Face facts, tell story of shootout

-A A +A
By The Gazette

If it's true that for decades that Carroll County people just didn't talk about the 1912 courthouse shootout, maybe it's time for that taboo to change.
One fact is inescapable as we approach the 100th anniversary: Ignoring the effects of the melee and bloodshed that arose from Floyd Allen announcing that he would defy a court-imposed jail sentence sure hasn't made this bit of Carroll's past go away.
Perhaps, in a way, it should be embraced.
Those terrible moments when members of the Allen family and Carroll officials exchanged gunfire led to, by some estimates, 25 books being written on the topic.
That five people died from their injuries and that the state executed two men make it a tragic event, and any revisiting of those events should be handled sensitively.
No one is more apt to approach the incident with more understanding than those who know about Carroll County, its history and its politics than people; those already immersed in the local culture.
Hillsville officials have decided that history is an essential element in the town's makeup — i.e., Historic Downtown Hillsville.
The officials have a point, with the iconic courthouse, the Carter Home and the monument to Confederate soldiers standing together there on Main Street, as they have now for the last century.
Hillsville and Carroll County have not been using local history to the fullest extent.
But there's still time to change that.
After 100 years, it's time for locals to face the facts and tell the story.