This Week in Local History: Sept. 3, 2020


The Graham Star’s front page from 50 years ago (Sept. 4, 2020).

10 years ago

* A Graham County man – 36-year-old Mitchem Turpin, accused of setting fire to the sheriff’s office – was denied a motion to reduce his $260,000 bond by Criminal Court Judge Mark E. Powell on Tuesday, Aug. 24. He was being held for allegedly setting fire to the sheriff and extension offices, a single-wide mobile home fire that occurred in 2009 and possession of marijuana. 

* The varsity Lady Knights volleyball team had a good day on the courts against the Andrews Lady Wildcats. Robbinsville won in three sets: 25-20, 28-26, 28-26.

25 years ago

* The first Stecoah Valley Heritage Day was set to be held at the old Stecoah School. Activities will include dunking booth, cake walks, bingo, etc. Many bluegrass and gospel singing groups will be featured, along with handmaid items from local crafters. All the money raised from the event will benefit the new Stecoah Arts, Crafts and Education Center. 

* The Robbinsville Black Knights received the kickoff Friday night from the visiting Andrews Wildcats on their home field, to open the 1995 football season. In the second quarter, a field goal attempt was made by Black Knight Josh Holloway. The kick was partially blocked and caught by Wildcat Varian Ballard. Ballard returned the kick more than 90 yards to put the first points on the board. The Knights defense remained strong, but a game plagued with penalties against Robbinsville and pass interceptions from the Wildcats led to a 15-0 Knights loss.

50 years ago 

* Graham County corn crops – like many others throughout North Carolina – had been affected by the Southern leaf blight of corn. This blight is caused by a new race of the fungus Helinnthosporium Maydis. It is estimated that there will be 20-25 percent losses in Graham County’s corn crop this season due to this disease. The largest loss will be from corn, which will not mature due to the disease.

* The Robbinsville Black Knights were set to open their 1970 football season on their home field against the Andrews Wildcats. The Black Knights lost five players from the 1969 1A state championship season, but had seven returning starters on both offense and defense. With a strong physical and mental condition, the Knights are in “top notch shape” for the 1970 season.

-Angie and Brittany Davis