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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

A Shelter of Others by Charles Dodd White

Mountain writer expresses a cry for countryby Rob Neufeld             There’s a scene in Charles Dodd White’s new novel, “A Shelter of Others,” in which a character topples twenty feet off a ledge in a national forest and is saved by some kind of “solid bulk” that interrupts his fall.            He has landed on a…See More
yesterday
Michael Davenport replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Q&A about Asheville water system and the current state initiative
"Nicely done, and informative. I look forward to part 2."
Jul 18
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jul 17
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jul 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Life among the poorest is eye-openerby Rob Neufeld             Enlightened and sobered by Katherine Boo’s account of political amorality and human behavior in “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity,” I was also amazed by her narrative achievement.            The book is…See More
Jul 7
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jul 5
Dave Turner posted a blog post

Does anyone need a good proofreader?

My company, Dave Turner Creative, has just Dave Turner Creative has formed a new partnership with expert proofreader Rebecca Lang. Here are her credentials, experience and specialties:http://daveturnercreative.com/proofreadingAll the best,Dave Turner, author of Billy Ray's…See More
Jul 2
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Book discussions in WNC, July 2014

WNC BOOK DISCUSSION CALENDAR, JULY 2014Tuesday, July 1WILD BOOK CLUB: The WILD Book Club discusses “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer at the Battery Park Book Exchange, 1 Page Ave., Asheville, 7 p.m. Call 254-6734.BOOK DISCUSSION: “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki is the subject of a book discussion at the Weaverville…See More
Jun 28
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jun 28
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jun 21
Kathryn Hall posted a blog post

Summer issue of GreenPrints is out!

The summer issue of GreenPrints is out! You probably know it's published right there in Fairview by Pat Stone, former longtime gardening editor of Mother Earth News! He's graciously included an excerpt of one of my favorite stories from my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden, which I do hope you will enjoy! He's also going to be making the book available on his site, soon! Thank you, Pat Stone! …See More
Jun 20
Sharon Gruber posted an event

Screening of "Stark Love" filmed in NC in 1929 at A-B Tech Ferguson Auditorium

June 21, 2014 from 2pm to 4pm
The movie, filmed in 1929 in Graham County NC, accompanies the Asheville History Center's "Hillbilly Land" exhibition.See More
Jun 19
Jerald Pope left a comment for Rob Neufeld
"Hey Rob, Can you make it to the reading tonight? If not, where can I send you a copy of the book? Best to email me at <jerry@harebrandideas.com>"
Jun 19
Jerald Pope posted an event

Jerry Pope reads New novel at Monte Visa Hotel

June 19, 2014 from 6pm to 7pm
Local artist and Swannanoa Valley historian Jerald Pope is releasing his first novel, “The Elvis Tooth.” Pope describes the book as “a comic, historical, action-packed beach book, about Black Mountain that combines real history and stories with a time travel flair,” The titular tooth, the key McGuffin in the story, was an actual tooth pulled from Elvis Presley’s mouth in Black Mountain by Dr. Love in 1975. Pope is best known locally for the “Way Back When” series of plays that ran at the Black…See More
Jun 19
Caralyn Davis posted a blog post

My Short Story "Belong" Published at Word Riot

May entertain, but it is a little edgy, NSFW (not safe for work) as the kids say, so consider yourself warned: http://www.wordriot.org/archives/7026See More
Jun 18
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Historic photo--Bent Field trestle wreck, 1928

HISTORIC PHOTO Bent Field trestle wreck “We have many train wreck pictures,” says Marcy Thompson, Local History Librarian at Transylvania County Library.  Railroad and logging work were dangerous occupations; and Joe Wilde, a logging crew foreman and photographer had been on site for a number of them.  The wreck…See More
Jun 17

A rosette and a mountaintop recall a Civil War murder

by Rob Neufeld

See video.

 

Trip to the site

 

            The road to Noland Gap in Haywood County ascends 800 feet in a mile and a half, leading to a crest where Ultima Junaluska Development of Atlanta has recently constructed the subdivision, Avalon at Junaluska Highlands. 

            Here, the realtors’ website entices, you can experience “what ‘sitting on top of the world’ really means.”

            The landscape has changed.  Now, at the entrance to the new community, Signature Row Boulevard forks from Valhalla Cove to travel via the greenery of Tapestry Trail to Sleepy Hollow Drive, formerly connected only by a ridge along Utah Mountain.

Same place, generations ago

            In 1860, sitting on top of this world meant the families there could live and farm in peace, and, according to family lore, turn corn into liquor, which historically involved evading taxes imposed much more heavily on whiskey than on wine.

