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table of Contents
production production manager creative director director of client relations editorial director copywriting copy editor proofreader director of photography photography
director of publication design cover design web site creation & support
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Yancey County Community Profile & Resource Guide
business development director of business development director of sales director of inside sales business development manager marketing specialist marketing consultant customer service director customer service representative
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information technology publishing systems coordinator
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This book is published by CommunityLink and distributed through the Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information or questions or comments about this book, contact CommunityLink at 800-455-5600 or by e-mail at info@CommunityLink.com. ABOUT
Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, 106 West Main, Burnsville, NC 28714, 828-682-7413, Fax 828-682-6599, www.yanceychamber.com
Welcome ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................4 This is the home of endless opportunities.
Location .................................................................................................5 Yancey County is framed with natural beauty beauty.
History ....................................................................................................6 We continue to honor our county’s W y’s pr proud lega legacy.
executive leadership chairman and founder chief financial officer
© 2008 Craig Williams Creative, Inc., 4742 Holts Prairie Road, Post Office Box 306, Pinckneyville, IL 62274-0306, 618-357-8653. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher.
Education ...............................................................................................7 Yancey County schools foster extraordinary student achievement.
Health Care ..........................................................................................10 Facilities in Yancey County provide quality, comprehensive care.
Homes & Real Estate..........................................................................14 Discover a gem of a new home in Yancey County.
Business & Industry ...........................................................................16 Diversity is fostering growth throughout the region.
Government .........................................................................................18 Local government provides essential services and fosters regional cooperation.
2 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
table of Contents
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Tourism ...................................................................19 Come visit the peak of natural beauty beauty.
Events ...................................................................... 20 Music, arts and laughter liven the days in Yancey County County.
Arts .......................................................................... 22 Creativity and beauty meet mountain heritage.
Recreation............................................................... 24 The mountains are calling you.
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Worship ................................................................... 26 Strong faith families are waiting to welcome you.
Invitation ................................................................. 27 Follow your heart to Yancey County County.
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Alphabetical Listing......................................................................30 Categorical Listing .......................................................................36 www.yanceychamber.com 3
This is the home of endless opportunities.
elcome to Yancey County, North Carolina. Distinguished as a scenic mountain destination for tourists, we’re also known for our thriving business community, world-renowned arts and crafts galleries, a superb educational system, and endless opportunities for recreation and entertainment. Surrounded by the lofty Black Mountain Range of North Carolina, Yancey County is the site of majestic Mount Mitchell. This landmark, standing at 6,684 feet, is the nation’s highest peak east of the Mississippi River. The lush Pisgah National Forest; the panoramic Blue Ridge Parkway; clear, tumbling rivers; and the scenic Appalachian Trail further enhance the area’s natural beauty and provide countless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback
4 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
riding, fishing, camping, tubing and whitewater rafting. The majestic solitude of the mountains, the gentle pace of life and the warm, welcoming community atmosphere have enticed numerous artists and craftspeople to live and work in Yancey County. Adding to the area’s enjoyable cultural diversity are many art galleries and craft shops, as well as the various festivals scheduled throughout the year. Burnsville, the county’s largest town, is a picture of Americana, the kind of place that invites you to take a leisurely stroll through its streets and neighborhoods. The community is organized around a town square and offers a charming mix of shops, galleries and restaurants. Some of the historic buildings here date back to the community’s founding in the early 1830s.
Beyond Burnsville, and throughout the countryside, small communities with picturesque names like Daybook, Egypt, Micaville and Beelog can be spotted. Follow charming country roads like Possumtrot, Lickskillet and Hardscrabble. Tempt your curiosity and more than satisfy your appetite when you drive through these delightful communities. The scenic splendor of the area is complemented by the log houses that seem to be hugging the hillsides and the white-frame farmhouses with weathered barns that dot the fertile valleys. Yancey County is a warm and friendly place to live and work, with true Southern hospitality at its core. Come and experience our charming community and enjoy the great people, festivities and fun that make up this place we call home.
Yancey County is framed with natural beauty.
ancey County is nestled in the scenic mountains and forests of western North Carolina. The county is surrounded by beauty: Its northwestern border is the Appalachian Mountain ridge, while the southeastern boundary is outlined by the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. The county is centrally located in western North Carolina, midway between Boone and Asheville. The climate here is mild, but we are touched by all four seasons. Summertime highs usually peak in the mid-80s, while evening temperatures dip into the comfortable 50s. Youâ€™ll not only find the delicate beauty of spring in Yancey County â€” youâ€™ll also discover crisp fall days painted by the glorious
changing colors of the leaves. Winter brings its own beauty, with snowfalls usually ranging from less than an inch to a foot or more, with yearly accumulations averaging 15.6 inches. The average annual rainfall for the area is 59 inches. Mount Mitchell, in Yancey County, is the highest peak east of the Rockies, at 6,684 feet. This is the place to come for grand mountain views, as the average elevation here is 2,817 feet â€” the highest average in the state. Total land area for Yancey County is 311 square miles, which equals over 199,040 acres. Burnsville, located in a scenic, elevated site between the Cane and South Toe rivers, is home to just over 1,600 of the 18,421 &)XZ& 4VJUF #VSOTWJMMF /$
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residents of the county. Burnsville is approximately 35 miles northeast of Asheville and 120 miles northwest of Charlotte. U.S. Highway 19E, the major east-west route in Yancey County, and Highway 226, which skirts its northeastern border, provide transportation in and out of the area. An extension of Interstate 26, which opened in 2003, opened Yancey County even further, creating easy access to the Tennessee border. Expansion of U.S. 19E, making it the countyâ€™s first four-lane highway, is set to begin in the next couple of years. This thoroughfare will eventually connect the cities of Asheville and Boone. Burnsville has two car rental services. Air service for Yancey County is available through Asheville Regional Airport, served by Continental Express, Delta Connection, Northwest Airlink and US Airways Express. From here, you can fly to over 200 destinations around the globe while making only one connection. Passenger services at the airport include food and beverage vendors, a business center with complimentary high-speed Internet access, and five rental car companies. The airport also offers fixed-base operations, flight training and even a helicopter tour service. Additionally, Greyhound Bus Lines offers bus service to Asheville.
