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Check Out Old Boone in this Silent Film Produced by H. Lee Waters in 1936, Do You Recognize Anyone?


By Jesse Wood

May 2, 2014. In March, staff with the Belk Library Digital Collection posted an H. Lee Waters silent film of the Boone area from 1936 on YouTube.

The 11-minute video, which is fascinating, depicts scenes of dozens of passersby on King Street in downtown Boone and numerous historic buildings in Watauga County and on the campus of ASU such as the Boone Post Office, former courthouse, Farmer’s Hardware and what is now known as the Historic Cove Creek School.

In a description on the YouTube page, “Many Boone and Watauga County residents are on the film as well as Appalachian State University faculty, staff, and students.”

Do you recognize anyone in the film? If so, comment below.

Waters was born in 1902 in Caroleen and passed away in 1997.

While his film collection spans 1936 to 2005, Waters travelled across North Carolina and its border states filming small communities and screening these films – “Movies of Local People” – at local theaters for extra income, according to an abstract of the H. Lee Waters Film Collection housed in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. His films, as one description in Wikipedia notes, depicted “school children, people at work, athletic events, scenes from city streets and other everyday activities” happening in the townships.

Rubenstein Library notes that the collection is comprised of primarily “16mm black and white reversal original motion picture films.”

Check out what other towns he filmed here.  In all, he produced 252 films of 118 communities.