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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Spooks Branch, a human history story

Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial.  It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time.  You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little.  This caution makes history classes boring…See More
Dawn Trowell Jones updated their profile
Nov 24
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 21
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Rise of Asheville by Marilyn Ball

History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance                       Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates.            She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Century-ago woman's apple cake recipe

Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road.  Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
Nov 18
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 16
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Dignity is the key to Richard Russo's inspiration

So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane            In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway.  “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks.  Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box.  Max says he'd stop and look in it,  “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks.            The verbal match…See More
Nov 14
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 13
Rob Neufeld commented on Mark de Castrique's video
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Humanize the history--especially with Civil War--writes acclaimed author

Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld             David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention.            First, there’s Madden’s background.  In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 10
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Coming attraction--Singleton at Malaprop's & City Lights for Calloustown

George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry.  The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015.  Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Nov 10
Lockie Hunter posted an event

Juniper Bends Quarterly Reading at DownTown Books & News

November 13, 2015 from 7pm to 8pm
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
Nov 9
Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

Love and Mercy ~ Up On Roan Mountain

My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

It's All Relative--50 WNC women write about family

Family life as perceived by 50 WNC authorsby Rob Neufeld             If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers’ work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at “It’s All Relative” (Stone Ivy Press), 52 stories and poems by 50 WNC women authors writing about family.           …See More
Nov 6

Archive of Community and Local History Features

Preacher stories

Mountains preachers were stand-out personalities in the old days, having been called, and desirous of really getting the message across.  Read stories.

Jesse James Bailey

No matter how rough and, at times, lethal, the business of sheriffing got, it was like a game of cops and robbers.  Men enjoyed being legendary.  Bailey was not only fearless, he was cagey, humorous, music-loving, and sentimental.  Read more.

Working Class history

Read about the working class history of the region; and about Dr. David Whisnant's talk on the subject, Thurs., Mar 26, at the Mars Hill College.

Golf history in North Asheville

The original sales office for the Lake View Park development along Beaver Lake later became the clubhouse for the development’s golf course and for the Country Club of Asheville.  Read more.

McKinney family legacy of joy

Through several generations in Mitchell County, the McKinneys have passed on a legacy.  Read story.  

Innocence Project, dateline 1808

Henry West went to the scaffold, was saved last minute, and was later exonerated.  Read Asheville history story

Pattons of Asheville

New documents, donated to Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society reveal fascinating stories about pioneer families.  Read story.

Cherokee history

New book of old documents, brilliantly organized, provide insights.  Read feature story about Cherokee society. 

Beaverdam Road

Take a narrative tour of Beaverdam Road in North Asheville.

Winter history

From the now to the 1890s, 1860s, 1830s, and Cherokee times--how we've adapted to winter in WNC.  Read here.

N.C. slave narratives

John F. Blair, Publishers has issued a paperback edition of its book, My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk about Slavery.  Read more.

Ravenscroft building

The oldest standing building in Asheville, Ravenscroft School, is subject of new book by Dale Slusser.  Read more.. 

South Buncombe's explosive history

From the headless horseman to exploding toilets; with a special focus on Royal Pines, its boom and its special legacy.  Read more.

Dangerous trains

The history of the railroad in WNC includes hazards and accidents; also idyllic luxury.  Read story.  See about special excursion, Spencer to Biltmore Village, Oct. 13.

National leader found in Whittier

In 1932, Raymond Robins, a prominent politician, vanished for two months; but then was found, apparently amnesiac.  Read the mystery.

WNC Remembering Gettysburg

For Americans, it was the deadliest battle in history, 150 years ago.  Read about how it happened, and about a Madison County family.

Jim Casada meets Popcorn Sutton

Jim Casada Outdoors features June reflections this months, and a bit of legend: "I have to share a Popcorn Sutton tale. I knew him in his later years..."  See also Gourmet mag article.

The McClure Legacy

From the Covenanters in Scotland to the home in Fairview, the McClure legacy led to a Social Gospel and a Farmer's Federation.  Read more.

Haw Creek community

What was Haw Creek like before Tunnel road development?  Read about the farm community.  Also, read about the post-Parkway development.

Further exploring full story of Shelton Laurel in Civil War

See forum article about individuals and loyalties involved in tragic massacre.

Rev. Stephen Morgan, early Baptist leader

Sallie, a member of The Read, and a Morgan descendant, is researching her 5x-great grandfather on her blog.

Save the building; go preservation, go green

The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County conducts a tour, Sat., Mar. 30, of historic downtown buildings that it makes sense to reuse.  The 1887 Swannanoa Cleaners building is threatened with demolition--read about it.

How do decent people get caught up in indecent history?

Read stories about Oak Ridge; the Democratic campaign of 1900; the Civil War and Shelton Laurel.


