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Volume 4 • Issue 7 JULY 2009

Relax.

(it’s summer)

From Connoisseurs to Entrepreneurs Blowing Rock Ale

A Lineage of Liberty

Daughters of the American Revolution

A Family Affair

100 Years of Eggers Law

Fishing for a Living Grandfather Trout Farm


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High Country Magazine

July 2009


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MUSIC

Donna the Buffalo • Larry Keel & Natural Bridge • Upright & Breathin’

HISTORY

Robert Morgan • Horn in the West • Randell Jones

HERITAGE

Living History • Boone’s Official Annual Festival • Hickory Ridge Homestead

FRIENDS

High Country Press • High Country Magazine • Mountain Fountain Productions

FAMILY

Watauga Education Foundation • Family Festival • Fun & Games

LOCATION

Horn In The West • Boone, NC

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High Country Magazine

July 2009


Summertime and the living is easy... at Bear Creek!

at Linville

Bear Creek at Linville is a private gated community consisting of 145 acres. Developers are using great care to preserve the natural beauty of the land. Choose your dream home among babbling brooks, overlooking beautiful long range mountain views or carefree living in one of our new and exciting townhomes. Golf, hiking, biking, flyfishing, skiing, river rafting and almost every other outdoor activity imaginable are now right outside your front door. We invite you to view our many different levels of lifestyles available from Bear Creek at Linville. Lots begin at $89,000, Townhomes from $495,000, Mountain Style Cottages from $655,000, Custom Homes from the mid $600,000 to $1,000,000 plus. In-house financing available on select properties.

Linville, North Carolina

828.733.5767

BEARCREEKATLINVILLE.COM July

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July

2009

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Photo by Michelle Bailey

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C O N T E N T S

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The Valle Crucis Conference Center: A Place of Peace and Rest Rooted on Sacred Ground With a history stretching back to the early 1800s, including its fame as the first monastery in the Anglican Church after the Reformation, the Valle Crucis Conference Center has become a favorite retreat for Episcopalians all across the nation, underscoring its local, national and international significance.

Star Chapter in a National 48 Boone’s Organization The Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 and incorporated by Congress in 1896. Boone’s chapter did not come into existence until 1966, but it regularly rakes in a number of awards and recognition that rivals the most noteworthy chapters across the country.

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Take a Look, It’s In a Book

Whether you live in Boone, Newland, Banner Elk, Sugar Grove or Crossnore, you don’t have to travel far to find a fascinating way to spend the summer—just visit your county libraries, and discover a world of free fun.

68 Gone Fishin’

For 16 years, customers at Grandfather Trout Farm have been angling to reel in the next big fish while enjoying plenty of family fun. And for owner Bill Wilkinson, helping folks catch the big one is all in a day’s work.

6

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Photo by Greg Williams

on the cover

Photographed by Todd Bush

For the past four decades, no other vehicle has better symbolized summer fun, exploration and relaxation than the iconic Volkswagen Bus, which, for generations, has enabled and catalyzed the adventure spirit in all walks of life. Photographer Todd Bush caught this vanagon taking a break from traveling to relax at a High Country vista—an enjoyable activity that never gets old. To see more of Todd’s work, click to www.bushphoto.com. To see more buses, check out the High Country Bus Festival, which is always held near Boone on the last weekend of July.


READER SERVICES ABOUT US

The first High Country Press newspaper was published on May 5, 2005, and the first issue of High Country Magazine went to press in fall 2005. We publish the newspaper weekly and currently publish the magazine seven times a year. Both are free, and we distribute the newspaper and magazine in Watauga and Avery counties. Our newspaper is packed with information that we present and package in easy-to-read formats with visually appealing layouts. The magazine represents our shared love of our history, our landscape and our people. It celebrates our pioneers, our lifestyles, our differences and the remarkable advantages we enjoy living in the mountains. Our guiding principles are twofold: quality journalism makes a difference and customer care at every level is of the greatest importance. Our offices are located in downtown Boone, and our doors are always open to welcome visitors.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

We are now offering subscriptions to High Country Magazine. A one-year subscription for seven issues costs $40, and we will mail issues to subscribers as soon as they arrive at our offices from the printer. To subscribe, call our offices at 828-264-2262.

BACK ISSUES

Back issues of our magazines are available from our office for $5 per issue. Some issues are already sold out and are no longer available.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography and page reprints are available for purchase. For sizing, prices and usage terms, please call our office. Some photos may not be available and some restrictions may apply.

ADVERTISING

Obtain information about advertising in our publications from our sales representatives by calling 828-264-2262 or emailing us at sales@highcountrypress.com. Contact us at:

High Country Press/Magazine P.O. Box 152 130 North Depot Street Boone, NC 28607 www.highcountrypress.com info@highcountrypress.com

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C O N T E N T S

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Photo by Ben Benschneider

Ready for a Not So Big House?

North Carolina architect Sarah Susanka’s message goes far beyond the idea that trophy homes are often full of egregiously unnecessary space. She believes that a home should minimize the percentage of unused space, increase the emphasis on character and quality and become a personalized expression of its owner.

the Mountains: Local 94 Tap Entrepreneurs Pour Talents into Blowing Rock Ale

What happens when two local entrepreneurs put sweat equity into their passions? The answer is Boone Brewing Company and the result is five beers that embody and sensationalize the feel of the High Country lifestyle.

for a Lifetime: 106 Friends Watauga Humane Society

94

Photo by Tommy White

Celebrates 40 Years

After 40 years of existence, the Watauga Humane Society finally has a new, spacious location—free from menacing floodwaters—where it can build a new shelter. A project years in the making, the new facility will enable the Humane Society to better fulfill its mission.

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Photo by James Fay

Take a Hike Through Banner Elk’s History

The Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundationís historical tour started out led by Lees-McRae students before using cassette tapes and earphones to provide historical information. Now in its third year, its current and most successful tour plan to date involves a selfguided walk supplemented by a brochure highlighting the townís long-standing edifices.

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For the Eggers family, practicing law in the High Country is a family affair. Under the watchful eyes of family patriarch Stacy Clyde Eggers Jr., the law firm of Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers has become one of the most respected institutions in Boone.

Aspirations: 136 Elevated Carolina Caribbean & The

Beech Mountain Golf Course

The second highest elevation course in Eastern America, The Beech Mountain Golf Course nestles along the ridges of the backside of the mountain. Its colorful history is interwoven with one man and one company. 8

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The Eggers Family: A Century of Legal Service

High Country Magazine

July 2009

D E P A R T M E N T S

10 12 14 20 152

From the Publisher Looking Good Calender of Events Mountain Echoes Parting Shot: Whitewater Thrills

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High Country Magazine

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FROM T H E PUB L ISH ER

A Publication Of High Country Press Editor & Publisher Ken Ketchie Creative Director Courtney Cooper Production Manager Michelle Bailey Graphic Artists Tim Salt and Patrick Pitzer Advertising Sales Beverly Giles Katharine Osborne

Ken Ketchie in the Watauga River

Water’s Up!

B

e careful what you wish for. We needed the rain and we sure have been receiving plenty. May 2009 was the rainiest month on record ever in the High Country, with right at 9 inches of rain reported. June started out wet as well, with another 5 inches of rain falling before it slowed down at the end of the month. You may remember being a bit annoyed during those cloudy days; I know everyone in our office was tired of all that dampness. But there was one fellow I know who was out singing in the rain. Jeff Stanly, a friend of mine since our college days at ASU, thinks all this rain is just perfect. That’s because Jeff runs a whitewater guide service, and the rain has made the rivers the highest they’ve been in years. Yes, for our region’s whitewater outfitters, business as of late has been good. You’d know Jeff by his nickname—Wahoo, as in Wahoo’s Adventures. Jeff picked up his nickname from his wrestling days at ASU, when he became known as a hard guy to pin down on the mat. Around the league, his fellow wresters teased him with the name because during wresting matches, they said he was like a Wahoo—the fighting salt-water fish. I remember well but almost don’t have to—he’s still as animated and excitable now as was back then. Also while attending college, Jeff spent the summers working as a river guide for a local outfitter. He enjoyed the job so much he ended up buying out the owners to make it his own business during his senior year at ASU. Jeff’s business has now been around for 31 years, and he has guided thousands of folks down local rivers in everything from canoes to kayaks to inner tubes to whitewater rafts. So when Jeff is even more excited than usual and talks about how the rivers are running so full with fast flowing water (he says it’s been the best experience in ten years), you know this is a special time for the sport. The drought we experienced over the last few years had made some of the river levels so low that you could actually walk across them, such as the Watauga and the New River, but that’s all changed with the spring rains. The water’s up, and there’s no better time to experience the excitement of a river tour, whether you choose a thrilling whitewater rafting trip or a more casual canoe ride. Jeff, or any of the outfitters around the High Country, stands ready to get you out on the river for a day of fun and adventure. So if it turns out to be a rainy summer, why not take advantage of it and go for a ride along the swollen rivers around the High Country? As Jeff says when he answers the phone at Wahoo’s: “How can we get you wet today!” 10

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Associate Editors Anna Oakes Sam Calhoun Contributing Writers Becky Alghrary Celeste von Mangan Randy Johnson Jim Thompson Harris Prevost Owen Gray Karen Lehmann Corinne Saunders Contributing Photograhers Greg Williams Peter Morris James Fay Karen Lehmann Lonnie Webster Tommy White Finance Manager Laila Patrick

High Country Magazine is produced by the staff and contributors of High Country Press newspaper, which serves Watauga and Avery counties of North Carolina

HIGH COUNTRY MAGAZINE P.O. Box 152, Boone, NC 28607

828-264-2262 Reproduction or use in whole or part of the contents of this magazine without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Issues are FREE throughout the High Country. © 2009 by High Country Press. All Rights Reserved.


An Appalachian Mountain Tradition Since 1883

Mast Store C Valle  rucis, NC

The Original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the best remaining examples of an old country store. Mast Store locations found along main streets throughout the region offer visitors a chance to enjoy old-fashioned friendly service reminiscent of a bygone era & to browse shelves filled with traditional goods, apparel, and outdoor gear for all seasons.

Valle Crucis • Boone • Waynesville • Hendersonville • Asheville, NC • Greenville, SC • Knoxville, TN Shop Online at MastGeneralStore.com • 1-866-FOR-MAST July

2009

High Country Magazine

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LOOKING GOOD

Looking Good 1

Mountain Alliance board members are,

Mountain Alliance: Shaping Today’s Students into Tomorrow’s Leaders

from left to right on the back row, Joel Barricklow, Tammie Jolly, Mark Gould, Jo Ann Orr, Grayson Gordon, David Dauphine, Tina Houston and David Barker. On the front row from left to right

By Corinne Saunders In a county that has no YMCA or Boys & Girls Club, Mountain Alliance fills the void by creating options for local youth, as well as a sense of belonging. “I’ve heard students say, ‘I wouldn’t have stayed in school if it wasn’t for Mountain Alliance,’” said Todd Nolt, executive director. Mountain Alliance formed in 1990 to serve Watauga High School students by creating a smaller community where they can connect with the high school experience and be successful. “Outside of school, some can play sports, some can be involved in church activities, but what about the others?” Nolt said. Since he became executive director in 2003, Nolt has expanded Mountain Alliance from the leadership development program at the high school to also include outdoor adventures, as well as more community service and leadership initiatives. “The outdoors is a great classroom to teach some of life’s most important lessons,” 12

High Country Magazine

he said. “Not only are our programs providing alternatives to the many unhealthy choices youth can be making, but our programs encourage youth to make positive contributions to the community.” Mountain Alliance is funded in part by the United Way and is open to all Watauga County youth ages 13 to 18, free of charge. The tone of acceptance and understanding is set from the beginning of the program, and Nolt has never had to deal with a fight or a problem between any Mountain Alliance students. “One of the healthiest aspects of the program at the high school is the diversity of the group. I’ve seen a straight-A student and [a student] just out of serving a 10-day school suspension working together, and they learned equal amounts from each other. Where else does that happen?” he said. With a budget of only $97,000, Mountain Alliance offered 212 programming days over the course of this past school year— encompassing after-school, weekend and extended programs. The programs included the Leadership Initiative for Female Teens

July 2009

are board members Teri Reddick, Cheryl Fox, Todd Nolt, Katie Dickerson and Caroline Parker. Photo by Ken Ketchie

(LIFT) program at the high school, the Rolling Academy, more than 2,000 hours of service to the community, three weeklong spring break trips and a year-round juniorsenior climbing team. Each year, students help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in Mountain Alliance’s weeklong spring break trip to the Gulf Coast, and they learn about social justice, homelessness and hunger in Washington, D.C. during the annual Urban Expedition. Contrary to what one might first assume, students often tell Nolt their favorite program was a service project. “I think that’s because youth are longing for a connection to something and also a chance to feel their actions have made a difference,” he said. Youth often aid local organizations such as the Hospitality House, Wildlife Care Center,


Hunger Coalition, National Park Service, Grandfather Mountain, Project on Aging and more. They have also helped with the Mountains to Sea Trail and other projects. “I think we’re gaining a reputation as a group that can get work done,” Nolt said. For the second consecutive year, Mountain Alliance spearheaded the countywide Watauga Youth Service Day on April 25, which takes place as part of global Youth Service Days. Nearly 100 students served 10 local agencies around Watauga County on this day. One group of students helped clean up the Middle Fork of the New River, and in recognition of their accomplishments, The Blowing Rock Leadership Challenge gave Mountain Alli-

ance an award for “enthusiastic At the end of 11 days, Mountain Alliance Rolling Academy dedication and hard work.” participants enjoy a bond much like that of family. But The amount of student interest that’s not all—the students also return with a better in Mountain Alliance programs understanding of other people, places and cultures, as is ever increasing, Nolt said. “It points [out] to me the incredible well as an understanding of what it is like to spend more need here in Watauga County to than a week without using their cellphone or iPod. provide opportunities for youth. We’re constantly trying to add programming and improve existtain Alliance with interest in their model of ing programs to keep it exciting.” programs, he added. Members of the volunteer staff, comprised By providing students with numerous posprimarily of ASU students, “serve as mentors itive options for activities and challenging and role models who can help high school them to take part in the community while students through what to some is a difficult developing their leadership skills, Mountain time in their lives,” he said. Alliance is looking good. Other counties have approached Moun-

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Calendarof Events July 2009

8-8/15 Horn in the West Outdoor Drama, Horn in the West grounds, Boone, 828-264-2120 9

Jack in the Park Tales, Annie Cannon Gardens, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627

9

The Bear Five Mile Road Race, Linville to Grandfather Mountain summit, 828-263-5207

9

Aggie Woodruff Golf Tournament, Mountain Glen Golf Course, Newland, 828-733-1333

The Neighbors in Concert, Tate Evans Town Park, Banner Elk, 828-898-8395

9-12

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, MacRae

9

Meadows, Grandfather Mountain, 828-733-1333 10

The Grizzly Bike Ride, Grandfather Mountain, 828263-5207

10

10

Gallery Crawl, West Jefferson, 336-846-2787 Concert on the Lawn: Echo Park & Melissa Reaves, Jones House, Boone, 828-264-1789

10

Patagonia’s Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, July 10

Music in the Park: Kent Doobrow & The Other Brothers, Valle Crucis Community Park, 828-963-9239

10

Patagonia’s Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, Farthing Auditorium, ASU, 828-262-4046

10-11

MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove, Historic Cove Creek School, 828-297-2200

11

11

Grandfather Mountain Marathon, Boone to Grandfather Mountain, 828-263-5207 Jack in the Park Tales, Annie Cannon Gardens, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627

11

Family Day, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, 828-262-3017

11

Beech Mountain Art Guild Show, Beech Mountain Club, 828-387-9283

11

Todd Summer Music Series: The King Bees, Cook Park, Todd, info@toddnc.org

14

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, July 9-12


DON’T FORGET

EVENTS

MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove Held on the beautiful grounds of the Historic Cove Creek High School in Sugar Grove, MusicFest is a must for roots music lovers and Doc Watson diehards. Taking place this year JULY on Friday and Saturday, 10 and 11 July 10 and 11, the 12th annual music festival features Doc Watson, the Steep Canyon Rangers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Kruger Brothers. The event also features a mix of local vendors selling festival food and handmade crafts. MusicFest is presented by Cove Creek Preservation and Development.