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We continue to honor our county’s proud legacy.
stablished in 1833, Yancey County is named for distinguished statesman Bartlett Yancey, who served in the U.S. Congress from 1813 to 1817 and was speaker of the North Carolina Senate from 1817 to 1827. Among his legislative accomplishments, Yancey helped create an educational fund to support the state’s public school
converted merchant cutter called Snap Dragon during the War of 1812. Burns was one of the best-known privateers of that war, capturing several valuable British cargoes along the Atlantic coastline. After this naval hero became a state legislator, he continued Yancey’s efforts, casting the deciding vote that created the county. In 1834, the county seat of Burnsville was established and was named in his honor. In 1909, the captain’s grandson, Walter Francis Burns, Sr., contributed a statue of the statesman with the inscription, “He Guarded Well Our Seas, Let Our Mountains Honor Him.” The 6-foot copper statue has become a treasured landmark on the Burnsville Town Square. The Yancey History Association and the Chamber of Commerce have jointly worked to preserve one of the region’s most significant historic sites. The McElroy House (circa 1840), home of the Rush Wray Museum of Yancey County History, served as headquarters for the Home Guard for much of western North Carolina during the Civil War. The Chamber of Commerce operates the Visitor’s Center in a restored service station on West Main Street below the museum. The Rush Wray Museum hosts the annual Commemoration of the “Battle of Burnsville” during the third weekend in April. Historians in period dress conduct tours and talks at the museum, and the battle re-enactment is complete with military camps and cannon
“He Guarded Well Our Seas, Let Our Mountains Honor Him.” system. Adding to his legacy, and giving him a personal place in our region’s history, was his involvement in the process of establishing Yancey County. Residents of the beautiful county that bears his name continue to preserve Yancey’s memory. After Yancey’s death, establishment of the county was made possible through the efforts of Capt. Otway Burns, commander of a 6 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
fire. The McElroy House has been placed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the National Parks Service North Carolina Division Civil War Trails Program. During the “Battle of Burnsville,” a group of 40–50 women robbed the local Confederate commissary. Within a few days there was an uprising led by Montraville Ray, a Confederate soldier who had deserted and now led 75 other men against some of their own in the small town of Burnsville. War Gov. Vance, Col. Palmer in Asheville, and Gen. McElroy all kept in communication, trying to arrange an effort to take back the town. They accomplished their goal within a couple of days when 200 of Palmer’s men arrived. Among other Yancey County structures on the National Register is the 1908 town hall and police department, which originally served as the county courthouse, and Burnsville’s library, founded by the Burnsville Woman’s Club in the 1930s and housed in a former bank building. Perhaps the region’s oldest building on the National Register is Burnsville’s first inn, a two-story log trading post and stagecoach stop built in 1833. Once known as the Ray Hotel, the inn has changed ownership several times over the years. In 1918, the structure was bought and renovated by William B. and Julia Wray, creating what is now called the Nu-Wray Inn. Prominently located on the Town Square, the lodge still offers guests genuine hospitality and hearty meals in an atmosphere steeped in history. History plays a significant role in Yancey County, as we continue to preserve not only the original architecture of the past, but also the legacies of our founding fathers. Through local historians, genealogists, storytelling, living historians, original crafts and cultural events, our traditions, music and heritage never cease to be celebrated.
Yancey County schools foster extraordinary student achievement.
Yancey County Public Schools Yancey County Schools is an impressive school system driven by a single purpose: “Our Vision is Excellence, Character, and Knowledge.” Yancey County Schools is comprised of nine schools: six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. These institutions instruct approximately 2,500 students each year. Close to 1,150 are elementary school students; roughly 600 are middle school students, and about 780 are high school students. Among the many advantages of this rural community system is the ability to maintain small class sizes. The average class size for kindergarten through eighth grade during the 2005–2006 school year was 21 students. All Yancey County Schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the School Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI). This has earned Yancey County Schools recognition as a Super District for Quality Schools, and it makes the district eligible to receive District Accreditation. Yancey County Schools is engaged in a collaborative, districtwide, continuous improvement process and has implemented a District Improvement Plan that’s aligned with the State Board of Education’s “Future-Ready Students for the 21st Century” goals. In preparing
students for post-secondary education and the workforce, Yancey County Schools follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. A range of outstanding academic programs and courses are offered to target all students’ needs, including regular core courses, honors, advanced placement, dual enrollment, an exceptional children’s program, academically and intellectually gifted classes, English as a Second Language, and career and technical education. Each school provides an extended day program and summer academies. During the 2005–2006 school year,
football, volleyball, tennis, track, golf, wrestling, softball and soccer. According to the North Carolina State Board of Education Accountability Model, in 2005–2006, Bee Log Elementary, East Yancey Middle, and South Toe Elementary qualified as “Schools of Distinction,” recognition based on 80 to 89 percent of students performing at or above Achievement Level III on end-ofyear state-mandated tests. Extraordinary performance by students can be attributed to a strong core of dedicated teachers and the administration, staff, parents and community that support them. Yancey County Schools is proud to have 100 percent highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals, according to the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) criteria. Forty-six percent of the professional staff members in Yancey County schools have advanced degrees. Fifteen percent of instructional personnel are National Board Certified teachers. During the past decade, through annual local fundraising events, Yancey County Schools Foundation has awarded over $250,000 to teachers for mini-grant instructional programs. Yancey County Schools collaborate extensively with regional institutes of higher education to further enhance the educational experiences of students and the professional
“Our Vision is Excellence, Character, and Knowledge.” Burnsville Elementary and East Yancey Middle were awarded a substantial 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to implement a comprehensive after-school program. The arts and foreign language, including band, strings, chorus, visual and performing arts, and Spanish, are integral programs that offer creative, expressive and cultural opportunities for our students. Yancey County Schools’ athletic program contributes to developing young athletes’ interest and skills in sports that include baseball, basketball,
Education growth and development of teachers and administrators. Examples of extended learning and support programs include dual enrollment for high school students, Adventures of the American Mind, and the Center for Support of Beginning Teachers.
Private Schools Arthur Morgan School provides a valuable boarding and day school alternative for seventh through ninth grade students. Through its strong work program, innovative academic classes, field trips, and wilderness and recreational experiences, students and teachers learn by living and working together. The rustic community environment provides an academic home for about 30 students and a dozen instructors. For those parents who want their children to learn in an environment that blends spiritual development with academic scholarship, there are several Christian schools in the area. Students from varying religious faiths attend these institutions.
