Wise County History to Come to Life at Centennial Pageant
Pageant Lists 19 Episodes

    “Heart of the Highlands,” the pageant-spectacle to be given during the Wise County Centennial Celebration, July 23-28, is now in full rehearsal, and promises to be the most outstanding event of the Centennial.
    Harry S. Dorrington, professional director from the John B. Rogers Producing Co., has written the scenario and narration, based on the historical book, “The Story of Wise County,” by Luther Addington.
    “Heart of the Highlands” will be presented for six evening performances, July 23-28 at 8:15 o’clock on a 250 foot brilliantly lighted stage that will be erected in front of the Norton Municipal Stadium. It will be presented in its entirety in a prologue, and 19 episodes.

And a special call goes out to all singers to join the Centennial Choir

Garden Clubs Take Part in the Centennial Celebration

Centennial Flower Show Scheduled for Friday, July 27

    The Norton Garden Club’s Centennial flower show, with the theme, “Wise County Portrayed in Flowers,” will be held Friday afternoon, July 27, in the First Church of God, Norton, from two to 7:30 o’clock.
    There will be no admission charge, but a silver offering will be taken to defray expenses of the show.
    The club’s rules and regulations state that no flowers listed in the State Conservation list may be used. All exhibits must be grown by the exhibitor, except in the arrangement class, and an exhibitor can make but one entry in a class.
    The same exhibit cannot compete in more than one class. All exhibits must be completed at home, and be in place by 11 o’clock. Exhibitors must furnish their own container and in specimen class, must be in clear glass container.
    Exhibits must be called for at close of exhibition, but none can be removed until closing time. Names must not appear on any exhibit until judging is completed.
    The committee will not be responsible for exhibitors property, but will exercise all possible care with same. When possible the exhibitor is asked to give the name of all varieties exhibited in the specimen class.
    Entries not conforming to the rules of the schedule will be disqualified. They must be classified before entered. No one will be allowed in the show room during the judging, except the judges and clerks. Their decisions will be final.
    Blue, red and yellow ribbons will be given to each class. Tri-color ribbons for outstanding exhibit in arrangement and specimen sections will be given.
    Awards will be given for the most blue ribbons in arrangement and specimen classes; the most outstanding in the specimen class; most outstanding in the artistic arrangement; for the queen of the show; most blue ribbons in junior section; and for the outstanding exhibit in the junior section.
    Sections in the show are: Specimens: Dahlia, Gladioli, roses correctly identified, zinnias, marigold, asters, herbaceous perennial; annuals; bulbs, corms or roots; arrangements, definitions; Biblically portrayed; local color portrayed; historically portrayed; conservation portrayed and junior’s portrayed.

Centennial Yard Contest Winners

    Winners of awards in the city-wide Centennial Yard contest, announced by the civic committee of the Norton Garden Club are:
    Section One – Grand Prize: Mrs. B. A. Davis; Blue Ribbon – Mrs. Andy Johnson; Red Ribbon – Mrs. George Fuller; Yellow Ribbon – Mrs. Vance Agee.
    Section Two – Grand Prize: Mrs. H. F. Blevins; Blue Ribbons: Mrs. S. P. Whittaker; Red Ribbon: Mrs. Glenn Edwards; Yellow Ribbon: Mrs. John Daniels.
    Section Three – Grand Prize: Mrs. C. D. Nickels; Blue Ribbons: Mrs. R. P. Deyerle; Red Ribbon: Mrs. L. H. Herndon; Yellow Ribbon: Mrs. E. A. Swindall, Jr.
    Section Four – Grand Prize: Mrs. W. W. Seay; Blue Ribbon: Mrs. B. E. Ball; Red Ribbon: Mrs. G. L. Green; Yellow Ribbon: Mrs. Albert Gardner.