G a l l e ry & f r a M e M a k e r S

Dunlap / BurGeSS / Dunlap

. . . A

F A M I L Y

E X H I B I T I O N

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Meet your Scottish kin, celebrate Scottish heritage, take part or watch the sporting events and enjoy the JULY best Celtic music from the country and 9 to 12 around world at the 54th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. The largest gathering of Scottish clans in the country takes place at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain Thursday through Sunday, July 9 to 12.

Concerts on the Lawn Summers in Boone mean free concerts every Friday evening on the beautiful front lawn of the historic Jones House Community Center on King Street. In July, enjoy performances by Echo Park, Melissa Reaves, The Harris Brothers, The Swing Guitars, The North Valley Tune Tanglers, The Sheets Family, Steve and Ruth Smith and Deeper Roots. Every Don’t forget your lawn chair or blanket!

Friday

July 20 throuGh auGuSt 15 Recent works by William Dunlap, Linda Burgess & Maggie Dunlap Reception & Gallery Talk with the Artists Friday, July 25, 3-5pm

828-898-5175 / Mon - Sat 10-5 / www.artcellaronline.com 920 Shawneehaw ave (hwy 184), Banner elk July 2009

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Bead, Gem, Jewelry and Mineral Show, July 17-19

11

Todd Wright & Friends in Concert, July 23

An Appalachian Summer: Buckwheat Zydeco, Farthing

18

Summer Sundays at the Horn, Horn in the West,

18

Blowing Rock Jazz Society, Meadowbrook Inn,

18

Storytelling: Orville Hicks, Todd General Store, 336-

18

Jack in the Park Tales, Annie Cannon Gardens,

18

Mountain Palette Gala, Linville Ridge Country Club,

18-23

Harris Brothers in Concert, Tate Evans Park, Banner

19

Comedienne Paula Poundstone, Farthing Auditorium,

19

17

Concert on the Lawn: The Harris Brothers & Swing Guitars, Jones House, Boone, 5:00 p.m., free, 828-

20

264-1789

20-8/15 Dunlap Family Exhibition, The Art Cellar Gallery, Banner Elk, 828-898-5175

Music in the Park: Bob & Ellie with Patty, Valle Crucis Community Park, 828-963-9239

17-19

Bob the Builder, Tweetsie Railroad, 800-526-5740

17-19

Bead, Gem, Jewelry and Mineral Show, Boone National Guard Armory, 540-384-6047

21

22-8/2 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show—Hunter Jumper, Tate Show Grounds, Blowing Rock, 828-295-4700

Jack in the Park Tales, Annie Cannon Gardens,

23

Fine Arts & Master Craft Festival, Banner Elk

Art in the Park, American Legion Grounds, Blowing

23-25

Wine Fest at the River House, River House Country Inn & Restaurant, Grassy Creek, 336-982-2109

16

High Country Magazine

July 2009

High Country Crank-Up Antique Engine Show, Deep Gap, 828-264-4977

24

Rock, 828-295-7851 18

Todd Wright & Friends in Concert, Tate Evans Town Park, Banner Elk, 828-898-8395

Elementary, 800-972-2138 18

Jack in the Park Tales, Annie Cannon Gardens, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627

Blowing Rock, free, 828-295-9627 18-19

Storytelling: Doyle Pace, Todd General Store, 336877-1067

23

It’s Elvis!: A Tribute to the King, Hayes Center, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627

17-8/2 Bye Bye Birdie, Hayes Performing Arts Center, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627 18

The Minute Men of the 444th National Guard Band, Memorial Park, Blowing Rock, 828-295-7851

ASU, 828-262-6084 17

Summer Sundays at the Horn, Horn in the West, Boone, 828-264-4482

Elk, 828-898-8395 17

Rosen Holocaust Symposium, Broyhill Conference Center, ASU, 828-262-2311

828-898-4292 16

An Appalachian Summer: Mike Cross, Farthing Auditorium, ASU, 828-262-4046

Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627 16

Irish Temperance in Concert, Ashe Arts Center, West Jefferson, 336-846-2787

877-1067 16

Street Dance, Beech Mountain Town Hall, 828-3879283

Blowing Rock, 828-295-4300 14

High Country Wine Event, Pleasing Mona’s Design Studio, Banner Elk, 800-972-2183

Boone, 828-264-4482 12

Todd Summer Music Series: Laura Boosinger, Cook Park, Todd, info@toddnc.org

Auditorium, ASU, 828-262-4046 12

Symphony at Chetola, July 24

Concert on the Lawn: North Valley Tune Tanglers & The Sheets Family, Jones House, Boone, 828-2641789

24

Symphony at Chetola, Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, 828-295-5500


DON’T FORGET

EVENTS

SUMMER SCHEDULE

Banner Elk Concerts in the Park

Welcome to summer at Sugar Mountain Resort where you’ll �ind cool breezes, fresh mountain air, and outdoor adventure!

Start your weekend entertainment on Thursday evening with a free outdoor concert at Banner Elk’s Tate Evans Park. The free concerts, sponsored by the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, take place every Thursday night during the summer. In July, enjoy performances by The Neighbors, The Harris Brothers, Todd Wright & Friends and Clearwater Connection.

Every Thursday

An Appalachian Summer Festival The Office of Arts and Cultural Programs at Appalachian State University has packed the month of July with a full schedule of music, seminars, art and more for the 25th anniversary season of An Appalachian Summer Festival. The festival kicked off on June 27 and continues throughout the entire month of July. Don’t miss performances by the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, dance company Pilobolus, comedienne Paula Poundstone, musician Mike Cross, Buckwheat Zydeco and Kenny Loggins.

All July

Storytelling in Todd Sit back for a relaxing evening and free your imagination from the television and the web at the annual Todd summer Storytelling Series. The storytelling features a different yarn spinner every Tuesday beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Todd General Store. If you’re hungry, come early for dinner. In July, featured storytellers include Rhody Jane Meadows, Orville Hicks, Doyle Pace and Sherry Boone.

Every Tuesday

Hiking & Biking Trails Open May 1, 2009 (Friday) through October 31, 2009 (Saturday) Hiking and biking trails intertwine throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain. Daily trail use is free of charge May through October during daylight hours. Trail maps are located in a black, marked mailbox at the base of the Flying Mile slope.

Weekend Scenic Lift Rides

July 3, 2009 (Friday) through September 6, 2009 (Sunday) Enjoy a breathtaking 45 minute roundtrip lift-ride to Sugar’s 5,300 ft peak every Saturday & Sunday from 10:00am through 5:30pm. Bring the whole family, a picnic lunch, your mountain bike, or just a friend. The majestic scenery is worth it. Special weekday lift ride date includes Friday, July 3rd.

Oktoberfest

October 10, 2009 (Saturday) and October 11, 2009 (Sunday) Enjoy a two-day Oktoberfest in the North Carolina Mountains featuring live German music, German and American food & beverages; children’s fun center; hay rides; local & regional craft fair; lift rides; lodging specials and much more.

Sugar Mountain Resort

1009 Sugar Mountain Drive • Sugar Mountain, NC 28604 www.skisugar.com/summer • (828) 898-4521

July 2009

High Country Magazine

17


Lees-McRae Summer Theatre: Guys and Dolls, July 30-August 3

17

An Appalachian Summer: Kenny Loggins, July 25

Music in the Park: Full Throttle Bluegrass, Valle Crucis Community Park, 828-963-9239

24 25

Dunlap Family Exhibition Reception, The Art Cellar

30-8/3 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre: Guys and Dolls, LeesMcRae College Hayes Auditorium, Banner Elk, 828-898-8709

Gallery, Banner Elk, 828-898-5175

30-8/8 Miracle on the Mountain Outdoor Drama, Crossnore Amphitheater, 828-733-0810

St. Mary Tour of Homes, Blowing Rock homes,

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828-963-7507 25

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk, ASU campus,

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828-262-3017 25

Concert on the Lawn: Steve & Ruth Smith & Deeper Roots, Jones House, Boone, 828-264-1789 Music in the Park: Tommy & Patty Calahan, Valle Crucis Community Park, 828-963-9239

Jack in the Park Tales, Annie Cannon Gardens, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9627

25

K-9s in Flight, August 1-9

High Country Bluegrass Festival, High Country

August 2009

Fairgrounds, Boone, 828-733-8060 25

Saturday Art Social with Norma Murphy,

1

Tate Show Grounds, Blowing Rock, 828-295-4700

The Art Cellar Gallery, Banner Elk, 828-898-5175 25

Greater Avery Tour de Art, Avery County area

1

Bill Brown Open Studio Show, Anvil Arts Studio,

1

25

Todd Summer Music Series: Lisa Baldwin & Dave Haney, Cook Park, Todd, info@toddnc.org

26

St. Mary’s Choir, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Valle Crucis, 828-963-4609

3

Taste of the Finest, Grandfather Golf & Country Club, 828-733-4305

3

3

RDU Soccer Camp Second Session Begins, Buckeye Recreation Center, Beech Mountain, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., $125 per week/$30 per day, 828-387-3003

4

Still Life Workshop Begins, Carlton Gallery, Banner Elk, 828-963-4288

Park, Banner Elk, 828-898-8395 30-8/2 BRAHM Arts and Antiques Weekend, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, 828-295-9627

Needlepoint Trunk Show Begins, Laura’s Yarn Tastic, Boone, 828-262-3336

Storytelling: Sherry Boone, Todd General Store, Clearwater Connection in Concert, Tate Evans Town

Summer Sundays at the Horn, Horn in the West,

2

336-877-1067 30

K-9s in Flight, Tweetsie Railroad, 800-526-5740 Boone, 828-264-4482

Monday Night Concert Series, Broyhill Lake, Blowing Rock, 828-295-5222

28

Watauga County Gospel Singing, Mountain Dale Baptist Church, Bethel, 828-297-3270

27

2

Summer Sundays at the Horn, Horn in the West, Boone, 828-264-4482

27

1-9

An Appalachian Summer: Kenny Loggins, Holmes Convocation Center, ASU, 828-262-4046

Rotary Old-Time Bluegrass Fiddlers Convention, Ashe County Park, Jefferson, 336-246-4344

Linville Falls, 828-765-6226 25

Crafts on the Green, Fred’s General Mercantile, Beech Mountain, 828-387-4838

galleries and studios, 828-963-7246 25

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show—Hunter Jumper II,

4

Avery County Kiwanis Spaghetti Supper, Lees-McRae Cafeteria, events@averycounty.com

4

Storytelling: Terry Rollins, Todd General Store, 336-877-1067

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High Country Magazine

July 2009


DON’T FORGET

EVENTS

Valle Crucis Music in the Park Just about every community in the High Country presents free live music events during the warm months, and Valle Crucis is no exception. Enjoy weekly concerts every Friday at the gorgeous Valle Crucis Community Park. Featured entertainers in July include Kent Doobrow & The Other Brothers, Bob & Ellie with Patty, Full Throttle Bluegrass and Tommy & Patty Calahan.

Every Friday

Symphony at the Lake The annual symphony performance at Chetola Resort has become one of the most anticipated events of the summer. Enjoy the cool mountain air while sitting by Chetola Lake and listening to the sounds of the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. Symphony-goers are welcome to bring a picnic or enjoy cuisine prepared by Chetola. The Friday, July 24, evening ends with a glittering fireworks show.

FRIDAY July 24

BRAHM Arts and Antiques Weekend Now in its third year, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum’s Arts and Antiques Weekend has become an established High Country event. Held at the Blowing Rock Elementary School, the four-day shopping opportunity features the best in antiques and fine art. The Arts and Antiques Weekend is a fundraiser for the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

July 30 to August 2

July 2009

High Country Magazine

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Insider tips, fascinating facts, conversation starters and fun stuff to do

Daniel Boone Days Returns in 2009 T

he 2nd annual Daniel Boone Days Music and Culture Festival takes place in Boone on Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5. High

Country Press, Mountain Fountain Productions, the Town of Boone and the Downtown Boone Development Association are presenting sponsors of Daniel Boone Days 2009. Friday’s events begin with the 2nd annual Dr. Edwin Arnold Daniel Boone Symposium featuring authors and Daniel Boone experts Robert Morgan and Randell Jones. Also on Friday are the Fess Parker Wine Dinners, featuring wines by the man who portrayed Daniel Boone on the popular television series. On Saturday, folks will once again don their Daniel Boone caps for the second annual world record attempt at the High Country Press office. Then begins the main event—the music and culture festival at the Horn in the West amphitheatre. The festival is jam packed with activities for all ages and tastes, including children’s music and games, living history, arts and crafts, food and drink, dancing, poetry, storytelling and live performances from national and local acts. Currently the last stop on their 20th anniversary tour, Trumansburg, N.Y.-based Donna the Buffalo will bring their blend of old-time-rock-reggae-zydeco to the stage at Horn in the West in Boone as headliners. Joining Donna the Buffalo will be flat-picking guitar legend and progressive bluegrass alchemist Larry Keel and his band Natural Bridge. Larry Keel & Natural Bridge have been cranking up miles on the odometer since playing the inaugural Daniel Boone Days in September 2008 and are hot off the release of their latest studio album, Backwoods. Boone-based pickers Upright & Breathin’ and

young Celtic and Appalachian fiddle trio The Forget-Me-Nots are also scheduled to play on Saturday. Tickets are available at the High Country Press office or online via PayPal at DanielBooneDays.com. For more information, call 828-264-2262 or click to DanielBooneDays.com.