Preschool and Community Resources Throughout North Carolina, the statewide Smart Start Initiative helps preschool children take a strong first step toward succeeding in school. Mitchell-Yancey Partnership for Children, the local Smart Start agency, envisions the entire community sharing the responsibility for giving all children a healthy, safe and nurturing environment in which to grow. Core services supported through the partnership’s target areas will provide access to high-quality and affordable child care, health care and other critical services for children up to age 5 and their families.
8 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
Mitchell-Yancey Child Care Resource & Referral provides a full range of services for child care providers and families. These services include a resource library, workshops and assistance in finding child care. Yancey County Public Library is housed in the historic Citizens Bank Building, located at 18 Town Square in Burnsville. As a member of the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey (AMY) Regional Library System, the library offers access to over 160,000 volumes held by the four libraries in the system, and an AMY library card is valid at any AMY public library. In addition, the library’s array of services includes programs for children and adults, bookmobile and outreach services for the homebound and physically handicapped, and public Internet access. In the future, the library will move to its new quarters in the historic Yancey Collegiate Institute Building, currently undergoing renovation for that purpose.
Mayland Community College Mayland Community College provides excellent opportunities for individuals who wish to earn a degree, diploma or certificate; complete a G.E.D.; learn new occupational skills; take a personal interest class; or start a business. Currently, over 1,600 students are enrolled at Mayland Community College. The main campus is located in Spruce Pine, a small town about 20 minutes east of Burnsville along Highway 19E. The many modern buildings here have wireless Internet access, and a major building project is currently under way. Mayland Community College students can choose from a wide variety of distanceeducation courses, including online courses, interactive television classes, telecourses and hybrid classes.
Mayland offers associate degrees in subjects including business administration, computer engineering technology, computer information technology, cosmetology, criminal justice, early childhood education, electronics engineering technology, horticulture, hotel/restaurant management, human services, medical assisting, registered nursing and office systems technology. The college also offers programs in autobody repair, basic law enforcement training, esthetics, manicuring, practical nursing, truck driving and welding. Another major program offered by the college is the college transfer program. Mayland has articulation agreements with all North Carolina universities associated with the UNC system, as well as with Gardner-Webb, Lees McRae, Lenoir-Rhyne, East Tennessee State and Mars Hill. The five-star accredited Phillips-Gwaltney Child Development Center is both a learning laboratory for the college’s early childhood education students and an excellent daycare option for parents of preschool children. The Sam Center Auditorium hosts a range of pleasing performances and presentations throughout the year, including musical groups, guest lecturers and special events. The college can provide valuable information, training, counseling, and technical and managerial assistance to small businesses and prospective entrepreneurs. Small Business Center classes are offered at no cost to residents of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties. The Yancey Campus in Burnsville is a 10,000-square-foot facility that contains a classroom, two computer labs, an interactive television room and a shop area. It also houses the ABE-GED program for the county and provides G.E.D. testing at the facility. Students can complete their 15-hour general education requirements at the Yancey Campus. High school students may also take these courses as dual-enrollment classes at no cost. This is a thriving campus, offering numerous emergency training courses; firefighters’ training; heavy equipment training; certified nursing assistant, levels I and II; and numerous computer classes. A large selection of personal enrichment classes is also available. The Yancey Campus of Mayland Community College serves as an arm for economic development involvement with Focused Industrial Training (FIT) and New and Expanding Industry Training (NEIT). The college provides training programs for new and expanding industries in the county.
Education North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Yancey County Center The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is an educational partnership helping people put research-based knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and improved quality of life. North Carolina Cooperative Extension is associated with the College of Agriculture and Life Science at North Carolina State University and the School of Agriculture at North Carolina A&T State University. The staff members are part of the outreach teaching faculty of N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University, reaching millions of people each year in the communities where they live. Strategic priorities are:
To strengthen the economy through profitable, sustainable and safe food, forest and green industry systems. Extension agents work to support existing agriculture and to help farmers develop alternative enterprises. Production of greenhouse and forest products, ornamentals, and vegetables grown on black plastic are gaining popularity, while tobacco continues to be an important crop. One popular specialty crop in the county is shiitake mushrooms. Annual workshops bring together diverse groups of all ages and backgrounds to learn how to grow and market mushrooms.
To protect the environment and natural resources. The Toecane Beekeepers Association actively promotes the growth of the area honey industry through education and technological innovation. The association boasts over 80
members from Mitchell and Yancey counties. Monthly educational meetings are held to inform local growers on beekeeping issues. The staff continues to assist farmers and homeowners in making safe fertilizer and pesticide choices and recommends rates of application for optimum plant and soil health and crop production. Recommendations are made for the lowest-risk, yet most effective, treatment choice, but may be as simple as recommending alternate plant varieties that resist known pests.
To empower youth and families to lead healthier lives and become community leaders. Yancey County has an active Extension and Community Association (ECA). Members are involved in activities from the community to the state level. Most important is a county council project of making and selling a quilt each year to raise scholarship funds to help a high school student entering the field of family and consumer science. Nurturing Parenting programs help parents learn about child development, alternatives to hitting, ways to build self-esteem and self-concept in their children and themselves, ways to increase their empathy, and ways to recognize their child’s feelings as well as their own. The Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) is a federally funded nutrition-education program designed to help limited-resource families and youth learn skills to provide sound and affordable diets that contribute to their personal development. The 4-H Youth Development Program in Yancey County assists youth and adults in becoming competent, coping and contributing
members of a global society and in developing essential life skills through planned “learn by doing” experiences. The organization is a partnership that began over 90 years ago when county, state and federal governments agreed that, by joining together, they could ensure that all citizens had access to the wealth of knowledge being generated at public universities. Today, Yancey County is served by Yancey County Cooperative Extension, which acts as a gateway to the resources of N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities. Staff members utilize a core group of volunteers, known as the Advisory Leadership System, to assist them in determining the most relevant issues affecting individuals, families and communities. Yancey County staff work side-by-side with local officials, lay advisors, volunteers and grassroots organizations to achieve common educational goals.
Facilities in Yancey County provide quality, comprehensive care.
