! By Jan Todd


hen Boone was officially incorporated in 1872, health- Thomas Blackburn (1869-1937), who was born in Boone. He was care was mostly a “do-it-yourself ” endeavor — with a member of a prominent family that produced Spencer Blackfolks taking care of their families and neighbors in the burn — a lawyer and state legislator — and Manley Blackburn, a politician and owner of the Blackburn Hotel, which operated in best ways they knew how. Now, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is the sec- the town in the mid-1800’s. Dr. Blackburn attended school in Watauga County then gradond largest employer in Watauga County, employing nearly 1,500 healthcare professionals across all its locations. People in Boone uated from Baltimore Medical School in 1896. He returned to have easy access to health care providers and a wide selection of Boone and practiced for seven years before joining the U.S. Navy medical specialists. AppHealthCare — the district health depart- as a surgeon, then later settled in Hickory. Dr. Blackburn rement serving Watauga, cruited Dr. John WalAlleghany and Ashe ter Jones (1876-1925), counties — coordinates a native of Alleghany clinical and dental care, County and graduate of environmental health, the Chattanooga Colnutrition services, prelege of Medicine, to join paredness and response his practice in Boone in to communicable disease 1902. After Dr. Blackwithin the community. burn left, Dr. Jones conAverage life expectinued to operate the tancy (just over 40 years practice in Boone, which in the 1870’s) has douat the time had a townbled since the early days ship population of about of Boone. 1,800. Marrena Greer, opDr. Jones marerations manager of ried Mattie Blackburn the Hickory Ridge LivBlanford B. Dougherty cobbled together money and land from the State of North Carolina (1883-1978) in 1907, ing History Museum in and a grant from The Duke Endowment to erect the “hospital” featured on this postcard. and they soon purchased Boone, described genIt opened in 1938 and stood on the southeastern edge of the campus where it served as a a 6-acre lot near the ceneral medical care in the early days, before Boone campus infirmary until 1948. (Courtesy of Appalachian State University Digital Collections) ter of town. They built a two-story house — still became an official town. “There were really no doctors in the backwoods of the moun- standing, on the corner of King Street and Grand Boulevard — tains,” Greer said. “Occasionally a doctor from the military, or known as the historic Jones House. The doctor operated his pracmaybe someone sent by churches, would come through the area. tice within his family’s home. Many of the materials used in building the house were acUsually there were midwives to help with birthing babies.” When settlers first arrived in the High Country, Greer said quired in trade for medical services in lieu of cash payments. The they relied on Native populations to teach them about survival, home had many modern features — part of the original construcwhich included the use of herbs, teas and homemade remedies to tion or added later — including closets, running water, and electreat everything from snake bites and wound care, to poison ivy, tricity, when it became available. The Joneses also had a barn and stable, some livestock, an icehouse and other outbuildings — evistomach ailments and headaches. dence of the doctor’s success. A doctor in The Jones House In 1922, Boone’s township population had grown to over One of the earliest physicians in the town of Boone was Dr. 2,000 people, and Dr. Jones built an office to accommodate his

The Flexner Report • 1910

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, medical schools were not certified or standardized, and most were not connected to an academic setting. Quality and experience of physicians varied widely. The Flexner Report, published in 1910, resulted in a transformation in medical education and licensing standards — eliminating hundreds, or even thousands, of proprietary schools. 58


April / May 2022

growing practice. The 2-story structure on King Street (which now houses Mast General Store), was known as the Johnson-Jones Building. Dr. Jones used the upstairs as his office and dispensary and rented the downstairs out as a retail store. The Watauga Telephone Company — Boone’s first telephone exchange — was also located on the top floor. Dr. Jones fell sick during the Christmas holidays in 1924, and died of pneumonia in January 1925. In his obituary in The Watauga Democrat, it was written “perhaps no doctor ever had a stronger hold on the people of his county than he.”

tain community. “No one came to see the doctor then; the doctor went to see the patient — no matter how small or light the ailment,” she wrote. The most lucrative practice came from delivering babies — with a fee of $15.00. Typhoid fever was common in those days, and in addition to pneumonia, was one of the most serious illnesses contracted by Dr. Perry’s patients. “Food was denied during the course of the disease, and only small amounts of liquids were given,” Mrs. Perry wrote. After the usual three weeks of treatment, the patients were “emaciated and literally at death’s door,” though they usually recovered. Over the river and through the woods Dr. Perry usually traveled to his patients by horse. At night, “the time chose by most babies to make their entrance into the – Dr. Henry Baker Perry world,” Mrs. Perry penned, the doctor had “many a long, loneShortly before Dr. Jones arrived in Boone, Henry Baker some horseback ride by the light of the moon — through rain, “H.B.” Perry (1879-1955) was a student at Watauga Academy hail, sleet and snow.” Sometimes, the doctor would arrive frozen — now Appalachian State University — in Boone. Upon graduain the saddle and to his stirrups, and once became so chilled from tion, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the exposure he feared his own death. and later graduated from the North Carolina Medical College in A flu epidemic arrived in 1918-1919, and the doctor treated Charlotte. hundreds in the mountain Perry returned to the area. “H.B.’s one precauHigh Country in 1905 tion against catching the to practice medicine in flu was to smoke a cigar Valle Crucis, using an ofwhile he was ministerfice built on the side of ing to the patient,” Mrs. the W. W. Mast store. He Perry wrote. He drove a lived in Valle Crucis about Ford chassis nicknamed twenty years, then moved the “Flu Flyer,” traveling his practice to Boone. through mud and creeks In 1909, the young and up steep hills — Dr. Perry married Doris sometimes slipping off the Taylor, daughter of C.D. road along the way. Taylor — whose father, In 1919, Dr. Perry perHenry Taylor, built and formed his first abdomioperated The Taylor Gennal operation, operating eral Store, which would on the kitchen table of later become Mast Gen(Bottom photo) The first building in Watauga County used for surgery and recovery the patient’s two-roomed eral Store. In the last of patients was a large residence that opened in 1923 and was owned by Robert K. house. He embraced adyears of her life, Doris Bingham, a medical doctor who was in a partnership with Henry B. Perry, a physician vancing ideas in his pracTaylor Perry wrote mem- from Valle Crucis. Six months later, Perry settled his family and his medical practice into tice, once treating a badly oirs of her husband’s the Lovill Home Annex, a college building that formerly served as a women’s dormitory. burned child by grafting (Top photo) The Lovill Home Annex was demolished in 1931 to make way for Watauga life as a doctor and his skin from the child’s limbs Hospital. At midcentury, the Bingham home became the Daniel Boone Inn, a popular 50 years of practice in and from his own arm. family-style restaurant. (Courtesy of Appalachian State University Digital Collections) Watauga County. During the winter The Perry’s grandof 1922, Dr. Perry bedaughter and Doris came more interested in Perry’s namesake, Doris surgery and traveled to Perry Stam — who lives Charlotte to observe and in Durham and is a music receive instruction from teacher and author of an medical colleagues. He upcoming book about the learned the technique founders of Appalachian of removing tonsils, and State University — shared Mrs. Perry reflected, “I some of Mrs. Perry’s writthink he never looked ten stories and from her happier than while doing own recorded interviews a tonsillectomy.” with her late father, Dr. After his trip to CharH. B. Perry, Jr. lotte, the Dauphin Disco In her memoirs, Doris Dougherty (1869-1929) Perry recorded glimpses and Blanford Barnard of the early years of mediDougherty (1870-1957) cal practice in the moun— founders of Watauga April / May 2022



Key dates in Boone’s healthcare history 1908 The Jones House was built. Dr. John Walter Jones, who arrived in 1902, was one of the first full-time physicians in Boone. The Boone township population was approximately 1,800. 1918-1920: Flu epidemic 1920: American Red Cross nurse Stella McCartney was assigned to Watauga County as the first public health nurse.

1922: Dr. Robert Knox Bingham,

Henry B. Perry and Dr. Anders opened a private surgery practice in what is now the Dan’l Boone Inn.

1929: Dauphin Dougherty secured

funds and carved off a section of the Appalachian State Teachers College campus to begin building The Watauga Hospital.

1933: Appalachian District Health Department established, covering Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties. 1938: Watauga Hospital opened in

the building that is now Watson-Brumit Hall on the campus of Appalachian State University. James D. Rankin, dean of the college, oversaw administration of the hospital. Population of the Boone township was approaching 4,00, and enrollment at the college was 945.

1947/48: Watauga Hospital’s Board of Trustees was overhauled, and Dr. Lawrence Hayes Owsley was named the hospital’s medical director. 1948-early 1950’s: Polio epidemic 1949: The first college infirmary

opened at Appalachian Teachers College, with Mary S. Shook as the first full-time nurse. There was no doctor on staff. Enrollment was 1,260 students.



April / May 2022

Academy, which evolved into Appalachian State University — persuaded their distant cousin Dr. Perry to move his medical practice from Valle Crucis to Boone. Watauga Academy had become Appalachian Training School, and the population of Boone was growing rapidly.

a potato. When the potato was cooked, the instruments were sufficiently sanitized.” The Appalachian District Health Department was established in 1933, to address issues such as environmental hazards, widespread disease, sanitation and dental care in the community.

Public health comes to Boone

A hospital in Boone

In 1924, Dr. Perry joined Dr. RobDr. Phoebe Pollitt, who moved to Boone as a public nurse in 1980 and ert Knox Bingham (1878-1949) and was the first full-time school nurse for Dr. Anders in opening a private surgery the Watauga County School system, is practice in Dr. Bingham’s new resia nurse historian and provided insights dence — which is now the Dan’l Boone Inn restaurant. Bingham, a member of about nursing in the early 1900’s. Prior to vaccinations, Pollitt said, a Watauga County family, started his young children were very vulnerable to practice in Statesville, then moved to disease. Measles, whooping cough and Boone in 1909. diphtheria would often claim young lives. “If children lived until age five, they’d probably make it to adulthood,” Pollitt said. In 1915, the North Carolina State Board of Health surveyed the physical condition of children in the state, finding many in need of health care. In 1920, American Red Cross nurse Stella McCartney (18811962), was assigned to Watauga County as the first public health nurse. Stationed in Boone, she visited all the schools in the county and examined children. She found 40% of the thousand children examined had defective tonsils, and nearly 80% College president Blanford B. Dougherty and academic were malnourished. dean James D. Rankin operated Watauga Hospital for McCartney also counseled more than a decade as a department of the college. new mothers and made saniBoone doctors had access to the hospital that was tation visits in Boone and surtouted in the college handbook as a part of the school rounding communities, recom- even though it was an independent, nonprofit institution. mending new outhouses where (Photo courtesy of the Appalachian State University needed — an early example Digital Collection) of public health practices in Perry’s family joined him in Boone Watauga County. in 1925 and they moved into the LoAfter McCartney, Amy Louise Fishvill Home, an abandoned dormitory on er came to the High Country as a medical mission nurse. “She thought she was Appalachian’s campus. They used part going to be sent to Africa, but she came of the home as a 12-bed hospital, where Dr. Perry treated college students who to the mountains instead,” Pollitt said. Many midwives helped with home needed hospital care. Doris Perry births in the mountain area. About once washed and changed linens and nursed a year, a state nurse would hold classes patients, while caring for her own two for midwives, teaching them about ster- children. The doctor continued to ilization and hygiene. Pollitt described, travel out into the county to treat other “Midwives were told to place their in- patients. In Doris Perry’s memoirs, she wrote struments in the woodstove along with about a few memorable patient cases,

Aerial view of the Watauga County Hospital with the Boone golf course in the background. Image provided by Digital Watauga - Henry Dewolf Collection - “Watauga County Hospital” including that of Jim Greer, who was brought in after falling from a train on a narrow-gauge rail service from Boone to Tennessee — part of the East Tennessee Western North Carolina railroad. “An amputation was necessary, and a few months of daily dressings and care,” she wrote. “Dauph and B.B. Dougherty were ever ready to give any assistance they could,” she added. Enrollment was growing at the college, which became Appalachian State Teachers College with just over 650 students in 1929. The population of the township of Boone was also increasing, reaching about 3,300 people. Dr. Perry and the Doughertys knew it was time for a larger hospital. Dauphin Dougherty secured funds from The Duke Endowment and an appropriation from the state legislature, blending private and taxpayer funds to build a hospital on campus. The Lovill Home was torn down to clear the site for the new hospital, and construction began in 1931. Unfortunate-

ly, Dauphin Dougherty did not live to see it; he died in June 1929. The Great Depression slowed progress on the new hospital, with banks closing and financing in disarray. The walls of the hospital were up and the roof was on — but construction ground to a halt. Meanwhile, Dr. John B. Hagaman (1891-1957) and Dr. R. Z. Linney III (1900-1943) opened a 12-room clinic above Boone Drug on King Street, with an operating room and x-ray machines. If patients needed overnight care at the clinic, their families were responsible for bringing them meals and supplying firewood to provide heat. The Watauga Hospital finally opened in 1938, with 37 beds — short of the planned 50. Local women volunteered to sew curtains, and none of the equipment was new. No doctor was officially on staff; the hospital operated under an “open staff plan,” and was available for any of the town’s physicians to use as needed. James D. Rankin, dean of the college and second

in command to B.B. Dougherty, ran the hospital as if it were a college department. Richard Sparks, who retired from his position as the president and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in 2017, said the early history of Watauga Medical Center was intertwined with the university until the late 1940’s. “B.B. Dougherty paid the bills, kept the lights on, and the college absorbed some of the costs. But Boone was growing, and the college was growing. Students were coming in on the G.I. bill after World War II,” Sparks said. At that point, some of the leaders in Boone began to look towards the future for the hospital. New trustees were named to the hospital’s governing board, including Dave Mast, John Howell, William Ralph Winkler and Clyde Greene. George K. Moose, pharmacist and former owner of Boone Drug, chaired the hospital’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Lawrence Hayes Owsley (19151998) was named the hospital’s medical

April / May 2022



Key dates in Boone’s healthcare history 1963: Watauga County voters approved a bond referendum for a new hospital. Boone’s

1967: The first patients were transferred to Watauga Hospital on Deerfield Road. Virginia Groce was the hospital’s administrator. 1980: Expansion of Watauga Hospital

was completed, doubling the original structure’s square footage. Population of Boone topped 10,000, and enrollment at Appalachian State University was 10,484.