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High Country Magazine

July 2009

By Sam Calhoun and Anna Oakes


Banner Elk Master Craft Show C

arol Schaffer has been a Linville dentist for 23 years, but at the 18th annual Banner Elk Fine

Arts and Master Craft Show Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19, she’s presenting her other professional face—that of artist in a juried show. For more than three years, Carol has used recycled materials to create wall-hanging jewelry organizers that buyers now use to hang keys,

purses, glasses and items of clothing.   Carol is only one of 80 local and internationally trained artists—several of whom have work in private collections, the White House, the Smithsonian and homes in the High Country—who will participate in the event, said Susan Freeman of the Avery Country Chamber of Commerce. Fifteen participants are reuniting this year at the festival—and bringing their friends. Several have traveled the world, while others have worked and studied in places as far apart as Rome, Italy, Africa and Antarctica. Participants “are doctors, attorneys, race car drivers with a passion for [art],” said Susan. They produce watercolors; sculptures in stone, clay, bronze and copper; pottery and jewelry; finecrafted furniture featuring wood, inlaid stone or stained glass; and hand-crafted clothing and leather. The Banner Elk Fine Arts and Master Craft Show takes place at the Banner Elk Elementary School from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday. A second show takes place Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23. For more information, contact the chamber at 800972-2183.

By Bernadette Cahill

 

Saturday and Sunday

July 18 and 19 August 22 and 23

July 2009

High Country Magazine

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The Greater Avery Tour de Art or COG. The purpose of the coalition is to join together to more fully promote the vast artistic resources of the greater Avery County area.

1. Kevin Beck Studio, Boone

The Greater Avery Tour de Art is the coalition’s

2. ArtPurveyors.com, Foscoe

first endeavor.

3. Carlton Gallery, Banner Elk

The gallery tour will include original paint-

M

ike Hill, owner of ArtPurveyors.com in Foscoe, has coordinated an effort to

organize a gallery tour throughout Avery com-

munities. The result is the Greater Avery Tour de Art, taking place every fourth Saturday through October at 12 participating galleries and studios in Foscoe, Banner Elk, Linville and other areas in Avery County. Tour hours are 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., although some galleries will be open earlier and later. Shortly after moving to Foscoe, Hill started a dialogue with the Avery Chamber of Commerce about forming a coalition of galleries,

Tour de Art Stops

4. Linville Gallery, Banner Elk

ings by professional and emerging artists, pot-

5. The Art Cellar Gallery, Banner Elk

tery, sculpture, glass, porcelain, fine art repro-

6. The Cheese House, Banner Elk

ductions, framing and lighting. Various galleries

7. Clark Gallery, Banner Elk

may also feature refreshments, special sales,

8. Sally Nooney Art Gallery, Banner Elk

trunk shows and other activities. “We’re excited about it,” said Liz Brown, director of the The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, one of the 12 Tour de Art stops. “It really lets people see that we are an arts community here.” A map of the entire tour will be available at each location, and yellow directional signs will help guide gallery tourists along the 105, 184, 194 and 221 highways. Additionally, some area restaurants will offer special discounts to Tour de Art participants. For more information about

9. Alta Vista Gallery, Valle Crucis 10. 87 Ruffin St. Gallery, Linville 11. Crossnore Gallery, Crossnore 12. Anvil Arts Studio, Linville Falls

Tour de Art Dates July 25 August 22 September 26 October 24

the Tour de Art, call 828-963-7246.

By Anna Oakes

Horn in the West

A

n annual summer attraction for locals and visitors alike, Horn in the West is the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama. It portrays the

life of famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and other mountain settlers who came to the area and fought for their freedom in the 1770s. Horn in the West’s 58th season kicked off Friday, June 19, and the shows run everyday through Saturday, August 15, except for Mondays. Performances begin at 8:00 p.m., and Horn in the West is located on Horn in the West Drive, which runs between Highways 321 and 421 in Boone. This year’s show features a revamped script, newer costumes and updated set designs. Regular attendees will notice new faces in the cast, along with several principal returning cast members, including Wes Martin as Daniel Boone, Darrell King as Reverend Sims, Jenny Cole as Widow Howard, Andrew Dylan Ray as Doctor Stuart and Jen Mears as Martha Stuart. Accomplished musician and playwright Dr. Kermit Hunter wrote Horn in the West’s original script, and John Lippard designed and built the

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High Country Magazine

July 2009

stage in three months in 1952 along with help from four students from the N.C. State School of Design. The theater has since received new seats and other modifications, but the natural attractiveness of the setting and of the carefully crafted amphitheatre have not changed. For more information or to order tickets, call 828-264-2120 or click to www.horninthewest.com.

By Corinne Saunders


mountain

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Playhouse Family Music Festival V

irtually every festival in the area touts

This year’s festival will kick off this

a list of activities for the little ones,

year with a contra dance on Friday eve-

but the Playhouse Family Music Festival is

ning featuring the music of Dot-Dot-

the only one where kids are the reason for

Dash, The Forget-Me-Nots, Lost Ridge

the occasion.

Band and Lisa Baldwin & Dave Haney.

For the third consecutive year, the

Saturday’s headliners include Sol

Playhouse Family Music Festival presents

Driven Train, Big Bang Boom and the

an eclectic slate of performers that both

Lazybirds. A truly family friendly event,

adults and kids can enjoy without embar-

the Playhouse Family Music Festival

rassment.

will include tons of fun kids activities,

The Playhouse Family Music Festival

inflatables and a Kids’ Craft Market

will be held on Friday, August 7, from 5:30

where children can sell their own art-

to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the

work. Food and shopping will also be offered. Vendors looking to secure a spot at the festival are encouraged to call

Historic Cove Creek School in Sugar Grove. Families can save $40 by purchasing an Early Bird Two Day Family Pass

828-263-0011 or click to the Playhouse website at www.goPlayhouse.org.

to the music festival for $50. Passes are on sale now at www.goplayhouse.

All proceeds from the evennt will benefit the Children’s Playhouse, a nonprofit children’s museum in Boone.

org. This offer ends on July 24.

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High Country Magazine

23


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Abingdon’s Virginia Highlands Festival T

ake a walk on the Virginia side of life by visit-

tory and fun, including a literary festival with

ing Abingdon, one of the state’s quaintest

regional and national authors, music series, fine

small towns. It’s only an hour’s drive from the

art and photography exhibit, outdoor activities,

High Country, just over the Tennessee line, to

living history events, performing arts and youth

visit historic Abingdon.

and family events. Bob Trent adds, “One new

Along with a rich history, museums, arts and

thing this year is a youth venue at the Veteran’s

cultural events, the town boasts the Virginia

Memorial Park with plenty of kids’ activities and

Highlands Festival, a town-wide festival held

entertainment.”

during the first two weeks in August. The fes-

On Saturday, July 25, be sure to come sit un-

tival has been taking place since 1948 and has

der the stars on Main Street and watch the stars

grown and changed with the times. According

on stage in the “Downtown Motown” perfor-

to Bob Trent, president of the volunteer festival

mance of The Coasters and the Marvelettes.

board, “We’re planning for the best festival ever

On Saturday, August 1, a Family Fun Day and a

this year, so be sure to come on out.”

free outdoor movie showing will take place at

This homegrown festival has

Latture Field on Main Street. Other

now become a regional and na-

exciting additions are the Celtic

tional event, drawing in visitors

weekend on the Barter Green and

from all over the nation. Along

the Eco-Fair held at the Farmer’s

with the traditional ingredients of

Market. Some truly unique events

arts, crafts and antiques, the festi-

not be missed are the on-going liv-

val now imports talented national

ing history Civil War encampments

artists, writers and performers for

at the Fields-Penn House Museum,

the enjoyment of area residents

as well as the historic revolutionary

and visitors.

war soldier reenactments, lectures

Each year, the festival sponsors

and Colonial Trade Faire at the Mus-

an arts theme and chooses one

tering Grounds at Retirement on

artist’s work for the festival. The 2009 theme

Don’t forget to save some room for great bar-

the winning signature art piece is a sculpture

beque and view wonderful hot air balloons at

by artist Val Lyle of Bristol, Va. titled “Entwined

the 4-H Center on Sunday, August 8, at the Hot

Dancers.”

Air Balloon Rally.

As in years past, the two main hallmarks

So plan to take a road trip to historic Abing-

are the large antiques market located on the

don, Va., where the past comes alive, and you’re

grounds of the Southwest Virginia Higher Edu-

guaranteed to enjoy the fun, arts and culture

cation Center and the extensive juried arts and

of the Appalachian Mountains at the Virginia

crafts show spread on the grass of the Barter

Highlands Festival, listed as a top 20 “must see”

Green, just next to the historic Martha Wash-

event by National Geographic Traveler.

ington Inn. Browse through the arts and crafts

The festival will be held Saturday, July 25,

booths and then lunch on a tasty sandwich at

through Sunday, August 9. For more informa-

Martha’s Gourmet Market and “sit a spell” in the

tion, click to www.vahighlandsfestival.org, call

rockers on the expansive porch.

276-623-5266 or the Abingdon Visitor’s Center

Other than antiques and arts and crafts, organizers have planned plenty of other events to whet the visitors’ appetites for culture, his24

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Colonial Road.

is “Entwined in the Virginia Highlands,” and

at 888-489-4230.

By Donna Akers


mountain

echoes

Biggest Zip Line on the East Coast I

t used to be that the only way to soar above

In addition to the normal cables, Cottom is

ground at Hawksnest Snow Tubing Resort

thrilled about the facility’s centerpiece, the Su-

in Seven Devils was to use the chair lifts that

perZip. When finished, the SuperZip will carry

carried you high over the scenic winter won-

riders more than 2,500 feet while suspended

derland. Now there’s another way to traverse

more than 200 feet in the air. Riders can ride the first six cables plus the Su-

through the air at Hawksnest: the resort’s series of 13 brand new zip lines. The zip line cables at Hawksnest zig and zag across the valley ranging from less than a dozen

perZip or ride all 12 cables (excluding the SuperZip) for $65. For $90, riders can ride all 12 cables, the SuperZip, and ride two additional cables.

to more than 200 feet above the ground, giving

Customers are encouraged to call ahead for

riders incredible views of the property and the

updates and reservations. Tours begin at 10:00

surrounding mountains.

a.m., 12:00, 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Reserva-

With local ski resorts staking their fortunes

tions are required. There must be at least two

each winter on unpredictable weather patterns,

people in your party to make a reservation.

owners and managers are looking for new ways

Make reservations online at www.hawksnestzi-

to keep revenue streams rolling in throughout

pline.com, email info@hawksnesttubing.com or

the year. According to Hawksnest co-owner

call 828-963-6561.

Lenny Cottom, the resort’s new zip line attrac-

By David Brewer

tion is “the biggest on the East Coast.”

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July 2009

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July 2009


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High Country Magazine

27


Relax, It’s Summer I

f you could get far, far away from your stress, routine and troubles, where would you go? In the High Country, we pass by these sanctuaries every day, though as our tenure in the region lengthens, we often forget that we live in the middle of nature’s greatest painting. Here, one of those sanctuaries— Grassy Ridge on Roan Mountain in Tennessee—comes into full focus thanks to local photographer Tommy White.

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High Country Magazine

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I

n the early 1800s, the beautiful and peaceful valley of the Watauga River lay green and vast in its richness, but inhabited by only a few hardy and enterprising settlers. By 1840, when a gentleman from New York explored the isolated region beyond the Blue Ridge, the area was about to be discovered by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. This discovery would lead to years of growth beginning with a divinity school and monastery and ending today with a wonderful conference center carrying a special historic significance. The Valle Crucis Conference Center, established in the 1960s, has become a favorite retreat for Episcopalians all across the nation, and offers a quiet and prayerful retreat from the rush of the modern world. Offering meals and lodging, the center sponsors programs of interest year round, including writers’ workshops, extensive bible and scripture sessions and walking meditations within on-ground labyrinths. Executive Director of the Conference Center is Tom Eshelman, who has been at the center for the past 12 years. Eshelman loves to recount the history of this sacred, historical place and is happy to talk with any visitor who seeks information about its early history. At the time Valle Crucis Conference Center’s history began, Bishop Levi Ives was the Episcopal Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. It was his friend who came back from a botanical trek though the Watauga Valley with reports of the interesting mountain settlers he had met on his journeys and of their “great spiritual destitution.” In a book entitled Missionary Life at Valle Crucis, written by Susan Fenimore Cooper (daughter of James Fenimore Cooper of Last of the Mohicans fame), the author traces the life of missionary William W. Skiles and his tribulations and sacrifices in helping to establish the Episcopal mission that has become the present day conference center. When Bishop Ives visited the area, riding all the way from Raleigh on his horse, he was so impressed with its promise and that of the mountain people that he vowed to send a missionary to work with them. Eshelman explained, “Perhaps Clark’s Creek and Crab Orchard Creek making a cross in the valley caused Bishop Ives to name the place the Vale of the Cross, or Valle Crucis, or perhaps because there is a Valle Crucis in Wales and an abbey or old monastery so named. Perhaps it reminded him of that. The course of the creeks was changed after the 32

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Both groups and individuals alike enjoy the invigorating climate and restful stay at the Valle Crucis Conference Center.

big 1940 flood experienced in the area, but that’s how Valle Crucis got its name.” The first beginning was a school for young boys, but it was difficult for Ives to oversee its direction since he still lived in Raleigh, so he brought people in to run the school. During the next two years Bishop Ives purchased acreage and in 1842, the Reverend Henry H. Prout came to head the religious school. The land was cleared and buildings were constructed including a log kitchen, a dwelling house, a schoolroom and other necessary structures. The only building still remaining today is Bishop Ives Log Cabin that was moved from the original site and sits next to the present day church, The Church of the Holy Cross. Early in 1845, the school opened with 30 boy students whose numbers increased during the summer months. In 1844, when a capable farmer was needed to take charge of the agricultural interests of the school and mission, William West Skiles, a 37-year-old from Perquimans County in North Carolina, was hired. Skiles, who later joined the monastic order and was ordained as a deacon, would be the preacher, teacher, doctor, legal advisor and great friend of all the people in the valley. He dedicated his life to the mission. Even though he had been hired to oversee the farming, Skiles began to be the religious teacher in addition to instructing the local mountain people in medical knowledge and nursing. Today, the little street that leads into the church off High-

way 194 is called Skiles Way, named after the revered leader. In her book, Cooper tells of how the beauty and topography of the region delighted the young boy students and that the boys accompanied by “Brother William” (Skiles) and other leaders took excursions out from the school. Two popular holiday excursions were to Roan Mountain and to Grandfather Mountain. The trek to the top of the Roan was amazing to the young students as they hiked through the grassy balds and meadows to reach today’s popular attraction of the Rhododendron gardens growing 4,000 feet above sea level. They climbed even higher to the summit that gives the Roan its name. Likewise, their hike to the top of Grandfather also gave the boys a thrill at the old mountain’s varied wildlife and wild animals. In 1847, the school for boys was disbanded and became a divinity school and mission. Three religious services were held daily in the small chapel. More people began to attend the worship services, and although they could neither read nor write, they were beginning to learn the holy chants and praises. According to Eshelman, there was a lot of controversy in the Anglican Church at that time and the idea that the church should be a separate entity from the Church of Rome. “Many people thought that a monastery—which had been established at Valle Crucis— was too close to Rome, and Bishop Ives came under attack,” he said. “This was


July 2009

High Country Magazine

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High Country Magazine

July 2009

the first monastery in the Anglican Church since the Reformation,” he added. “The first person to take vows was William West Skiles.” The formation of the monastery had caused bad feelings between Valle Crucis and the Episcopal Diocese and it would later be disbanded after about 1.5 years. In 1852, Bishop Ives resigned his position and converted to Roman Catholicism and Dr. Thomas Atkinson was elected to fill his position as Bishop in North Carolina. The good William Skiles remained faithful to the old property and worked diligently to maintain it, finding a place to live with local citizen Robert Miller, who worked the land as a farm. The next year, George Evans, a layman from Lenoir, came to assist Skiles. A paragraph from Fenimore’s book emphasizes the generosity and the cost of living during that time of the mid-nineteenth century in the mountains. Miller gave Evans, “a front room with a fireplace, and a bedroom adjoining, both comfortably furnished. A par-

ticular horse was placed at his disposal. For these conveniences and three bountiful meals daily, the charge was three dollars a month!” During a quiet time in the center’s history, and due to the state of the dilapidated buildings, Skiles was forced to find a home in other areas and lived for a while with James Mast. He never, though, gave up his influence and help to the local people of the Valle Crucis region, and had a small church built—The Church of St. John the Baptist. Skiles left the valley to reside with the Palmer family of Linville where he died in 1862. His grave was later moved to the little church where it remains today on Mast Gap Road. Eshelman said the church is a popular spot for present-day weddings. After Skile’s death, the Episcopalian work in the area almost ended except for an occasional visit from a minister to conduct services. The original land purchased by Bishop Ives was sold. But then in 1895, Bishop Joseph Cheshire came to Valle Crucis to re-start


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The Holy Cross Episcopal Church was built in 1925 on the campus of the Valle Crucis Conference Center.