            That year saw the completion of the Cataloochee Turnpike, built by Jonathan Valley farmers to move livestock from East Tennessee and the Cataloochee area to eastern markets.

            The turnpike, Hattie Caldwell Davis notes in her book, “Cataloochee Valley,” was completed “just in time to be used by Teague’s Scouts” during the Civil War.

            “Captain Albert Teague of the Home Guards and his Scouts had been active in raids on the Union sympathizers, especially in the Big Bend section…where it was mostly prounion in sentiment in at least ten or twelve families.  Several of these were known as outliers.”

            The myth of Unionist sentiment in Western North Carolina stems from changes in loyalty late in the war, due to conscription and the course of the war; attempts to get federal benefits during Reconstruction; and one erroneous, much-quoted source (“Knocking at the Door” by Alexander Hamilton Jones).

            However, if there was one region where Unionism was strong, it was along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, a battleground for loyalty and east-west supply routes.

Cold Mountain fear

            When, in 1862, the Confederacy enacted conscription, draft-dodgers hid in caves, supplied by their women.  Teague’s men followed the women to the lairs and, in one famous incident, found and shot three men, “George and Henry Grooms and a simple-minded man named Mitchell Caldwell,” an article in the Fall 2007 issue of “Great Smoky Mountains Colloquy” stated.

            Before being executed, Henry played “Bonaparte’s Retreat” on his fiddle.  (Clark Medford said, in his 1961 “The Early History of Haywood County,” that it was Anderson Grooms, not Henry, who was present.  Some accounts say the fiddler was the dim-witted one.) 

            The story made it into Charles Frazier’s novel, “Cold Mountain,” with the location moved, and the names Grooms and Caldwell changed to Stobrod and Prangle.

Remembeing the shot sheriff

            Now, we are back at the entrance to Avalon, Jan. 24, 2013.  Lynn Noland, a Haywood County attorney, has brought family members and local lawmen together to transfer a framed rosette to Bobby Suttles, the Sheriff of Haywood County.

            Noland had received the rosette from Chuck Jenkins of Rockport, Washington, who revealed it had belonged to his great-grandfather, John Phillip Noland, Sheriff of Haywood County, who’d been murdered on September 22, 1862 when he’d followed JoAnn Robinson up what is now Breckenridge Road from the old county jail, where she’d been visiting her husband, Bud, arrested for draft evasion.

            John Franklin, a Robinson neighbor, was the sheriff’s target.

            “Sheriff Noland was attired in a black hat, long black frock coat, black trousers, a white shirt, and a black “string” or “bow tie,’” Lynn writes in his family history.

            “On his left lapel he wore a crimson fabric ‘rosette’ as his badge of office.  The original official sheriff’s badge had been donated for its metal in furtherance of the Confederate war effort.”

            As JoAnn Robinson neared the crest of the ridge, she gave a pre-arranged signal to her kin, hiding in the laurels, Lynn relates, having heard the story from both Jenkins and Lourena Troutman, granddaughter of Phillip Noland, in 1982.

           “The words from the old hymn, ‘How Firm a Foundation,’ floated through the clear mountain air…A heavy lead ball struck Philip Noland in the throat, knocking him from his horse.  He died there in the high ridge gap that now bears his name.”

Guilty go free, and othe legacies

            The county arrested James H. Franklin as one of the outliers who caused Noland’s death, and sentenced him to death in a week devoted entirely to capital offenses in mid-October, 1862.  There is no record of the sentence being carried out.

            Several Robinsons, including Bud and JoAnn, fled west.  Some family members changed their name to Roberson to distinguish themselves from the assassins.  In 1868, the Union Army dropped charges against the Unionist killers.

            Noland family members continue to live in the Rogers Cove and Jonathan Creek areas. 

            Lindon Nichols, Philip’s great-grandson, worked for many years installing septic tanks and water lines for developers, sometimes having to park a bulldozer in front of his backhoe to avoid slipping downhill as he dug into the stony soil, which offered little dirt for fill.

            A four-time-great-grandson of Philip Noland tells about his love for fishing and how now he is sometimes picked up by police for trespassing on streams he’d used to fish unbothered.

            Lynn Noland relates how, in staging the ceremony on Noland Gap, he is fulfilling Jenkins' wish  to  honor the “memory of all Haywood County law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.” 

 

SEE MORE

See a video of the pilgrimage and ceremony.

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Family members and lawmen gather at the spot where Sheriff Philip Noland had been shot and killed in 1862.  Lynn Noland is holding the framed rosette; Lindon Nichols holds a portrait of Philip; and Sheriff Suttles is to Nichols’ left.

 

Sheriff Philip Noland, photo courtesy Lynn Noland.

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