1989: Richard Sparks was named CEO of Watauga Hospital. He began moving local healthcare to a regional operation covering several counties.

1993: Seby B. Jones Cancer Center

opened. Watauga Hospital was renamed Watauga Medical Center in recognition of the expanding complex. A cardiology center opened in a building next to the hospital, and doctors from the Sanger Clinic in Charlotte rotated through.

2004: Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) was officially formed. Boone’s population was about 14,000, and the university enrollment was 14,653.

2009: The Scott Mallard Kidney Dialysis Center opened.

2017: Jennifer Greene was named

Health Director/CEO at AppHealthCare — the new name for the Appalachian District Health Department. Richard Sparks retired and Chuck Mantooth took the reins as president/CEO of ARHS.

2018: Leon Levine Hall, housing the Beaver College of Health Sciences, opened across the street from the Watauga Medical Center.

2020: The Covid-19 pandemic, bringing public health, medicine, university and community leadership in cooperation to address policies, treatment and prevention. Town population was just under

director in 1948, shifting management of the hospital away from the college. Owlsey was a fully trained surgeon with a medical degree from Emory University in Atlanta. He agreed to come to the hospital only if it could be equipped for accreditation by the American College of Surgeons. Clyde Greene, a hospital trustee who owned a farm supply business, led the committee to raise the necessary funds. They raised $20,000 and purchased a hydraulic operating table, an anesthesia machine, an infant incubator, and new surgical instruments and laboratory equipment. The following year, in 1949, the first infirmary opened on Appalachian’s campus, with Mary S. Shook (19182017) hired as the first full-time nurse. Shook would serve for 35 years in the infirmary, treating sick — and homesick — patients, providing health education, medical care and counseling. App State’s Mary S. Shook Student Health Services is named to honor her contributions to the physical and mental healthcare of students at the university. Shook and Owsley’s arrivals coincided with the polio epidemic, which raised awareness of the need for public health. The county health officer warned parents to keep children away from crowds, the county fair was cancelled, and school openings were delayed in the fall. In the late 50’s to early 60’s, both the college and the town of Boone were in the midst of a growth spurt. Tourism had arrived with The Horn in the West, ski resorts and Tweetsie Railroad. Virginia Groce became the hospital administrator in 1956. She had come to the area with her husband, who was a football coach at the high school. Richard Sparks said, “Virginia had no formal training in how to run a hospital — it was just ‘learn as you go.’ She could stretch a dime for ten miles, and she remarkably kept the place open, and it even grew a bit.” Prior to the advent of Medicare and Medicaid in the late 1960’s, Sparks said managing finances in health care was very stressful. He said he learned a lot from Groce about being prudent with money. “She didn’t waste anything,” Sparks said. The hospital needed more space, and in 1963 voters approved a bond referendum to supplement a Duke Endowment grant in order to build a new

hospital. “There were two items on the referendum,” Sparks said. “A new high school, and a new hospital. Both passed.” In 1967, the first patients transferred to the new Watauga Hospital on Deerfield Road. “People didn’t understand why the new hospital had to be so far from town,” Sparks laughed. At the time, Groce supervised a hospital staff of 56, including seven general medical practitioners and one surgeon.

Branching out with medical specialists Groce was successful in growing the hospital and recruiting specialists, Sparks said. “She made people believe that working at Watauga Medical was a calling. She’d tell people that while it was true they might make more money elsewhere, working here was good for each person and good for the community.” Orthopedics was one of the first specialty practices in Boone, Sparks said. With nearby ski slopes and athletic programs at the university, orthopedic care was in demand. Dermatologist Dr. Ron Stanley arrived in Boone in 1976. “There were about three family doctors in Boone at that time, two pediatricians, and the orthopedic group. There really weren’t any other specialists — certainly not any dermatologists,” Stanley said. “I didn’t know if my practice would make it or not.” Stanley came to Boone because he and his wife, Cheryl, loved the mountains and enjoyed hiking. “Our realtor was Wade Wilmoth, who was also the mayor,” Stanley recalled. “I shared with him my apprehensions about opening a dermatology clinic, and Wade told me, ‘Don’t worry; you’ll be fine.” The winter of 1976 was brutal, Stanley said. “The temperature reached an all time low of -20 degrees, and the snow didn’t melt from December through March. Patients could get to the office or into our parking lot. I was not too happy with Wade Wilmoth for talking me into moving here,” he recalled. Once the snow melted, business improved for Stanley. Before he opened the clinic, some patients went to their family doctors for dermatology care, others went to specialists in Hickory or Johnson City, and others just skipped



Watauga Hospital moved from the college campus to Deerfield Road south of Boone in 1967 after the county’s voters approved $500,000 in bonds for construction of a 1.7 million, eight-bed hospital. Administrator Virginia Grace changed the name to Watauga County Hospital as a nod to the public subscription, but the hospital operation remained with the same independent, nonprofit corporation that was originated in 1931. treatment altogether. “During my first few years, people would come in with advanced skin cancers because they’d never been treated,” he said. Stanley — who is still seeing patients 46 years later — said he has the “dubious honor of being the county’s longest practicing physician.” Boone Dermatology is one of the largest private practices in the state and has 75 employees and 10 practitioners.

Watauga Hospital continued to grow Not even a decade after it opened in 1967, the new Watauga Hospital was bursting at the seams again. In 1975, another expansion initiated to double the hospital’s size. In 1978, Richard Sparks — who had earned a degree in hospital administration in 1976 from App State’s brand-new Walker College of Business — was pursuing his M.B.A. when he was hired part-time to assist during the construction of the hospital. “It was an incredible educational experience,” Sparks said. “I was an intermediary between the construction workers and administration. I learned how to read blueprints — which was valuable all the way through my career — and I learned how to motivate people and inspire them toward a common vision.” After Sparks earned his graduate degree, he was hired at the hospital full-time as Groce’s assistant. The building project was completed in 1980. Groce was diagnosed with cancer in 1988, and Sparks was named CEO of the hospital in 1989. Shortly after assuming his new duties, Sparks arranged for doctors from the Sanger Clinic in Charlotte to treat patients and perform hearth catheterizations in a mobile unit next to Watauga Hospital. Meanwhile in the public health arena, Phoebe Pollitt was hired as the first school nurse for Watauga County Schools. She administered vaccines to students, performed vision and hearing screenings, treated students and staff who were sick or hurt, and initiated pregnancy prevention and tobacco prevention programs in the schools. Dr. Bill Horn, a beloved physician in Boone, would treat any child in the county who needed care, Pollitt said. “He’d make home visits to sick patients at all hours of the night, and treat them even if they couldn’t pay,” she said. Medicine continued to advance, and the town continued to grow. In 1990, Dr. Richard Warren Furman performed the first laparoscopic surgery in Boone. In 1993, the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center opened. Watauga Hospital was renamed Watauga Medical Center to encompass the expanding complex. A cardiology center opened in 1993 in a building beside the hospital, and heart specialists from Charlotte rotated through until, over the next decade, Boone was able


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to support its own resident medical staff. The Scott Mallard Kidney Dialysis Center opened in 2009. “I give a lot of credit to that first group of surgeons at Watauga Medical Center,” Sparks said. “Dr. Furman was focused on people and focused on taking care of patients. He could have easily dissuaded other specialists from coming to Boone in the early days, to limit competition. But he was in the field for the right reasons.”

A look towards the future Sparks was instrumental in uniting hospitals and healthcare in the area to form the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). Just before he retired in 2017, he saw ARHS and App State break ground on the Leon Levine Hall, housing the Beaver College of Health Sciences, across the street from the Watauga Medical Center. “Boone is now a place for young people thinking about careers in health care,” Sparks said. “The new facility has brought the partnership between ARHS and App State to a new level.” “We have a strong foundation in our community,” Sparks reflected. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons about how medicine and public health work together.” In the public health arena, Jennifer Green was named health director and CEO at AppHealthCare (the rebranded name of Appalachian District Health Department) in 2017. She works alongside the Board of Health and community partners — and has been essential in public health leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic. Chuck Mantooth, president and CEO of ARHS, said the pandemic has been

“like a hurricane” in the health care industry. “It will have lasting effects on our workforce and how we approach respiratory diseases in the future,” he said. Watauga Medical Center is once again expanding, with a $126 million project including significant structural and technological enhancements. The new Heart and Vascular Center opened in 2020, and the Shaefer Family Patient Care Tower is scheduled to open in the fall. “The building project represents our community’s largest ever investment in healthcare,” Mantooth said. “It is a renewed commitment to inpatient care and essentially a new hospital.” Another significant advancement within the ARHS system was the 37-bed ARHS Behavioral Health hospital, opened in Linville in late 2021. “Having that epicenter here will create a healthier community. It addresses what was a deficit in understanding and treating behavioral health in the High Country,” Mantooth said. Watauga Medical Center began a primary care residency program in 2020, which will grow to include 18 residents Richard G. Sparks (right) succeeded Virginia Grace as administrator of Watauga next year. Recruiting primary Hospital. He worked with hospital benefactor Seby Jones of Raleigh, standing care physicians to a rural comwith Sparks in the photo, to open a freestanding cancer treatment center on the munity can be a challenge, hospital campus. Mantooth said, and the residency program will produce a pipeline as some of the residents will choose to continue their careers in the High Country. ARHS is exploring other ways to secure a healthy future for the region, Mantooth said, including collaborations with other non-profit healthcare organizations. “Our number one focus is on providing exceptional care for our patients,” Mantooth said. “We look forward to ensuring quality healthcare services for generations to come.” t Chuck Mantooth (left) succeeded Richard Sparks as president of the Appalachian Regional Health System in 2017.

1 William Thomas Blackburn: An Artist Comes Home, by Barry G. Huffman, the Hickory Museum of Art’s Resource Library (Sept. 7, 2006) 2 Nomination form for the inclusion of the historic Jones House, 124 East King Street, into the National Register of Historic Places, submitted by Mark D. Vickrey, consultant to Jones House, Inc., April 1986. 3 “A Biography of Dr. Henry Baker Perry, Sr.,” by Doris Taylor Perry. Transcribed and shared by Doris Perry Stam. 4 “Caring for One Another: The People and the Hospitals that Became the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System,” by Howard E. Covington Jr., published in 2018 5 High Country Magazine, April 2013 64


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App Regional Hospital

Though so much has changed in healthcare in the past 91 years, access to a wide range of state-of-the-art healthcare services in the High Country has never been better than it is right now. And improvements continue to be made daily. On the Watauga Medical Center campus on Deerfied Road, construction on a new bed tower is evidence of this commitment to the provision of exceptional healthcare for our family, friends and neighbors in the High Country.

A rendering of the first hospital in Boone, Watauga Hospital. It was established in 1931 and was located on the Appalachian State University campus.

An artist rendering of Watauga Medical Center’s new Patient Care Tower that is currently under construction.

apprhs.org April / May 2022

Scan the QR code to follow the expansion progress at Watauga Medical Center



Doc Watson

‘Just one of the people’ of Boone


he legendary Doc Watson — perhaps the High Country’s most ing the Great Depression. But another reason for his humility was that famous native — graces downtown Boone today in the form of stardom came late in life — many years after he matured as a person. He a statue on the corner of King Street and Depot Street. Daily, was almost 40 by the time he played his first gig outside of Appalachia tourists and locals sit on the bench beside Doc’s statue, often snapping and recorded a record, and was 50 when he won his first Grammy. He selfies to commemorate the moment. appreciated the recognition, but never let it define who he was. Before Doc Watson became a world-famous musician, he busked T. Michael Coleman, a bassist who played with Doc and his son on the streets of downtown Boone. He tied a tin can to the neck of his Merle Watson from 1974–1986 said, “No matter if it was Carnegie Hall guitar so passersby could drop in New York City, a packed in some change. That was the theater in Tokyo, a venue way he supported his family — in Southern France, or on and he mentioned it often with a flatbed truck somewhere pride. in Georgia, Doc was always Arthel Lane “Doc” Watjust Doc — no pretense, no son was born in Deep Gap inflated ego, and no set list. in 1923 into a family already He invited the audience into rich in music tradition. His his living room, and they mother sang traditional secufelt right at home.” lar and religious songs, and his In the early 1950s, Doc father played the banjo. When was playing on a radio show Doc was six, his father gave in Lenoir, when the announcer said “Arthel” was him a harmonica. When, at age too stuffy a name. Someone thirteen, Doc taught himself to in the audience cried out, play “When the Roses Bloom “Call him Doc!” and the in Dixieland,” his father bought name stuck. him his first guitar. Teenaged Doc, who lost Doc began to play gigs his sight from an eye infection for money in 1953 with a as a baby, often played music rockabilly swing band called with family and friends, includJack Williams and his Couning Gaither Carlton, a regional try Gentlemen. Most of the old-time musician from Wiltime, the band didn’t have kes County. It was at Gaither’s a fiddle player, so Doc flathouse he met Rosa Lee, who picked the fiddle tunes on would become Doc’s cherhis guitar so the audience ished wife of 66 years. could square dance. As he Family was important to honed his skills, Doc beDoc. If it weren’t for his blindcame known as the “father” ness, Doc always said he would of the flatpicking style. have become a mechanic, elecIn 1961, Doc traveled trician or carpenter. He ento New York for the first joyed music, but he thoroughly time with a few other enjoyed making a living and musicians to play an oldHugh Morton travelled to Doc’s backyard in 1999 for this shot. A professional photographer, Morton was drumming up publicity for the 75th annual being able to put food on the time concert, which capSigning on the Mountain. Photo by Hugh Morton. table for Rosa Lee and his chiltivated the audience and dren, Merle and Nancy. launched Doc’s full-time Though Doc recorded more than 50 albums, won eight Grammys, career. He played at clubs, colleges, festivals, and concert halls, and rewas awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton, and corded his first solo album with Folklore Productions in 1964. was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor, he In the late 1960s Doc was joined on the road by his son Merle, who is remembered for his humility. At his request, the accompanying plaque provided both musical and emotional companionship. The father-son on his statue reads, “Doc Watson — Just one of the people.” team expanded their audience nationwide. After working for a while with Doc’s modesty was a cornerstone of his character. In interviews, Doc the band Frosty Morn, they continued to tour with T. Michael Coleattributed some of that to his blindness, as well as growing up poor dur- man, and brought their music to Europe, Japan and Africa. A series of 66