Blue Ridge Medical Center-Yancey Campus Blue Ridge Medical Center-Yancey Campus, formerly Mission Family Medical Center, opened its doors in May 2005. This new facility on Medical Campus Drive, across from Mountain Heritage High School in Burnsville, houses an adult care practice as well as a pediatric clinic, each well-equipped to meet the medical needs of residents throughout the surrounding area. An exceptional medical staff assists patients throughout the day, with adult clinic hours extending into most evenings. On-call physician coverage for both pediatric and adult patients is available after hours. The pediatric division of the center provides complete medical care for infants, young children and adolescents. Pediatricians and a pediatric nurse practitioner treat young patients at the clinic. The staff is also available to answer any questions you may have about infant care and child care, growth of children, and common illnesses. Blue Ridge Medical Center-Yancey Campus is a subsidiary of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital (formerly Spruce Pine Community Hospital), a comprehensive regional inpatient facility located 15 miles east of Burnsville in Spruce Pine. 10 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Blue Ridge Regional Hospital (formerly Spruce Pine Community Hospital) is a 46-bed facility that is a member of Mission Hospitals in Asheville. Blue Ridge Regional has been serving the medical needs of the community for over 50 years and is in the final stages of a $22.6 million expansion — the largest expansion in the history of the hospital — slated for completion in March 2008. The affiliation between Blue Ridge Regional and Mission provides patients with seamless access to a nationally ranked hospital. Specialized protocols at Blue Ridge Regional ensure that patients needing more advanced care are stabilized and transferred to Mission when necessary. And, in the future, the two hospitals will have electronic medical record interconnectivity, so patient information and test results will arrive at Mission before the patient is admitted, expediting treatment and minimizing long-term complications from delays in treatment of strokes, heart attacks and severe trauma. “As we begin our next 50 years, we continue to bring state-of-the-art technology and the latest treatment approaches to our region,” says Keith Holtsclaw, SPCH CEO/President.
“A spirit of partnership and community pride inspired citizens of this area to build this hospital in 1955. In that same spirit, we remain committed to advancing the level of care we offer to our community.” Recent upgrades to patient services, medical and surgical equipment, and diagnostic exams provide people in this region with the highestquality, most cutting-edge health care possible. National awards from health care organizations such as CareScience, Cleverley & Associates, Premier and Solucient are verification that the care available at Blue Ridge Regional is as good as or better than the care provided at any other hospital its size in the nation. The Blue Ridge Fitness & Rehabilitation Center (formerly Spruce Pine Community Hospital Fitness & Rehabilitation Center) is located in West Burnsville. This 23,000square-foot facility is owned and operated by Blue Ridge Regional Hospital and is used by the community in two ways: Part of the building operates as a rehabilitation center, while the remaining part is a community fitness center. Licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists provide a full range of treatment services at the rehabilitation center, while the fitness center offers a wide variety of activities for its
“… we remain committed to advancing the level of care we offer to our community.” members, including racquetball, spin classes, aerobics classes, strength training and a large indoor walking track.
Celo Health Center of Burnsville Celo Health Center of Burnsville is a community-owned, nonprofit family practice that has provided quality care to people of all ages in the South Toe Valley since 1947. The goals of the center are to enhance the health of the people of Yancey and surrounding counties, to emphasize wellness and prevention, and to manage illness by treating the whole person in a friendly environment.
Health Care Housed in a modern facility, constructed in 2002 through public and private donations and grants, the center offers patients nine exam rooms, a trauma/procedure room, new X-ray and lab facilities, a patient-education classroom, and a comfortable waiting area.
Other Regional Medical Agencies and Facilities Graham Children’s Health Services of Toe River is a nonprofit community coalition funded with a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation. The agency focuses on preventive medicine, needs assessment, advocacy and health care for area children. Graham Health Services coordinates with health care providers at the middle schools and taps other community resources to identify and serve youth that may require assistance. Healthy Yancey is an active organization made up of volunteer citizens, agencies, health advisory groups and service providers who share a vision of promoting good health to everyone in the community. With offices at the Yancey County Health Department Annex, Healthy Yancey currently hosts two annual meetings for interested participants. Presently there are three “action teams” operating within the organization. The Health Education Team provides health information to the community in an effort to improve community and school nutrition. The Lifestyle Improvement Team is working to build walking paths and biking trails. The Senior Action Team, in partnership with MAHEC, addresses the health needs of the elderly. The Yancey County Center for Physical Therapy provides valuable outpatient physical therapy for all types of injuries and medical conditions. These can include orthopedic or neurological injuries as well as numerous
types of arthritic conditions. The patients who visit the facility come from a diverse population and range from children to the elderly. A wellness program that emphasizes preventative care is also available. Tri-County Pregnancy Center is a nonprofit community agency providing prenatal information, pregnancy testing, counseling, referrals and abortion alternatives to women requesting assistance in Yancey, Avery and Mitchell counties. In addition to the medical facilities mentioned here, Burnsville offers pharmacies, dental care, eye care and chiropractic services.
Senior Services Yancey County, with its mild climate and community attractions, continues to draw a growing number of residents over the age of 65. In order to meet the needs of this growing population, the community offers numerous housing options, as well as many other senior services. Yancey County Senior Center is available to all senior residents who are at least 60 years old. The center’s services include on-site meals, home-delivered meals, physical fitness classes, ceramics classes, games and various social activities. The center also provides in-home aid services and respite services for caregivers. Seniors will also find help with insurance coverage, drug cards and tax preparation at the center. Day trips for shopping and sightseeing are very popular with residents. Assisted living developments in the area include Yancey House, Mountain Manor, Mars Hill Retirement Community and Mountain Village Apartments. Each of these facilities offers unique programs for various stages of independence. The levels
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of assistance range from social activities to medical support. For those who need long-term nursing care, short-term rehabilitation or comfortable, safe senior housing, Brookside Rehabilitation & Care is Yancey Countyâ€™s licensed skilled nursing facility. The owners of this nonprofit 140-bed facility, Senior Care Group Inc., are committed to providing Yancey County and surrounding areas with quality services for older and impaired adults ages 18 and over. A state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym offers physical, occupational and speech therapy delivered by licensed therapists. Brooksideâ€™s multidisciplinary geriatric specialty team leads the care provided by a loving and compassionate staff. Brookside also offers its residents ongoing socialization, meals provided by a staff trained to meet special nutritional needs, daily activities designed to stimulate memory and cognition, and a secure unit for those with memory loss. W.A.M.Y. (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey) Adult Day and Health Care Center is located in Burnsville. This facility was designed to meet the needs of functionally and/or cognitively impaired adults aged 18 or older. For these residents who require
supervision, services include day care and health care, respite for caregivers, assistance with medication and personal care, nutritious meals, and social activities. A registered nurse is available at the facility. Community organizations can often provide supplementary support for families experiencing difficult injuries or illnesses. The nonprofit Hospice of Yancey County is the center for end-of-life care in Yancey County. Caregiver training and support, bereavement support, and Meals on Wheels are among the programs that the organization offers. Hospice of Yancey County handled over $1 million in Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance for patient care in the last fiscal year. The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. The ACS in Yancey County is composed of volunteers, many of whom have been touched personally by the disease. A major event for the ACS is the Relay For Life. This is a unique, challenging and fun way to raise money and, more important, to raise awareness of cancer, cancer survivorship and the work of the American Cancer Society.
