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The Ed Yates Highway on N.C. 194 stretches from Valle Crucis to Hade Smith Road. Photos by
Anna Oakes | Watauga Democrat

Originally published: 2013-05-20 11:54:15
Last modified: 2013-05-20 12:02:25

Ed Yates Highway dedicated

by Anna Oakes

The Yates family, friends, community members and dignitaries gathered at the Matney Community Center Friday for the dedication of the "Ed Yates Highway," a four-mile section of N.C. 194 from Valle Crucis to the Hade Smith Road intersection in Watauga County.

The Yates family has lived in Watauga County since the 1870s. The late Ed Yates was actively involved in building U.S. 321 and other area roads.

In addition, he was a strong advocate for rural electrification and education and worked with the Federal Housing Administration to make programs available to finance military housing and homes for returning veterans and their families after World War II and the Korean Conflict.

N.C. Department of Transportation Division 11 Board of Transportation member Jim Palermo gave the keynote remarks, noting that a highway designation is the highest honor the NCDOT can bestow upon citizens.

"Building roads is one way Ed dedicated himself to building a better community and creating opportunities in life," Palermo said.

Dignitaries in attendance included Superior Court Judge Phil Ginn, Watauga County Board of Commissioners Chairman Nathan Miller, county Commissioner Perry Yates (Ed Yates' great-nephew), county Commissioner John Welch and others.

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