This week in local history:
70 years ago - March 10, 1949
• Sylva’s board of aldermen adopted a resolution calling for a water bond issue in the sum of $150,000 to be presented to town voters. New mains, fire plugs and a filtering plant were part of the plans.
• Local fisherman Max Rogers landed what was thought to be the largest rainbow trout ever caught in the area with a catch from Lake Glenville that measured 33.5 inches and weighed in at 14 pounds, one ounce. Asked if his group caught any other fish, Rogers replied, “No, we completely forgot there was any more fish in the lake.”
60 years ago - March 12, 1959
• A new town ordinance making it unlawful for any person under the age of 17 to loiter or remain on public streets in Sylva after 10 p.m. was to “be enforced on a very strict basis,” the Herald reported, saying “the action was taken to curb any possible shadowy activities by youths, both male and female, who have been reportedly loitering in town even until after midnight on weekdays.”
• Dr. P.E. Dewees offered tips on “passive protection” and “active protection” against nuclear fallout to members of the Western Fireman’s Association who had gathered in Sylva.
50 years ago - March 13, 1969
• The Herald reported that Mr. and Mrs. Edley Wall of Speedwell had received word that their son, Sp/4 James Wall, had died in Vietnam on March 9 as a result of wounds sustained while on combat operations.
• Bids were set to open for a new multipurpose classroom and library building at Southwestern Technical Institute.
40 years ago - March 8, 1979
• Heavy rains caused an estimated $25,000 in damage to county roads.
• Members of the Jackson County Ambulance Service requested a pay raise of $2,000 per year for each trained emergency medical technician on staff.
30 years ago - March 9, 1989
• Smoky Mountain’s Albert Hartline became the first wrestler from Jackson County ever to win a state championship when he captured the 103-pound class title at the state 2A/1A tournament.
• A request for a feasibility study of alternative traffic patterns in downtown Sylva by the N.C. Department of Transportation was given the green light by Sylva board members.
20 years ago - March 11, 1999
• Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ranger Joe Kolodski was honored posthumously with the Interior Department Valor Award, presented to Kolodski’s widow by President Clinton. A second ranger, Tony Welch, also received the award for his role in the June 1998 incident in which Kolodski was murdered.
• The Ritz Theater was reduced to rubble in less than a week by Wayne Smith and his Jack-in-the-Box crew.
10 years ago - March 12, 2009
• According to T&S Hardwoods General Manager Jack Swanner, workers at the sawmill were told of what he termed an “indefinite shutdown” and that “green lumber” operations would cease May 8. The sawmill, with roots running back more than 60 years, planned to lay off most of its 76-employee workforce amid the national and worldwide economic downturn.
• Western Carolina’s women’s basketball team brought home the Southern Conference Tournament trophy with a 101-87 triple overtime victory over College of Charleston and were headed to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.