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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25.

East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

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Lyndsay Eli with GUNSLINGER GIRL (YA Novel) at Spellbound Children's Bookshop

January 20, 2018 from 6pm to 7pm
Are you a fan of The Hunger Games?  Then picture what Katniss would be like - with a gun.  That's just a taste of the "new" West action Lyndsay Eli brings to Spellbound Children's Bookshop with Gunslinger Girl.  She shares her debut novel on Saturday, January 20, at 6 p.m. The US has been fractured by a Second Civil War. Serendipity 'Pity' Jones finds a home of sorts in the corrupt, lawless city of Cessation (think Las Vegas on steroids).  Her shooting skills make her a star of the Theater…See More
Monday
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Cherokee and WNC music and dance events

Two Big Cultural Events in December in Hendersonville & Ashevillefrom press releaseThe Center for Cultural Preservation, WNC’s cultural history and documentary film center, presents, Cherokee Music and Dance on Thursday, December 7, 7 p.m., Blue Ridge Community College’s Thomas Auditorium.  Tickets are $5. The screening of A Great American Tapestry will be held on December 2, 2 p.m., at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Reuter Center, UNC Asheville.  Tickets for that event are…See More
Nov 15
Spellbound posted events
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Battery Park Hill through the ages

Battery Park through the Years by Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTIONS: 1) Present-day view of Battery Park Apartments from…See More
Nov 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post
Oct 13
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Oct 8
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at MACA Authors' Booth

October 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be signing her new books A Part of Me and A Place That Was Home at the Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion on Saturday, October 14, from 9:30-1:30. She will be located at the MACA Authors' booth on Main Street.See More
Oct 7
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Sample 8 Great Smokies Writers at Malaprop’s, Oct. 15

Writers in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP)read atMalaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 3 p.m., Sun.,Oct. 15 Elizabeth Lutyens, editor of the GSWP’s Great Smokies Review, leads the Prose Master Class and will host the reading. ·        Ellen Carr, who works in the financial industry, will read excerpts from her novel of uneasy relationships, Unmanned. ·        Sarah Carter, an artist and photographer who will publish an excerpt of her novel, Jolene, Joe-Pye,…See More
Oct 6
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

The Douglas Ellington effect: An Appreciationby Rob NeufeldIMAGE: Douglas Ellington’s original drawing for a City Hall-County Courthouse Art Deco complex.            “Dear Douglas,” Kenneth Ellington wrote his brother, the 38-year old Pittsburgh architect, on May 6, 1925, “I know things are…See More
Oct 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post

How To Kill Your Reader

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt…See More
Oct 5
Mark de Castrique posted a video

Hidden Scars - A Sam Blackman Mystery

Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigate a 70-year-old death that unleashes a killer.
Oct 3
Mark de Castrique posted a discussion

Black Mountain College as Backdrop for Mystery

My new book, HIDDEN SCARS, is released Oct 3rd.  D.G. Martin notes the star of the story is Black Mountain College.  http://chapelboro.com/town-square/columns/one-on-one/one-one-lost-college-still-shinesSee More
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
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Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22

Floods commit unpredictable acts of violence and renewal

by Rob Neufeld

 

            The local story of 18-year-old Kathleen Lipe’s survival of the 1916 flood, as her father and others had been swept away, speaks of the awful power of the French Broad River and its tributaries.  In Biltmore, water had risen fifteen feet in one hour.

           

Another horror

 

            On May 28, 1973, David Wayne Woody stepped out of his home in Fowler’s Trailer Park in Skyland and saw Robertson Creek rising.  As a precaution, he took his two-year old son, Christopher, by the hand; and his nine-month old daughter, Shannon, in his arms to seek refuge in Clay Ledford’s brick house.

            On the way, Woody looked back and saw a four-foot high tidal wave heading toward him.  Apparently, a dam constructed on the Brookwood Golf Course had given way.  Woody hurried his family into Jason Roberts’ trailer, but there was no safety there.  The water tumbled and shoved the trailer for a mile, splitting it in half; and killing the inhabitants.  Woody’s own trailer remained unmoved.

 

Brief history of floods

 

            The flood of 1916 is the worst on record in western North Carolina, but that is only for a specific area.  The flood of August 30, 1940 was the worst one to ever pass through Canton and Enka, local residents recall. 

A.J. L. Moritz, technical vice president of American Enka, stated, “in Hominy Valley the water came considerably higher than during any previously known flood in a history of over one hundred years.”

            Moritz proudly reported in the October 1940 issue of “The Enka Voice” that after the flood inundated the rayon factory’s basements and ground floors, employees got the operation going full throttle in two weeks.  “Close to a thousand machines had to be taken apart, cleaned, and again put in working order.  All equipment, like spools, racks, etc., had to be individually cleaned.”

            Tragic deaths and heroic rescues are only part of the story of floods.  Damage to railroads, bridges, and industries; scattered lumber; broken water mains and threatened water supplies; displaced residents; mud slides; and ruined crops also figure in the periodical outbursts. 

And then there are the freakish and comical outcomes.

            Hankie Enkie Sr. penned a humorous reflection on the 1940 flood in “The Enka Voice” in which Moritz’s morale booster had appeared.  He reported that employees played a game of “pinch-and-run” with items that had floated out of people’s offices.  “Personally,” he noted, “I found me three pairs of good socks among Mr. (C. C.) Vanderhooven’s (the company president’s) collection of unmentionables with which he dazzles his monthly audiences in the gym.”

            Societal reactions to floods vary.  Before industrialization, floods did less damage and restored the soil for crops.  In our urban world, insurance companies step in—as they did in January 1974 with the passage of a federal law requiring municipalities to enforce flood plain management if they wanted to receive other benefits, such as mortgages for public buildings.

Big floods in WNC history

 

Fourth week of August, 1796

The first decade of the 1800s—changing course of Swannanoa River in Beverly Hills

August 28, 1852

February 22, 1891

May 20, 1901—particularly the French Broad River in Madison and Buncombe counties

July 11, 1905—French Broad River and Hominy Creek

July 16, 1916—French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers

August 15, 1928—east Buncombe and McDowell County

August 30, 1940—Haywood County, west Buncombe, Marshall, and Tuckaseegee River

August 14, 1946—east Buncombe, McDowell County, and Canton

May 28, 1973—Haywood County, south Buncombe, and Hiwassee River

September 8 and 17, 2004—Haywood County

 

PHOTO CAPTION

Three men stand in the doorway of Carolina Power & Light’s Avery Street station Company during the flood of August 15, 1928.  Photo courtesy N.C. Collection, Pack Memorial Library

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