Bishop’s dream. “He talked Squire Taylor [of the present-day Taylor House B & B] into selling him three acres of land. He built a dormitory and chapel with classrooms attached. The buildings still stand and the dormitory is now used as a conference house and the chapel houses a meeting space and library. Bishop Cheshire also brought missionaries to work in the community.” During this time the Episcopal Church separated the western part of North Carolina into a district with its own bishop, called the Western Diocese, and Reverend Junius Horner was elected. “In early 1900, Bishop Horner and his sister wanted to educate the little mountain children. There was no state school system here, but mission schools were working up and down the valley. He bought back about 500 acres of the original land that Bishop Ives had purchased,” said Eshelman. At that time, a herd of cattle was brought in to start a dairy, apple orchards were set out, a sawmill and wagon factory were built, a hydro-electric power plant was installed and new larger buildings were constructed. The school now con36

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sisted of both boarding and day students from the surrounding communities. “When they started the school,” said Eshelman, “it wasn’t really an orphanage but sometimes because of various issues, children did stay at the school.” Teachers were brought in from distant states and classes ran from first grade through high school. The dairy, orchard and farm activities provided employment for local natives as well as students who needed financial help in working through school. “For a while the school was turned into a girls’ school and became quite wellknown,” said Eshelman. It was advertised in Vogue and other prestigious periodicals of the time as a top-notch school in a picturesque location that provided education and also the means to earn income for school expenses. “The farm provided employment and education and there was a great chance of a good social life because of the dances and plays that were held. It opened up the community, and then there was also the spiritual component of the church,” said Eshelman. “They grew 12,000 bushels of apples a year and apples were shipped out of Ban-

ner Elk,” he explained. “And there was a big dairy located in what is now called the Apple Barn.” They also had a cheese factory and a tea room and made milk into ice cream.” In 1943, due to the difficulty of transportation and the number of teachers who became unavailable during the Second World War, the school was closed and the facilities were used as a summer inn for seminary students. The long history of the Valle Crucis monastery, church, school and more came to its present day fruition with the establishment of the Episcopal Church Conference Center at Valle Crucis in the late 1960s. Bishop Robert Johnson was responsible for taking the direction to turn the old mission school and property into a conference center under the Diocese of Western North Carolina, according to Eshelman. Open year round, the center hosts groups from any church denomination for retreats and conferences. It is a popular place for youth groups and Eshelman said that numerous youth groups enjoy their stay at the center when they come to the High Country for ski trips. With fa-


cilities to house 12 to 150 guests, and full meal service in a 150-seat dining room, the Conference Center is a great place to plan a church, social, educational or professional group retreat. The center welcomes small and large groups. One of its biggest clients is a bagpipe school—The North American Academy of Piping and Drumming, under the direction of Major Sandy Jones. The piping academy has been coming to the Conference Center for the past 37 years. “They come during five one-week sessions. Some of those weeks are during the local Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.” The grounds provide a number of recreational choices alone, even without venturing into the vast playground that is the High Country. “We provide you with opportunities to play a game of volleyball, ping-pong, football or basketball. Take a walk or run along our cross-country trail. We encourage you to spend some peaceful time rocking on the porch as you look out over the valley, visit the historic Mast General Store or take a hike,” states the center’s informational brochure. “We have dances, hiking trails and more, and we now have about 15 buildings. We have a garden and the employees can grow their own vegetables if they wish. We have hayfields that are kept maintained and all buildings and the property are on the National Historic Register. The Valle Crucis Conference Center and lands are [protected by] High Country Conservancy. We also have a relationship with Appalachian State University and their research department, and we even raise sorghum cane to make our own molasses. We very much want to work with the community,” Eshelman said. One way that the Conference Center and Church reach out to the community is with the annual Valle Country Fair, a popular annual event held the third Saturday of October with approximately 135 crafts people, apple butter, food, music and more. Thousands of visitors and local residents enjoy the fair each year. Eshelman stated that High Country Conservancy approached him and the board of directors, along with the Western Diocese, regarding plans to protect and preserve as much of the land as possible for future generations through conservation easements. “We worked together for over five years to find the funding to purchase easements on 73 acres of the valley bottom land. In 2002, our closest neighbors, the Taylor-Jensen

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family worked with High Country Conservancy to place 66 acres of their adjoining farm under an easement, which along with the easement on the Center’s open fields, places the entire upper Valle Crucis valley under permanent easements.” When this effort was achieved it was written that the easement would preserve the land but would also allow for continued enjoyment and recreational use, agricultural use and continued use for the Valle Country Fair. Eshelman said that funding for the project came from The Cannon Foundation, the NRCS-USDA Farmland Protection Program and from a partnership between High Country Conservancy and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. In 2004, the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources purchased the conservation easement and the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina generously donated more than 50 percent of the value of the easement. “Our next big dream was to place 200 acres of property along Crab Orchard Creek and its tributaries under a conservation easement with the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. This easement protects and preserves the water quality of Crab Orchard Creek, which feeds into Dutch Creek and Clark’s Creek and then flows into the Watauga River.” There has also been work done with different North Carolina groups to restore wetlands and create walking trails surrounded with wildlife, birds and salamanders just off of Dutch Creek. The present day Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross on the grounds was built in 1924 and one of its earliest ministers was

also a professor at Lees-McRae College. The pretty church has been the subject of many a painting and picturesque postcard. The Conference Center’s Board of Directors feels very strongly about the history and heritage of the center and wants to be open to everyone. “I feel that this center and Church are meant to be here. God played a part here,” said Eshelman. The old inn at the Conference Center is historic and interesting with its original floors, bead-board walls and massive fireplace that still works. All along the walls hang pictures of long-ago groups’ retreats. There’s a picture of a Townsend family reunion, a Christmas painting by Georgia O’Keefe’s sister who was an art teacher at the school, and a plaque that reads, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrew 13: 2) In the office are a good supply of note cards, pictures and books available to guests. The Conference Center has a full-time staff of eight employees and most all work part-time. If a group requires meals, the cooks come in to work when needed. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Eshelman has been executive director of the Conference Center for the past 12 years. He came to the North Carolina mountains from Memphis, Tenn. “Why did I come here from Memphis? It’s where I belong. God brought me here.” For more information about lodging at the Valle Crucis Conference Center, call 828-963-4453 or click to www.highsouth.com/vallecrucis.

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Bishop Levi Ives, original founder of the school, mission (monastery) and conference center in the Valley of the Cross lived in this cabin built in 1842.

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St. John the Baptist Episcopal St John’s Church # 1 Church Spiritual Sustenance in 1800s Appalachia Story by Celeste von Mangan Photography by Greg Williams

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W

illiam West Skiles and his St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church provided spiritual sustenance to the mountain people of the High Country in the 1800s. The Little Church in the Valle stands today as a symbol of that continued nurturance. The work on the little church moved at a slow yet steady pace throughout the summer of 1860. The year before, in 1859, ground was broken, and a name was chosen—St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church—and a stone foundation was laid. William West Skiles, or, “Brother Skiles,” was the visionary reverend and missionary who helped build St. John’s, and he wrote in his memoir, “I commenced building a church on lower Watauga last fall, and hope, by blessing of God, to consecrate it the present year.” Brother Skiles, however, did not complete St. John’s until 1862. The fact that it was built at all was quite a feat in the rugged mountains of Watauga, 150 years ago. A timeless, fairytale quality embraces the aura of the little church, with its green-shingled roof, matching bell tower and narrow arched window casings that may well house the first stained glass windows to be used in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When completed, St. John’s featured upright planks for walls, battened and painted white on the outside, plastered neatly on the inside. At first the roof was open, with timbers exposed. As soon as the building was closed in, services were held there. The cost to build St. John’s was $700. But as the church was coming alive, Brother Skiles was dying, ravaged from within by an “internal, cancerous affection.” The mountain people, who so loved Brother Skiles’ preaching for its plain, simple and short sermons, would soon lose the man described as, “Simple, earnest and peculiarly kindly in countenance and manner, there was something winning about him which attracted a warm regard from his companions, while his uprightness, sound practical judgment, his skill and experience, soon placed him at the head of the working department.” A native of Hertford Perquimans County, North Carolina, Bishop Ives had first brought him to Valle Crucis in 1844, and Brother Skiles was the first man in the Anglican Church to take monastic orders since the Reformation, forming the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross. Slightly hunched over and partially bald, he appeared older than his 37 years, and he was first thought to be in his 50s. However, his cheerful nature and ability to work as head farmer, storekeeper, postmaster, treasurer and general superintendent at the mission base in Valle Crucis, proved to one and all that the energies of this man stretched well beyond the norm, for young or old. In short order, William July 2009

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St John’s Church # 3

The cost to build St. John’s was $700. Completed in 1862, “The Little Church in the Valle” originally featured upright planks for walls, which were battened and painted white on the outside and plastered neatly on the inside. Four months after its completion, the church’s visionary Brother William West Skiles passed away.

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St John’s Church # 4

Skiles wished to devote his life to sacred ministry, and on August 1, 1847, he was ordained as a Deacon.

“Added to the Church, 22 Souls”

Throughout the years prior to the construction of St. John’s, the good reverend founded the Valle Crucis Mission School, which is now the conference center. He traversed the mountain trails, quagmired with mud in the spring, dusty and dry in the summer, slick with freezing rains in the fall, and layered in blankets of snow in the winter, to lend spiritual sustenance

to his scattered flock. Quite often, Henry, his sure-footed horse, would provide transportation on the lengthier journeys, of 10, 15 or even 20 miles one way. Known to be spirited with ordinary riders, Henry was always quiet with Brother Skiles, who cared for the faithful horse himself, rubbing him down, putting the curry to his coat, feeding him and attending to all his equine needs. A skilled healer, Brother Skiles was drawn to those ailing in body. Though he was often suffering pain and fatigue himself, he would travel far afield, vials of medicine in one pocket, prayer book occupying the other, to pray with a sick person, or act as nurse. The stipend as a mission-

ary was $100 and no fee was charged for his medical or teaching services, though a pair of homemade socks or a cake of maple sugar might be pressed into his capable hands by a grateful member of his flock or by a patient’s tearful mother. As the years progressed, the geographical range that Brother Skiles preached in expanded, and by 1853 included Lenoir plus the valley of the Yadkin. One of the reports included these simple census counts: “Added to the church, 22 souls. Confirmed 6.” The annual report for 1853 read as follows: “Baptism, 1 adult. Confirmation, 1. Communicants, 20. Offerings at Communion, $9.75. I have assisted once a month July 2009

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St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church was moved section by section in 1882 to higher ground for the convenience of the church neighborhood. Along with it, the body of Brother Skiles was moved, under supervision of Reverend George Bell, to a final resting place beside the church.

in the chapel at Valle Crucis. I have kept up a Sunday school, with the assistance of Mr. George N. Evans, consisting of a class of white children every Sunday morning, and of a class of coloured persons and children in the afternoons, until Christmas.” Brother Skiles also held services one time per month at a private house in “lower Watauga,” occasionally at the Easter Chapel in “upper Watauga,” at Cranberry Forge, in Linville, and in Bottoms of Elk “or near there” and observed that “there is manifestly an increased interest in the services of the church, and many are inquiring for the good old paths.” Jefferson, Boone, Wilkesboro and Asheville souls did not escape the missionary’s spiritual reach, and it was estimated that he and Henry traveled well more than 1,000 miles each year. Around 1857, the heart of the missionary became filled with “The Little Church” that would become St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, conceived then only in his conscious mind. From that time forward, all paths led towards its realization. A spot was chosen for the structure high on a bank above 44

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the waters of the Watauga River. Some monetary gifts trickled in to help with the building—$10, $20—and in one instance, the princely sum of $50 was offered for this most pious work. Logs were donated, yet Brother Skiles wrote that “gathering materials was no easy task,” and he himself paid for one third

Sacred Events St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church is available for sacred events and ceremonies from May through October. Weddings, baptisms and other special events can be held at “The Little Church.” For more information, call 828-963-4609.

of the cost to build the church. To add drama to the days, a civil war between the northern and southern states appeared imminent, and the peace loving reverend was disturbed when his

flock took opposing sides from one another. But he never gave up, still saddling Henry to reach everyone when mountain paths were passable, as attendance at his services were very good. August 22, 1862 marked the day St. John the Baptist Church was consecrated in ceremony. A crowd of mountain folk attended, standing both within and without its white walls. Brother Skiles ended that day with these words: “Jesus Christ: the same yesterday, today and forever.” He never saw St. John’s again. As bushwhackers roamed the countryside, Brother Skiles health deteriorated, and after the consecration he left Watauga, too ill to hold service, pray with people or visit the sick. Confined entirely to one room in a house, he was cared for by a Mrs. Palmer. At the end of October, he could no longer speak, and on December 8, 1862, not four months after St. John’s was completed, Brother William West Skiles passed from this world “in such perfect submission, and such infant-like gentleness, as none could have conceived, who had not been


present,” wrote Mrs. Palmer. A rough box was built to house Brother Skiles’ mortal remains, and he was laid to rest in a grave furrowed in the garden beside the house. Not content with their friend and spiritual father’s final resting place, some good folk arranged to have his body moved to St. John’s churchyard for a proper funeral. Attended by about 40 members of the collective congregation, a grave was dug in the snow, on the sunny south side of the church building, beneath a white pine, a laurel and an oak tree. When the church was moved section by section in 1882 to higher ground for the convenience of the church neighborhood, the body of Brother Skiles was moved along with it. Under supervision of Reverend George Bell, the church and its creator have rested side by side since that time. Inscribed on his gravestone was the paragraph, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” Thirteen years later, Bishop Lyman addressed the Diocesan Convention, and, speaking of the Watauga country remarked: “I was touched by the affectionate mention made by so many in that region of the faithful laborers of the Reverend William Skiles, whose death some years since, has deprived the simplehearted people of the shepherd whom they deeply loved, and honored.” St. John’s Episcopal Church remains today, much as it was in the 1800s, painted white as a snowdrift, now as then. The structure sits in quiet repose amidst a clearing, surrounded by woodlands. w