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Rosa Lee stands with Doc and Merle as they tune before a show at Freedom Park on July 4, 1982. Photo by Jim Morton

remarkable recordings, including collaborations with Flatt & Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Chet Atkins, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, helped make Watson the gold standard among traditional pickers. In 1973, Doc won his first Grammy for Best Traditional Recording for his album “Now and Then.” Jerrell Little, a longtime friend an owner of a music shop in downtown Boone, recounted the story of Doc stopping by his store upon returning from Nashville with the award in tow. “You want to keep it to show your customers?” Doc asked Little. When Little resisted, saying, “It’s too precious,” Doc replied, “Most people probably haven’t seen a Grammy before.” Little ceded and kept it for one day, then made Doc take the award home.

Doc Watson received the National Medal of Arts award in September 1997

Doc often stopped by Little’s store, which opened in 1961. Even after his fame and accolades mounted, Doc continued to spend time in the shop, demonstrating guitars for customers who tended to purchase one after hearing Doc play. Tragedy struck in 1985 when Merle died in a tractor accident. Doc briefly stopped performing, then resumed. “I think . . . largely the reason he went back out there is that it was where he felt closest to Merle,” said Coleman. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Merle and as an annual celebration of “traditional plus” music — a unique mix of music based on bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. Held each year on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, the event has become one

David Holt and Doc pose with their Grammy Awards for the three-disc Legacy. Doc treated this 2001 album as a spoken-word autobiography. Photo courtesy of David Holt. April / May 2022



Doc, with his electric guitar, performs with Jack Williams and the Country Gentlemen at Singing on the Mountain in the mid 1950s.

An iconic image of Doc. Photo by Peter Figen.


Happy Birthday Neighbor! BOONE, NC 68


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Doc Watson plays for a large crowd from the porch of The Jones House in downtown Boone on June 24, 2011.

of America’s premier music festivals. The Kruger Brothers — a musical duo from Switzerland who relocated to North Wilkesboro in 2002 after listening to and connecting with Doc Watson — are one of many renowned musicians who have played at Merlefest. Doc himself played at Merlefest each year, with his last performance in 2012, prior to his death later that year. “People like Doc Watson are rare and to be alive at the same time with somebody like him is like being alive with Mozart and Beethoven. I know that sounds like big words but its’ actually a fact,” said Uwe Kruger. “Where would the mandolin be without Bill Monroe? Where would the banjo be without Earl Scruggs? As long as people take up the flat-top guitar and sing a nice song with it, Doc Watson will be alive with us.” On Friday, June 24, 2011, a bronze statue of Doc, designed by Alex Hallmark, was unveiled in downtown Boone. Doc was present for the ceremony and played a free public concert at the Jones House. Loretta Clawson, Boone’s mayor at the time, decreed that Doc Watson Day would be celebrated in Boone each year. Since then, musicians have gathered annually to perform at the Jones House, playing and sharing stories about Doc’s influence and enduring legacy. Find more information about Doc Watson Day online at www.joneshouse.org/docday. t • Excerpts from articles written by Jesse Wood for High Country Press, and from Doc’s obituary provided by Folklore Production

Doc Watson attends the June 2012 unveiling of the bronze statue created in his honor. Photo by Ken Ketchie

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1922: Boone Advent Christian Church


s the town of Boone celebrates 150 years, Boone Advent Christian Church celebrates 100. Originated at Piney Grove in 1884, the Piney Grove Church reached a membership of 85 by 1921. Between the organization of the Piney Grove Church in 1884 and the year 1921, several members moved to Boone. As membership grew, a church was established in Boone. Gradually the Piney Grove Church ceased to exist. Boone Advent Christian Church was founded on November 10, 1922. The church first met in an old Episcopal Church at the corner of Appalachian and Kings Streets for about a year. One year after its organization, the church changed its meeting place to the courthouse, where it met until the new church building was completed. The building cost approximately $15,000 (not including the lots) and the first service was held in the new church on August 22, 1926. The Reverend R. N. Baldwin was pastor at the time. In 1975, the basement of the church building was expanded to join the church and the former parsonage. The connector and original parsonage are now used for a nursery and additional Sunday School classes. In 1984, a new Sunday School room, Clerk’s Office, and Pastor’s Study were added above the expanded church basement. Reverend Gordon A. Noble served as pastor for 49 years and 10 months until his retirement in 2015. Reverend Brittany Jackson began serving as Education Minister in 2016. Reverend Mitch Marlowe began serving as pastor January 1, 2017.

1912: Oak Grove Baptist Church


1911: Boone Mennonite Brethren Church

ak Grove Baptist Church established a Sunday School in the Oak Grove School building in 1912. Worship services were held in connection with the Sunday School, with preaching by the pastors of Brushy Fork, Poplar Grove and Three Forks Churches. Attendance and interest grew until a church was constituted on March 17, 1916 and named after the school and community—Oak Grove. Elders L.J. McGinnis and E.M. Gragg led. Charter members were Mr. and Mrs. B.A. Foster, Grace Foster, Sue Greene, E.C. Hodges, Mr. and Mrs. Letcher Barnes, Stewart Barnes, Polly Adams, Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Hodges, Mr. and Mrs. John Hodges, Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Hodges, Mrs. P.C. Wyke, and Dave Hodges. Pastors of Oak Grove Church were E.M. Gragg, 1916-’17; W.A. Pennel, 1917-’19; E.C. Hodges, 1920-’23; F.C. Watts, 1924-’27; W.D. Ashley, 1928-’30; F.C. Watts, 1931-’38, G.A. Hamby, 1939-’46; C.O. Vance, 1947-’57; W. Walter Jones, 1957-’63; E.S. Morgan, 1963-’67; Fritz D. Hemphill, 1967-’71; Fred W. Reese, 1972-’77; Max Furr, 1977-’79; Gary Byrd, 1979-’81; Ed Stines, 1982-’83; L.V. Couch, 1983-’84; Tony Cartledge, 1985-’88; Steve Goss, 1990-’97; Dr. Ken Craig, 1998-’05; Scott Courtney, 2006-’10. Interim pastors include Eugene Byrd, Roy Carroll, C.O. Vance, and Dr. David E. Browning. Rev. C.O. Vance became the first full-time pastor in the 1950s. A new parsonage was completed in late 1984. Oak Grove Baptist Church maintains its tradition of seeking to minister with the love of Christ to the needs of the Oak Grove and surrounding communities.


rimmer Mennonite missionaries immigrated to North America in the late nineteenth century from Crimea, Russia, in response to persecution for their Anabaptist Protestant beliefs. They came to western North Carolina in 1900 in response to a call by Emily Prudden for Christian teachers. They built a total of 13 churches and an orphanage serving African Americans in the mountains and foothills. In some cases, the churches also served as schools for black children who by law, could not to attend white schools. Rev. Joseph Tschetter and his wife Katharina answered the call. The two were ordained missionaries of the Krimmer Mennonites, with religious roots in southern Russia and Germany. The two missionaries made their way to North Carolina in 1903, leaving behind the plains of the midwest for the mountains of southern Appalachia. It would be here where the Tschetters would join their fellow Mennonites in assisting with the Salem Mennonite Mission Church and Orphanage in Elk Park, Avery County, serving the African American population of the region. By 1911, Rev. Tschetter began holding Mennonite services in neighboring Watauga County within what became the Junaluska community of Boone. In 1917, he organized a Mennonite congregation with eight original members, and built the Boone Mennonite Church in 1918. The original building still stands today.

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1883: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

t. Luke’s grew out of the efforts of the Missionaries of Valle Crucis to establish the Episcopal Church on this side of the Blue Ridge. The missionaries set up preaching stations in and around Valle Crucis. Boone was one of the first to be established. On September 1, 1859, the third Bishop of North Carolina, Bishop Thomas Atkinson, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Bell (Missionary in Charge), preached and confirmed one person. This is the first instance of that rite being administered or of a Bishop visiting Boone. On June 26, 1882, Squire Daniel Boone Dougherty donated a property on King Street for the first St. Luke’s church building. It was built for $400. The population of Boone at that time was 1,291. The first service was held in September 1883, with ten communicants listed. In 1903, a chancel and vestibule were added. Services were not held during winter as the building was not heated. By 1918, there were no resident Episcopal communicants. The Mission was dormant until 1924. The Lutheran Church held services in the building until completion of their own church building. It was largely through the efforts and leadership of Dr. George K. Moose and his wife, Effie, that St. Luke’s was revived with ten or twelve members. In 1935, services were again held in the old building, and, due to the lack of heat and safety concerns, services were moved to the Dr. and Mrs. Moose’s home. When the group of worshipers became too large for the Moose’s living room, the Lutherans offered use of their church before their Sunday School hour. As the congregation grew, plans were made to construct a new church building with a capacity of 100. The lot on King Street was exchanged for a lot on College Street, plus $600. The church was built in 1940 for $3,431, and the first service was held on July 7, 1940. In 1956, a Parish Hall was built and an office for the Vicar added within the next two years. The congregation grew from 25 baptized members and 14 communicants in 1940 to 60 baptized members and 33 communicants by 1965. In 1983, members of the congregation petitioned the 1984 Diocesan Convention to become a parish. The congregation steadily increased and by the mid-1980s, the congregation outgrew the building. Plans were drawn for a new building with a capacity of 250. By this time, the church building was surrounded by Appalachian State University buildings, and the land was sold to the State of North Carolina for $200,400 for use by the university. The last service was held on April 30, 1995. As part of the contract to sell, there was a provision that should the university decide to tear down the building, St. Luke’s would be allowed to move the old church building to the new location. Funds were raised and the original church building was moved to the new property on Councill Street. Fred Gilman, the oldest parishioner, led the procession down King Street carrying the cross. The new church and the chapel sit on three acres at 170 Councill Street. The Dedication and Consecration of St. Luke’s new church was conducted by the Bishop of Western North Carolina Diocese, the Right Rev. Robert H. Johnson, on July 16, 1995, with 308 attendees.



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St. Luke’s focuses on ‘Creation Care’


OVID has challenged St. Luke’s like it has all faith communities. This has been a time of coming to terms with what really matters, and for us that has been the community, both within St. Luke’s and the wider community beyond us. From the beginning of the pandemic, we made a commitment that however we would navigate this time, we would do it together. And so, we crafted worship that keeps those on-site in the sanctuary connected to all The Rev. Cynthia Banks those who join us from home— completely interactive, participatory, allowing everyone to speak into our space of worship. It has been fun, creative, challenging, and thoroughly St. Luke’s. The pandemic has also revealed so many cracks in our society, so many places of brokenness. We have kept our hearts open to the needs, hurts, and injustices of our society. The last two years have been an extraordinary time in which to live, challenging us on every level on so many fronts at once, and through it all, we keep coming together, saying our prayers, singing our praises and laments, feeding at the table, and then turning to the world to engage it in the hard places.

The Mary Boyer Garden is a ministry of St. Luke’s. Work in the garden takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All the food produced is for those in the wider community who need good, fresh food. It goes to Farm Café, into food boxes, and to people who come by and need it.

Even at the height of the pandemic, we never stopped being church—we just found out how to be church in new ways. Social justice has long been in St. Luke’s DNA, and in recent years, a deep commitment to Creation Care has taken hold. The Mary Boyer Garden became the perfect meeting place in the early days of the pandemic—a huge garden dedicated to providing good fresh food to whomever needs it in the community that became our outdoor sanctuary for midweek Eucharist. Loving hands continue to cook for Hospitality House or prepare meals for people who may feel isolated. Whether it’s the groanings of creation or the oppression and pain of systemic racism or reckoning with war half the world away, we do our best to stay present in the brokenness and discern what action we are called to take as followers of Jesus. We long to reach across the divides in our country, and in our local community, and to see those with whom we differ as our neighbor deserving of our respect and care. I can’t imagine navigating the last few years without a community of faith. We keep figuring it out together knowing that the Body of Christ transcends whatever might be keeping us apart. It has been an extraordinary time to be the people of God. Even at the height of the pandemic, we never stopped being church—we just found out how to be church in new ways. Never have the times seemed more uncertain, and never have I felt stronger about the capacity of the church to meet them. St. Luke’s remains an amazing community—vital, alive, engaged, thriving, caring about one another and caring about the world, following Jesus as best we can. - The Reverend Cynthia Banks

Mary’s Garden is also a place to teach about Creation Care, and it is an amazing place for fellowship.

