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Culture festival features film about mountain eldertsfrom press releaseThe Center for Cultural Preservation presents a film festival that highlights mountain heritage, Jewish heritage and African-American heritage on October 30th at the Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College.   The festival will feature three films, including the world premiere of a new film, The Land Still Speaks to Us which includes the voices of mountain elders throughout WNC.  There will also be music by local…See More
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A Chronology of Asheville and WNC Events in History

                                   IMPORTANT DATES IN ASHEVILLE HISTORY                                                                 by Rob Neufeld 1000: The Cherokee, who’d introduced maize agriculture to the region, began cultivating beans. 1540: Hernando De Soto led troops to East Tennessee through either the Hickory Nut or Swannanoa Gap, finding gold and copper and inspiring a succession of Spanish miners. 1663: Charles II bestows territory between the 31st and 36th parallels in America…See More
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Root-diggers of Appalachia

People in the Lost Provinces were herb-gatherersby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Three herbal products offered by S.B. Penick’s, once the world’s largest herb distributor, its largest warehouse located in Asheville.             “Last week, during a research trip to the ‘Lost Provinces,’” Luke Manget said about the landscape…See More
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A Preview of the new Sam Blackman mystery to be released November 3, 2015
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"Us versus Them" does not help fight against racism; worsens sectionalism

“Us versus them” is not good historyby Rob Neufeld             Writing about history and the complex lives that play out within it does not sell as well as team spirit, especially in this age of clicks and likes.            I recently confronted this truth when I wrote my article last week about the minds of our leaders in 1851. The word “slavery” was added to the headline to alert people to its relevance.  Seeing that term connected people to a cause they felt strongly about, particularly in…See More
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Player of Games reveals today’s game-changing mentalityby Rob Neufeld             There is something big happening in Millennial Generation literature, and I thought I’d try to get a handle on it.            To give an idea of one aspect of current thinking: I was at a gathering recently, plenty of youngsters, and I…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan Book Signing at MACA Building

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Deacon Chrisenberry -Berry- Howell (1855-1938) on horseback. From the collection of Purel Miller (2)

My maternal great grandfather, Chrisenberry Howell, who was called "Berry" Howell in Swain County. From the Purel Miller collection. Submitted by Ann Miller Woodford
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The skull merchant, the dead ape, and the narcoleptic mortician

Hello "The Read on WNC" readers:     I'm posting this note to announce the publication of vol. 3 in my "Loy's Loonies" series.  This one is called The Mortician's Road Trip and it's a bit more of a mystery than my earlier books. Here's a teaser for the story.     Upstate New Yorker Baz Rathbone makes ends meet by selling human skulls. By contract, he should cremate them, but he doesn’t. His little business comes to the attention of the FBI when a woman spots her late husband’s skull being used…See More
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"That East Tennessee Christian Association of Friends comment, especially bothered me, but it clarifies the view some folks from outside the region have about us even to this day.   … average intelligence...below that of colored…"
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terrell garren
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Deep Creek Civil War Battle Committee
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Started this discussion. Last reply by terrell garren Jun 15, 2011.

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At 10:40pm on July 1, 2013, Jackie Smith said…

Hey from Swain Co.

I've left you a message in your messages.  J.

At 12:20pm on January 6, 2012, Dan Slagle said…

Fold3 is great stuff!  I'll see if I have anything specific to Henderson County. Please email me. I have some 1890 census stats on CW you might be interested in.

At 10:33am on February 10, 2011, Ken Spencer said…

Thanks for spending so much time answering my note. This all sounds right down my alley as I read all I can about the Cherokee and/or the Civil War. I had no luck finding the blog you mentioned so if you don't mind sending it, my email is

I will certainly be buying your books that you mentioned.