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Boone’s

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Star Chapter in a National Organization x

By Bernadette Cahill

Elizabeth L. Harris, Ann e Van Shep herd, Annie Hellen Thomas, ie Stee lman, Carla Chamblee, Judy Bonn t: Righ to Left ding ips, Bett y Wils on and Stan Back Row Gail Haus er, Megan Christina Phill Sandra Blankenship, Evel yn Coffey, r, Gree ey Marn ons, Serm Lois , Chlo e Coleman, Nop pen Mills aps, Margaret Jewe ll, Allis on Jennings g: Joanne Brow n, Patricia Smith, Sittin t Righ to Left Row le Magruder, Harriette New man . Midd Stor my Dyer, Dais y Adams, Patricia Left to Right Sitting: Diz Mackley, Row t Fron Lisk. Ruth and ips Joanne Kemp, Anna Boyce Phill hie ra Hayd en-H enry. Photo by Ken Ketc ngto n, Barb ara Manning and Sand Elizabeth Richter, Rose Ellen Farri 48

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ne day in May 1966, local historian Dr. Ina Woestemeyer Van Noppen, heard from her mother, Anne Pearl Pratt Van Noppen, who had been in the Daughters of the American Revolution since 1930 as a member of the Madison chapter. The elder Van Noppen knew the North Carolina state organizing secretary had already written to invite her two granddaughters to join the DAR and now she talked to her own daughter about the applications, encouraging her granddaughters to join. The applications had particular import because they were part of the new chapter forming in Boone. So her granddaughters, Anne Millsaps and her twin sister, Mary, later Mary Van Noppen Taylor, took up the challenge. Under the local leadership of Kathryn Wilson, they joined a group of other pioneers of the DAR in Boone. “[The North Carolina state organizing secretary] filled out our applications for us. [They] were sent to us to sign and were submitted and approved at the October 15, 1966 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Board meeting,” Anne said. They were two of 12 new members and “the chapter [was] organized the same day after a phone call to say that we had enough members approved to form a chapter.” That was the start, told from the perspective of the current regent of the Daniel Boone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in this area, Anne. As the chapter was chartered in the 75th anniversary year of the DAR, it has the added distinction of being called a Diamond Jubilee Chapter. It currently has 64 members and will welcome six new members in its August meeting.

The Daniel Boone Chapter has members from seven western counties, plus 10 states and Japan. x x

An Award-Winning Chapter

The Daniel Boone Chapter’s output of educational, patriotic and historical work is so prodigious that it regularly rakes in awards: it received more than 23 from the state DAR in 2008 and 28 in 2009. “We [also] received nine national awards for our chapter. Not many chapters get that many awards,” Anne said. This area’s star chapter achieved the distinction, Anne said, because “our members worked. We had over 3,100 volunteer hours for other organizations that were reported by half the members. They worked with the Red Cross, Relay for Life, March of Dimes and The Hunger Coalition.

Anne Van Noppen Millsaps is the current regent of the Daniel Boone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and representative of the chapter here, at state, and at the national level.

Because she is the current Regent, Anne is the leading representative of the chapter here, at state, and at national level, but she makes sure that each member of the chapter is recognized. “It’s not one person doing [the work],” Anne emphasized. “It’s a chapter effort.”

Born Of Exclusion

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a patriotic organization of women whose ancestors fought or worked for America’s independence. Like the nation itself, it was born out of protest—in their case protest at exclusion. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was organized on April 30, l889, the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as the nation’s first July 2009

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The Daniel Boone Chapter’s output of educational, patriotic and historical work is so prodigious that it regularly rakes in awards from both the national and state DAR organizations.

The Daughters of the American Revolution mission is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. x

x

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President. The Sons evolved from the Sons of Revolutionary Sires, founded in centennial patriotic fervor in San Francisco in 1876. In 1890, the reorganized Sires voted down flatly a proposal to open membership to women—and women were so incensed, they swiftly took matters into their own hands. They founded the Daughters of the American Revolution on October 11, 1890 and Congress incorporated it in 1896. The DAR now has 165,000 members, 3,000 chapters spread across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and international chapters in Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom. More than 850,000 women have joined the DAR since its foundation. Membership is open to any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background who can establish lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. “[The process] can take years, depending upon how

thorough you are,” said Anne, who started her second term as regent of the local chapter last April. An applicant has to have legal proof, such as birth certificates, census records, marriage licenses or marriage bonds. It can be quite difficult establishing a link legally, she said, because before the Civil War, “most people just announced in church for three consecutive meetings that they were getting married and then they got married.” Records have also frequently been lost or destroyed, she added, citing a loss of local records carried off by the army

The Boone chapter has helped to preserve the history of its namesake, Daniel Boone, by helping to officially mark Daniel Boone’s Trail through North Carolina and Kentucky. The local group also participated in 2008’s Boone Days. In costume, Anne Millsaps (left) and Bonnie Steelman.

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in April 1865 and the destruction of the records in the courthouse by fire on March 29, 1873. “They did go back and re-register all the land [but] they did not re-do the marriage licenses. That’s why the census is so important…we have census records that show husband and wife, naming the wife.” On the other hand, some applicants “have been able to put the proof together in six months if their parents had done some research,” she said.

Only Remaining Local Organizing Member

In 1997, Anne and her sister Mary’s research found two ancestors that would have made their mother eligible to join the DAR. Her sister died in 2007, but Mary’s daughters, Sandra Taylor Cook, and granddaughters Chelsea Taylor and Megan Cook are chapter members. Anne is the only organizing member of the chapter left in the area. Two others live elsewhere. “Our chapter covers members from seven Western counties, plus 10 states and Japan,” she said. “Our oldest member is 102 and our youngest is 20.” Anne has eight Revolutionary War ancestors, while members Marianne Boyd Gore of Banner Elk and Mary W. “Stormy” Thompson Dyer each have seven. The record for the chapter, according to Registrar Anna May Ball “Diz” Mackley of Boone, is the 25 ancestors of Johnson City member Barbara Lee Edmisten Manning. Most of the ancestors that DAR members record their descent from are males. “I do not have any [female] ancestors … that were noted or in records,” Anne said. “The wives of all these men helped support [the revolution] but they didn’t fight or whatever.” Some do, however, record female ancestors, such as Stormy Thompson Dyer

and Alice Austin Lafferty, both of Jefferson. Their ancestor, Elizabeth Austin, of South Carolina, furnished supplies and money for the colonists during the Revolutionary War. Deep Gap’s Bonnie Steelman descends from Daniel Boone’s oldest sister, Sarah Wilcoxon, who helped with the defense of Boonesborough during the siege in 1777-78. Also descended from the Boone family, though Daniel Boone’s older brother Israel, is Sandra Blankenship of Deep Gap. (See the July 2007 High Country Magazine)

Patriotism, Preservation and Education

The DAR mission is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism and it works in these areas on three levels. “[The DAR] raised over $500,000 towards the World War II Memorial, the Women in Military Service Memorial [and] the U.S. Capitol Building,” Anne said, citing just a few examples of the organization’s work. Nationally, DAR also supports eight schools across the country, including Crossnore, and also helped to start the American Red Cross, she said. It also promotes Constitution Week each September; supplies thousands of flags and flag codes to schools, civic and other organizations; provides a Manual of Citizenship for immigrants; participates in naturalization ceremonies; and provides veterans with many services. The DAR’s prestigious headquarters is on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. Its facilities are much in demand for power entertaining and the building was used in television’s West Wing because it resembles the White House. It houses one of the largest genealogical research centers in the United States, holds a valuable

“The DAR is a great way to meet people when you have moved to a new area. There is a lot of activity with the Boone chapter and I enjoy getting to know these ladies. x x

Sandra Hayden-Henry of Zionville, a member of the DAR since the 1970s.

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The DAR has helped mark the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers, including one of Jeremiah

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Green, a soldier buried at Zionville. Photo by Peter Morris

On August 14, 2007 the Daniel Boone Chapter dedicated a tree planted at the National Guard Armory in honor of the 1451st Trans. Co. NC National Guard.

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collection of historical manuscripts and publications and has a unique collection of all of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. The DAR museum has permanent and changing exhibitions showcasing American furnishings and decorative arts from before 1830. This work receives support

from the states, such as sponsorship of one of its 31 period rooms; the North Carolina DAR sponsors the dining room.

A National Mission At The Local Level

The Daniel Boone Chapter represents

DAR member Lois Sermons is proud of her family Bible that goes back to 1842, starting with her grandfather. “It’s so interesting to see the wonderful penmanship in it,” Lois said. “[The Bible] is over 100 years old, I guess. I’ll be 99 in October. Isn’t that something?“ Photo by Bernadette Cahil

the DAR’s mission at the local level in a huge way. Its work includes an ROTC award at ASU, a junior ROTC award at Ashe County High School, good citizenship medals for Ashe, Avery and Watauga County high school seniors, good citizenship awards in elementary schools and an essay contest for elementary and high school students. “Last year our high school student won the Christopher Columbus Essay Contest state award,” Anne said. Recently, to further help genealogical research, the chapter donated to many local libraries 17 rosters of Revolutionaryera gravesites that the North Carolina Society of DAR published. The DAR has helped mark the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers, including one of Jeremiah Green, a soldier buried at Zionville. The local group also participated in 2008’s Boone Days. In addition, the women regularly send personal items, such as toiletries and Christmas cards, to injured soldiers. “When our active duty military are severely injured, they are sent by medivac to Landstuhl, Germany, the largest Ameri-

“I do whatever I see that needs to be done because I think if you’re going to volunteer, you should work and not just sit there and read and answer the phones. You can do lots of work, just whatever comes up.” x x

—Lois Sermons (left) is a stalwart of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s band of volunteers who contribute their time to local activities; she works regularly in the Watauga County Library.

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Johnson City member Barbara Lee Edmisten Manning, proudly displays the many pins she has received for volunteerism and service in the DAR. The pins on the left distiguish the number of Revolutionary ancestors. Barbara holds the chapter record for the highest number, with 25.

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can hospital outside of the United States [for treatment]. These soldiers arrive at Landstuhl with essentially nothing,” Anne said: hence such key humanitarian work.

DAR Volunteer at Watauga County Library

Lois Sermons gave up her job in Shreveport, Louisiana to move to the mountains and be close to her daughter, Linda Jackson, and her son, Joel M. Sermons. Now she is a stalwart of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s band of volunteers who contribute their time in countless High Country activities, helping to provide services and products that improve the quality of life in this area. She works regularly in the library. “I started volunteering just to answer the phone for them back when I first moved up here, but I decided that I could do more for them than that,” Lois said. “At the library now, not only do I answer the phones, but every other Wednesday they do overdues that they have to mail out. I help them out that way.” Lois described a complicated procedure she could help the staff with, and she also stamps new books with the liJuly 2009

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brary’s name. “And now they’ve gotten several great big boxes of new library cards to get out, so I punch those out for them if I have time,” she said. “I do whatever I see that needs to be done because I think if you’re going to volunteer, you should work and not just sit there and read and answer the phones. You can do lots of work, just whatever comes up.” “I had relatives who belonged to the [DAR] but I was never interested in it till one of them became Regent of the oldest chapter in Shreveport [and] insisted that [my cousin] Pat and I join…So we joined and that was in 1990, the centennial year for the DAR,” Lois said. She became a member through previous family genealogical research, and is proud of her family Bible that goes back to 1842, starting with her grandfather

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and includes along the way the name of her mother, Mary Elizabeth Kemp, born in 1884. “It’s so interesting to see the wonderful penmanship in it,” Lois said. “[The Bible] is over 100 years old, I guess. I’ll be 99 in October. Isn’t that something?“

Voluntarily Making Research Easier

For up to two hours a day, Sandra Hayden-Henry of Zionville sits down at the computer and logs onto a huge project that is making eligibility for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution easier to establish, and is also creating an invaluable resource for anyone researching their family tree. Sandra is a member of a nationwide volunteer network, as many as 400 strong, that is computerizing all of the DAR’s genealogical records from the

1.2 million applications for membership since the organization’s inception in 1890. Membership fees, donations and volunteer work are making the project possible. “[DAR headquarters] have scanned all the actual documents and they come up on a split screen with the scan and an entry screen to transfer the information,” Sandra said. She receives a batch at a time and has 10 days to do it. “[The work] began in 2004 and it took three years to get almost half-way through, so we are beginning to see the end of the line,” she said. The project is important because membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution depends on proving with legal documentation lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. But, because of the family lines that membership applications incorporate,


Current Regent Anne Millsaps welcomed Major Maury H. Williams when he visited the Daniel Boone Chapter meeting in April 2009 to speak about the ROTC.

the DAR houses one of the largest genealogical libraries in the world. Anyone can apply to the DAR for them to search the data to trace family lineage. The applications Sandra is working on currently are from the 1930s, handwritten and sometimes hard to decipher. She follows people from the West all the way back to the Northeast along the routes the families migrated. “It’s really fun to think about these people, where the country has come from [and] how they survived all the hardships.” Sandra joined the DAR in the 1970s through Amos Rose, an an-

cestor of her great-grandmother, but it wasn’t until she retired and came to Boone that she became so deeply involved in the DAR’s volunteerism. “The DAR is a great way to meet people when you have moved to a new area. There is a lot of activity with the Boone chapter and I enjoy getting to know these ladies. So many of them were born and have grown up here,” Sandra said. Her sister, Barbara Hayden Kamiyama, is a non-resident member of the chapter, who lives in Japan and tries to make it here each year for the September meeting.

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Photograph (top) by istockphoto.com ©/ stefan klein, (middle) by istockphoto.com ©/ lisa young (bottom) by istockphoto.com ©/ rodolfo arpĺa


This Summer Explore Worlds Unknown at the High Country’s County Libraries Story by Becky Alghrary • Photography by Peter Morris

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hether you live in Boone, Newland, Banner Elk, Sugar Grove or Crossnore, you don’t have to travel far to find a

fascinating way to spend the summer here in the High Country— just visit your county libraries. Nothing is better than relaxing under a big shade tree with your favorite book and a pitcher of lemonade. Perhaps there’s a question that’s been bugging you about another country you don’t know much about? Or maybe you’re trying to get more into genealogy to trace your family’s background and roots before immigrating to America? The library has the answer—and so much more. The Watauga County Library in Boone and the Avery County Morrison Library in Newland are fully staffed and at your service, and the best thing about libraries is: they are completely free!

