From our newspaper archives:
50 years ago: The June 12, 1969, edition of The AJT featured the story “Local men do stone masonry on LMC Library.” The Hartley brothers stone mason crew is shown busily erecting the stone work on the front of the new modern library under construction on the Lees-McRae campus. The Linville stone masons are J.W. Hartley, M.M. Hartley, James D. Hartley, Bill Phillips and L.B. Ramsey, with helpers Ivory Hollonder and Dennis Hartley. The library is being constructed by W.D. Dale Construction Company of Morganton and will be the newest addition to the Lees-McRae campus.
40 years ago: The June 14, 1979, edition of The AJT included the feature “Plane lands on Hwy. 19E in Roan Mountain.” A Michigan pilot skillfully landed a one-engine plane on 19E Highway in Roan Mountain Saturday night without any property damage or serious injury to the pilot or passengers, Darwin and Terry VanGlider. Dennis Johnson, 29, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was flying the plane from Grand Rapids to Florida when the plane developed an oil leak over the North Carolina-Tennessee mountains. Doris and Brooks Shell of Elk Park and Linda Vance of Crossnore had stopped at Nath Julian’s flea market when the plane began circling.
30 years ago: The June 15, 1989, edition of The AJT featured the story “Hobo dead at age 17.” Hobo, the 17-year-old black bear who fathered most of Mildred the Bear’s cubs at the natural habitat at Grandfather Mountain, died this week from an aortic aneurysm. In 1972, when Hobo was a cub, a statewide bond issue that was key to the early development of the North Carolina Zoo at Asheboro needed last-minute support, and Hobo traveled the state from mountains to sea in his own campaign to ensure passage of $2.5 million referendum. On that trip, Hobo visited several of North Carolina’s best-known landmarks, and he appeared on 16 television shows.
20 years ago: The June 10, 1999, edition of The AJT featured the story “Heritage Fest ‘99.” The inaugural Avery County Heritage Fest was held in conjunction with Newland Baptist’s Annual Barbecue on The Square in Newland on June 5. Executive Director Judy Donaghy said many expressed the desire for additional family tents next year. “We are really pleased with the way it went,“ she said. ”Reverend Bill Jones, Pastor of Newland First Baptist, has already asked us to join with their barbecue next June.”
Herb Isaacs, chamber president, said the Expo Center and Fairgrounds will be available when the event outgrows the Square. Michelle Vance, Heritage Fest chairman, said she never expected such response to the first one, and expressed her appreciation to the Chamber Board of Directors and Heritage Fest Committee for making the event possible. ”As a first time event, we did not have much startup money, but thanks to all of our sponsors and advertisers we were able to bring the citizens of Avery County an event that celebrates our music and our families,“ Vance said.