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‘Record’ celebrates milestone

When the first issue of The Erwin Record hit newsstands 85 years ago its staff made a promise to their readers – to be their “hometown paper.”
It is a promise the current staff members of this newspaper, as did all those who have gone before, still take very seriously.
“I am so proud of our town and county, its beauty and the people that comprise it,” said Publisher Keith Whitson. “Whether you live among us as neighbors or have lived here and moved away, it will always be part of your roots. We are privileged to continually connect our readers with this rich heritage.”
The first issue of The Erwin Record was published on Jan. 27, 1928. Included in that first issue was an editorial in which the staff described their plans and goals for the new publication. The words of that editorial still ring true today:
“We herewith present to the reading public of Erwin and Unicoi County The Erwin Record, successors to The Industrial Record, formerly published in Spruce Pine, N.C.
“A town as large as Erwin and a county as big and progressive as Unicoi County needs a newspaper, and with the suspension of The Erwin Magnet-Times, no paper is being published in the county, therefore we are entering the field. We believe in the future of this and the surrounding territory, and feel that we will have the help and cooperation of the community in this publication.
“As to the policy of this paper it will be strictly non-partisan. If we have a just cause to say anything through the columns politically, it will be for the betterment of our city, county, state and nation. Our columns will always be open to the public to discuss anything that will be for the upbuilding of the community, and they are yours to use as often as you see fit.
“We are anxious to have school news not only from the city schools and high school, but from every school in the county, who are interested enough in their work to tell others about it.
“As always, church notices are gladly published.
“Loyal support of its constituency, advertisers and subscribers makes of a paper just what you put into it, and we ask a liberal share of your support and patronage. And we are only too willing to boost our town and county.
“With these few words, we will give way to news that will probably be more interesting to our readers, hoping that our efforts will meet with your approval, and that we will give you a paper that you will justly feel proud of.”
Since 1928, The Erwin Record has diligently tried to live up to its earliest promise.
“Each week in The Erwin Record you will find dozens of news items, including birthdays and wedding announcements, church events, and obituaries, as well as news, sports and feature articles prepared by some of Tennessee’s top journalists,” said Whitson.
The current staff makes every effort to inform, entertain and, occasionally, even inspire our readers. It is our belief that informed citizens are vitally important to our community and we make every effort to provide content that will keep our readers informed.
“Our goal is to inform readers with the facts, while staying neutral and not presenting our own personal viewpoints concerning issues,” Whitson said.
The current staff is proud to be part of the history of this outstanding publication. Above all, we are thankful for you, our readers and advertisers. The last 85 years would have been impossible without our readers and advertisers and we know that they are vitally important to our next 85 years.
For more information about the history of The Erwin Record, see page B1.