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Libraries # 3

Appalachian Regional Library System (ARL) Director: Louise Humphrey

www.arlibrary.org

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he Watauga County Library, located at 140 Queen Street in downtown Boone, is part of the Appalachian Regional Library System (ARL. Watauga County Librarian John Blake, who has headed the Boone branch for the past 4.5 years said, “This partnership really helps financially with funding all of our different branches. Currently there are six libraries in the system: the Watauga County Library in Boone, the Western Watauga Branch at Sugar Grove, the Ashe County Library in West Jefferson, the Wilkes County Library in North Wilkesboro and two Wilkes branches, one at Traphill and one at Ronda.” The Appalachian Regional Library has much to offer citizens within its area communities. From a combined collection of more than 200,000 books, 8,000 videos/audio-visuals, research materials, computers, copiers, a variety of interesting and informative programs and a dedicated staff, library patrons have much to gain. Prior to moving into the current facil60

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ity in 1997, the library was much smaller and located on Water Street. Evelyn Johnson, who is a 31-year veteran of the Watauga County Library, is head of Adult Services. Judith Winecoff, an 11-year veteran herself, directs the library’s youth programs. “We offer computer classes here four times a week, twice a day,” said Johnson. “It’s a 401 class and most that come for the classes want to learn basic computer skills, how to form a word document, how to send and receive email or how to set up a resume. We do get very busy during the summer months.” Johnson said there are always a good variety of programs available for adult participation. “We have crafts, author visits, genealogy, organic gardening and book club discussions.” If your favorite author’s latest book has already been checked out and you’re just dying to read it, not to worry. “If we don’t have a particular book here, we can get it from one of our partners in Ashe or Wilkes counties or from the

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The Watauga County Library in Boone works closely with other ARL partners in Watauga, Ashe and Wilkes Counties to answer all its patrons’ needs.

Appalachian State University library,” Johnson explained. Blake agreed that the various branches in the three counties work closely together. “Our monies are divided and we receive both state and county funding and some funding from the Town of Boone, and we work as partners in providing all library services.” Adult Services also includes order-


ing books and audio-visuals. Johnson said that the involved staff members read reviews and take requests from readers. “Some of our more popular authors are James Patterson, Danielle Steele, Stuart Woods and Nicholas Sparks,” she said. “Our library book club meets the last Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. We read a book and then discuss and study it,” Johnson explained. “We are also starting a Genealogy Club.” Another resource for those looking for information on past history and newsworthy events are Microfilm articles from the Watauga Democrat that are easily accessible at the library. The Boone facility currently features 18 computers as well as wireless internet. A popular pastime is poring through the boxes of old photographs from the Boone Historical Society available at the library. There is also a good selection of movies—classical and popular. “We are moving from video over to DVD,” said Blake. “We now have about 2,200 DVDs including a lot of ‘how-to’ films.” Each year, the library staff participates in the Watauga County Adult Spelling Bee. “We had a team this year—can you spell whippoorwill?” asked Johnson. “That was the hard word that everyone missed because

of the two ‘o’s. We didn’t win, but we did win the costume contest,” she added. The Western Watauga Branch in Sugar Grove is headed by Librarian Jackie Cornett who schedules many of the same programs and activities as the Boone library, but on a smaller scale. “A lot of Avery County residents frequent the Sugar Grove branch. Jackie was named the Paraprofessional of the Year and appeared on the front cover of the Library Journal recently, which is a national magazine and

Members of the Watauga County Library Staff are: (L-R) Ross Cooper, librarian John Blake, Wendy Hilderman and Evelyn Johnson, head of Adult Services.

quite a prestigious honor,” said Blake. Winecoff, who recently won the local Friend to Families award, said that the library is all set for a fun-filled summer with numerous activities planned for children.

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High Country artist Cher Cosper takes advantage of the library’s extensive 8,000 videos/audiovisuals collection by checking out some dvds.

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Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

The people of The United Methodist Church

A story hour is held daily at 11:00 a.m. In addition, the schedule for all free activities that are open to the public this summer include an ice cream social with bingo, magic shows and magic workshops, family nights, Hula Hoop Crafts, Animal Encounters, Elk Knob Park and Physical Science Showcase, T-Shirt Madness, Reptiles and Amphibians, Musical Rain Sticks, Recycled Fashion Show, Chinese Acrobats and more. The Boone library also hosts another youth event called Speak Out, which is a book discussion group. This event is based on books junior-high students use in the Battle of the Books competitions held annually in local schools. The Sugar Grove branch library has an outstanding summer program lined up for kids including magic shows, gemstone mining, Bubbleology, a physical science showcase from the Catawba Science Center and Game Show Mania. Summer art classes are also offered at the Sugar Grove library. “We do a lot more than people think about when they think of a library,” said Blake. “I constantly put people together. Someone may call needing a plumber for instance, and I’ve met someone at a Chamber function and I can say, ‘Call so-and-so,’ so


we’re putting together a lot of people in this community in different ways.” The library has a website—www.arlibrary.org—where those interested can access new information daily. “It’s a great help on new books that have come in or it can connect the user with the library card catalog. Users can also connect with the Ashe and Wilkes branches,” said Blake. Blake said that the Appalachian Regional Library is greatly appreciative of the Friends of the Library who hold a biannual book sale to raise funds and recently raised $26,000. “Our state funding was cut this year by nine percent and the county will cut our funds by three percent as well due to the economy,” explained Blake. The Sugar Grove branch also provides outreach services to the homebound every Friday using the library’s cargo van. Staff from Adult Services strives to visit nursing homes and retirement facilities providing books and programming, and Youth Services provides numerous county daycare centers with scheduled story times. With the exception of copies made from the library copier, all services and pro-

grams at the library are free. The Boone library also has a community room that is available for use by nonprofit groups. The Watauga County Library is open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Western Watauga Branch in Sugar Grove is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and from

The Watauga County branch at Sugar Grove offers a number of the same programs as the Boone branch, but also reaches out to the community through Homebound visits.

10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, click to www.arlibrary.org.

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Avery, Mitchell, Yancey Regional Library System (AMY) Director: Dr. Daniel Barron www.amyregionallibrary.org

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uilt in 1971, with an atrium and annex added in 1996, the Avery County Morrison Library, located at 150 Library Place in downtown Newland, offers many of the same programs as the Watauga County Library. The library is a part of the Avery, Mitchell, Yancey Regional Library System (AMY). By participating in this partnership with libraries in nearby counties, the Avery library receives benefits, such as funding and the ability to share valuable resources and materials. Librarian Phyllis Burroughs, who has been with the library for the past 24 years, heads up the Newland facility, along with Assistant Librarian Debbie McLean. “When we added the annex to this building we were at the edge of our property lines, but one of our trustees, Ms. Martha Guy, suggested that 64

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we rough in a basement in case it was needed for expansion,” said Burroughs. “Now we are using that as our community meeting room and it is a popular place for large groups.” Since the library is a polling place during elections, the room has proved its worth immensely. The Avery, Mitchell, Yancey Regional Library System was organized in 1969 and consists of four libraries, including the Avery County Morrison Public Library in Newland, the Spruce Pine Public Library, the Mitchell County Public Library in Bakersville and the Yancey County Public Library in Burnsville. These individual libraries work together to “bring better services and more resources than each could do alone,” said Burroughs. “The state pays 75 percent of our budget,” continued Burroughs. “The county pays 25 percent, but because of

Librarian Phyllis Burroughs (L) has been with the Avery County Morrison Library for 24 years. She is assisted by Dolly Stogner, part time librarian, who began as a volunteer 15 years ago.

the economic downturn, our budgeted funds from the state were cut seven percent this year.” The “Morrison” in the Avery library’s name is for Robert Morrison, a nephew of the well-known Howard Marmon of Marmon automobile. Robert Morrison dearly loved his Pineola home called the


The popular Avery County Morrison Library was begun in 1971 with contributions from Pineola philanthropist, Robert Morrison.

“Hemlocks” and had a great fondness for the people of Avery County. Morrison had no heirs and wished to leave money to the citizens of Avery County in a way that would best benefit them. He eventually left one-third of his entire fortune to the Avery County Library, which was then located in a small, one-room building in downtown Newland. Burroughs said that one of the big attractions at the library, like that at the Watauga Library, has been the computer access for the public’s use. There are 16 computers available—two are laptops—and the library also has wireless internet. Recently the computers have come in especially handy, as the library is now a JobLink partner. “We have a computer on loan from JobLink and are JobLink partners,” said Burroughs. “The employment security office here in Newland lost their space, and with so many people out of

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work and searching for jobs and filing claims, we are glad to help people get on the website.” “The computers are big in all avenues,” continued Burroughs. “We have senior citizens that come in to check their emails and send pictures to their grandchildren. We have students from Lees-McRae, Mayland Community College and the high schools who come in to do reports and research.” According to Burroughs, computers have just about taken over as far as research materials are concerned. “We have just about stopped purchasing reference materials like encyclopedias, world almanacs and literary criticism selections. Everything is so available online and updated almost daily.” Burroughs said she believes fiction and biographies will continue to be popular in book form, but the nonfiction and reference materials are becoming more obsolete in deference to the computer reference use. The Avery County Morrison Library offers access to approximately 75,000 books, books-on-cassette and DVDs. “Currently we are ordering the Play Away Books—the entire book is on a

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The Avery County Library offers access to approximately 75,000 books, books on cassette, DVDs, and a popular feature – free use of computer services.

little MP3 player and you listen on the headphones,” she explained. Like the Boone library, the Avery library is preparing for a fun-filled summer program schedule. On Tuesdays, the Avery County Partnership for Children sponsors Tuesday Tunes at the library for ages birth to five. “This is more music oriented than just a story hour,” Burroughs said. “They play small instruments like castanets and little triangles and do some dancing.” The story hour is held every Wednesday at 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., and is for ages three to five. This year’s summer programs, headed by Children’s Director Karen Dobrogoz, are called AMY’s Summer Kids Club. The State Library sets the theme, which

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is to encourage children ages six through 12 to read during the summer, according to Burroughs. An overview of the programs scheduled for Kids Club are Jigsaw Puzzle Picture Frame, Cereal Box Sandals, Garden Stones, Milk Jug Shekere—where an empty gallon or half-gallon plastic milk jug is turned into a colorful African percussion instrument called a shekere— Geodesic Domes and Cereal Box Tote. At Christmas, the library has special programs for children including a visit from Mrs. Claus, who reads with the children. Home schooling programs are another focus at the library. The homeschoolers have a book club and work on science

projects. Parents who home-school receive a special library card to check out materials for a longer period of time. The library also has a bookmobile that travels the backroads of the three counties carrying library materials to those who are shut-in, sight-impaired or not able to get to the library themselves. Like the Watauga library, all services—other than printed copies—are free to the public. On an outside wall of the Newland library is a beautiful Mountain Laurel quilt square placed in honor of Maggie Ashley Hughes, Avery County Morrison Public Library’s first librarian. Avery, Mitchell, Yancey Regional Library System’s Avery County Morrison Library in Newland is open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. For more information, click to www. amyregionallibrary.org.

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G r a n d f at h e r Trout Farm P r ov i d e s Re e l F u n f o r t h e W h ol e Family

i n’ Story and Photos by Karen Lehmann

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here is a popular joke that goes like this: A fisherman returned to shore with a giant marlin that was bigger and heavier than he was. A child who had been fishing with his grandfather proudly carried a stringer with a dozen minnow-size fish. The child saw the man and his marlin, and then turned to his grandfather and said, “Gosh, he only caught one.” I decided to put the joke theory to my own test and brought my 9-year-old son Marcus to Grandfather Trout Farm, a High Country staple for both amateur fishermen and experienced anglers. As we approached the ponds I

asked him, “Well, what do you think? Would you rather catch one big fish or several little ones?” Without hesitation, he replied that he definitely was going for the biggest catch. These early fishing trips are about being together, teaching and learning. And once you have taught a child the joys of fishing, you will undoubtedly have a fishing buddy for life. After 16 years in the fishing business, Grandfather Trout Farm owner and operator Bill Wilkinson has made the facility one of the largest and best maintained trout farms in the Southeast and knows per-

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Grandfather Trout Farm is located off Highway 105 in the shadow of the legendary Grandfather profile.

Owner Bill Wilkinson proudly poses with the art sculpture he created with Wayne Trapp, a local artist and good friend.

“I love being outdoors , work ing d n a ic l b u p e h t h it w n seeing the sm iles o k id’s faces .” 70

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haps better than anyone that there is a lot of truth to that joke. A child will probably be more concerned with how many fish he catches rather than the size of the fish caught. However, trout farm employee Joshua Manning, a two-year veteran of the operation, takes a different view. “Oh no, it is definitely about who catches the biggest fish,” Joshua said. Whether a first time fisherman or a pro angler, it is important to Bill that everyone fishing at Grandfather Trout Farm has a personalized experience. For this reason, his trout farm offers fishing from three different ponds. The smallest pond contains fish from one to two pounds—perfect for little fisherman who may want to reel in many fish. The fisherman who is looking for a bigger bite may want to try his luck in one of the two larger ponds, where the fish can weigh up to nine pounds. “I love being outdoors, working with the public and seeing the smiles on kids’ faces when they reel in their first fish, or their biggest fish,” said Bill. Let me interrupt my story here by revealing my lack of angling expertise. I’ve been fishing a time or two, but I am one of those fishermen who prefer not to touch either the bait or the live fish (you know the type). Fortunately, after arriving at Grandfather Trout Farm, customers—including this non-fishing mom—soon find how fun and easy fishing can be. Fishing at Grandfather Trout Farm is full of advantages: no need to haul your own tackle and equipment, no need to buy a license and—my personal favorite—they offer fish cleaning for 50 cents each. The well practiced, unwavering staff doesn’t flinch as they clean fish after fish for the grateful and occasionally squeamish fishermen who watch over their shoulder. “Most people watch for a few seconds and then step outside, but others stay, ask questions and take pictures” Joshua explained. In addition to a warm greeting and a smile, Marcus and I were handed all the equipment needed completely free of charge: a pole, bucket and towel, as well as bait and a net. As I looked around the wellmaintained landscape, it became apparent that Bill strives to maintain a family atmosphere that his customers appreciate. “I want to make it nice so people will look forward to returning,” Bill explained. The facility’s lush grass, fresh flowers and the friendly service have long been part of Grandfather Trout Farm’s allure.


Rules at Grandfather Trout Farm:

1) Pay only for the fish you catch and 2) Have fun!

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Once you have taught a child t h e j oy s o f fishing, you w ill undoubtedly have a fishing buddy fo r l i fe . 72

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“The bigger the worm, the bigger the fish,” might be what this young fisherman is thinking. All equipment, including big fat worms like these, are provided free of charge.