On Wednesday evenings in the warmer season, St. Luke’s conducts worship at 5:30 p.m. and celebrates the Eucharist. April / May 2022



1871: First Baptist Church


eptember 1, 1871 is recognized as the official date of orgaproject provided an expansion of the sanctuary vestibule and portico nization for the First Baptist Church of Boone, as this is the and the addition of a steeple. The “Building Into the 21st Century” date when the church joined the Three Forks Baptist Associa- campaign of the mid-1990s was the financial arm of the construction tion. The exact date of organization cannot be determined because all effort that provided the elevator addition, a new College Street entrance the early church records were destroyed in a fire at the clerk’s dwelling featuring a covered drop-off area, and the installation of a Reuter pipe on July 5, 1895. The church was known simply as the Boone Baptist organ in the sanctuary. The most recent building program dubbed Church until circa 1930 when “First” was added to the name. “Rebuild, Restore, and Renovate” (RRR) was essentially completed in The newly formed church had a charter membership of seventeen 2015 and had as its main focus improved interior access to the student with William Baldwin and J. W. Hall serving as co-pastors. The Watauga ministry building (formerly the BSU building), handicap accessible restCounty courthouse provided the first place of worship until it burned rooms, improved water quality, and a total renovation of the fellowship in 1873. Thereafter, the first church buildhall kitchen. ing was a white, wood-framed structure Over the span of 150 years the church erected on Rivers Street in 1875. That has had twenty-five pastors along with “Sharing God’s love building served the congregation until a several interim pastors. Many of the early on this corner, from this corner, pastors were bi-vocational and concurrently new building was constructed on the corner of King and College Streets in 1916, where served more than one church. It was not to every corner...” the present church facilities are located. until the 1933 pastorate of P.A. Hicks that The new, red brick sanctuary was needed to the church had a full-time pastor. respond to the growing population in the At the local level, in 1951 the church town of Boone and the increasing number of Baptist students at the fostered the creation of a mission Sunday School to be located in the Appalachian Training School. lower Winkler’s Creek area. From its initial location in an abandoned This second building served the church until a new, straw-colored service station, this mission church grew and was constituted as an brick sanctuary was built on the same site in 1936. Initial planning for independent congregation in 1958 as Greenway Baptist Church. the latter sanctuary was begun in the spring of 1929, but construction The corner of King and College Streets, which was envisioned by was delayed due to the onset of the Great Depression in the fall of the Three Forks Association in 1873 as the location for a secondary that year. Continued growth prompted the church to begin construcschool to be known as the Three Forks Baptist Institute, later became tion of an educational wing and chapel in 1964, which was completed the site for the second sanctuary in 1916 and has remained First Baptist the following year along with an adjoining three-story building that was Church’s worship and ministry home for over 100 years. Today, First erected along College Street to provide facilities for the Baptist Student Baptist Church joyfully embraces a new vision of maintaining a vital Union. Christian witness and ministry in Boone and beyond with the slogan: The next major construction project was undertaken in the early “Sharing God’s love on this corner, from this corner, to every corner...” 1980s and financed by a Together We Build (TWB) campaign. This 74


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First Baptist Pastors William Baldwin (1871-1872) J. W. Hall (1871-1874) D. C. Harmon (1872-1874; 1876-1876) T. F. Nelson (1875) I.W. Thomas (1878-1886) First Baptist Church advertised their schedule in a 1926 edition of The Rhododendron in hopes of growing their congregation membership.

E. Frank Jones (1886-1893; 1899-1903; 1912) J. J. L. Sherwood (1892-1895; 1904-1906)

“My prayer and vision is for us to reach more young adults and families with preschool through college age sons and daughters and to lead young adults and families with preschool through college age sons and daughters to cherish worship and to be personally involved in serving others as a result of a growing and loving relationship with Jesus.”

J. H. Yarboro (1895) J. F. Davis (1895-1899; 1908-1909) L. C. Wilson (1903) J. H. Farthing (1909-1911) J. M. Payne (1913-1915) M. A. Adams 1916-1917)

Grace and peace, Roy Dobyns, Senior Pastor

R. D. Cross 1918-1919) F. M. Huggins (1920-1926) P. A. Hicks (1927-1934)

“The history is intertwined...intertwined with Boone, intertwined with ASU, intertwined with Watauga County. We started very small with a group of 17 and stayed around that size for maybe 40 years. Then, maybe just before the 1920s, the town started to grow, ASU started to grow and we grew. For a very long time we would have been maybe the smallest church in the Three Forks Association.” - David DeHart, Member

J. C. Canipe (1934-1946) W. George Bond (1947-1952) L.H. Hollingsworth (1952-1959) J. Boyce Brooks (1960-1971) Robert C. Mann (1972-1983) Steven C. Carreker (1984-1994) L. Lamar King (1995-2001) Wayne Brown (2003-2008) Roy A. Dobyns, Jr. (2009-present) April / May 2022




1866: Boone United Methodist Church

oone Methodist Episcopal Church South was chartered in completed in 1984, and the debt was paid within seven years. 1866 and began meeting as a congregation in the county From 1984 through 1992, the church served the Kingdom from courthouse. As the church family grew, the need for their 423 West King Street. Continued growth increased the congregation to own building became evident. In 1877, a “barn” building was erected over 1,100 members, which strained parking and church facilities. on West Queen Street. Over the next decade, this congregation continRelocating the 1,100 member congregation to 471 New Market ued to grow and develop, so in 1897, the Boulevard was the largest challenge the church relocated to a new frame building congregation ever faced. The vision of the on what is now 410 West King Street. Holy Spirit and an enormous amount of Continued growth caused this building prayer made it successful. By the time the to be inadequate, and a new site for the new facility was erected and equipped for church was purchased in 1918. Opening ministry, the cost was over $8 million. services were held for the 247-member A 14-foot cross, hanging in the sanctucongregation in June 1923, at what is now ary, was custom made by two church mem341 East King Street. bers from trees that were removed from The church united with three major the site. The communion rail was fashioned branches of Methodists in 1939, and the into prayer rails. A new circular stainedname became Boone Methodist Church. In glass window was created to complement 1964, the Wesley Foundation building was the existing stained-glass windows and is a constructed for the Appalachian State Unifocal point in the sanctuary. versity students who had been using church The structure offers over 40,000 square facilities. By 1956, the church had grown feet of education and recreation space. AlThe church’s ad in a 1929 edition of The Rhododendron to 393 members. An additional educational though a child development center has been facility was built and dedicated in 1958 for $87,000. a part of our ministry since the 1970’s, the new facility has allowed for In 1968, the Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United our preschool (BUMP) and other ministries to be expanded. Brethren. The church family became known as the Boone United In the fall of 2007, a merger between BUMC and Blackburn’s Methodist Church. By 1981, the congregation was 700 members strong. Chapel in Todd, was unanimously approved, allowing weekly worship On July 1, 1981, while the roof was being repaired, a tar pot exploded services with guest speakers and special music. Attendance and fellowresulting in the destruction of the sanctuary by fire. Immediately, a ship opportunities have flourished. Gerry Coffey says, “The congregabuilding committee was named, and a new building on the same site tion of Blackburn’s Chapel are grateful to the Boone United Methodist was begun in 1982 at a cost of over $1.2 million. The new edifice was Church for their step in faith.” 76


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THE OLDEST CHURCH IN BOONE 1790: Three Forks Baptist Church


he story of Three Forks Church dates to the late 1700s, when early pioneers began migrating to isolated mountain settlements in and beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Three Forks was the very first church in what is now Watauga County. Attendees came from all over this part of North Carolina, as well as from eastern Tennessee and western Virginia, and Three Forks soon became a pillar in the community. The original church was organized in the home of Robert Shearer (near present-day New River Heights in Boone) on November 6 of 1790, with seven charter members. Over the next decade, from 1790 to 1800, the seven original charter members had increased to 140. Some early members included relatives of the explorer Daniel Boone. Although Daniel was not a member of Three Forks, nephews, nieces and other relatives of his settled in the region and attended here. The church still has the old membership rolls, which include the names Jesse and Jonathan Boone, nephews of Daniel Boone. The first meetinghouse was a rough log cabin without chimney or windows located on the New River, east of Boone. There was no heat in the building, so a fire was built under the oak trees by the riverbank, where churchgoers would periodically warm themselves. Today there is a granite marker on the site of the original church. On the hill to the left is what remains of the graveyard, containing graves of some of Watauga County’s earliest settlers. The markers include church members who fought in both the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The church’s detailed records have been preserved through the years, providing a glimpse into the social development and the role of the church in this early community. The minute books from 1790 to 1974 have been filmed by the North Carolina State Department of Archives and History.

This tattered, yet remarkably intact book from 1790 is the church’s first record.

• The Three Forks Baptist Association • In these rough wilderness settlements, people keenly felt the need for fellowship. Courts were few and far between and settlers lived on widely scattered mountain homesteads. Thus, the church was the primary force for order to the community. Families were close, supporting each other and working together, and the church was the center of social life. When a community wished to establish their own church, other churches would send out delegations to assist them. Three Forks continually sent out members to hold services in neighboring regions. This led to other “arms” of the church, which became new churches. By 1795, the scattered frontier settlements had a sufficient number of churches to establish an Association for the churches of presentday Burke, Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, and Allegheny counties, as well as a few in Virginia. Three Forks helped to establish this Mountain Association, whose first annual meeting met at Three Forks church in 1798. In 1841, this Association divided to form a smaller, more local one. Thus began the Three Forks Baptist Association. Three Forks was considered the “mother” of the Association, eventually encompassing dozens of local churches that can trace their roots to the original. The Three Forks church would meet once a month for what were called “station meetings”; and a second meeting in the same month would be conducted in a different community for other branches.

The first entry documents those present at the church’s inception: A Book Containing the faith (as may be seen in the convenant) & conduct of the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ in Wilks County North Carolina State New River Three Forks Settlement which the Church being Constituted November 6, Day in the Year of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ 1790 by the following Brethren: Richard Green Daniel Eggers Ellender Green William Miller Mary Miller Phebe Eggers

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• The Church Buildings • A new white building of plank lumber was finally erected in 1866 on the original spot, replacing the small cabin that had served for many years. The preserved church minutes give a glimpse into this period; for example, the hiring of a “singing clerk” and of a sexton, whose maintenance responsibilities included furnishing oil for the lights and wood for fuel. During the Civil War, it was customary throughout the south for troops to be housed in churches. It is not recorded if troops were housed in the Three Forks building, but it is known that some meetings were missed during the Civil War Years. In 1919, the church voted to move to a new site. After the highway program began in Watauga County, in 1922 a lot was purchased west of the bridge on U.S. Highway 421 (a two-lane road at the time), and a new church was built. A few older members of the congregation still remember this simple white church, which predates the current one. The sanctuary was warmed by a pot-bellied stove, and Sunday school classes were held in that one large room, with hanging curtains dividing the different classes. If temperatures dropped below freezing, they would not have services; sometimes this meant no services during winter months. Becky Younce grew up at Three Forks, was married there, and attends there today. She can still recall hearing her grandfather’s voice as he taught Sunday School in front of the stove. Her sisters were baptized in the creek out front, near where the current building stands. The oil lamp chandelier hanging in the present church sanctuary dates to this previous building. (It has since been wired for electric bulbs). Joe Edmisten recalled that it was his job as a boy to lower the chandelier and light the lamps before services. The glass case now in the basement also holds a wall sconce from the old building – one of two on each side of the front doors. In 1945, the current brick building was planned. The first meeting in this building was June 27, 1948; a dedication service was held in 1952, followed by a dinner on the grounds. In 1975, the brick building was remodeled, with an extension at the south end, a remodeled choir loft, and a new wing with classrooms and a fellowship hall. Three Forks has always treasured its heritage as part of the local community. Periodically over the years, the congregation would have special events in which members would dress up in period clothing for an “old time service,” representing the various eras the church had seen. In 1990, Three Forks Church observed its bicentennial - celebrating 200 years since its founding. A historical drama was presented with members of the congregation depicting the 200 year growth of the church: “Forward Through the Ages,” written by choir director Nickie Spinks. The choir director that year was the accom 78


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This photo shows the old church on Three Forks Baptist Church’s 1866 site.

In 1990, Three Forks Church observed its bicentennial celebrating 200 years since its founding.

• Members Sought the Church’s Guidance •

An entry in Three Forks’ church record on January 1, 1801 notes the following:

Jesse and Jonathan Boone were sons of Daniel Boone’s older brother Isaiah. Entries in the church’s record describe a grievance presented in early 1815:

Brother John Brown came at the fall of the church and confessed that he was shamefully overcome with passion so far as even to strike a man which had been matter of great lamentation to him that had wounded the cause.

New Year 1815 January the first Saturday the church met agreeable to order first an allegation layed in by Brother Boon against Brother Hatly concerning not giving good usage at his mill and it layed over until next meeting for examination of witness and a request for some members to set with us on the bisness. February the first Saturday the church met agreeable to order first took up the reference of last meeting and the Church considers Brother Boon’s request reasonable and Brother Hartly was admonished.