HuMANE SOCIEtY Hu As we all know, pets quickly become cherished family members. In our community, quality care for pets is readily available through caring veterinary clinics. And, as many of us are concerned about the safety and treatment of all animals, the Humane Society provides a vital service in the community. This nonprofit group recently completed construction of a modern new facility, conveniently located on Cane River Middle School Road next to the school building.
Homes & Real Estate
Discover a gem of a new home in Yancey County.
ancey County is known for the unsurpassed beauty of its forested mountains and sparkling streams and its unique atmosphere in which unhurried, contented country ways continue alongside forwardthinking, progressive movements that establish the area firmly in today’s world. The total area of Yancey County covers 311 square miles, or 199,040 acres. The U.S. Forest Service owns some 38,000 acres, with the majority of it being located in the southeast and northeast areas of the county. For those who enjoy nature and outdoor recreation, owning land adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest is highly desirable. The Blue Ridge Parkway transits the southeast border of the county and adjoins some private and U.S. forest lands. Some of the finest property in Western North Carolina can be found in the picturesque valleys, on ridge tops offering spectacular long-range mountain vistas, or along the waterfall streams in Yancey County. The highest peak east of the Mississippi — Mount Mitchell, with an elevation of 6,684 feet — and numerous other peaks in the Black Mountain chain are the backdrop, offering 14 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
spectacular views for homes and home sites in numerous areas of county. Cane River and South Toe River, both with headwaters from Mount Mitchell, offer pristine waters for trout and game fishing, as well as other recreational activities. While property values along these rivers are at a premium and available properties are limited, occasionally you can uncover a gem. Homes in the area vary from older country bungalows to newer, modern construction featuring tall, beamed ceilings; native stone fireplaces; hardwood floors; and window walls capturing the picturesque scenery of mountains and pastoral valleys. With sloping hills, daylight basements are common, with many being finished for additional living space or garages. Spacious decks and covered porches are excellent features for family living or entertaining and enjoying the wonderful four seasons. Desirable space for locating vacation cottages, cabins, home sites or private estates is available. Buildings include individual custom homes, cabins, log homes, refurbished older homes and sprawling private estates.
Yancey County offers a wide selection of unimproved home sites in numerous locations throughout the area. Most home sites are larger in size than those in metropolitan areas — sometimes 2 to 3 acres or more. If property is located in a watershed protections area, then home sites must be more than 1 acre. Since Yancey County has no zoning regulations, many of the residential communities offering home sites have restrictive covenants and homeowner associations for road and common area maintenance. Named “America’s Best Community — Over 151 Units” by the National Association of Homebuilders, Mountain Air is a private gated community 4,919 feet above sea level. Here, you’re on top of the world, surrounded by nature and a host of amenities designed with your pleasure in mind. You’ll find 18 (soon to be 27) holes of mountaintop golf, fine dining, spa and fitness facilities, a heated pool, an award-winning golf learning center, and an airstrip for your private plane. Mountain Air’s residential choices are as diverse as the old growth trees that surround them. Prices for single-family homes, mountain villas and luxury condominiums range from $245,000
Homes & Real Estate to over $1.5 million. Custom home sites are available from $145,000 to over $2 million. Mountain Air is one of the most desirable communities anywhere in the county. Located in the southeast portion of Yancey County, in a valley near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mt. Mitchell Golf Community is one of the most picturesque settings you can imagine. The South Toe River meanders through the golf course, offering challenging play. A variety of custom homes, condos and
home sites are available, offering outstanding views of the mountains and river. While Yancey County has for years been a haven for seasonal residents, an increasing number have decided to make it their permanent home upon retirement. Also, an increasing number of younger families have decided that rural areas are a wonderful place to rear and educate their children and have chosen to live in Yancey County. The Yancey County Register of Deeds shows that deeds filed indicate an increase in property transfers from $67 million in 1999 to almost $213 million for the year ending June 2006. Any services you might need for construction and/or improvements are available locally. Building contractors, building supply businesses, architects, home inspectors, electricians, plumbers, surveyors, interior designers, landscaping companies and others are all available. Currently, there are 36 real estate offices with more than 110 licensed real estate agents available to assist buyers and sellers in the area. This is no longer the undiscovered area â€” land purchases in Yancey County are a wise investment. Yancey County truly has something to offer everyone!