As Marcus and I walked toward the pond, his eyes became as wide as saucers. “There must he hundreds of them in there,” he shouted. My son stood still on the bank, eagerly watching the trout swimming back and forth just below the surface of the water and just barely out of his reach. Bill enforces two simple rules at Grandfather Trout Farm: 1) Pay only for the fish you catch and 2) Have fun. The fishermen around us—from young children to the more experienced anglers—all seemed to be following the second rule and were having a great time. Parents were practicing patience among the chaos with the little fisherman, assisting with the baiting of the hooks, untangling of lines and hauling in of the catch. Others sat quietly on the grassy banks waiting ever so patiently for a bite. Truby and Alyse Proctor and their two children Browning, age 5 and Jack, age 3, come fishing here regularly. “I am a huge fan of the outdoors and want to take the

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kids fishing,” explained Truby, “But they don’t have a lot of patience, they just want to catch the fish.” After Marcus baited his hook with a big fat worm (which he didn’t seem to mind touching), he eagerly cast his line amongst the hundreds of fish. It didn’t take too many casts before he got his first nibble, at which point his little face lit up with excitement and anticipation. Not long after that first nibble, he hooked a big fish and started to reel it in. As the fish drew closer to the shore and the surface of the water, it began to fight the line and broke away, taking my son’s big fat worm with him. It is not often that I see my son become

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distraught, but he was clearly unhappy as he watched the fish flee with his bait. It soon occurred to me what the net is for as I turned guiltily to see it resting dry and unused in the grass. Despite our early troubles, I remained determined to get the hang of the fishing experience. Bill can prove how long he has been cleaning fish. After 16 years of practice, the man can filet someone’s catch in a record 15 seconds (yes, he has been timed). Fish are packed to go on ice, or you can choose to have your catch smoked for $1 a fish. The process takes just two to three hours. In addition to locals and tourists who


Not everyone wants to fish. Gem mining is also available at Grandfather Trout Farm. Take your find into the gem shop for identification, cutting and mounting.

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test Grandfather Trout Farm’s plentiful waters, the fishing hot spot hosts Boy Scout troops every summer from on and off the mountain that come to earn merit badges. With its virtually guaranteed catch and a full service cleaning station, the farm is a perfect place to learn the finer points of fishing. The boys line up with their fish in their buckets and take turns while the staff gives instruction and advice on how to gut and filet the fish. “They have to gut, clean and filet the fish to earn their badge,” Bill said. In addition to regular trips by Boy Scouts, Grandfather Trout Farm has hosted scores of Church groups, grade school field trips and company retreats. Bill even talks about enjoying the challenge of operating his own business, explaining that this is a live crop and there are many aspects of nature he has no control over which can damage or kill the fish. And he speaks

from experience; two major floods in the past and the recent drought are just some of the challenges he has faced over the years. A flood during the winter of 1995 was the result of a large snow, while the second flood in September of 2004 came on the heels of back-to-back hurricanes. Bill lost more than 13,000 pounds of trout when the flood caused the Watauga River to change course, ruining all three of his ponds. He immediately began the process of repairing and refilling and was soon back in business. “Right on the other side of that bank is the Watauga River, and we try to keep it over there,” said Bill, pointing to a grassy bank high above his three ponds. On the other hand, the drought, which has persisted during the past three years, has also been equally hard on the trout industry. “It has made the water levels lower and temperatures warmer,” Bill explained. “One of the growers I purchase my trout

Catch & Release: While the policy at Grandfather Trout Farm is to keep what you catch, holding onto the slippery fish isn’t always easy. This one gets away during an attempt to pose for a photograph.

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Mountain water so fresh and clear an arriving fisherman can see hundreds of trout waiting for bait.

Whether a first time fisherman or a pro angler, it is important to Bill that everyone fishing at Grandfather Trout Farm has a personalized experience.

Bill gets ready for a large group who stopped to take their picture behind his colorful trout sculpture—a common first stop for individuals and families.

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ew f a r o f h c t a w e l p o “Mos t pe t u b , e d i s t u o p e t s n s e c ond s a nd t he a ke t d n a s n o i t s e u q k others stay, as pic tures .”

— Trout farm employee and two-year fish cleaning veteran, Joshua Manning

Matt Taylor, pictured at right, spends much of his workday cleaning the catch for grateful fishermen who often watch over his shoulder. Bill Wilkinson, who has had 16 years experience in the art of fish fileting, can have a fresh catch ready for the grill in a record 15 seconds.

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from lost 60,000 pounds in one night.” Bill also remembers a few times pulling into the farm and finding the pond white with upside down fish, because of water temperature or other factors. He chuckled as he described the “small anxiety attacks” he now feels every morning when he pulls into his parking lot and takes that first glimpse at the ponds. Fortunately, years as an independent businessman have taught him to diversify and think ahead. In addition to fishing, Grandfather Trout Farm also offers Gem Mining and the Rock Solid Gem Store. In 1985, he was the first Gem mine to open in the area, giving the Trout Farm an added entertaining activity. The ore that fills the buckets (priced by size from $15 to $40) is brought in directly from Spruce Pine. In addition to the ore, Bill admits he makes sure the buckets have extra gems to assure customers won’t go home empty handed. Bill was also thinking ahead when five years ago, before they were so popular, he installed a web cam overlooking the ponds. People visiting his website are able to see exactly what the operation looks like and even have control over the camera to pan around to different angles. “People love the web cam,” Bill said. “That way, if Grandma and Grandpa bring the grandkids fishing, mom and dad can watch all the fun live online.” Marcus did finally catch his big fish, and this time I helped him to successfully bring in with the net. He then proudly carried his catch over to the weigh-in and cleaning station while I gathered up the gear. “Three and a quarter pounds,” announced Joshua. My son was beaming, and we both agreed it was a nice size fish. So when I again asked him if it is better to catch one big fish or lots of smaller fish, he introduced a third option I hadn’t considered. “Both! I want to catch lots of big fish just like this one!” said Marcus. At the end of the day, the smile on my son’s face insured that our first trip to Grandfather Trout Farm would most certainly not be our last. Grandfather Trout Farm is perfect for church groups, school field trips and company retreats, no reservations required. The farm is located off Highway 105 between Boone and Banner Elk. For more information call 828-963-5098 or click to www.grandfathertroutfarm.com

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Ready for a

So Big House?

Photo by Ben Benschneider

Photo by Ben Benschneider

Sarah Susanka’s less-is-more architecture and building philosophy may be perfect for the future of housing in the High Country. Story by Randy Johnson • Photography by Lonnie Webster

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W

hether you’re roaring through the recession, feeling the pinch, or reeling from a punch, Sarah Susanka has a not-so-small idea whose time has come. Ten years ago, the North Carolina architect sparked massive interest in a small-isbeautiful cottage home concept with her book The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live. The 10th anniversary edition was published last fall, and the latest in Sarah’s eight-book, hugely successful, “Not So Big” journalistic juggernaut came out this spring—Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your House to Fit the Way You Really Live. That sounds like the perfect book for today’s market, where few people can sell a current home to buy a better one. If that’s your situation, Not So Big Remodeling brings the “less is more” philosophy to anyone interested in upgrading. Add her Outside the Not So Big House volume and Sarah has a timely message for anyone interested in making or remaking the inside or outside of a mountain home. Her message goes far beyond the idea that trophy homes are often full of egregiously unnecessary space. A “‘not so big house’ isn’t necessarily small, just smaller,” she said. Her engaging, practical message is that a home should minimize the percent-

age of unused space, increase the emphasis on character and quality and become a personalized expression of its owner. Sarah often finds that focus appropriate for resort areas where residents, yearround or not, may have a sharper focus on quality of life. And Sarah’s not so big idea embodies a lighter-on-the-land ethos of sustainability to which many people in the mountains aspire—and that all of us should be pondering. Sarah’s ideas are even more at home here than that implies. Her not so big approach, she says, is rooted in the Arts and Crafts movement spawned at the turn of the last century by Englishmen William Morris and John Ruskin. The movement was embraced in the U.S. by designers like Gustav Stickley, who favored craft over mass production, open floor plans, use of natural light, built-in amenities such as bookcases, and environmental sensitivity in location. Asheville and the Western North Carolina mountains have long been considered a Southern hotbed of that traditional style.

Birth of “Not So Big”

Appropriately, given Arts and Crafts’ origins, Sarah grew up in England and moved to the L.A. suburbs at 14. “All the houses in Los Angeles had basically the same rooms as my house in Eng-

land, but people used the rooms differently,” she said. “In England, the living room and dining room got used every day. But at my friends’ homes, the plastic was still on the furniture. Those spaces were for show, for guests who never came.” “The contrast between America and England inspired me to make a better house, a house that was not as large but had the quality and character of space that inspires us every day.” Sarah set off to focus on residential architecture, “and quickly found that, while people building commercial space cared about the cost per square foot, people who wanted architectural services for houses were very interested in the quality and character of what got built.” She found herself enjoying “helping people to do more with less in how to shape space so that it does the most it possibly can.” Ironically, the home-size trend was going in the opposite direction. But Sarah noticed that “people seemed to be topping out on size. They had the experience of having arrived, gotten the dream house, and making the instant discovery that it didn’t satisfy.” With that in mind, Sarah published The Not So Big House to instant acclaim in 1998 (and almost a half million in sales to date). “The words ‘Not So Big’ themselves meant something to people,” she says.

It’s been a decade since Sarah Susanka’s groundbreaking book The Not So Big House was published. The tenth anniversary is now out, along with Not So Big Remodeling, the latest in her journalistic juggernaut of not so big titles. July 2009

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“In general, a Not So Big house is about a third smaller than you thought you needed, but it’s just as expensive. The dollars that would have gone into square footage have gone instead into quality and character and making it feel like home.”

She found herself receiving thousands of e-mails from people who “knew they wanted something different, but had no idea how to articulate it to themselves, let alone to an architect or a builder.”

A Timely Trend

“In retrospect, over the last few decades, many different aspects of our culture— restaurants, automobiles, interest in crafts, fine furniture, things that are beautiful— reflect a growing interest in quality over quantity. And the ‘Cultural Creatives’ 82

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group of people written about by Dr. Paul H. Ray was growing. This segment of the population is looking for smaller, better designed everything. They’re well-educated people who care pretty deeply about the environment,” Sarah said. So the paradigm began to shift. “We see our home as an investment, so we assume that more must be better,” she explained. “When you’re successful, you get a bigger house. But I knew there was a large group of people who got disenchanted with that process. Many wanted to settle and make

July 2009

one place their home for the long haul. They still wanted to invest in it, and make the house a place where you can really grow roots and find a sense of nurturance.”

The “How” of Home

So how does that happen? Whether you build, remodel, or buy, Sarah starts with a practical way of looking at the house that could be home. “Take a look at the rooms in your house that don’t get used very much and then ask why,” she advised. “Typically, partic-


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The Marland’s home achieves many design goals of the not so big house—among them ushering light into rooms from at least two directions. The upper dormer floods the modern staircase with morning light. And the front patio is artfully screened from the street by lush flowering vegetation.

Considering a Remodel? Here are Sarah Susanka’s top five tips for saving money and staying sane. 1. If you’re doing major remodel, and especially if you’re doing the kitchen and bath, do everything you can to move out. It’s the difference between sanity and insanity. Remodeling the kitchen is like having openheart surgery. 2. If you have to stay, have the contractor make you a little kitchen someplace else in the house, and remodel in the summer when you can grill outside. 3. Builders tend to show up early and leave late and your house becomes a public place. Make sure that you have created places where you and your household can escape. 4. Do your research. Check your references. How often is a builder on time? On budget? 5. Sarah’s website www.notsobig.com has more information on her books and a directory to help people find architects, engineers, builders, and other professionals familiar with her philosophy. 84

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Kimberly Marland’s Not So Big Boone Home “There’s pressure for an architect to build big, but we pulled back from that,” said architect Kimberly Marland. “We don’t have a TV room— we just have a TV.” The not so big Kalmia Acres home she designed for herself, husband Eric and sons Levi and Simon is cleanly modern in design with a number of major not so big traits: in this case, an expansively open living room, dining room, and kitchen combination (where the TV sits). Each room in the passively solar house ushers in natural light from at least two directions, another not so big imperative. Kimberly is a “LEED Accredited Professional,” certified in the design of cutting edge green structures by LEED (Leadership In Energy Efficient Design). She’s also listed as a resource on the website of The Not So Big House author Sarah Susanka. The VPI graduate started her career in Salt Lake City where she en-

countered Sarah’s The Not So Big House in 1999 when it first appeared. After a move to Deep Gap in 2000, she wanted to “live greener,” so they chose Boone to be close to work and a walkable lifestyle. They’ll take another step in that direction: Kimberly is designing a new not so big house they’ll build near downtown. Kimberly’s residential focus leads her to design houses of all sizes, “but not so big is the first step to green,” she said. “When I talk to clients who want to build green and they tell me the contractor says it’s expensive, I just suggest taking away 1,000 square-feet with a not so big approach and that’ll pay for your solar panels.” Son Levi interjected a whispered question, “Wanna see the fort my Mom designed for us?” Just below the house, off in the woods, sits a not so small roofed deck, a perfect kid’s hideaway.

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ularly for existing older houses, the rooms are divided one from another. When you can’t see into a room, you’re not nearly as likely to use it.” In many homes, that means that “the kitchen and eating area are the hub where most living happens. The formal living room and dining room rarely get used, especially if there’s a family room off the kitchen.” For Sarah, these “dinosaur rooms” should be extinct.

The Remodel Route

The entrance to Kimberly Marland’s Boone house. The architect’s home office permits easy escape to a side deck. The striking geometry of the stairway—and a wonderfully textured ceiling—are lit by the dormer. Far right, bottom: Huge, rough-cut planks lend Linville’s Trinket Cottage an antique atmosphere.

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“Not So Big Remodeling bridges decorating—the surface things you can do—and changing a space architecturally, like adding the dormer, which bounces an enormous amount of daylight into a space, to make it a delight to be in,” Sarah said. To create a new way of thinking about your house, she tells clients to “identify the activities you want the house to support, like a better place to work at home, or a kids playroom to store all the toys. What would I like to have space for that I currently don’t have space for?” Creating that space can expand your sense of comfort by permitting “the house to reflect you back to yourself. It’s an affirmation that the things ‘I care most about are here and at my fingertips.”


