The 1949 Centennial of Watauga County
“Earl ‘Jerry’ Coe, Watt Gragg, Wade Brown 1949 Centennial,” reads the caption affixed to the front of this photograph. Jerry Coe seems to be conducting an interview with longtime Mayor of Boone and sometime U.S. Marshall Watt Gragg, who was a founding member of the Watauga Savings and Loan Association. Boone Attorney Wade Brown is shown at the right of the trio, wearing a small cap (perhaps associated with the festivities?) and sporting a beard grown for a beard-growing competition.
The Downtown Boone Post Office is visible in the background, as is the service station which once occupied the corner lot adjacent to it.
Watauga County, created in 1849, celebrated its 100th year in 1949. Several photographs in the archives of the Historic Boone society capture scenes from this celebration. Daniel J. Whitener of the Appalachian State Teachers College authored a commemorative book, History of Watauga County. A Souvenir of Watauga Centennial, Boone, North Carolina, for this festival year.