Early Churches Planted by Three Forks Baptist Church • 1796 - Globe Church • 1799 - Cove Creek Baptist Church was formed in 1799 by a delegation sent from Three Forks Baptist Church. • 1841 - South Fork Baptist Church - On Saturday November 3, 1841, members from Lewis Fork Baptist Church in Wilkes County, Old Fields Baptist Church in Ashe County, and Three Forks Baptist Church in Wilkes (now Watauga) met and organized South Fork Baptist Church. • 1841 - Stony Fork Baptist Church was constituted November 19, 1841 with 39 members from Lewis Fork Baptist Church, Old Fields Baptist Church, and Three Forks Baptist Church. • 1849 - Lewis Fork Baptist Church • 1851 - Meat Camp Baptist Church was started July 26, 1851. The original members included 6 from South Fork Baptist Church, 11 from Three Forks Baptist Church, and one from Ebenezer Baptist Church. • 1872 - Poplar Grove Baptist Church - constituted in 1872. Charter members came from Mount Vernon and Three Forks Baptist Church. • 1873 - Laurel Springs Baptist Church was constituted October 1873. There were 15 charter members coming from South Fork Baptist Church and Three Forks Baptist Church. • 1938 - Rutherwood Baptist Church - organized November 17, 1938. Members from Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Laurel Springs Baptist Church, and Three Forks Baptist Church made up the original roll.

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plished Charles Isley, band director and used to form the wooden cross, which stands Professor Emeritus of Music at Appalachian today on the right-hand side of the sanctuary. State University, band director at Watauga Three Forks has had a total of 41 regular High School and later conductor of the ministers from its founding to the present Watauga County Community Band. On November 6 of the same year – the date of the church’s original founding - an evening meeting and Communion service was held at the original site, closely patterned after the original style of service. Men and women sat on separate sides of the tent and sang in the old style, acapella. In 2010, for the church’s 220th anniversary, the congregation once again gathered for a morning tent service The right side of the sanctuary features a wooden cross built by the river in period of timbers harvested from Three Forks’ 1866 church site. attire, with several members reenacting the first gathering of day, with interim pastors filling in as needed. charter members in 1790. Reverend Lynn Powers who served the church Many have come and gone over the years, from 1967 to 1987 is still an active participant and older members have passed on, taking in the church and came out of retirement their memories of the early years with them. thirty years later to serve as senior pastor from Mr. Walter Edmisten, for example, recalled 2016 to 2021. He wrote the church constitumoving the old 1866 church building from tion in the 1980s. In 2017 he was honored its site by the river. Some of the timbers were with the title of “Pastor Emeritus” in recogni-



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tion for his many years of service to Three Forks. The present pastor is Ben Bolick, who has deep roots in the church including an ancestor who served as a minister there in the 1800s. Three Forks continues to support many other ministries and mission efforts. Notes in the old minute books include contributions to an orphanage at Thomasville in the 1800s, ministry to prison inmates, and contributing to the building of a Home for the Aged in western NC. Today the ladies’ Women on Mission groups gather for monthly fellowship while heading up various mission or community projects. Some of their endeavors include packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, raising funds and supplies for the Crisis Pregnancy Center, collecting food for the Hunger Coalition, and helping to support other international missions and local projects. Several years ago, the ladies of the church joined forces to help sew new costumes for Horn in the West, Boone’s classic outdoor drama whose story dates to the same era as historic Three Forks Church. t

Mrs. Nickie Spinks: Three Forks Baptist Church’s Music Director for 36 Years


rs. Nickie Spinks was an influential member of Three Forks church for 46 years, 36 of which she served as director of music.   After five years of teaching music at Wingate College in Wingate, NC, she and her husband Will had moved to Boone in 1973, where she accepted the position of choir director at Three Forks.   She was also a beloved cast member at Horn in the West in the 1980s, playing Widow Howard for many summers, and was devoted to the preservation of local history represented by the drama and the living history museum of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association.  She also participated with the Blue Ridge Community Theater, and taught music at Lees-McRae College.   She dearly loved her Three Forks church family and was an unforgettable presence for the 36 years she served in its music ministry.  Nickie’s cousin, Tressie York Marcum, has now stepped into her shoes, bringing her own fresh enthusiasm and energy to the role of music director at Three Forks.

A Good Word from the Pastor


istory is very important at Three Forks. I believe it’s important to celebrate that history, especially when it comes to spreading the gospel throughout the high country and planting churches. This was clearly the mission in 1790. Three Forks was a pillar in the community and many churches were formed from this original group. It is my hope and prayer that in the future we can continue in that same tradition of being salt and light in Boone and beyond. To be a church where all are welcome. To be a church where the Bible is taught. To be a church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is paramount in everything we do. - Pastor Ben Bolick

A young Ben Bolick (bottom right) attends a Three Forks’ anniversary celebration in 1987.

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he Veterans of Foreign Wars is a service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard, and reserve forces. The organization traces its roots to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits since many veterans arrived home wounded or sick with no medical care or veterans’ pension. VFW Post 7031 in Boone received its charter in 1946 and was founded by World War II veterans. The post has been in its current location since 1951. According to Russ Seamster, who served in the U.S. Army from 2007-2014 and serves as the Service Officer for Post 7031, “The VFW serves both veterans and our community. We raise money, collect resources, and volunteer for many organizations in the High Country.


Members of the VFW may be seen working with Toys 4 Tots, the Adopt a Platoon Program, Purple Heart Homes, and the Patriot Pen program.” Chuck Wright, who has been a member of Post 7031 since 2002 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1959 - 1975 added, “We represent veterans of foreign wars everywhere. If someone is a member somewhere else, they are a member here and are welcome.” When asked about the VFW’s community work, Wright said, “Anyone who has a need, especially a veteran, we will go out of our way to help them. We support the community in aspects and ways the public doesn’t know about and we like it that way.” The VFW encourages all veterans of foreign wars to join so the organization can get to know you and thank you for your service. t

VFW Post 7031 is located just off State Farm Road in Boone.

“Anyone who has a need, especially a veteran, we will go out of our way to help them.” Chuck Wright VFW Post 7031 The VFW’s membership represents all branches of the United States’ active, guard, and reserve forces.



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All gave some.. World War I

World War II

Grady Barnes George Brown Linny Coffey Rome Coffey Will Edmisten Milton Greene Lloyd Hampton Clyde Harmon Conley Lowrance Thomas S Mast Timothy Norris John Simmons Will Taylor Daniel R Teague Ben Trivette Smith Trivette Albert Walser Millard Warren Jeoffrey Winkler G.E. Woodring

Shona Aldridge Fred Ashley Mitchell A Baird Frank Baldwin Robert Hal Bingham Ralph M Brown John H Calloway William M Caudill Ralph O Combs Charles Lee Cornett Stanley A Cunic Lemuel H Davis John M Edmisten Carroll D Eggers Ensley Morris Eggers George B Eggers Hal B Farthing Carl Greene Paul D Hagaman Albert R Harmon Bynum E Hayes Gordon Hicks J B Hollifield Bowie M Houck James Hugh Johnson

John Dean Johnson William Perry Kephart J C Krider Benjamin F Lookabill James William Lookabill Frank T Mast James L Michael James R Moody Roy Moretz Walter Norris Delmer Patten Ernest L Presnell Grady Proffitt Fred Reece Robert C Simmons Roger W Stokes Clyde Storie Jule Welch Tate Dillard Triplett Howard Triplett William H Vines Omar D Wagoner Earl William Ward T Payne Ward

1st Lieutenant Ensley Morris Eggers - Navigator A 28-year-old Morris Eggers received orders that he would be going home after two more flights. His younger brother, Stacy C. Eggers, Jr., learned he was stationed only 60 miles away at another air base in India and made a surprise visit a couple of weeks before 1st Lt. Eggers’ final flight. The last words the elder Eggers spoke to his younger brother were, “I’ll see you next time at home.” His body was never recovered from the Sea of Japan after his plane was shot down November 21, 1944. 84


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..some gave all... Korean War


Coy Banner James H. Benfield Paton Bentley Russell Bentley Lee Roy Calhoun Carl Cornett Joe D. Fox John F. Greene Bobby G Harrell Louie R Hayes James Hendrix Dewey Johnson Doyle W Justice David J McGuire Richard M Minton Roby G Thomas Delmar L Triplett

Harold Beach John Beach Bobby Braswell Baxter Carroll Alvin Church Dennis Davis Albert G Greene Edward E Greene Eugene Miller Jeff Miller John B Proffit William G Roberts Lowell Smith William Yates

Names provided by VFW Post 7031

Staff Sergeant Paul D. Hagaman - Radio Operator Paul D. Hagaman attended Appalachian State University before his enlistment. He was a radio operator on a combat cargo plane. That plane was shot down while “flying the hump” from India to China to resupply units of the US Army Air Force base in China during the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek. Staff Sgt. Hagaman survived the initial crash and was taken to a hospital in Burma where he later succumbed to his injuries. It took more than two years to get his remains back to the United States. April / May 2022



Boone’s history of law enforcement The overall rate of crime in Boone is 41.75% below the national average. By Kayla McCorrison


aw enforcement has always been a vital part of society, city, but we do have bad things happen here. I don’t know if it and that is especially true for the Town of Boone. Despite was any different back then,” Harmon said. “It was mostly liquor tensions that have existed throughout history, without law [charges] until you got to the 70s. And that’s when I started seeenforcement, there would be no true order or control in com- ing the first drug charges, like with marijuana or LSD or somemunities. thing like that. And then, of course, today, it’s moved to meth. So Because law enforcement is a necessity in a community, the it’s interesting. There’s always been something like that.” history of it in the Boone area Although intoxicants have started when Watauga County was been a continuous problem in formed in 1849. The first Sheriff Boone, the most common type of of Watauga County, who was apcrime in Boone is property crime, pointed when the county was ormore specifically, larceny, as it acganized, was Michael Cook. Durcounts for about 90% of crimes ing the vote, Sheriff Cook tied committed. However, the overall with John (Jack) Horton – who rate of crime in Boone is 41.75% eventually became the second and below the national average. then fifth Sheriff – but the tie was Going back to the first county broken by the Justice of the Peace, jail, it was built when Watauga Squire James Reagan. County was organized and lasted Skipping forward to Boone’s until 1852. The building stood incorporation in 1872, Boone where the Farmer’s Ski Shop is law enforcement was utilizing now, on the northwest corner of their third jail by then and mainHoward St. and Depot St. This taining a whipping post nearby. jail was not in use long because Certain areas of Watauga County it was made of such poorly baked had higher crime rates than othbrick that inmates were able to ers, but Boone was known as the wear down the brick around the area that handled the problems of windows and doors in order to the county. Most of the criminals escape. from Watauga County came to Along with the first jail was a Boone to await trial. whipping post that was used to Now in 2022, Boone’s Police punish prisoners. Terry Harmon Department is utilizing their sevsaid that he read something in the enth jail and employs 38 sworn ofWatauga Democrat in 1921 that ficers and 11 civilians. The police went, “They were remembering department focuses on law enforcement within the town district something that happened at the time of the first jail. And this with the ability to assist nearby areas. There is also the Watauga guy’s name was Pete Christoffel, and he was whipped at the whipCounty Sheriff ’s Office, a law-enforcing agency serving the coun- ping post and received 39 lashes for stealing half a hog.” Howevty. The Watauga County er, Harmon also said that Sheriff ’s Office currently most of the crimes during has their 25th Sheriff, Len this time were able to be D. Hagaman, Jr., who has handled easily with a fine served as Sheriff for three or another arrangement. consecutive terms. After the first jail was Terry Harmon, the proven to be nonfunctiongreat-great grandson of al due to the number of esformer Sheriff Horton, is capees, the second jail was Terry Harmon currently writing a book built in 1852 on the same on the chronological hissite. This jail was made of tory of crime in Watauga County from 1849 to 1974. In a con- white pine log, but used the same steel cage as the first jail. versation, he points out that there has always been an intoxicant Around this time, the long and bloody Civil War was going problem in Boone. on. Stoneman’s Raid started in Tennessee, and cavalry troops “We still typically don’t think of Boone as being a high crime led by General George Stoneman made their way through the

“We still typically don’t think of Boone as being a high crime city, but we do have bad things happen here. I don’t know if it was any different back then.”



