This Week in Local History: July 23, 2020


The Graham Star’s front page from 50 years ago (July 24, 1970).

10 years ago

* A little more than four years after Phillip McClung was shot and killed in the Village Shopping Center in Robbinsville. Johnny Williams admitted to the crime in Superior Court, and was sentenced to 5-7 years for voluntary manslaughter. “It was a bumpy road for this case from the beginning,” said attorney Mike Bonfoey.

* A 7-on-7 scrimmage in Andrews had Robbinsville head coach Dee Walsh smiling, as the team’s confidence for the upcoming football season was boosted, following the loss of many prominent players to graduation. Although the Knights were without quarterback Cassidy Galaviz at the scrimmage, rising senior Jason Ayers stepped up to the plate with ease.

25 years ago

* A new monument is planned for Chief Junaluska. The group called Junaluska Friends is making headway toward erecting a monument to the great Cherokee Warrior, Junaluska. In 1994, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians bought a tract of land – including a house – which will be made into a Cherokee Indian Museum for artifacts and Indian crafts. Also, there will be a small cottage for the caretakers. 

* A local runner – 15-year-old Miles Lee – finished third in the intermediate boys (ages 15-16) 3,000-meter run. This was to qualify for the National Finals of the United States Junior Olympics in San Jose, Calif. Coaches for Lee – a rising freshman at Robbinsville High – is confident that he will represent the region well in San Jose with hard work and determination.

50 years ago

* A public hearing was held concerning construction of the Robbinsville –Tellico Plains Road. Only 35 people attended the hearing, but all opposed the construction of the road. Construction of the road was to begin in 1965 and to date, 12.5 miles has been constructed in Tennessee and about 6.5 miles in North Carolina. 

* Robbinsville will host the 1970 Far West District Slow Pitch Tournament. The 25-team tournament will see 46 games played over a 13-night period, before district champions are determined. The top three clubs from the tournament – and Smith’s Grocery – will advance to the area tournament in Bryson City. Smith’s Grocery will be host team for the tournament, having won the Bryson City League.

-Diane West