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Our Town 100 Years Ago: Mooresville and South Iredell in 1922
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Our Town 100 Yeas Ago: Mooresville and South Iredell in 1922

Our Town 100 Years Ago: Mooresville and South Iredell in 1922

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Christy Bros. Service Station 1922.jpg

Today, The Tribune continues its 18th annual series of articles looking back at the news and newspaper advertisements from Mooresville’s newspaper of 100 years ago.

These news items, with original headlines, are from The Mooresville Enterprise, predecessor to The Tribune. They are transcribed, edited and introduced by local historian O.C. Stonestreet.

Jan. 12

“Ministers at Schools

on Monday Mornings”

The Mooresville Ministerial Association has arranged with Supt. J.O. Faulkner to have a minister at each one of the schools on Monday mornings. Heretofore, there has been a minister to conduct the opening exercises at the Central School auditorium for least one of the morning services a week, and these exercises have been so interesting and helpful that it is now planned to have a regular schedule to be followed by the ministers in visiting the schools.

“That Brown Mountain Light”

A telegraphic message from Washington says: “Tired- professors and business men who sought surcease from their sorrows in the mountainous regions of western North Carolina have, during the last few summers, given up some of their much needed hours of sleep the chase what most of them believed to be nothing more than a phantom, or the witch fires of some maker of mountain dew, but Brown Mountain light is now coming into its own as an accredited electrical phenomenon,” says a bulletin of the National Geographic Society, issues from its Washington headquarters.

“Brown Mountain lies 17 miles from Blowing Rock in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the western part of the state, and, though plainly visible from the resort, it is an uninhabited and sparsely wooded section. Suddenly and without warning a light sometimes blazes out on the crest of the mountain, slowly moves down its side and then fades out; sometimes it seems to rise from the top of the mountain and hang suspended in the air, where it fades.

“It has many whims and moods as a temperamental artist, sometimes appearing several times during one night, now stationary, now slow again, swift in its flight, and sometimes it cannot be seen for a comparatively long period after a rain. Those who have studied it in all its guises say that it often is not unlike the star from a bursting skyrocket, though much brighter, and that it sometimes is red and sometimes yellow, due probably to the conditions of the atmosphere.

“Scientists were at first prone to cavil at the stories which came out of the mountains with the tourists, thinking perhaps that locomotive headlights or wily mountaineers were playing tricks on active imaginations, but today Dr. W.J. Humphreys, physicist of the United State Weather Bureau, and other meteorologists of note, believe that thee occurs around the mountain’s crest a brush discharge of lightning, similar to the famous Andes lightning or St. Elmo’s fire, which gave rise among the ancient Greeks to the myth of Castor and Pollux. That glow which accompanied the slow discharge of electricity to the earth from the atmosphere, in southern climates during thunderstorms, seen on the tops of masts or other pointed objects was named St. Elmo’s fire, by sailors after one of their patron saints, because they felt that when the sign appeared, they had nothing further to fear from the storm.

“Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the electrical discharge which take place either from the earth to the clouds or from the clouds to the earth around Brown Mountain is that it is salient. The same thing is true of electrical displays in the Andes, which have long been known to scientists and travelers in the South American continent as the Andes lightning. It appears as a silent but very luminous discharge of electricity along the crest of the Cordillera Real in Chili, in a region where thunderstorms are practically unknown.

“Its visibility is sometimes very marked, having been noted by the former director of the Meteorological and Geophysical Institute of Chili, while he was out at sea more than 300 miles from the head cordillera. The actual discharge in which the mountain acts as a lightning rod between the clouds and the earth, resembles a glimmer, but sometimes the flashes which take place at the point of origin are strong and powerful, then gradually diminish in intensity and finally disappear in the night. The light flashes over the mountain from late spring to fall, and the display grows less brilliant as one goes farther south.

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“The same phenomenon also has been noted in the Swiss Alps. One observer, after a long period of hot and dry weather, reported that he had seen a succession of semi-circular flashes which shot up from a mountain in the Bernese Oberland, occasionally lighting the Jungfrau group. Such displays are notable for their likeness in appearance to the auroras, except that they do not reach such heights.” [Note: The source of the Lights is one of North Carolina’s best-known mysteries. The earliest published mention of the Lights was in 1912.]

“Laboratory Equipment

at High School”

Laboratory equipment for general science has recently been ordered for the high school in Mooresville. This equipment will likely be ready for use at the beginning of the second school term on January 30.

General science is a preparatory high school science, and introduces pupils in the first-year high school grade to the several sciences, thus giving them the opportunity to select later on in the high school course, the science that they are most interested in. One of the rooms on the first floor at the Central School will be used for the general science laboratory. Next year it is planned to add at least one more science, either chemistry or physics, with suitable laboratory equipment.

Jan. 19

“Boy and Girl Scout


Tuesday night at 6:30 o’clock in the court room of the municipal building, the Boy and Girl Scouts entertained the Rotary Club at a delightful luncheon. It was an event of much interest and enjoyed thoroughly. The Rotarians were impressed with the excellent work of the Scouts and learned a great deal about the Scout principles.

Scoutmaster A.B. Sandidge, Captain Henry Mills of the Boy Scouts, and Miss Mary Johnston, Captain of the Girl Scouts, were in charge, assisted by Miss Mary Cornelius. A menu of chicken salad, coffee and mints were served. Harry Deaton presided at the meeting by request.

The following program was gone through with during the luncheon hour. Prayer and blessing by C.P. McNeely, Mayor; Salutation of the American flag; Miss Bleeka Cornelius, pianist; Song by all present- “Prairie Flower;” Scouts- “Old Black Joe;” Rotary- “Bubbles;” Scouts- “Dixie.” Scout Irvin Frontis gave the Boy Scout Oath and Miss Parker Norman gave the Girl Scout Oath. Rotary song- “School Days.”

Rotarian C.C. Johnston made a short address to the Scouts, which was very pleasing and full of real Scout ethics, commending them for making the right start in life by being Scouts, and living up to their oaths. Scouts- “Marching Song.”

Rotarian Z.V. Turlington addressed the Scouts on their excellent calling and having formerly been a Scout Master, gave the children of the various camps some good advice, and commended them for their earnestness in developing all the qualities which are required to make a clean, good Scout.

“Smiles” was sung by the entire company and guests, which concluded the evening’s social hour, after the Rotarians expressed their delight and giving three cheers for the Scouts.


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