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Member of the Boone Police department circa 1950. Image provided by Digital Watauga - Julie A. Richardson Collection - “Police Officer Standing In Road #2” North Carolina mountains, according to the North Carolina His- week like everybody behaved themselves. And other times it be tory Project. During this raid, both the first and second jails were like, yeah, we’ve made a lot of arrests.” Police even deputized burned in 1865. citizens temporarily to help control the common drinking crimes Right after Stoneman’s Raid, the third jail was built on the when it spiked in a certain area. same site of the first and second, and it was also made of logs like One particular case that happened in 1873 was when the the second, but it was two stories in height. This jail was built by courthouse mysteriously caught fire. The burning of the buildformer Sheriff Horton. ing destroyed all the records that were left after Stoneman’s Raid Recovering from Stoneman’s Raid and the Civil War, Watauga along with records since 1865. A new courthouse was built after County still had plenty of with fire protective vaults petty crimes committed. and safes to protect docuMost of the crimes comments in case of another mitted around 1872, acfire. cording to Terry Harmon Moving forward in time, in an interview, “were a lot although there had already of drinking, a lot of manubeen three jails located in facturing of liquor, a lot of Boone, they were considbootlegging, a lot of fightered Watauga County jails. ing, then occasionally you The first Boone City Jail would see people charged was established in 1889, but with fornication and adulit Courtesy was the of fourth jail in the University tery, then you did have county. This jail was built some more sensational cases by William Stephens and like people burning buildwas in use until 1925. This ings or murder.” jail was a classic example During this time period, of a Folk Victorian-style Once utilized by the town of Boone police department as a jail, today it is home to Harmon also mentioned an home that was adapted to event called “court week” institutional needs. It is the Proper, a great place to enjoy Homestyle Southern Cooking that Boone held twice a only surviving government year, once in the spring and once in the fall. During court week, building from the 19th century, and is “currently under evaluapeople from surrounding counties would come and join in on tion for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places picnics and learn about the cases that were being held. Court and possible designation as a Local Historic Landmark,” accordweek was similar to a social event, as Harmon described, “It was ing to Dr. Eric Plaag. The rear half of the first and second floor a time for people to come. They had vendors, people selling stuff; was used as a jail, while the front half was used as a residence for they had different kinds of entertainment going on. People would the jailer and his family. come and just horse swap, sell their produce, or sell their liveIn 1915, during the second year of World War I, there was stock. And there was typically some drinking going on in town. another case of a building being burned down. Sometimes you’d get a report where they’d say it was a very calm Arthur Preston wrote A History of Watauga County, North April / May 2022



Carolina, and mentioned a hit that was hired to burn evidence of a crime: “James H. Tatum came soon after Boone was established and built a store. Then Gray Utley, who married Tatum’s daughter, got an interest in the land, and sold it to Col. William Horton and E. S. Blair shortly after the Civil War. Sheriff Jack Horton occupied this store while in office. The old storehouse was removed, and a large new store erected in its place. Colonel Bryan kept a large stock of goods there till the night of July 4, 1895, when the store and goods, with a dwelling which stood between the store and what is now the Blair Hotel, and a large barn in rear, were burned by James Cornell and Marion Waycaster, who had been hired to burn this property by Lloyd, Judd, Tyce and Mack Wagner. Their object was to burn the evidence which Colonel Bryan, who was United States Commissioner, had locked in his safe against Tyce Wagner for robbing the mail. Judd, Lloyd, and Mack were sentenced to the State penitentiary for ten years each, Waycaster got twenty years and Cornell five years, the latter having turned State’s evidence. They were convicted by a jury at Boone, at the spring term, 1896, of Superior Court, pre-



sided over by Judge Geo. W. Brown. Tyce was convicted in the United States Court of robbing the mail and sentenced for five years. Governor Russell pardoned all who had been sent to the State Penitentiary.” While the world was going through another war, specifically World War II, the fourth jail of Boone was converted into a family home in 1937. Then in the late 19th century, it became a fraternity house for Appalachian State University. According to Dr. Eric Plaag, “During renovations in 1986, a new buyer removed stucco from the walls in the first-floor jail cell area and uncovered decades of graffiti from former inmates; while much of this original graffiti survives, uncovering these historic artifacts allowed the various college students who lived in the building over the next fifteen years to add their own graffiti to the mix.” The fourth jail is now a restaurant called Proper. Its location is 142 S. Water St. After the fourth jail was no longer in use as a jail, they built a fifth jail that was conjoined to the 1904 courthouse by a corridor. This jail was not segregated by race, as Terry Harmon revealed in an interview, “When they were preparing to

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build that one that was one of the things they made sure was that there was segregation of the genders and the races, and they acted like it was such a shame that the races had to mingle.” The current jail, which is Watauga County’s seventh jail, is located at 1500 Blowing Rock Road. It is a holding facility for arrestees before they are transferred to the Watauga County Detention Center. Because the Boone City Jail is a holding facility, there are no visitations allowed until the arrestees are transferred. The Watauga County Detention Center was built in 1974 and is located at 184 Hodges Gap Road. It has the capacity for 106 detainees.

The Potters’ and Pottertown Speaking of convicts – in the early 1900s, a series of events happened that gave Tamarack, also known as “Pottertown,” the reputation of being “dangerous” because of its violent history, particularly with the Potter’s. As referenced by Michael C. Hardy’s A Short History of Watauga County, “The Potter family were some of the first settlers to occupy the area in the late 1780s. The

members of the family in this removed community were considered a close-knit, mind-their-own-business, peaceful, nonaggressive family until someone tried to impose regulations and aggressiveness of ‘outsiders’ upon their kinship group.” Hardy further wrote that the body of a Pottertown citizen named James M. Broome was found outside Enoch Potter’s home in December 1900, and although Enoch was never convicted of it, many people said he shot him. In 1902, Enoch decided to sell his property and move to Kentucky, but his son, Daniel (Boone) Potter, argued against the idea. The argument continued into the next day, and the father and son ended up firing shots at one another, Enoch hitting Boone twice in the chest, and Boone shot Enoch once in the hip after he was hit. Enoch later died from his wounds, but Boone recovered. Later that year, Boone Potter went to resident Isaac Hodge’s house under the assumption that he broke his pump organ. Hardy wrote, “Boone went over to Hodge’s house, shot out the windows, and thrashed Hodge.” In late 1902, Police Officer Amos Howell was serving an arrest warrant for Boone Potter. Boone shot him in the chest and as he reached for his gun, Clarence Potter, who was Boone’s cousin, hit him over the head with a rock. Boone Potter escaped and fled out west, while Clarence was arrested. Howell became the first police officer in Watauga County to be killed in the line of duty. Clarence Potter was convicted of the murder of Howell, and was sentenced to death by hanging. He remains the only man from Watauga County to be sen-

Chief of Police - Andy LeBeau tenced to death, although his sentence was later overturned. Boone Potter was later discovered near the home of his mother by a posse attempting to arrest him, but a gunfight started. Boone died as a result and was buried next to his father’s grave. More Stories of Crime in Boone Crime is an unavoidable thing, and Boone is no exception. Here are a few specific stories from over the years. During the prohibition era in 1933, Chief of Police Hill Hagaman, led a liquor raid on Blowing Rock Rd. After locating 22 pints of whiskey, a 21-year-old shot Chief Hagaman, who succumbed to his wounds five days later. Chief Hagaman returned fire and injured the suspect, but the shooter was taken into custody and convicted of second-degree murder. Although he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, he was pardoned in December of 1942. In the 1970s, the Vietnam War was ongoing, and bell-bottoms and disco were on the rise. Amongst this era, in early 1972, Bryce Durham, 51, his wife Virginia, 44,

and their 18-year-old son, Bobby, were found brutally murdered in their home during a snowstorm, but the case eventually went cold. In 2019, a Georgia sheriff ’s office provided the Watauga County Sheriff ’s Office with information that tied four members of the Dixie Mafia to the crime. Exactly fifty years after the initial crime in 1972, the Sheriff ’s Office now considers the Durham family case closed in 2022, as they believe there is no more information to gain. Moving ahead in history to the year that many icons passed away like David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali, in 2016, a nineteen-year-old student, James “Martin” Roberts, went missing from Appalachian State University. When his friends went to his room looking for him, all they found was a note, his laptop, cell-phone, and wallet. He was last seen walking away from a bus station near the Holmes Convocation Center. Just after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and just before the world changed due to the death of George Floyd, in April of 2021, after attempting a welfare check on a homeowner and his family at around 9:45 a.m., someone inside opened fire, striking two deputies. This caused a 13-hour standoff, leaving five people dead, including both deputies who were shot. These cases are just a few of the many that have occurred in the Town of Boone. However, throughout the years one thing has remained consistent – law enforcement has had a lasting impact on the community and will continue to serve and protect citizens in order to keep the area safe to the best of their ability. t


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Daughters of the American Revolution Watching Over History in Boone


he local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu- Tatum had been buried. Although their search for the cemetery tion has been very instrumental in preserving and celebrat- was unsuccessful, during their conversations the cousin did recall ing local history of the High Country for over half a cen- an old document that had been stored away in a house that her tury as well as celebrating the memory of the patriots of America’s son, Charles Norris had acquired from the heirs of the TatumRevolutionary War both locally and nationally. The group of 64 Norris family. The house had once belonged to Ora Tatum Normembers meets regularly not only to work on projects to preserve ris. When the document was shown to Beatrice, she immediately local history but also to inform and educate the community about knew it had to be of some significant historical importance. many aspects of American citizenship. Members participate in The document was a land grant from 1788 that was made to various projects to help preserve cultural heritage, including pre- Thomas Farmer. Through research, Beatrice would learn that the serving documents, buildings, and placing markers at locations of original grant had traveled through several families until it became part of James Tatum’s prophistoric significance among erty holdings. Joanne’s son other things. agreed to give possession of During the group’s the document to Beatrice meeting last November celwith the understanding that ebrating their 55th anniversary, an example of their efit would be restored and forts was on display with the would eventually be placed completion of a project that in a museum setting for the was entrusted to the chappublic to view and enjoy. ter concerning the restoraWhat the DAR members tion and framing of a land saw at that November meeting was the completion of transfer document that dates that project where the docuback to 1788. During the ment had been professionmeeting an update was also ally restored and then caregiven to the members on the fully framed for safe keepTatum Cabin project that the ing for future generations. local DAR chapter is associated with at Hickory Ridge The land grant docuLiving Museum in Boone. ment is perhaps also conDAR member Beatrice Wellborn presents Regent Donna McNeil the restored and The story of the original nected to another project framed 1788 Land Grant at the November meeting. 1788 Land Grant that was the chapter has been workpresented during the meeting on. The Tatum Cabin ing began in 2017. DAR is located at the Hickory member Beatrice Wellborn Ridge Living History Muplayed a role in securseum next to the Horn in ing the original document the West Theater. The cabin through a family member was built around 1785 on that Beatrice had learned land that could have poshad married into the Tatum sibly been located on land family, and whose family associated with the 1788 was a descendant of Revoland grant. The Tatum famlutionary War Patriot James ily had donated the cabin to Tatum. James Tatum had the Hickory Ridge Museum land holdings in this area back in 1956, and the DAR beginning in the late 1700s. chapter has pitched in to In a conversation with her help care for the cabin over cousin Joanne, Beatrice was the years and, most recently, wondering if they could began working on a project look for the family cem- Part of the ceremony included Scott Fannon and Davey Davis wearing period dress to help bring awareness to from the late 1700s. They take part in reenactments at the Hickory Ridge Museum. etery where perhaps James the structure and educate the 90


April / May 2022

Members gathered for a group picture at their November meeting.

Daniel Boone Chapter NASDAR public about the historical significance of the building. The Daniel Boone Chapter of DAR met at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum dressed in period costumes this past September for a photoshoot to depict what life was like and how it would look in 1788 at the Tatum Cabin. The Boone Chapter’s Regent Donna NcNeil explained that this reenactment will be part of a PowerPoint presentation that will be available for different groups and schools to use. The Daniel Boone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in Boone on October 15, 1966. Anne Mill-

saps and her twin sister, Mary, later Mary Van Noppen Taylor, were encouraged by their grandmother, Anne Pearl Pratt Van Noppen, who had been a member of DAR since 1930, to pursue membership as part of an effort to form a local chapter in Boone under the leadership of Kathryn Wilson. As the chapter was chartered in the 75th anniversary year of the Daughters of the American Revolution, it has the added distinction of being called a Diamond Jubilee Chapter. There were 12 members in the beginning

On the 50th anniversary of the Daniel Boone DAR Chapter, members held a marking of the grave ceremony for the chapter’s Founding Regent, Kathryn Wilson (pictured right). Wilson became Regent in 1966 and held four terms as Regent through 1990. April / May 2022



The Daniel Boone DAR Chapter was instrumental in the restoring of the Daniel Boone mural in the historic Downtown Boone Post Office. Along with the Town of Boone, the chapter held a rededication ceremony at the post office on October 26, 2015. with Kathryn Wilson serving as the organizing Regent. Donna McNeil has been Regent of the Daniel Boone Chapter since July of last year. McNeil was born in Boone but grew up in Winston Salem and later in Morristown, Tennessee, where her father had been transferred for work, but she says with family connections in the area, Boone has always felt like home. After retiring, McNeil moved back to Boone in 2015. She is proud to say that her family history in the area goes back 150 years. “My 5th generation grandfather, the Reverend George McNeil was one of the first ministers in Boone,” McNeil said. “He helped start the Three Forks Baptist Association and was one of the first pastors at Three Forks Baptist Church.” And her mother’s family tree goes back to Patriot William Miller, along with three other members in her chapter, who owned land in the Boone area back in the late 1700s. McNeil says today she lives on a piece of land that was owned by the Miller family. “So, you could say I’m definitely back to my roots now!” McNeil said.

During the 1780s Miller hired out his wagons and teams to haul sundries, food, and feed for horses to the militia in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia during the last years of the Revolutionary War. A few years later the Millers moved again becoming one of the earliest settlers in the Meat Camp Creek community of Watauga County. There William took up 640 acres from what is now the Parkway to the New River near Boone and lived on Goshen Creek. The state theme for 2021-24 is “Rooted in Legacy, Reaching New Heights in DAR Service.” “I love DAR,” McNeil said. “It was a great opportunity for me to become involved when I retired. My mother was in DAR, and that’s how a lot of ladies become involved today - from their mother’s connections to DAR.” As Donna became an active member with the Daniel Boone Chapter, she became interested in DAR school programs. “I became involved with the Crossnore Communities for Children,” McNeil said. “I started working as a visiting resource

This past October, the Daniel Boone Chapter held a tea while being all dressed up with boas in celebration of the unveiling of the original Chapter Charter that had never been officially delivered by National Headquarters to the group when they formed in 1966. The framed charter was the highlight of the tea. 92


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DAR members Carolyn Crutcher, Rachelle Jones and Betsy Anderson getting ready to pass out American Flags at the Blowing Rock 4th of July parade.