Mrs. Leo Ringley is Queen of Centennial Flower Show

    Mrs. Leo Ringley was crowned Queen of the Centennial Flower Show, sponsored by the Norton Garden Club, last Friday in the First Church of God. Theme for the show was “Wise County Portrayed in Flowers.”
    Mrs. Ringley’s entry was a Hogarth curve arrangement, made of needle pine hemlock and galax leaves, in a black container.
    Mrs. J. J. Stump won most artistic arrangement and most blue ribbons in arrangements, with six blue ribbons. Most outstanding arrangement in the Junior Class ws won by Linda Hunt. Linda Poston won the most blue ribbons in the Junior Class.
    The tri-color award in horticulture was won by J. W. Hendrick.
    In the invitation class, blue ribbons were won by the Dogwood Garden Club, Big Stone Gap and the Green Thumb Garden Club, Norton. The Leaf Garden Club of Norton, won a red ribbon.
    Mrs. C. R. Horne and Mrs. H. T. Propst, won blue ribbons for their breakfast table displays. Mrs. Glenn Edwards and Mrs. T. R. Hunnicutt won blue ribbons for breakfast tray displays.
    Mrs. Clifford Stallard and Mrs. Granville Pendleton won blue ribbons for buffet table displays and Mrs. D. C. Phipps and Mrs. E. M. Dill won blue ribbons for luncheon table arrangements.
    Mrs. H. G. Dalton won a blue ribbon for parlor arrangement, and Mrs. C. A. Absher won a red ribbon.

Our First Centennial

    Hats off to everybody! And we mean everybody, from top shot, whoever he may be, down to the bat boy!
    It is Centennial Week, and we who are fortunate to be here, and fortunate to see the two outstanding events, will never forget them!
    First, the Vesper Service Sunday evening, an inspiring service, with from 1200 to 1500 in the audience thrilled at the same time by an exquisite sunset background! And it was truly a reverent service! The invocation, scripting, and inspiring “The Lord’s Prayer,” by Malotte, sung by the Southlanders, and after the offertory, the Southlanders, again, singing “Holy Lord God!” The congregation joining the 200 voice choir and Southlanders, in singing the lovely old hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” and “The Churches One Foundation.”

Back to God!

    Then the evening address, by Dr. J. N. Hillman, native of Wise county, a leader in educational, church and civic activities, who challenged his hearers with a matchless address, built around the theme, “Back to God!”
    And finally, in conclusion, the wonderful message in music, Fred Waring’s arrangement of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” again by the Southlanders, which challenged the great crowd gripping one and all, and “made us want to shout,” as the Rev. Lowell Hunt expressed it. After a lovely benediction by the Rev. C. P. Conley, then the final note, the “Seven-Fold Amen,” on the organ by Mrs. Blaine Gibbs, Sr.

Six Denominations!

    It was a service, reverent, lovely, never to be forgotten, by those fortunate enough to be there! And the Centennial program was on its way, an appropriate beginning, beautifully arranged and handled, thanks to the Rev. Jimmy Smith and the Rev. Lowell Hunt, with representatives from six denominations taking part on the platform, in the choir and what is even more impressive, in the great congregation present.

Wheel of Progress

    After a rainy afternoon, and dark overhead skies, we were a little pessimistic about the first performance, Monday evening. The promise of more rain, kept the crowd down to only a few hundred, willing the brave the cool, damp air and promise of more rain! But they were warmed up, before leaving time, by an initial performance that was beyond all hope, expectation or even the wildest imagination! First, they were amazed at the pageant story, a dramatization of Luther Addington’s “The Wise County Story,” which is already a best seller. The dramatization, one episode after another, telling the story in sequence, from the pioneer Indian days down to the climax, a gigantic wheel, with the entire cast of 200 included, a picturization of the wheel of progress, which Wise County has lived through in its first one hundred years.

Appalachia Night!

    Opening night, Monday, was Appalachia night, and our good neighbor town did themselves proud. Prof. W. F. Jones introduced by Luther Addington, as master of ceremonies, introduced Mayor Bill Young and members of council, and after the brief Appalachia program, assured his hearers that “I will see you at the next 100 year celebration.”
    A most attractive feature of the Appalachia program was special music, by a trio, Mrs. C. K. Polly, Miss Judy Bond and Miss Gladys Collier, with Mrs. W. B. Gibbs, Sr., at the organ, and solos by the ever popular, Miss Pat Masters.

Appreciation to All!