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Business & Industry
Diversity is fostering growth throughout the region.
ancey County enjoys a diversity of businesses and industry while offering a collaborative network of professional organizations eager to promote economic and community development. From large manufacturers to small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, all are welcomed and supported here by the Yancey County/ Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, the Yancey County Planning and Economic Development Commission, local government administration, and other community service groups. Like many communities in North Carolina, Yancey County has a rich tradition in the textile industry. Glen Raven Mills owns the county’s largest manufacturing facility in Burnsville: Glen Raven Filament Fabrics, which employs over 250 people. Established in 1948, It is one of the county’s oldest employers, and its rich history shows the impact it has had on the community and the world. During World War II, the Cotton Mill wove and dyed duck for army tents. In 1959, Glen Raven developed pantyhose and is still 16 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
regarded as the originator of the product. In the late ’60s, fabric from the Silk Mill was used to make the U.S. flag that astronauts first planted on the moon. Glen Raven Filament Fabrics has woven fabric for everything from
Hickory Springs, located in Micaville, is also a long-time, stable employer in Yancey County. The company employs approximately 130 people in its three-shift operation, manufacturing mattress springs and related products. As part of the bedding division of Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, the plant produces several unique products at the Micaville location and has played a vital role in the industrial base of the county for 35 years. The newest addition to the manufacturing community here is Altec Industries Inc. This company — the leading manufacturer of aerial devices, digger derricks and specialty equipment for the electric utility, telecommunications and tree care industries — is bringing an abundance of new employment opportunities to Yancey County. Another major economic contributor in Yancey County is the retail industry. Residents and visitors alike find a shopper’s paradise here as they look for clothing, antiques, arts and crafts, furniture, and more. Unique stores can be found on every corner. There’s a shop that makes and sells paper as it plays host to visitors in its tearoom. There’s also a country store, a quaint throwback to earlier but not forgotten times. If you’re interested in contributing to a good cause, you should stop in and make a purchase at My Sister’s Closet, a thrift shop operated by Family Violence Coalition and located on West Main Street in Burnsville. Food shopping is available at traditional grocery stores, and a wide assortment of local, organic fruits and vegetables can be found at the Farmers Market. Yancey County’s economy is bolstered by the many businesses in its service sector. These service providers include government offices, schools, trucking companies, financial institutions, real estate agents, insurance agents, automotive businesses and professional service providers. If you’re looking for
Promoting a vital, sustainable economy while safeguarding the high quality of life rugged outdoor apparel and gear to sailcloth for sailboats, fabric for personal flotation devices, barrier fabrics for medical uses, and flag material for U.S. flags. Today its highly skilled workforce manufactures quality products that are both marketed domestically and exported overseas. End-use customers such as North Sails, Medline, Kent Watersports, Gore, Annin Flag and Valley Forge Flag are only a few of a long list of companies that ultimately use fabrics manufactured in Burnsville.
Business & Industry a lawyer, doctor or accountant, they can all be found at convenient locations throughout the county. Rounding out this commercial activity are the many business-support services found here. Companies appreciate the local availability of printers, building contractors, highspeed Internet service providers and computer consultants. Small farms continue to contribute to the economic vitality of the area. There are more than 600 farms in the county, covering nearly 40,000 acres. These properties are comprised of cropland, forage/pasture and forests. The average size of a farm in Yancey County is 66 acres. Major commodities grown in Yancey County have historically included burley tobacco, Christmas trees and nursery crops. With the decline of the burley tobacco industry, the Christmas tree and nursery crop industries have been rapidly growing. In an effort to diversify the agricultural economy, there has also been a steady growth in wood products, vegetables and other crops. Livestock raised around the region include beef cattle, goats and horses. Yancey Countyâ€™s Farmers Market offers all-organic, local produce on Saturday mornings in season at the Town Center in Burnsville. Another economic force in the area is the arts and crafts industry. This business sector includes over 200 full-time and 150 part-time artists and artisans. Many of the craftspeople display and sell their work at their studios and local galleries.
Tourism remains a vital and growing part of the local economy. The recreational and cultural activities here, combined with the areaâ€™s natural beauty, make Yancey County a destination that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The annual Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair has been a major vehicle in introducing visitors to the wonderful features of Yancey County. Playing a major role in attracting new businesses and retaining existing businesses in the area is the Yancey County Planning and Economic Development Commission. The organization is currently busy enacting the recently completed Yancey County, North Carolina Strategic Economic Development Action Plan. This plan calls for the development and growth of selected industries, including tourism/hospitality, retirement/ health care, arts and crafts, floriculture, and wood products. Other organizations that provide essential support to startup businesses include the MAY Coalition, which helps with business advice and financing for entrepreneurs, and the Small Business Center at Mayland Community College. The Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce continuously works to improve the economy and quality of life of the community. The goal of the Chamber and its over 400 members is to represent the business community by promoting a vital, sustainable economy while safeguarding the high quality of life, heritage and uniqueness of the community.
Local government provides essential services and fosters regional cooperation.
ancey County’s government creates a friendly regional environment that’s as attractive as the area’s magnificent mountain landscapes. Families feel safe and connected, newcomers feel at home, and retirees appreciate the relaxed and cordial atmosphere here. Yancey County provides many essential services for its residents, including public transportation, social services, public health, recreation, recycling, mapping projects, building inspections and emergency response. An elected board of commissioners governs each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. These boards manage essential business concerns and allocate funds for civic affairs. Yancey County’s Board of Commissioners is comprised of three elected officials serving twoyear terms. The Board hires a county manager to direct general operations and to administer Board policies. Other county offices include the Register of Deeds, the County Board of Elections and the Sheriff’s Department. On a local level, the town of Burnsville is one of 500 incorporated municipalities in the state, with its own charter and power to levy local
taxes. An elected, voting mayor and a four-person Town Board govern the community. French Broad Electric provides local utilities for the county. Telephone service is furnished by Verizon Communications. Water and sewer utilities are maintained by city services, while rural residents often maximize the use of septic systems, springs and wells. The county has already extended the sewer and water system to outlying areas that were previously “unsewered communities.” Plans are now under way to continue the expansion of this service to the eastern part of Yancey County. Recent developments in the county include the expansion of the county jail. The new facility will be able to house 63 inmates, compared to the old facility that had a capacity of only 14. Also making news is the widening of Highway 19. This major east-west route will be expanded in the next few years to become the county’s first four-lane highway. The county and city property tax rate is $0.50 per $100 of assessed valuation. The sales tax is 6.5 percent, and the state income tax averages about 7 percent of net taxable income.
Highway 19 will be expanded to become the county’s first four-lane highway.