Daniel Boone Chapter members participated in the National DAR Day of Service Project beautifying the entrance of the Daniel Boone Park.

for the school and loved it so much. I got to work one on one with students and became involved with three sibling groups and eventually saw one of the sets adopted. It was a wonderful ending!” She is now honored to serve as the North Carolina DAR State Schools Chair for 2021-2024. There are nearly 3,000 chapters in all 50 states as well as memberships in several foreign countries, with today’s membership totaling around 190,000 members. There have been over one million women who have joined the DAR since its founding. “We are always reaching out for new members,” McNeil said. “One way we do that is with our monthly displays at the Watauga County Public Library that feature one of our local projects, or something the national organization is working on. We always get good feedback from those. And we participate in local parades, and of course, word of mouth brings us ladies interested in becoming a member.” The Daniel Boone chapter had 5 new members last year.

A DAR display at the Watauga Public Library celebrating Constitution Week

Daniel Boone Chapter NSDAR collected and delivered to veteran students studying - coffee, power bars, snacks, and paper products.

Membership does require prospective members to prove family lineage that goes back to the Revolutionary War days by documenting and connecting that lineage to an ancestor, either male or female, who aided the cause of American independence through military, civil or patriotic service. “DAR is here to help with that process,” McNeil said. “If applicants can provide information about their first three generations, our chapter Registrar will reach out to them to go from there. DAR has one of the largest lineage libraries in the world. From there, the registrar will go to work to see if there was a patriot in your family tree.” The DAR states in their membership pamphlet, “They are women a lot like you who come from diverse backgrounds and hold a variety of interests. Their common bond is their lineal descent from Patriots of the American Revolution—any woman, age 18 or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove this lineage is eligible to join.” For more information go to www.DAR.org

In September, members of DAR took part in a reenactment at the Hickory Ridge Museum photoshoot for a promotional presentation for the Tatum Cabin that the group is participating in. Photo by Catherine Fannon April / May 2022



The brochure goes on to explain that the Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s volunteer service organization dedicated to promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. The volunteer women’s service organization was founded in 1890 by a small group of patriotic women who desired to step out of their daily lives to serve the nation and its people. DAR’s prestigious headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. The local chapter here in Boone is one of 130 chapters in The North Carolina State Society (NCSDAR), which in turn is part of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR). The Daniel Boone Chapter represents the DAR’s mission at the local level in a huge way. The Daniel Boone Chapter meets monthly, and the National Motto is “God, Home, and Country.” “We remember the spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence,” McNeil said. “We want to promote the development of an enlightened public opinion and to foster patriotic citizenship. These are the objects of our group. And I think that’s what we try to do, to respect and honor the memory of our Revolutionary Patriots.” During their November meeting, a Year in Review report was given, outlining their especially eventful year, “pandemic notwithstanding,” as was duly noted. The report pointed out that “The Daniel Boone Chapter had an eventful year,” as its headline. “Celebrating our 55th Anniversary with a tea was a wonderful time had by all! The chapter was presented with a Chapter Charter. Members were recognized for their years of service, a Community Service Award was awarded and a donation by a member of the Historic Preservation committee was presented. Another veterans project for our ASU student center included a collection of coffee, power bars, and paper items. The chapter also participated in Wreaths Across America with 50 wreaths purchased and 8 members and three HODAR’s participating in laying wreaths at the Historic Salisbury Veterans Cemetery.” In addition to the many enumerated accomplishments of this year alone, the Daniel Boone Chapter in its mission to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism has provided many public service opportunities for its members over the years since it was chartered in 1966 thereby enriching our community. Following are some of them: • Funded the preservation of the “Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip in Watauga County” by artist Alan Tompkins which is showcased at the downtown Boone Post Office and partnered with 94


The November meeting was held at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Boone where the 1788 Land Grant was presented to the group.

Also at the November meeting, Pamela McCelreath was presented the DAR Excellence in Community Service Award for her years of volunteering for local service projects.

DAR members participate in the yearly Ringing of the Bells for Bells across America in front of the Downtown Post Office. The event happens every year at 4:00 on September 17.

April / May 2022

April / May 2022



the Town of Boone for its dedication. • Awarded several “Outstanding Teacher of American History” and had a State DAR Winner. • Presented ROTC Medals at local high schools and at ASU. • Participated in Fourth of July and Christmas parades in both Blowing Rock and Boone by creating floats with historic themes and handing out thousands of flags to parade attendees, especially the children. • Provided tool kits containing materials for teachers and their students at the public and private schools in Watauga and Ashe Counties for use during Constitution Week and throughout the school year. • Recognized and promoted good citizenship in both elementary and high schools in both Watauga and Ashe Counties via DAR Youth Citizenship Medals and sponsoring essay contests. • Honored Native Americans with proclamations, programs and highlights of their contributions to our nation. •DAR members volunteered in Veterans Administration (VA) medical centers and non-VA facilities, offered support to America’s active duty service personnel through care packages • Supported the Chemawa Indian School and Bacone College with gifts and monetary donations. • Commemorated a wide range of historical events and historic figures at each of our meetings. • Created educational displays at the Watauga County Public Library on issues ranging from health to historic figures and events. • Supported all the DAR Schools with funding and donations, especially Crossnore where we sponsor one of the cottages. • Encouraged our members to share their talents via arts, crafts, and literature and have had state winners. • Purchased a book for the DAR Museum • Encouraged our members to respect our planet via conservation and provide relevant programs and reports. • Supported and funded literacy projects, especially through the gifts of books for children.

Boone, NC

• Honored our veterans through gifts, cards, programs and donations. • Provided opportunities for members to bond as they took trips together relating to history, education and patriotism. • Honored outstanding community members by awarding the Historic Preservation Medal, the Historic Preservation Award, Outstanding Media, Community Service Award and Outstanding Women in American History. • Sponsored state and regional winners in the Women’s Issues Essay Contest dealing with health, career and family topics. • Preserved a plethora of historical records and artifacts, restored and marked Revolutionary War Patriot grave sites. • Contributed to scholarships given by DAR to outstanding students. • Sponsored American history essay contests. • Assisted military veterans and active duty troops. • Helped new citizens in the naturalization process. • Recognized First Responders. • Supported numerous local nonprofits such as Oasis and The Health and Hunger Coalition.

The Daniel Boone Chapter will continue to meet its mission by building on the many activities of the past as we adapt to present and future opportunities. Our chapter is especially excited about participating in the Boone Sesquicentennial. We will be actively recognizing and participating in the upcoming Boone 150 events. One of our members will be participating as a Video Tour Guide and some will serve as hostesses for a special event at the Appalachian Theatre. We will be participating in the parades and continuing our library displays about Boone as we join with our fellow citizens to celebrate Boone’s Sesquicentennial. And we will continue to join with all our NSDAR Daughters across the world as we move forward to “Rise and Shine for America.” t


Years n o Congratulations from the Avery County Chamber of Commerce

Thank you, Boone Residents, for supporting your neighbors in Avery County! Don’t miss these 2022 Avery County Chamber Events:


Avery County Summer Festival June 11-12 NC Co-op Center (Newland Fairgrounds) Newland, NC 96


Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival July 15-17 & August 12-14 Sugar Mountain Resort, Village of Sugar Mountain, NC April / May 2022

45th Annual Woolly Worm Festival October 15-16 Downtown Banner Elk, NC 3rd Weekend in October

Daughters of the American Revolution Celebrate Wreaths Across America Day


he Daniel Boone Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution participates in many projects focusing on the preservation of history. One of these efforts this past year included celebrating Wreaths Across America Day by placing wreaths at the Salisbury Historic National Cemetery in December. “Daniel Boone Chapter NSDAR is a proud sponsor of Wreaths Across America,” said Donna McNeil, Regent of Daniel Boone Chapter NSDAR. “It was an honor to participate in the wreath placement at Salisbury Historic National Cemetery as we remember our fallen U.S. Veterans, honor those who serve, and teach the value of freedom.” Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. Boone’s Chapter NASDAR has been involved with Wreaths Across America in the past, but this was the first time the group has participated in laying the wreaths. Across the country, more than 2.4 million sponsored wreaths were placed by volunteers at 3,136 participating locations. Boone’s Chapter of NSDAR sponsored 50 wreaths, and a group of 13 people represented the organization in Salisbury by taking part in the event. “It was very humbling and an honor to place the wreaths,” McNeil said. “It really was amazing.” She further said that all grave sites received a wreath, and at the Salisbury Historic National Cemetery, there were 7,506 wreaths placed in under an hour, which showed just how many volunteers were present. “It was just a good experience,” McNeil described. “I think everyone needs to go and do that. It makes you aware of all the soldiers, loved ones, and time periods.” Not only is it a touching experience for the participants, but it also means a lot to the families of fallen soldiers to see their loved ones fully remembered. “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated and who bought a wreath,” McNeil said. “If anybody would like to participate next time, please contact us!” The Daniel Boone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution encourages individuals, families, service organizations, and veteran support organizations to join them in honoring and remembering all of those who have served. t

After year of fundraising in 2021for the Wreaths Across America project, DAR members and volunteers traveled to Salisbury on December 18 to lay wreaths at the Salisbury Historic National Cemetery where 7,506 wreaths placed in under an hour. A group of 13 people represented the Daniel Boone Chapter of NSDAR. Photos by Kathleen McElreath

April / May 2022



Boone’s Weather History

Most Important Events in Boone During the Last 150 Years


Story by Joe Johnson

hen people discuss regions of the world, one of the first discourses is always about the region’s weather. Any resident of Boone has a plethora of stories about experiencing some of the most unique and rapidly changing weather patterns in the United States, let alone North Carolina. Due to Boone’s location falling between the Blue Ridge Mountains and western escarpment of the Appalachian Mountains, the town falls in an area with geographical features affecting weather on both sides. “There are very few places in the country you can have this much weather diversity in a small geographical area,” said Ray Russell, founder of RaysWeather.com and Ray’s Weather Center, “The Blue Ridge Mountains might be the more important of those two features because rain events almost always move on a southern, southeastern, or eastern wind flow. When that happens, the areas on the east side of the Appalachian Mountains, particularly along the Blue

Ridge Mountains, get the most rain. The amount of annual rainfall in Blowing Rock versus Mountain City is amazingly differ-

Ray Russell of Ray’s Weather.com ent, it’s truly mind-boggling. We’re right in the middle of all those weather patterns.” Even though Boone has some of the most remarkable weather patterns in the U.S., most people across the nation were not publicly recording weather data until

the late 1800s. National weather data collection programs were created in the late 19th century due to the weather’s huge impact on agriculture and subsequently the economy. Before the advent of national weather data collection, weather patterns were mostly observed by individuals such as farmers who wanted to keep track of weather to adjust their farming procedures accordingly. Boone officially became a town in 1872, but the area’s weather data was not public until 1916 yearly summaries began being published by the National Weather Bureau. “Back then the National Weather Bureau, what the National Weather Service was called at the time, was an agency within the USDA,” said Russell, “In the late 1800s, they had weather reporting stations installed in Linville, Highlands, Asheville, and in the early 1900s a reporting station was installed in Banner Elk. There are no real references to Boone in those yearly summaries until 1916. I know of no weather data that has

King Street during the blizzard of 1960, Hunt’s Department Store to the left, Farmers Hardware and Watauga Savings and Loan to the right. Image provided by Digital Watauga - John Ward Family Collection - “Downtown Boone During the 1960 Blizzard” 98


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survived from the earliest times in Boone. I have heard tales of there being records that survived; I’m sure farmers would record weather daily to observe patterns. However, I have not been able to find any surviving weather data from the years before 1916.” The governmental programs that collected weather data would not be used to forecast the weather for decades to come. Before the advent of weather forecasting, residents of any given area would have to use local folklore to predict weather patterns. Surprisingly, pieces of weather lore from the distant past hold true with currently explainable scientific bases. Boone weather folklore is still common to hear to this day, especially when people refer to the “halo around Boone” 24 hours before rainfall. This old adage is almost always correct, because ice crystals in the upper atmosphere produce a halo effect that indicates a front is due to arrive in 24 hours. “It’s easy for us to lose perspective of how helpless people were in the face of severe weather before the advent of forecasting,” said Russell, “A lot of weather lore before forecasting comes from trying to explain what is going on in the world. Our human psychology makes us want to predict things, even if they are unreliable.”

