This Week in Local History: Feb. 18, 2021


The Graham Star's front page from 50 years ago (Feb. 19, 1971).

10 years ago

* The body of a Graham County man who disappeared in 2009 was discovered buried 35 feet in a sinkhole 75 miles from Robbinsville, in Tennessee. David Sawyer, 37, was found in a 55-gallon barrel during an excavation between Tellico Plains and Madisonville. Graham County Sheriff Mickey Anderson said, “There was no confirmation about the cause of death,” but the investigation continued.

* An open house was held in the new wrestling facility at Robbinsville High School. Coach Todd Odom confirmed that the building was ready to open. He also held signups for his Far West Wrestling Club at the open house. The Club was for young kids in the county and continued to grow. Odom felt that the growth was attributed to the success of the middle and high school wrestling programs.

25 years ago

* In an ongoing effort to collect back taxes, Graham County hired an accountant to prepare records that were necessary to turn delinquent taxpayers over to the county’s attorney office for collection. Also, there was an additional charge of $600-$1,100 dollars per court action of every bill that was sent to collections. Per County Manager Dale Wiggins, “People who know that they have delinquent taxes would be better served to come in and settle up.”

* The Graham County Archery Club held its first tournament shoot, with 30 archers participating. Gary Jones came out as first-place winner in the Novice 3D division, Kevin Brown placed second and Phil Dawson placed third. Each target was marked for distances, according to proficiency levels.

50 years ago

* The rampaging Robbinsville Black Knights boys basketball team ended their first season in style, setting three school records by beating the Murphy Bulldogs. The score, 63-38, was behind the 22-point effort of senior guard Lowell Snider. The Knights were led in scoring by Snider, who scored 319 points, or an average of 16 points per game. As a team, the Knights averaged a high of 70.3 points per game, while holding their opponents to a very low 52.2 points per game.

* Robbinsville’s girls basketball team ended the season undefeated by winning 20 games. The girls beat the Murphy Bulldogs, 50-41, to become the first team in the history of the school to go through a regular season undefeated. Shirley Jackson was the leading scorer for Robbinsville, with 292 points and an average of 15.4 per game.