From our newspaper archives:
50 years ago: The June 3, 1971, edition of The AJT featured an article entitled “Garrett Memorial Building Fund Receives $10,000 Anonymous Donation.” S.K. Mortimer, Jr., Trustee and Finance Committee Chairman with Garrett Memorial Hospital of Crossnore, announces that the Hospital Building fund was the recipient last week of a $10,000 donation from a local family and native Avery Countians who modestly prefers to remain anonymous. Mr. Mortimer said, “We are deeply grateful for this generous gift. We would like to shout this family’s name and praises to the mountaintops, however, we will of course respect their wishes for anonymity. Our Building Fund Campaign, though barely under way, is off to a great start and we are highly pleased with the results to date.”
40 years ago: The June 4, 1981, edition of The AJT featured an article entitled “Avery Women Win Blue Ribbon.” Avery County has two district winners from the Homemakers Extension Club, whose winning items will be sent to Raleigh for the state competition. Henrietta Phillips of the Ingalls club won a blue ribbon for a pillow with appliqued dogwood blossoms and leaves, and Betty Tilley of the Elk Park club, received a blue ribbon for a pillow decorated in Old English pulled thread and needlepoint construction.The Western District is comprised of 18 counties with blue ribbon items from all 18 presented to a panel of judges in Asheville. The judges chose Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Tilley’s creations over all those submitted in the Western District. The Cultural Arts Department of the Homemakers Club has sponsored an Arts and Crafts exhibit in Morrison Library for the past three years to encourage the creativity of its members. “We feel having two district winners from the Club is really a star for Avery County,” Mary McQueen, head of the Cultural Arts Department, stated after the winners were announced.
30 years ago: The June 6, 1991, edition of The AJT featured the article, “Banner Elk Historical Society: Bits and Pieces of Banner Elk History.” The beautiful valley where Banner Elk is located was known to the Indians as a bountiful hunting ground. From time to time white explorers and settlers came through gaps to the fertile valley, located between the four towering peaks of the Grandfather, Beech, Hanging Rock and Sugar mountains. But not until the arrival of Martin Luther Banner, followed by four of his brothers in the 1840’s, was the area named. The five brothers, Martin L., Lewis, Matthew, Anthony, and John William, brought their wives and children to settle near the Elk River. Soon the settlement became known as Banner’s Elk. Author and native of Banner Elk, Mr. Shepherd Monroe Dugger, pays tribute to the early pioneers of Banner Elk in his book, “War Trails of the Blue Ridge.” “If sympathy is sorrow, then I am acquainted with grief—grief for the pioneer fathers and mothers of Banner Elk who earned their beautiful valley so hard and are now remembered so poorly. They were G.W. Dugger, Martin L. Banner, Anthony E. Banner, Lewis M Banner, Jacob Von Canon, Levy Moody and Joel Eggers. Lovely strangers have covered their tracks with great institutions and younger generations obscured their humble headstones with distinguished marbles, poor little heart crushed insignificant forgotten I who saw them work out the recollections they so plausibly merit can only look on and wish they were all buried side by side, that I might garland their graves with flowers,” (Chapter VIII, Banner Elk, pg. 197).
40 years ago: The June 7, 2001, edition of The AJT featured the article, “Cannon Hospital starts new emergency room service.” Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville announced Friday the reorganization of its emergency room services naming Spruce Pine native Dr. Randy Ellis as the new director. Ellis will serve Cannon Memorial as an employee of United Emergency Care, a Durham-based company providing emergency department management to rural hospitals across the Southeast. “We are very excited to have Dr. Ellis joined our team,” said Eddie Greene, Cannon Memorial President and CEO. “ The addition of Ellis and United Emergency Care enables us to offer the best in emergency room care in the most cost-effective way. It also brings solid professional management to our emergency room services and helps us to operate more efficiently.”
Ellis attended the UNC School of Medicine, studied surgery in Chicago, and has practiced emergency medicine for over 20 years. She will head up a team of four physicians, which include current hospital physicians Dr. Heidi Aldridge, Michael Tomlison and Dr. Arnath Unahalekhaka. Ellis said, “One of the biggest benefits United Emergency brings to the table is their specialization in working with rural community hospitals. Rural hospitals have particular needs and united understand and is better able to meet those,” she said. “With its wide network of contracts, it also helps hospitals function better by keeping them up to date on the latest regulation legislation.” Cannon Memorial has been using a local group of five doctors to manage the emergency department, three of which are remaining on board.