18 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
Come visit the peak of natural beauty.
sightseer’s paradise, Yancey County is filled with indescribable landscapes adorned by magnificent natural wonders. The area’s beautiful mountains and temperate climate entice an increasing number of tourists each year. In the spring, pink and purple rhododendron, azalea, and laurel paint the mountains’ landscapes. In the fall, trees burst into brilliant shades of scarlet, orange and yellow, interspersed with pristine evergreen pines. Many Yancey County visitors make the trip to the monumental observation tower atop 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Summit visitors can see a distance of 100 miles over seven states from the 43-foot observation deck. Mount Mitchell State Park was established in 1915 and encompasses 1,677 acres of the Appalachian region in Yancey County. The aromatic spruce and balsam firs of the Pisgah National Forest enhance the spectacular scenery. Visitors can relax at the gracious mountaintop restaurant or discover more about Dr. Elisha Mitchell at the mountain museum. This esteemed Presbyterian minister, professor and scientist at the University of North Carolina fell to his death during an 1857 expedition intended to confirm the mountain’s height. In 1882, the U.S. Geological Survey verified the professor’s original claim, and the mountain became Mount Mitchell. Nearby Celo Knob boasts the secondhighest peak in the eastern United States,
with an altitude of 6,200 feet. In fact, a dozen peaks in the Black Mountain Range top 6,000 feet. Farther north along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain is recognized for its larger-than-life silhouette of an old man resting comfortably on his back. The weathered mountain reaches 5,964 feet. As part of the million-year-old Appalachians, Grandfather Mountain may be the oldest mountain in the United States. The Orchard at Altapass is another popular attraction along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Guests can tour the historic 1908 orchard, collect mouth-watering apples and peaches, listen to folklore and colorful tall tales, sing along with local musicians, and enjoy weekly old-fashioned hay rides. The Orchard also supports a monarch butterfly garden and preservation project. Emerald Village is another treasured display along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The center helps preserve local mining heritage with old-time family entertainment, including an authentic mine tour, a mineral gallery, historical exhibits and a fresh-water flume designed specifically for tourists searching for rubies, emeralds and other gemstones. The scenic drives around Yancey County’s Highway 80 are very popular
tourist attractions. A drive from the South Toe River Valley to the Blue Ridge Parkway will take you through breathtaking landscapes. A trip along old 19W to the BeelogHiggins area will allow you to see the impressive swinging bridges that are unique to the area. The Chamber of Commerce offers a helpful guide that lists many of the area’s scenic back roads. The Toe River Arts Council is working with several other counties through HandMade in America to create the Quilt Trail, a series of painted quilts on barns and buildings, with the ultimate goal of forming a trail through western North Carolina. A map, as well as other aids to help visitors, is in the works. During your stay in Yancey County, you will be pleased to find a varied range of engaging and enchanting accommodations. Cozy bed and breakfast inns, rustic guesthouses and cabins, comfortable motels, and resorts invite travelers to explore the hidden treasures of this rustic county. Warm and welcoming bed and breakfasts in the area offer visitors a homelike stay in historic surroundings. Beautifully restored and maintained homes filled with antiques are a great way to experience the best of Southern hospitality. Landscaped gardens offer a lovely setting for weddings or gatherings at many of these inns. You can also enjoy the delicious home cooking that the South is famous for. For visitors looking to stay closer to nature, a cabin nestled in the mountains is an ideal choice. Travelers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in cabins with all the comforts of home or just the rustic bare necessities. Both weekly and weekend rates
Summit visitors can see a distance of 100 miles over seven states from the 43-foot observation deck. are available. Or if you’d rather pitch your own tent under the stars, there are plenty of campgrounds with a wide range of amenities waiting to welcome you. When you’re ready to pamper yourself for a weekend or more, Yancey County resorts are waiting. Facilities that specialize in everything from a luxurious spa experience, to the best in golfing, to a real, working ranch setting are all here for you to explore. From modern accommodations to a sleeping bag under a summer sky, you can find it all in Yancey County. We’re waiting to welcome you! www.yanceychamber.com 19
Music, arts and laughter liven the days in Yancey County.
he Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with other area organizations, sponsors numerous cultural and community activities that have become familiar favorites for townspeople and visitors alike. The first outdoor celebration of spring is the Spring Arts Festival, held on the town square in Burnsville over Memorial Day weekend. The American Cancer Society sponsors this event, which features fine arts and crafts from our local artists.
local galleries open their doors to visitors from all over the southeastern United States. Many visitors come to see their favorite artists in their studios, watch them work and purchase artwork from their current inventory. This tour is repeated for holiday shoppers during the first weekend in December. Each tour draws more than 100 participants. Music and laughter once again echo through the Town Square during the old-fashioned Patriotic Celebration, held the first Saturday in July. The festivities, sponsored by the Lion’s Club of Burnsville, have a down-home, smalltown flavor that is heightened with a wagon-train parade, folk music, crafts and delectable Southern cooking. In the evening, music and fireworks are presented by the Town of Burnsville. A few weeks later, crowds gather for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans to celebrate a rich Scottish heritage with track and field events, a spectacular torch-lit opening ceremony, Highland dancing groups, and
The Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair is more than 50 years old and has been honored several times as a “top 20 event.” The Toe River Studio Tours, presented by the Toe River Arts Council, are held twice a year. The first tour, held the second weekend in June, features the fine arts and crafts of Yancey and Mitchell counties. During this tour, local artists — many of whom show their art nationally and internationally — and 20 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
musical ensembles of fiddles, harps, bagpipes and drums. This four-day event, held in July, has commemorated a colorful past and a bright future for more than 40 years. The town’s summer highlight and largest yearly event is the Chamber-sponsored Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair. Scheduled for the first Friday and Saturday in August, the fair is more than 50 years old and has been honored several times as a “top 20 event” by the Southeast Tourism Society. While the days are long and the nights are warm, more than 250 booths containing unique, handmade arts and crafts of local and regional artists brighten the Town Square. Carefully crafted quilts, pottery, baskets, jewelry and an array of other goods entice shoppers, who can collect memorable gifts or add a bright touch to their home décor. Crafts exhibited at the fair include hand-painted furniture, dried flower arrangements, birdhouses, baskets, silver jewelry, stained glass and ironwork. Berry baskets and brooms are on display by a craftsman who learned the skill as he roamed the mountains as a child. A second-generation potter and his wife display earthenware. The fragrance of lanolin-rich lavender, cinnamon and
Events oatmeal/honey soaps mingles with the aromas emanating from the food court, where funnel cakes, burgers, roasted corn and blooming onions are favorites. Fairgoers come prepared to spend the day. They often spread blankets on the grass or relax in lawn chairs as they take in the delightful parade of entertainers on the event stage. Bandstand musicians present a great selection of regional music that includes the popular styles of bluegrass, gospel, country and folk. Modern and traditional Appalachian ballads, folk and bluegrass singers, musicians, and storytellers replenish peopleâ€™s spirits at the Music in the Mountains Folk Festival, held the first Saturday in October at the Burnsville Town Center. This old-fashioned music festival, sponsored by TRAC, began in 1924 and attracts aficionados of traditional and rare mountain music and stories from all over the country. On the last Saturday in September, the Chamber sponsors the Old Timey Fall Festival. This event has it all â€” antique cars, apple cider, music and dancing. Under clear blue skies on a crisp fall day, crowds can enjoy these sights along with demonstrations of the old-time arts. Antique Model Ts and fire engines flank the town hall, while festivalgoers take wagon rides drawn by draft horses. Youâ€™ll have the chance to admire an old John Deere tractor as well as to watch wool carded and spun into yarn. Spectators in lawn chairs can sit back and enjoy the stage activities that often include clogging and jig dancing set to the music of local musicians. The Yancey County community celebrates the holidays on the first weekend in December at Winterfest. Festivities begin
on Friday night at the Burnsville town center and include horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers and hand-bell choirs. You can also shop late into the evening at many of the shops in town. For the kids, the evening isnâ€™t complete without a visit and photograph with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. On Saturday, the celebration continues with a traditional afternoon Christmas parade, which is followed by the Toe River Studio Tour, held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. A preview show is held at the Toe River Arts Council Gallery on Main Street. The Toe River Arts Council sponsors Java Jam the second Friday of every month with live, danceable music at the Burnsville Town Center. Volunteers make decadent desserts and Appalachian Java, the local coffee shop, donates gourmet coffee. Check out www.toeriverarts.org for updates.