Thanks again,


At 8:16pm on February 9, 2011, Ken Spencer said…

I"m used to people talking to me like that. lol. Thanks for your book list. I read somewhere recently, like maybe the Mtn.Xpress, that you had written a book about "Cherokee History" but I must be hallucinating. I'm sorry I can't recall exactly where I read it. Thanks, Ken

At 2:11pm on November 3, 2010, Deborah Hall Daugherty said…
My Hall ancestors, five brothers to be exact, served with Thomas's Legion and Company C, 39th Infantry Regiment. Merryman Hall, James B. Hall, Moses I. Hall and Burton Kimsey Hall were all imprisoned at Fort Delaware prison camp. Merryman died while imprisoned. James and Moses were released eventually and Burton released a little over a year later. I do not know how he survived. Burton is the only one I have a photo of in his confederate uniform. According to records at Fort Delaware, they were captured Feb. 18th, 1864. Their brother John A. Hall died in 1862 while serving in Lenoir, TN of disease.
At 5:21pm on September 21, 2010, Jeremy B. Jones said…
Hi Terrell,

I'm a fellow Henderson-County product, and I'm working on a book about the area, largely centering on Bearwallow Mountain. I'm trying to track down information about Colonel Palmer's trip up the mountain during his part in Stoneman's Raid. I know that you fictionalized his trek in The Secret of War, and I wondered if you had tracked down journals or other records of his time with Bearwallow in researching and writing your novel.

I appreciate any direction you can provide, and I'd love to pick your brain at some point about the area and my project (mostly about land use and identity). I live in Charleston, but I'm up to Hendersonville occasionally visiting family. Feel free to get back at me through this site, or more directly at


At 6:39pm on October 22, 2009, Dawn McCall said…
Hi Terrell,
Email me directly at and I'll send you my McCall database in Word format. My 4th great grand uncle was David Garren who married Margaret Whitaker, then I have Theo Jesse Garren who married Maybelle Frisbee and she was a 5th cousin to me. Then, there is "Uncle" Henry Garren who married Lillie Smathers. As to the McCall line, Sarah Ellen Garren, daughter of Silas Garren and Jane Case married James Gaston McCall, son of Robert McCall and Rachel Glazener. I have transcribed a copy of Silas' will and can send you a copy if you do not already have it... it is in my database as well. Actually, Samuel McCall is both mine and my husband's 5th grandfather... with Kenneth descending directly through the McCall line and my line being through the Glazener's. Anyway... email me and I will be glad to send you what I have.
At 3:19pm on October 22, 2009, Dawn McCall said…
My apologies for not getting back to you before now. I married into the McCall family in Transylvania County, which as I'm sure you know is kin to the Garren family. I grew up in Etowah, but in the last few years I have focused on my Buncombe/Madison county lineages and have published a book on the family and descendants of Captain Edmund Sams of Buncombe County which I am currently revising.
It may be of interest to you that where I grew up in Etowah, on Brickyard Road was property originally owned by Henry Judson Garren. My great grandmother's second husband, Sylvanus Smathers bought the property from Henry and when Vanus died, it was left to her (Wrinda Boyd Merrell Smathers). From grandma Wrinda it went to my grandmother, Jessie Merrell Jiles. My half-uncle ended up with it (a long and not so nice story) and though it was supposed to go to my son, my half-uncles wife ended up with it and sold it to the Etowah Lion's Club. I still have the deed from "Uncle" Henry to Vanus.
Anyway... now that I have written a mini-novel (seems to be a habit with us writers (smile), I will go... but if I have any info that I can share with you, will be glad to do so.
At 2:40pm on October 13, 2009, Sallie said…
Linda L Ross
Terrell I think you have me mixed up with Linda L Ross who is indeed a member of the Garren family. She left a post for you..and some phone numbers too..
At 6:41pm on October 8, 2009, Sallie said…
Hello Terrell Garren

I know you are a Civil War Historian and I wondered if you had ever seen this poem. It was about how Stonewall outflanked the Angels and got into Heaven before them..
It had this line..."The Angels waiting on the other side blew for him tlll their trumpets burst but he slipped so fast around their flanks that he got into Heaven first.." Have you ever seen this poem? I have searched the internet for it..Just wondering..Sallie

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