From our newspaper archives:
50 years ago: The July 29, 1971, edition of The AJT featured an article entitled, “Contracts Signed for New Library.” The Avery County Library Board met on Friday, July 23, with the Trustees of the Robert Morrison Trust and Mr. George Keller represented Wiegman Hall Architect, Inc. to award contracts for constructing and furnishing the new Avery County Public Library to be located just off the Town Square in Newland. Low bidder for the construction contract was W.B. Owen Construction Co. of Banner Elk at a price of $131,840. The low bidder for the furnishings contract was O.J. Penegar Co. of Gastonia at a price of $27,072.50. Now that contracts have been signed, construction is expected to begin on the 6,426-square-foot structure on or about August 1, with completion slated for June 1, 1972. This building is expected to be one of the “showpieces” of Avery County, replacing an inadequate 946-square-foot library presently in use and hopelessly outgrown.
40 years ago: The July 30, 1981, edition of The AJT featured an article entitled ”Dr. E.H. Smith Marks 30th Anniversary.’’ E.H. Smith, M.D. celebrated his 30th year of medical practice at Garrett Memorial Hospital in Crossnore in July. He began his practice on July 16, 1951, after completing the internship program at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. Dr. Smith is the nephew of Dr. Eustace H. and Mary Martin Sloop who founded Garrett Memorial Hospital in 1928. Dr. Smith was surprised with a dinner party celebrating the occasion of his 30 years of service to the people of Avery County. He was presented a silver-plated bowl engraved with the following; “Presented to E.H. Smith, M.D. on his 30th anniversary of dedicated service to Garrett Memorial Hospital.” Dr. Smith is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice Physicians and received his education at Davidson College and Medical College of Virginia. He is married to the former Virginia Sutherland and they have four children: Catherine (Mrs. Jerry) Hartley of Lynchburg, Va., Eustace Henry Smith Jr. of Richmond Va., Jesse Cummins Smith of Crossnore and Martha Anne Smith of Newark, Del. They have one granddaughter, Sara Virginia Hartley.
30 years ago: The July 25, 1991, edition of The AJT featured the article, “Linville Athletic Club Retain Championship.” The Linville Athletic Team celebrates shortly after winning the Tug of War Championship for the sixth consecutive year at the Highland Games. Pictured are Chuck Hughes, caller, David Winebarger, David Andrews, Whitey Williams, Randy Banner, and D.L. Eggers. Bo Bowman, Philip English, Darryl Brewer, and Steve Greene.
20 years ago: The July 26, 2001, edition of The AJT featured the article, ”Young keeps it all in the family in Plumtree.” On their way back from snow skiing one winter about eight years ago, Cleve and Robin Young made a stop that would change their lives completely. They stopped to make an offer on the building that is now The Vance Toe River Lodge in Plumtree, a little town along the banks of Toe River. About a year later, they owned the building, not yet knowing what it would become. Cleve, Robin and their four children came up on weekends from their home in Greenville, SC to clean up the old place. As it turned out the building had to be almost completely gutted and taken down to ground level, but they kept working, pulling out nails and dismantling staircases all by themselves. The wood they used even came from logs they harvested in Greenville. After about a year and a half of weekend trips, the Youngs decided to sell their construction business back in Greenville and move to Plumtree full-time. “We didn’t come up with a goal and a set plan. It just kind of evolved into what it is,” said Robin, “Cleve saw the vision a lot more than we did.” The first thing to take shape was the bed and breakfast, which started out mainly for winter ski groups going to Beech Mountain or Sugar Mountain for the weekends. But later they realized that winter is not the only popular time of year for tourism in Avery County. Today, the lodge has just as much business in the summer as it does in the winter.