This week in local history:
70 years ago - May 5, 1949
• Due to a split in the Democratic ranks in the town of Sylva election, the entire Republican ticket for mayor and board of aldermen was swept into power for the first time in the history of the town.
• A late night fire at the Carolina Hotel was fortunately spotted by a night-owl roomer who was able to douse it, preventing what could have been a disastrous blaze.
60 years ago - April 30, 1959
• Costs of building a new jail – including expenses for holding an election – and why a bond election was being held were discussed by the county finance commissioner.
• The Mead Corporation was set to install a new steam plant at its Sylva operation at a cost of more than $1.25 million.
• In an editorial, the Herald lamented the state of gas stations in Russia, noting people there had to pump their own gas – “service stations without the service,” as the writer put it.
50 years ago - May 1, 1969
• A request for a review of the Board of Municipal Control’s grant of a charter to the Town of Indian Hills was granted to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
• The Pioneer Riding Club, a new group of area horse lovers, drew 250 people to its first show Sunday at the Woody Hampton Stables in the Savannah community.
• Alex Pow was installed as Western Carolina University’s sixth president.
40 years ago - May 3, 1979
• The Sylva Division of Bryson Manufacturing Company was expected to be up and running by June 1. The plant was to employ 30 people and manufacture children’s boxer jeans.
• A new Roses store in Sylva opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
• Western Carolina’s 90th commencement ceremony was set, with 821 scheduled to receive degrees.
30 years ago - May 4, 1989
• There were 901 students who were degree candidates at Western Carolina University’s spring commencement. Among the candidates were Lena Coggins, 22, of Whittier and her grandmother, Elsie, 66.
• Western Carolina’s baseball team advanced to the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the fifth straight season.
• Dale Strahm, WCU’s new football coach, announced his coaching staff for the upcoming season.
20 years ago - April 29, 1999
• More than 4,000 people came out for Sylva’s second annual Greening Up The Mountains downtown festival, almost doubling attendance from the inaugural event.
• More than 200 parents, children and Rotarians turned out to review plans for a new playground at Poteet Park.
• Members of the Savannah Volunteer Fire Department served more than 2,500 plates of ramps and other vittles at their 20th annual ramp dinner.
10 years ago - April 30, 2009
• North Carolina and Tennessee officials gathered at Clingmans Dome for the kickoff event of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75th anniversary celebration.
• Members of the Jackson County Economic Development Commission decided not to participate in a “laborshed” study with Macon, Swain and Haywood counties. The study was designed to look at commuting patterns of workers in the western part of the state.
• Thousands crowded onto Main Street for Saturday’s 12th annual Greening Up The Mountains festival, which was hosted by the Downtown Sylva Association.