Although weather data collection was widespread by the late 19th and early 20th centuries, data collection in Boone and western NC in general was not regularly recorded until after 1920. This is the case because memory and lore fades over time and generations, but also because the National Weather Bureau was handled by the United States Department of Agriculture; if the weather event didn’t affect agriculture, they didn’t feel it was important enough to be recorded. Additionally, most weather reporting sites were in the Piedmont and eastern NC, so they largely did not know what was happening on the western, mountainous side of the state. Beginning around the 1920s, major weather events in Boone and western NC were being recorded within yearly summaries by the National Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service). These yearly summaries outline all the major events that were notable outside of just the agricultural aspect. In Boone, there are two people who have spearheaded the recording and forecasting of the region’s weather: Joe Minor and Ray Russell. Joe Minor was originally a photographer for the Watauga Democrat; when the Snows of 1960 bombarded the Town of Boone, Minor decided it was

time to start keeping careful daily weather records, continuing this trend for the next 40 years. Minor produced a weekly article in the Watauga Democrat with summaries of daily highs, lows, and precipitation while providing context behind the weather. Minor retired in the 90s to a mountain of praise, with weather data collection being transferred to the Town of Boone Sanitation Department. Not unlike Joe Minor, Ray Russell’s interest in the weather of Boone was inspired by a massive blizzard that hit the region in 1993. Russell’s interest in the weather led him to create BooneWeather.com, which has been in operation since 2000. Famously known as “Ray’s Weather Center,” Russell’s website RaysWeather.com is constantly updated with weather reports from across the High Country. Ray’s Weather Center includes various websites, all maintained by Russell, that actively report weather conditions for 20 separate regions within the High Country. The first major weather event officially recorded that included the Boone area was The Great Flood of 1916, the worst flood in western North Carolina history. This flood was the result of two tropical storms that hit western NC within the same week from July 8 to July 16. The first tropical

The washout of railroad tracks are believed to be near Linville River Railway near the Watauga River. It was decided not to rebuild portions of the track after the flood. Image provided by Digital Watauga - Paul and Ruby Weston Collection - “Flood Damage to Railroad Tracks, August 1940” April / May 2022



on July 10, 1936. Severe droughts have also plagued the town of Boone and Western NC, with some directly related to the Dust Bowl remnants that affected the eastern U.S. The first major drought on record in western NC stretched from late 1897 to early 1898. More recently and memorably, there were the droughts in 2016 and 2019 that affected Western NC including Boone. There is a slew of droughts that occurred in Western NC throughout the centuries, with frequent droughts happening from the mid 1920s to the early 1950s. Droughts have massive impacts on agriculture and various types of wildlife, which also affects the economy of the region. Combined with summer heatwaves and wildfires that occur from droughts, the During the Blizzard of 1960 when travel to Boone was completely cut off, the U.S. military stepped in consequences of droughts on the people to deliver supplies. Image provided by Digital Watauga - John Ward Family Collection - “U.S. Army in Boone During 1960 Blizzard” of Boone’s public health are tremendous. Another massive flood hit Western NC in August 1940, due to pervasive storm made landfall on the Gulf Coast, Dust Bowl with the Great Plains region of while the second landed around the Atlan- the United States, the effects of the Dust felling of trees throughout the region. By tic Coast of Charleston, SC. The storms Bowl stretched across 75% of the coun- 1940, a large portion of old forest growth brought intensely heavy rains to the French try. The unwise farming of 5 million acres in western NC had been cut down and the Broad River water shed above Asheville. of land in the 1920s caused the grasses mountainsides were stripped of vegetaThe upper portions of the French Broad naturally protecting topsoil to be stripped tion. The physical state of the region in River swelled with rainfall, causing the riv- from the ground. Topsoil became lost to 1940 was indicated by Linville’s nickname er gauge and the bridge it was hoisted on rain, floods, and wind, eventually leaving at the time, “Stump Town,” which could to completely wash away. The river even- areas of land barren, which absorbed im- have been applied to all of western NC tually crested at about 23 feet at its peak. mense amounts of heat. This heat absorp- at the time. On August 11, 1940, a CatThere were no direct weather records of tion created arid conditions that eventu- egory 2 hurricane moved through Georgia the event recorded in Boone at the time, ally produced heat waves and droughts and stalled near the southern Appalachian but a weather report from Altapass, lo- throughout the country. Due to these arid Mountains. Boone recorded 12.98” of cated 30 miles to the south of Boone, re- Dust Bowl conditions, the town of Boone rain, but the eastern escarpment of the corded 22.22” of rain in a 24-hour period. recorded its hottest day ever at 96 degrees mountains gathered much more rainfall from the hurricane. The intensity That 22.22” of rain in Altaof the hurricane’s rainfall along pass is still the North Carolina with the bare mountainsides rerecord for a 24-hour period sulted in destructive flooding and of rainfall. The Great Flood over 600 landslides in Watauga of 1916 destroyed hundreds County that swept into creeks and of homes, industrial plants, across roadways. Over 12 people warehouses, businesses, railperished in the chaos and countroads, and bridges adjacent less houses, buildings, and railto the overflowing French roads were destroyed, cutting off Broad River. No one is sure Watauga from the outside world. how many people died in The ET&WNC Railroad, commonly Great Flood of 1916, but curknown as Tweetsie Railroad, was rent estimates are about three destroyed during the flood, markdozen deceased in the flood. ing the end of an era. The damage from the flood In February and March 1960, totaled an estimated $21 milthe legendary Snows of 1960 oclion, about $500 million in curred in Boone, completely covtoday’s money. ering the town in a blanket of The infamous Dust Bowl deep snow. In the six weeks from climate event that plagued mid-February to mid-March, 83” the country throughout the of snow fell on Boone, with a total 1930s also affected western of 104” for the winter season. Few NC, with lingering effects During the Blizzard of 1960 two feet of snow surround a car. Vehicle is for decades after. Although parked at Appalachian State Teachers College. Image provided by Digital events in Boone’s history have had a lasting impact like the Snows of people usually associate the Watauga - Constance Stallings Collection - “Parked Car in Deep Snow” 100


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1960. Snow drifts 15 feet deep were stretched along wind-whipped valleys for hundreds of yards, causing roads to be impassable for weeks. Due to the dangerous conditions, the Red Cross had to set up a supply center on the college’s baseball field (now tennis courts) to fly supplies in and out of town by helicopter. The snowstorm was so devastatingly intense, news of the storm eventually reached the New York Times, which spiraled into an influx of people across the region wanting to catch a glimpse of the snow. Potential visitors from across the southeast contacted the Boone Chamber of Commerce to inquire about places to ski; unfortunately, Appalachian Ski Mountain did not open for operaThe photo was taken from the middle of the path of the Stony Fork landslide that accured during the tion until 7.5 years later. Surviving August flood of 1940. Image provided by Digital Watauga - Paul and Ruby Weston the winter of 1960 was not a guarCollection - Landslide Damage with House, August 1940” anteed outcome, with several people dying during the harsh frigid condito the northwest, where it hit the north- snowfall that rendered roads and highways tions. However, the nation’s interest was west NC mountains as a Category 1 hurri- useless. On March 12, 1993, the Friday of piqued by the Snows of 1960, resulting in cane. The eye of the storm moved directly App State’s spring break, snow began to the Chamber of Commerce and other local over Boone, which produced a significant fall just before sunset. The next morning, organizations moving to establish Boone as amount of rain, about 6.91”, although the about 15”- 18” of snow was piled on the a tourist destination in the winter months. rain was limited by the speed of the storm. ground in Boone. Next, the second part of Today, Boone and its surrounding ski slopes Wind data is not available from Boone at the storm produced 60 mph+ winds and are one of the go-to winter destinations the time but using data from surrounding record cold temperatures for the date. It throughout the southeastern United States. weather stations, wind speeds in Boone became impossible to measure the snowfall Contrary to Boone’s 96-degree high during Hugo were determined to reach up during the blizzard, since snow drifts 7-8 temperature record set in 1936, the cold- to 70-80 mph. Luckily, Boone was not hit feet or more were flowing throughout the est day ever in Boone was recorded on anywhere near as badly as other regions town. Travel was impossible through SunJanuary 21, 1985. The temperature on in the southeast, although the novelty of a day morning and a State of Emergency was January 21 dropped down to -24 degrees, hurricane passing over Boone has not been instituted in the town, with no real source cold enough to cause major problems lost on the populace. of information other than the radio. within some buildings in the area. Local The “Storm of the Century” Blizzard The storm was so severe, many people lore claims January 21, 1985 was “God’s that occurred from March 12-14, 1993, became stranded as their cars got buried revenge” for the Sugar Top condos being resulted in impossibly powerful winds and in snow on the highways. One group of built in Boone 1.5 years earlier. As the stodesperate, stranded travelry goes, every pipe in the Sugar ers even broke into ParkTop condos was frozen, causway Elementary School to ing the state legislature to enact survive the harsh conditions laws preventing such a building by finding food and shelter. from being constructed again. The Storm of the Century The “Ridge Law” passed in Fall Blizzard in Boone is by far of 1983 was created to make the biggest single snow event sure no other building would ever recorded in most of the be built on a mountaintop like eastern United States. Sugar Top condos. This law The Floods of Sepwas passed in large part due tember 2004 marked an to the efforts of the Honorable unprecedented turn of Margaret “Pinky” Hayden. events for weather patterns Many people living on in Boone. Three powerful the east coast will remember tropical storm systems hit the devastation Hurricane western North Carolina in Hugo caused in 1989. Hurthree weeks, causing vigorricane Hugo hit Charleston, The photo was taken from the middle of the path of the Stony Fork landslide that ous winds and substantial SC on September 21, 1989, as amounts of rainfall to hit accured during the August flood of 1940. Image provided by Digital Watauga a Category 4 storm. It moved Paul and Ruby Weston Collection - Landslide Damage with House, August 1940” Boone. First, Tropical Storm April / May 2022



August 1940 view of King and Depot. Image provided by Digital Watauga Two women inspect severe washout caused by Flood of 1940. Images Paul and Ruby Weston Collection - Flood Waters Swirl at provided by Digital Watauga - Paul and Ruby Weston - “Women Inspect King and Depot Streets, Boone NC, August 1940” Road Washout, August 1940,” Frances arrived on the shore of Florida, and the citizens who built their lives here. COVID-19 crisis subsides, the climate eventually making a beeline to Boone and Looking at past weather events in change crisis will remain the most signifidropping 11.63” of rain in just over two Boone presents an opportunity for us to cant threat that looms over the planet. The days. Next, Tropical Storm Ivan hit Mo- look toward the future of Boone’s cli- NOAA published new climate averages for bile, Alabama and reached Boone of Sep- mate. It is our responsibility as residents of Boone, with significant temperature and tember 16, hitting the town with 6.45” Boone to pass clean air, clean water, and precipitation changes that serve as a call of rain. Finally, Tropical Storm Jeanne ar- the sustained beauty of our region to our to action for residents of the region. Averrived in the High Country on September children and grandchildren. Taking care age temperatures in Boone have risen .21 27, bringing with it 4.07” of rainfall. The of our region and planet by “tending the degrees in the past 15 years, with yearly total rainfall for the month of September garden” of our environment will produce precipitation rising 19.6%, and yearly 2004 was 23.01”, the heaviest monthly a natural world that can flourish under our snowfall falling over 30%. It is imperative rainfall ever recorded in Boone. The descendants’ feet. The fruits of our gar- for our community, our planet, our chiltropical storms and subsequent floods left dens cannot be enjoyed by future genera- dren, and their children that we transition 11 dead, 140 homes destroyed, and over tions unless we cherish the world in which to energy sources that vastly reduce green16,000 homes damaged across western we currently live, respecting its essential house gas emissions to combat our world’s North Carolina, devastating the region functions to life as we know it. When the rapidly shifting climate. t


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Tomorrow Boone Will Be What We Make It

ur hope is that this issue of High Country Magazine helped you learn, smile, contemplate, remember, and celebrate what led us to this amazing reality that we experience today, known as Boone, North Carolina. Boone is no longer a dusty mountain town trying to develop an identity. Today, we know who we are. Boone’s population of 20,114 makes it the 46th largest city in North Carolina by population. Boone resides at 36 degrees 12 minutes north latitude and 81 degrees 40 minutes longitude, with an elevation of 3,333 ft above sea level, and covers just over 6.2 square miles. On average, we receive 4.4 inches of rain per month and 25 inches of snow per year, and we know this because Boone gets it’s forecast and weather stats from Ray. Boone is the High Country’s commerce hub, attracting business owners with its growing economic environment and the area’s scenic beauty. In the last ten years, Boone was acknowledged by US News as one of the ten best places to retire in the United States, while we are simultaneously home to over 20,000 students at Appalachian State. Young or not so young, Boone has something for everyone. Almost every type of sheep can find a shepherd in Boone, with faith communities offering over 50 churches that represent 23 denominations. Boone’s crime rate is 37% below the national average and Boone has 37 lawyers in town (and less than half have the last name Eggers). If you are a native, a transplant, a visitor, or a Boonerang, I encourage you to take time to rediscover Boone. Make sure to take in a show at the Appalachian Theatre this year and remember Boone’s early years while visiting Horn in The West. Get 104


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the best fresh produce and local goods on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at one of our Farmers’ Markets. Enjoy a morning brew at Ransom – one of Boone’s newest places to grab a cup of coffee – while reading the latest copy of the Watauga Democrat, which used to be published in that building. Celebrate Boone with a craft cocktail on the roof of The Horton Hotel this weekend, then go ahead and stay the night, you deserve a staycation. Next week, as you fill your prescription at Boone Drug, pick up a Boone 150 t-shirt. On Saturday, grab a handful of candy at Mast General Store and explore The Shops at Farmers to pick up a delightful gift for your favorite aunt. When you want fast food that does not taste like fast food, head to Come Back Shack to grab a great burger and sweet potato chips, then take it to Daniel Boone Native Gardens and enjoy your picnic lunch outside. And lastly, join your friends and family downtown on June 18 for Boonerang. Seriously, invite your 20 closest friends and plan to join everyone you know at Boonerang on June 18. We know our past, we are experiencing our present, and tomorrow is up to us. What will your Boone be like tomorrow? Believe it or not, it is up to you. We have three ideas that will help our collective futures be bright. 1- Practice intentional acts of kindness, 2- Celebrate humility in others, 3- Practice gratitude. On behalf of the entire team at High Country Magazine, we are humbled and thankful to be part of such an amazing community! Here’s to the next 150! Happy Birthday, Boone! With gratitude, Sam and the entire High Country Magazine team

“B BO e su TH re loc to v ati isi on t s!”

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