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Creativity and beauty meet mountain heritage.
ore artists per capita reside in the mountains of western North Carolina than in any other region in the United States. Nearly 700 people are employed — either full-time or part-time — in arts and crafts industries in Yancey and Mitchell counties. Not surprisingly, visitors can find a wealth of authentic craft shops and intriguing galleries throughout the county. These shops and galleries showcase the work of well-known regional artists and include artwork such as pottery, glass, paintings, prints, photographs, woodwork, quilts, metals, jewelry, toys and textiles. Not only can you shop for arts and crafts here, but you can also observe many nationally acclaimed artists creating masterpieces in their studios. Some of the shops even allow amateurs to hone their artistic skills through classes. Playing an important role in the crafts of glassblowing and pottery is the EnergyXchange. The mission of this organization is to demonstrate the responsible use of landfill gas as an energy source for small enterprise in craft and
horticulture. The Mitchell-Yancey site for EnergyXchange includes two craft studios (one for pottery and one for glassblowing), four greenhouses, three cold frames, a public gallery, and a visitor center. The EnergyXchange Incubator program was established to support entrepreneurs in starting, managing and operating new businesses in the crafts of glassblowing and pottery. Craft residencies are available to potters and glassblowers who are competitively selected
the Yancey/Mitchell County area. Sponsored activities include year-round arts and music events, art workshops, tours of area studios, an annual arts auction, a new quilt mural trails project, and two galleries that showcase area visual artists’ work. TRAC also provides cultural and educational programs for children, including art and music classes and in-school performances — both during and after school. In addition to arts and crafts, theater productions offer an enjoyable diversion for residents and guests. The Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville is a splendid professional theater that has been entertaining summer audiences since 1947. As North Carolina’s oldest continuously running summer stock theater, the Parkway Playhouse opened with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation. Since its debut, the grand old theater has thrilled audiences summer after summer with its live theater magic. Burnsville Little Theater is a flourishing amateur group that stages two or three productions at the Parkway Playhouse each year.
You can observe many nationally acclaimed artists creating masterpieces in their studios.
22 Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
by media-specific juries for the opportunity to work in group studios on site at a nominal cost. Participants in the program may stay as along as three years and receive training in business practices from HandMade in America Inc. and Mayland Community College. The Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) actively promotes arts and crafts programs in
Arts Also making a significant contribution to the dramatic arts in the area is the Mountain Heritage High School Drama Program. Over the years this program has consistently received awards for top-notch performances. Mayland Community College is another uplifting cultural resource for Yancey County. Various performances are scheduled year-round in music and drama, and classes in the arts are taught at all Mayland campuses. A highlight of the schedule is the Toe River Storytellerâ€™s Festival, where visitors are entertained with tall tales, mountain lore and railroad heritage. The Mars Hill College Campus is the home base for the renowned Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater (SART), a professional, nonprofit company that has been presenting top-notch drama and original plays for over 30 years. Performances are hosted from midJune through mid-August at the historic Owen Theater, which initially housed a Baptist congregation and later became a modern forum for the Mars Hill Theater Arts Department. The Burnsville Town Center, open since 2005, has provided a venue for many cultural and community activities, including TRACâ€™s monthly Java Jam Music Series, Parkway Playhouse winter plays and student afterschool drama classes, local dancing and gymnastic classes, quilt meetings and exhibits, and a host of various other types of performances. The world-renowned Penland School of Crafts attracts outstanding artists to the area.
A national center for craft education, Penland was founded by Lucy Morgan, a teacher at an Episcopalian school. In 1923, Morgan organized the Penland Weavers, providing looms and materials to local women and then marketing their handwoven goods. When requests for instruction began to come from other parts of the country, Penland School was born. Today, over 1,200 people come to Penland each year seeking instruction in 10 craft media. The Penland Gallery exhibits the cherished work of instructors, students and residents. Music plays a very important role in the culture of Yancey County. Whether you prefer folk, country, bluegrass or gospel, all styles of music are played and enjoyed here. You can listen to local musicians in the Town Square, attend a lively school band concert, or hear inspirational gospel music at a local church. When people here are gathered together, thereâ€™s music. A relatively new voice for Yancey culture and arts is the Cultural Resource Commission, a group that helps promote the endeavors of local artists. One of the commissionâ€™s current projects involves the refurbishing of an old dormitory in a historic section of town across from the Parkway Playhouse. This facility, which has a full-time, paid director, will soon serve as an incubator for new artists and will provide studio space for craft making, performing arts and music recording.
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