Dawn McCall, The Read member, and the Rosman Historical Association are hard at work with newsletter and Facebook page.  

Save the grotto

St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines alumnae and preservationists are looking for home for Our Lady of Lourdes grotto on A-B Tech campus.  Read more.

The New Year in WNC history

Read story.

Civil War in WNC myth busted for good

Terrell Garren's new, 588-book, Measured in Blood, looks at every Civil War soldier from Henderson County, with definitive insights about states of mind.  Read story, see about events.

Read all 3 stories about Biltmore boys

Start with Part 1 about the 1930s; then Part 2 about the 1940s; and finally, the upshot.  Read the tales.

Inside Eliada Orphanage

"My name is John David Carter...My mother gave birth to me at Faith Cottage."  Read more at Cliff David's new blog, Inside Eliada Orphanage: An Oral History. 





Jerry Sternberg on Seely's Castle

Wood carvers' ethic

The Boys' Club, in Biltmore Village, est. 1901, had been the first of a group of activities that led to Biltmore Industries, an expression of a craft-making ideal.  Read about it


Her dad knew Wolfe

Anne Listokin writes: "When my dad learned of Uncle Tom's untimely death," he turned "white with shock at the news. For the rest of that day he drove us to the spots he and Uncle Tom had visited on their trip exactly five years earlier."  Read her column in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Asheville's first newspaper

The Highland Messenger, first published in 1840, was an example of soapbox journalism, despite claims to objectivity.  Local news came from ads.  It is now available online.  Read all about it.

Outlander, play about Kephart

by honored storyteller and playwright Gary Carden is performed at Swain County Center for the Arts, Bryson City, Sept. 25.  Read article in Smoky Mountain News.

Imagining the life of a Cherokee girl, c. 100 A.D.

Read about what it was like among the Woodland Cherokee, based on recorded tales, historical studies, and current traditions.

The image to the left is of Barbara Duncan's The Origin of the Milky Way and Other Living Stories of the CherokeeSee about book at Museum of the Cherokee Indian. 


How does the river rage

Read the shocking 1916 survival story

Read further about other floods.

Sink Hole Mine was mica site for centuries.  Read the history.

Rosman historians write

Read the Rosman Historical Association's newsletter, including Dan McCalls big article on Family Medical Trees.

Guastavino movement

In addition to the controversy about construction near the Basilica, there's a movement at Guastavino's home site in Black Mountain.  Read David Madden's op-ed.  See Make magazine's article on vaulting.

Rhododendron Parade stories

The mountain Mardi Gras that made Asheville famous in the 1930s lives in memories. Read about it.

Marion cotton mill

The Marion Manufacturing cotton mill had been the site of a notable strike in 1929. Read about exhibit at UNC Asheville Ramsey Library and more.

Read Tipper Pressley on planting by the signs

Read the articles on Blind Pig & the Acorn.

The discovery of Hot Springs

Two American scouts--and the larger story.  Read about it.

Convicts built the railroad to Asheville

Read about the state program that enabled the contracting of prisoners, mostly African American, by the railroad.

Jack Tales, ballads, trace route to Hot Springs

Read about Harmons and Hicks family in history story.

Riceville history comes alive in photos & text

Read about Anne E. Chesky's new book Riceville: Images of America.  Many stories in brief--including "Who killed John Craig?"

Two local guys from the 25th

Lenoir was an old man with a young wife; Henderson, a simple farmer who turned to prayer,  Read more.

Chaos theory and local history

Read about  1890 tobacco history and it's meaning for the New Year.

Terrell Garren's Civil War in Henderson book

Historian and author Terrell Garren ramps up his research into every soldier's story in Henderson County.  Keep up to date on his blog.

Elias Boudinot, Cherokee, married  missionary's daughter.

Read about the 1826 event, the furor it caused, and Daniel Blaske Smith's book, The American Betrayal.  Detail of the couple, above, is from book, To Marry an Indian.  See and hear NPR feature.

Wolfe's ancestry crossed at Gettysburg

Read about Civil War story that Thomas Wolfe elaborated on in O Lost!  It involves his father as a boy; and the 26th NC Infantry Regiment.

Reflections on a River

Joan Medlicott's photos of branch of Toe River & Nancy Dillingham's poems--book premiere with authors at Grateful Steps, Dec 9, 6 p.m.

Zeb Vance campaign style led to a duel

Read about  August 29, 1859

Robert Conley talks about Cherokee baskets

at Asheville Art Museum, Dec 2.  See event info.

Davidson's Fort was  launch for Buncombe founders

Read about the founding of Buncombe County in a barn in 1792.

Charles Aycock controversy

N.C.'s progressive governor, Aycock, was member of party with white supremacy platform.  Read.


