by Ray Moretz
July 18, 2013. The 52nd annual John Moretz Family Reunion will be held on Sunday, July 28, at the new air-conditioned Watauga High School in Boone (300 Go Pioneers Drive). Fellowship will begin at 11 a.m. followed by the usual covered-dish dinner at 1 p.m. Soft drinks will be provided.
Volunteers will be needed at 10 a.m. to help set up for the reunion and with the registration desk.
The Reunion celebrates the descendants of John Moretz, Sr., the father of 25 children; 9 by his first wife and 16 by his second wife. The first Moretz to move into Watauga County in 1834, John brought with him a community of other families and organized the Old Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church and built the Moretz gristmills on Meat Camp Creek along the old Buffalo Trail near Castle Ford Road. He was one of the first five postmasters named in the county helping create the community of Moretz Mills. His son-in-law, Jacob Winebarger, later built the original Winebarger Mill on upper Meat Camp Creek, which has been owned and operated by four generations of this family.
In the last couple of years, family and community members have organized a nonprofit organization and are in the process of restoring the Winebarger Mill to its original operating condition.
Historical information about the mill will be displayed at this year’s Reunion along with ways the family and community can help with restoration.
A family genealogy published by Bob Moretz, the Reunion historian, will also be available for purchase and updating. All members of the Moretz, Winebarger, and related families and friends are encouraged to attend and enjoy the historical heritage and fellowship.
For more information, contact Ray Moretz, Secretary at 828-264-1989.