70 years ago - Dec. 15, 1949


• The Herald reported that a new golf course was to be built in the spring on the site of the old Riverside Country Club on the Cullowhee Highway.

• Speculation arose that officials with a castor oil company were interested in developing the area into a castor bean center. With castor oil being cheaper than petroleum, many industries were becoming increasingly dependent on the oil for lubrication.

• Annie Cabe poured in 33 points but it wasn’t enough as Webster dropped its home opener to Stecoah, 60-58.


60 years ago - Dec. 17, 1959


• Checks totaling around $23,000 were distributed to employees of the Mead Corporation as an early Christmas present.

• The Herald assailed Sylva’s Christmas lighting display, saying the placement of lights was spotty “in one section, making for a mighty ragged looking Christmas display.”


50 years ago - Dec. 18, 1969


• The Canada Community Building was destroyed in an early-morning fire.

• Western Carolina hoops star Gene McConnell was named the Most Valuable Player of the Western Carolina Holiday Classic.

• A fire on Long Branch Road destroyed a home, but all seven family members escaped without injury.


40 years ago - Dec. 20, 1979


• The Sylva-Webster men were on a tear on the basketball court, winning consecutive games by margins of 44, 63 and 40 points.

• Sylva native Boyce Deitz was named Smoky Mountain Conference Coach of the Year after his Swain squad ran the gridiron table on the way to an undefeated state championship season.

• Carolina Tire in Sylva had any size retread tires on sale for $18.88 apiece.


30 years ago - Dec. 21, 1989


• Up to 5 inches of snow fell in Jackson County’s higher elevations, seeing schools let out and kids get an early jump on Christmas vacation.

• Commissioners agreed to get a second inspection of the old Sylva School, slated to be burned down because of deteriorating wood and the prohibitive cost of rehabilitating the structure.

• An eight-team field of high school men’s and women’s basketball squads gathered to play in the 1989 Mustang Christmas Classic tournament.


20 years ago - Dec. 16, 1999


• School leaders voted to allocate an additional $20,000, on top of the original $125,000, to complete improvements at the Smoky Mountain High School field house.

• Western Carolina University professor emeritus William Chovan received a grant to continue his studies on the impact of paranormal experience on the elderly.

• Darrell Whitmore scored 20 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead Western Carolina’s men’s basketball team to its sixth straight win, moving their season record to 6-2.


10 years ago - Dec. 17, 2009


• Construction was nearly complete at the new Rescue Squad building in Webster. The building, which was located at the county-owned complex off N.C. 116, was fitted with six bays to house most of the squad’s equipment.

• Mike Williams scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half and Jake Robinson hit six three-pointers on his way to 23 points as Western Carolina’s men’s basketball team shocked Louisville 91-83 before 19,247 fans at Freedom Hall. Richie Gordon and Brigham Waginger both added 13 points for the Catamounts (10-1).