Friday, October 30, 2015

Outstanding Farmers at Watauga-Avery Fair, 1914

“The Watauga-Avery Fair” by L.D. Lowe, from the Wagauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., October 15, 1914

The two leading features of the Fair held at Elk Park during past week were the procession of the public school children of Avery County and the agricultural and horticultural exhibits from the counties of Watauga and Avery.

Mr. Frank A. Edmonson, Superintendent of Public Schools, has requested the teachers of the public schools to attend the Fair on Friday, the third day, and have on the grounds as many of the school children as possible. By 1:30 o’clock on Friday morning the little army of 1,080 strong had assembled at the High School building, and being headed by the Bluff City Brass Band, each school being accompanied by their respective teachers, each school bearing the banner with the name of the school, the number of children of each district and the number enrolled; they entered into the procession and took up the line of march. The boys in this procession would remind one of the march of the Allies against the German forces, while the girls might remind us of the marching of the Suffragettes to demand recognition from the government.

The farmers of Watauga placed on exhibition a fine display of corn, apples, pears, peaches, quinces, and other fruits, as well as fine horses and cattle, all in fine shape and condition. Mrs. W.E. Shipley, Messrs. D.F. Mast, J.M. Shull and others from Watauga making the finest showing.

The leading farmers of Avery made a fine display of their products from the fields, gardens and orchards, but my friend Mr. J.L. Hartley of Linville far exceeded the others in the number of varieties produced in his garden and on his mountain farm; all kinds of farm products adapted to this section, a great variety of choice fruits, including full-grown, well-developed ripe strawberries and almost all kinds of garden vegetables particular to this mountain section. Mr. Hartley, of course, was awarded the prize for the greatest variety and much of it was of excellent quality. Mr. Hartley says he has a hog that he intents making weigh 1,000 net at killing time; and when he slaughters this immense hog we will have 12 men present to see him weighed so they may verify his statement.

If all the farmers throughout this mountain section would do half of what Mr. Hartley is doing, we would never hear hard times mentioned and there could be no necessity for it; we would all have the greatest abundance and plenty to spare.

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