Read about it.

Old Mother Cemetery in Robbinsville

is site of grave of Yancey County Civil War general, John W. McElroy.  Read story and see blog about Civil Wargrave recognition.

E.W. Pearson

Read aboutBurton Street pioneer E.W. Pearson, the Agricultural Fair he staged for years, and about West Asheville's revival of the event.

Shaped note singing then & now

Read about singing communities and about a tradition that Quay Smathers and Morning Star Church have perpetuated..

Col. Daniel Coxe once owned "Carolana"

His descendants continued with grand plans in the area. .

Read about it.

Olive Tilford Dargan

had been lionized until she followed her mountain characters toi the mills.

Read about it.

Civil War soldiers at critical bridge

Read about Cherokee County boys and their defense of railroads with Thomas' Legion.

See story.  See Terrell Garren's blogand exchange with soldier's descendant.

Arthur Murray danced into Asheville

The dance instructor great had come to Asheville as a young man in 1914.  Read about it.

1911 in WNC

The New Year beckons us to recognize--and maybe even commemorate--the events and spirit of another era.

Read the history.

Midwest, southwest, here: Allbery

Poet Debra Allbery is director of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.  See review of her new book, Fimbul-Winter, and read interview.

When 22-year old Dolly Parton came to Asheville

there was commotion. Read aboutthe first week in February, 1968.

Asheville Symphony history

The Asheville Symphony, for its 50th Anniversary has published an illustrated and narrative history.

Who were the Whigs, and why so important here?

Thomas Lanier Clingman, pictured above in the 1860s, rode into Asheville in 1836, expecting to lead the Whig debate. Read about it.

When WWII came to Asheville

Ann Kaplowitz, an independent Brooklyn girl, enlisted as a WAC in WWII and ended up in Asheville. Read about 

her top secret experiences.

Hail to thee, Lt. Col. William Walker

Read historian Terrell Garren's speech at the grave of Civil War hero William Clay Walker in Cherokee County. Read Terrell Garren's blogon Civil War sites.

Fri. 13th, 1946

Read abouttragic Sept. 1946 event, WWII heroes traveling in B-25 crashing into Cold Mountain

Photo, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Anetso--Cherokee ball--is sport and ritual

Read storyand about Michael Zogry's new book; and see schedule of Sept. 17-18 events at festival in Cherokee.

History of the symphony

Read aboutthe origins and rebirth 50 years ago. Learn about the concert schedule. Opening night is Sept. 18.

Grandma passed legacy to adopted grandaughter

Read about Jessie Leona Merrell Jiles, descendant of regional pioneers and grandmother of Dawn McCall, "the Read" member. See about Dawn's 658-page genealogy book at her website.

Tom Dula, pronounced Dooley, and his world

Read the three-partstory.

Antebellum diary of Flat Rock King

Judge Mitchell King of Charleston was the second Charlestonian after Charles Baring to build a summer home in Flat Rock in the late 1820s and the 1830s. His diaries help reveal who he was and what the "little Charleston of the mountains" phenomenon had been. Read about it, and respond, if you wish.

The Cherokee Nation is looking to save Kituwah.

Duke Energy is attempting to build a $52 million dollar substation near the Kituwah Cherokee ceremonial mounds. See website.

Did you know Zeb Vance was buried three times...

and not one time with Masonic rites? See Rick Frederick's blog, "Asheville and Buncombe County."

Shelton Laurel Massacre updates

See reprinted story and local descendant's question in a forum here.

Mountaintop removal play based on Jeff Biggers' book.

The Coal Free Future Project premieres the play, "Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal," at Asheville Community Theatre, Feb. 5. Read about it.

Thomas Lanier Clingman, his story comes to life.

His gravestone in Riverside Cemetery, indicates a prominent life. He was directly involved in much of the region's 19th century history. Read all about it.

Aston Park exemplified the essential need for neighborhood parks

In the 1940s and 50s Aston Park served as a 10-acre living room for people around South French Broad Ave. in Asheville. See the story, with photos.

Clingman's story rises from his grave. Read.

Hominy Valley history includes Civil War letters


See discussion on Terrell Garren's Civil War blog See account of J.L. Mashburn's book. Also, see Tipper's blogon other Civil War letters.

A Tourof WNC Civil War sites.


The History of Mountain Removal and Road Building in WNC

See chronology.

Read articles, see forum.



Oakley elders illustrated!

Read article and see photos.

See videos: 1) Lester Creighton portrait; 2) Lester Creighton poem; 3) June & Henry Mitchell; 4) Rae Roberts; 5) Odell Buckner; more to follow.

See the growing archive of neighborhood history forums.


New images! Participate in community history and creation

See "Twilight of a Neighborhood"

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