    But all of this is not intended so much as a review of the two opening performances as much as it is an expression of appreciation of those, hundreds of them, from top to bottom, who made the marvelous performance possible. Luther Addington, of course, is the directing genius. We are glad that we have already expressed humble appreciation of his efforts. Also, the board of directors, and many, many others, who have given time, effort and finances! Those who dreamed up the Centennial, a year ago! Those in the cast, who have made the beautiful performance not only possible, but a reality! And this brief acknowledgement would not be complete without recognition of the experienced direction of Harry F. Dorrington, who put together a beautiful, smooth working performance, in unbelievably short time! But even he could not have done it, without the enthusiastic co-operation of the more than 200 cast members, with an age range of more than 50 years, from up in the 60’s, and we won’t embarrass them by naming names and dates, down to 6-year olds. Each and every one of them has done a valuable service to the grand old county of Wise. May their tribe increase, in time for the bi-Centennial, in 2056.
Good, We Hope!

    And one final thing, for sure! There has been, and will continue to be, night after night, enough of word-of-mouth advertising of beauties of the pageant, to guarantee an increasing attendance, weather permitting, night after night, until the final performance, Saturday evening! And so tempting, and appealing, was that premier performance, even under the Monday night clouds, that many of us have, or will, go back for a second or third performance! Hope we will all go, to make up a record six night attendance approaching 6,000 persons. And remember, the last show, Saturday night, and after the pageant, the Governor’s Ball, at J. J. Kelly high school, Wise.

St. Paul Turned Clock Back for Celebration

    St. Paul turned the clock back 100 years, last Saturday, with day-long Centennial celebrations that left the town’s citizens and hundreds of visitors weary but well-satisfied.
    An estimated crowd of 1,000 watched the Centennial parade open the festivities, at 11 o’clock in the morning. St. Paul high school band members, attired in straw hats and patched britches, provided the music, with the majorettes leading the way in tights and black derbies.
    Floats in the parade were provided by Norton Floral Company, St. Paul Tire Shop, City Service and Hall Chevrolet, among others, and St. Paul’s fire truck and first aid truck.
    Mountain Music Festival music was provided by the Stanley Brothers, in the park, during the afternoon.
    Probably the most excitement and action of Wise county’s Centennial celebration was enjoyed at the ball park, during the afternoon, when auto and animal stunts were performed. A stunt driver drove a car through a wall of flame, with another man on the hood of the vehicle.
    Several members of the show rode a wild bull, and one local boy, Bill Richmond, also took a ride, staying on for two or three seconds.
Pound, Rich in History, Hit Stride Only in 40’s

    Pound, located in Wise County near the Kentucky line, was for many years a small trading center. It did not make any substantial growth until about the close of World War II.
    Pound Gap, located about four miles north of Pound, was first visited by Christopher Gist on his return from the Ohio Territory in 1751. The “Gap” was an early-day passage through the mountains and during the civil War was considered one of the strategic passes.
    James A. Garfield, who later became president of the United States, forced the Gap with Union troops in March 1862. In 1864, John H. Morgan, “Morgan the Raider,” led a force of Southern men from his headquarters at Abingdon to attack Union forces who had camped near the Gap and the Kentucky line. On this raid, General Morgan captured a number of men and destroyed much property.

Mountain Country

    The section is mountainous and much of the terrain is considered too rough for farming.
    In John Fox, Jr.’s early novels of Virginia and Kentucky, he used the settlers of this area for the characters of his stories. In the “Trail of the Lonesome Pine,” the pine is presumed to have stood as a sentinel on Pound Mountain overlooking the section which is Pound today.
    Pound’s boom days were the opening of additional mines by the Clinchfield Coal Corporation, the extending of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and the building of U. S. Highway No. 23 which connected Pound, VA, with Kentucky.
    A town, which for nearly a century had slowly grown, suddenly awakened to the great possibilities which the future held for it.

Real Estate Boomed

    Real estate boomed, lots sold for as much as $240 per foot. Brick buildings were constructed along its main thoroughfare. Large crews of construction workers swarmed to the scene of the new activity.
    Clinchfield opened one of its largest mines; coal was shipped out by train loads and tourists and others were traveling the newly constructed highway, but the activity soon slowed to a normal pace. Much of the land which had sold for the high prices soon returned to a more consistent level and today it can be purchased for a fraction of the original cost.

Chartered in 1946

    Pound was incorporated in 1946 with the corporate limits extending for a great distance in all directions. Street lights were installed along the main streets, a modern brick town hall was built to house the town’s offices and fire department. Pound, today is a modern Southwest Virginia town with a number of up to date merchants supplying the needs of the people.


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