Trinket Cottage: A Not So Big High Country Classic Even the biggest bark-shingled homes in Linville’s National Historic district around Eseeola Lodge are traditionally called cottages, but one really is. Ted and Jane Randolph’s diminutive Trinket Cottage is “a pet house,” Mrs. Randolph said. The bark-sided cottage was built in 1892 by Eseeola Lodge as “bachelor quarters” for beaus who followed young girlfriends’ families to Linville in the summer. Trinket started as two separate structures moved into place and linked by a breezeway. It was purchased by an Eseeola employee in 1929 and the breezeway was enclosed as a living room. Meanwhile, Ted Randolph’s parents had started coming to the mountains. They “didn’t much like Blowing Rock,” he says, so they took the stage on the Yonahlossee Road to Linville and became regulars at Eseeola from 1907 to 1920 when their own bark cottage Fenbrook was built just across the road from Trinket. Randolph’s parents bought the cottage in the 1930s and he and Jane eventually purchased it in 1984. Over the years, small additions and winterization have taken place. Today’s not so big Linville cottage includes an enlarged kitchen, a second living room and two small bathrooms, all true to Sarah’s ethos of making elegant use of every nook and cranny. The wealth of richly atmospheric details go beyond the antique tubs, exposed bark log beams, and idiosyncratic craftsmanship you’d expect in a 117-year-old house. Three leaded glass windows from Mr. Randolph’s mother’s house in Birmingham, Ala. draw the eye. Any stroll through Trinket begs comparisons with the most classic summer homes—or traditions of summer culture—anywhere in the United States. One upstairs room with a bunk bed is the “girl’s dormitory.” The cedar-lined “smell good closet” is the stuff of generations of childhood memories. Mr. Randolph flips a discreet switch on

If You Can Dream It, I Can Help You Find It.

Ted and Jane Randolph

the stairs and a concealed fan leaps to life, instantly drawing a cool breeze through every screen door and window. Hanging on one wall is a golf tournament participant portrait that includes Mr. Randolph’s parents and others sprawled on the grass in 1912. The house is full of wormy chestnut details, and most walls are made of virgin-timber size planks with the distinctive repetitive semi-circle pattern of 19th century rough-cut lumber. Trinket is a real gem, a jewel, itself almost a trinket of another time. But no reference to size earned the cottage its name. “In the early years, a pony named Trinket ferried people around Linville in a cart, and when he was finished, he always wandered back to the bachelor cabin to eat and spend the night in the breezeway,” said Mr. Randolph. “I don’t know whether the boys were tempting him with beer or what, but the cottage became Trinket, too.”

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July 2009

breezeway) are quintessential Linville.


Not So Big House # 10

A big part of successful remodeling, she said, “is opening up the space so you feel like you have more house than you had before. Opening up views to spaces currently cut off visually permits you to start living in those rooms and weaving them into everyday life. For a huge number of people, that’s a revelation. These rooms have names on them, so we forget

there’s space there we can use. The space that people think they have to add to their homes is usually right there, right now.”

Marching Orders

So where does Sarah suggest aiming your remodeling bucks if a new, custom designed not so big house isn’t possible? “The kitchen is often the reason peo-

ple start to remodel,” she said, “so it’s a great starting point. The big bang for your buck is huge.” That leads to one of the most common remodeling mistakes. True to her not so big mission, Sarah said, “People start by assuming they need a bigger kitchen. We go to the maximum solution first as opposed to starting with what we can July 2009

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do on the existing footprint. The seven chapters in my book are really the series of thoughts to consider before going to a larger footprint. It’s better to open up the kitchen to views of other rooms, which expands the sense of space.” Of course, bathroom improvements offer a huge return on investment, such as “adding a powder room on the main level, or a master suite with a nice bath. It’s great for the owners and great for re-sale.” “But,” Sarah cautioned, “I always warn people: Don’t do everything for re-sale purposes. That steers you in the wrong direction. We’ve made things bland by thinking only about re-sale. Make your house comfortable for you and it will make others feel the same way. Do make your home personal. When you make it cool for yourself, others will find it just as cool as you do.” Ultimately, the great thing about a not so big remodel is that the environment wins. “Making an existing home even more comfortable for modern living is the most sustainable thing you can do,” she said. “Far too many out-of-date houses are torn down. Most remodeled houses can’t be as sustainable as the new super energyefficient houses. But you can still make it vastly better than it is today.” And when it comes to weather resistance, that’s an important consideration for anyone living in the High Country.

Going Green

The next to last chapter in Sarah’s Not So Big Remodeling is about green remodeling, and she’s excited that the U.S. Green Building Council recently released LEED rating standards for homes. “There are other green standards and other ways of doing the same thing,” Sarah said, “but LEED gives something for people to aim for. It’s thrilling to see people step up to the plate and want to play this game. I’m sure green standards for homes will have an impact on property values and sales prices.” Whether or not your new or remodeled not so big castle is a deep shade of green, Sarah preaches a lifestyle of sustainability and sense of place with which High Country residents can identify. “You may be able to afford a 6,000-square-foot house,” she says, “but you may find that building a 3,000-squarefoot house gives you more room to live in. You can actually be living bigger.” Bigger, in more ways than one.

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A pocket door partitions an elegantly diminutive full bathroom from a laundry area in Trinket’s newest addition. The leaded window is one of many from the Birmingham, Ala. home of Mr. Randolph’s mother. An antique claw foot tub and personalized towels highlight the historical feel of Trinket’s original bathroom.


Trinket’s original living room was a breezeway before 1930. Rooms in the oldest part of the house reflect a casually elegant summer style that dramatically departs from the more homogenized idea of upscale. This downstairs bedroom is a case in point.

A Batch of Big New Books The Taunton Press is seriously into the trend to smaller, cozier cabins and castles. Besides the two new Sarah Susanka books below, check out their neat new book on cabins by Dale Mulfinger, and a long list of other titles in the Not So Big series. Cabinology: A Handbook to Your Private Hideaway, by Dale Mulfinger (author of The Cabin) $25, The Taunton Press, 2008. Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your House to Fit the Way You Really Live, by Sarah Susanka and Marc Vassallo, $32,The Taunton Press, 2009. The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live, 10th Anniversary Edition, by Sarah Susanka with Kira Obolensky, $32, The Taunton Press, 2008. July 2009

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Tap The

Mountains Local Entrepreneurs Pour Talents into Blowing Rock Ale

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Story by Owen Gray Photography by Tommy White


W

hen Todd Rice and Jeff Walker walk into the room they are dressed almost identically. Both are wearing khaki pants and checkered, short-sleeve collar shirts. The only difference is that Todd’s shirt is green and Jeff’s is dark blue. The similarities go beyond that. Both are clean-pressed and shaven, pants hiked slightly too high with comfortable shoes that would be good for a stroll on the Greenway. Both are involved in real estate on some level and both lived in Chicago at overlapping times, though they didn’t know each other then. In essence, the first thought that crosses your mind when you meet these two gentlemen to discuss their burgeoning beer brewing business is: “These guys sell beer?” It’s a valid thought. The image associated with the beer connoisseur of today is of somebody you might meet in a shop like Peabody’s Wine & Beer Merchants. Tight vintage t-shirt with blue jeans and Chuck Taylor’s; wolverine-esque muttonchops and glasses with thick black rims; sloppy but with an air of intelligence, trendy and cool. These guys look like someone’s dentist, or the person who might go door-to-door selling insurance, or even successful real estate agents, which Todd is. But, yes, they also make and sell beer. And apparently they do it well. Boone Brewing Company got off the ground about one year ago with their flagship brand, Blowing Rock Ale. That particular brand name has expanded into three seasonal beers so far—a Winter Ale, a Bock and a Summer Wheat Seasonal—and an Oktoberfest is due out this fall. “With each beer we wanted to represent the High Country. We wanted people to be able to go there in a bottle,” said Todd. “You think of the guy that gets home after a long day—a 12-hour day—opens the fridge and sees our beer, it kind of, in his head you know, it brings him to the mountains and there’s that trip with the family, the vacation, that time in the mountains and it may be 100 degrees wherever he is, but when he sees it, it brings him here to the mountains.” The launch of the Oktoberfest will bring the total to five different beers, all under the

at gets home after a long day—a 12-hour Intrepid entrepreneurs Todd Rice and Jeff Walker day—opens the fridge and sees our beer, it hoist the flagship of Boone Brewing Company – kind of, in his head you know, it brings him Blowing Rock Ale, a beer brewed with the hopes to the mountains and ther of transporting customers to the High Country in a bottle.

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Any new business has to put in the necessary man-hours to be successful. Here Jeff and Todd showcase Boone Brewing Company’s vehicle, which they use to travel all over the state and region to introduce a taste of the High Country to beer lovers.

title Blowing Rock Ale, for Boone Brewing Company, and Todd and Jeff so far have no reason to doubt that all of them are going to be successful. “We’re in 400 accounts now across the state and we’ve been growing quite a bit,” Todd said. The partners even have interest from distributors in South Carolina and Georgia and plan to expand throughout the Southeast soon. “We have a market here that travels all over the Southeast and comes and vacations here and goes to school here and people retire and move here and even young professionals move here from all over. So we have a Southeastern identity right now and we’re going to be expanding into other states as we grow,” said Todd. But that’s not all. There’s more evidence that these guys are out there and they mean business. The Bock, Blowing Rock Ale’s springtime brew, was judged by a panel of 30 judges at the Hickory Hops Festival on April 18 and took the silver medal.

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at gets home after a long Blowing Rock Ale’s Bock, pictured day—a 12-hour day—opens here sitting next to itssees olderour beer, it the fridge and brotherkind on the shelf, was awarded of, in his head you know, the silver medal at the Hickory it brings him to the mountains Hops Festival in April. Both Jeff and ther and Todd view the honor as a crowning moment on their journey to beer brewing success.

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Then, on May 2, at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh, Blowing Rock Ale was a crowd favorite. “We went through five kegs and seven cases of beer,” said Todd. “That was like going from college football to the NFL. That event was huge.” “We had a lot of people coming up to our table and saying you know this is the first beer that I’ve really enjoyed,” said Jeff, as a smile split his face. So how did they do it? How did two guys from Boone with wives, kids and other commitments start a beer brewing company that after only 12 months in the field is selling on the shelves of 400 (and counting) separate stores, some of which are supermarkets like Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods and Ingles? How do they compete with the other, bigger brands? Well, first of all they know the nature of the beast that they are tackling. “Having developed brands before, I knew that if Todd and I were going to set out and do this we had to make sure that in the end—five years, seven years, 10 years down the road— we were still here, still standing and with a successful product. The way to do that was not to start out with a small brewery [in the High Country]. What happens is with a small brewery you cannot compete on the shelves with other medium and large breweries. Each six-pack that you sell for $8.99 costs $12.99 to produce,” said Jeff. Faced with this problem starting out, Jeff, who helped run a company in the late 1990s importing beer and wine from Eastern Europe to market and distribute in the U.S., decided


Jeff and Todd wear proud grins next to their product, which stands tall on the shelves of one of 400 stores that Blowing Rock Ale is carried in across the state. Neighboring states have expressed interest in carrying the product as well, leaving the entrepreneurs with high hopes for their baby’s future.

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“”

You have to have a pretty strategic plan in place. They weren’t going to interrupt the bottling line for one-shot wonders, so we had to prove that we were going to be successful.

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that he and Todd would take another route—the route of contract brewing. Contract brewing is a method of beer production in which the owners of a company, like Todd and Jeff, outsource the manufacturing of their product to another brewery in order to be able to produce on a largeenough scale to compete. “It enables us to achieve an economy of scale to compete. To offer a terrific value to the consumer, you know, cause we’re priced at $7.99 and $8.99. We even post down to $6.99 and that allows us to compete with the bigger breweries,” said Jeff. So our two young entrepreneurs hit the streets and set out on a number of interviews with different breweries. According to them, it’s almost exactly like interviewing for your first job and just as stressful. “It’s not like you can just walk right in their door and say, ‘Will you brew my beer? OK, fine. Thank You,’” said Jeff. Todd agreed. “You have to have a pretty strategic plan in place. They weren’t going to interrupt the bottling line for one-shot wonders, so we had to prove that we were going to be successful.” After a year of developing the recipe and meeting with breweries in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, Jeff and Todd found a brewery that would work with them, in Pennsylvania. This brewery has helped the partners achieve the production qualities and scale for their beers, from the flagship ale to the seasonal brews. Todd and Jeff both make frequent trips to meet and develop the finer points of developing each product. “They’ll say, ‘What about this?’ and we’ll say, ‘Yeah that’s good’ or ‘No, in this flavor profile this is really what we’re trying to achieve,’” said Jeff. “And so there’s this other level of product development and refinement which occurs and then you actually brew a batch and you review that and then you brew a true production of 3,000 to 5,000 cases.” Next they had to get a distributor. Tryon out of Charlotte agreed to take them on after another lengthy interview process. In fact, Blowing Rock Ale was selected over 18 other products that were being reviewed by the company. So far the distributor has

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Blowing Rock Ale has expanded into four lines already – the flagship Ale, The Bock, A Summer Wheat and the Winter Ale. An Oktoberfest is due out this fall, rounding out the first year of Boone Brewing Company with five lines.

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not been let down. Over the past year, Blowing Rock Ale has consistently been in the top 10, sometimes even as second or third, products that Tryon distributes. But wait, something seems out of place… Blowing Rock Ale is manufactured in Pennsylvania? Indeed, the tiny printing of the letters PA on the bottle of Jeff and Todd’s product has brought up some questions amongst High Country locals. “It’s kind of a joke around here,” said one waiter at a Boone restaurant. “The local beer that is not produced locally.” But it’s all a misunderstanding, said Jeff and Todd. They both live and are self-employed in the High Country, not in Pennsylvania. “We are the owners of Boone Brewing Company and of Blowing Rock Ale so even though we outsource the manufacturing, the intellectual side we own and really the production we own,” said Jeff. “The profits all go back locally here in Boone. We use local designers, local printers, a whole bunch of local people are involved. And the brewery is owned by a North Carolina investment group. So that money ends up back here in the state as well.” When their beer met with some resistance amongst locals, it came as a bit of a surprise to Jeff and Todd. “It’s easier to shoot down than to create,” said Jeff. “It’s easier to point and say, ‘Those guys, I know all about them,’ and I think some almost find pleasure in doing that. That’s why I didn’t even anticipate that backlash because I don’t think that way. To me it’s all about the other side: the creating, the producing, the doing and investing in a dream and a goal of offering the consumer a great product at a great price.” Despite the fact that Boone Brewing Company has started off as a contract brewery, they have plans to manufacture 100 percent of the product they sell in the High Country locally. “It’s always been our plan to have a brewery here and we’re not far from having one either,” said Jeff. “But it’s just an incredibly challenging business and it’s always a threeto five-year buildup before you really know where you are.” It seems then that these two guys, who,


at first glance, don’t seem like the guys who are going to sell you beer, are actually more ready than one might think to take on the incredible challenges that this business has to offer. Whether or not they really know where they are, they know where they’re going and they know how to get there. Most importantly, they are doing something that they love to do. “That’s the beauty of it. That’s what’s so wonderful about being an American entrepreneur,” said Jeff. “It’s something that for me has always been a very natural thing. I’ve always wanted to create and produce and take calculated business risks. That’s the excitement of it. It’s what gets me going in the morning.” His business partner Todd agrees. “At 6:00 a.m. I’m excited about the day ahead. I get up and I’m like, ‘Let’s get at it,’” said Todd. “Some people get up and they don’t look forward to their day ahead. That’s not me. Let’s get up, let’s produce something today, let’s make it happen, let’s get out there and make it a fantastic day.”

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Story by Anna Oakes

Photography by James Fay

Friends

for a Lifetime I

n the autumn of 2004, Tropical Storm Frances and Hurricane Ivan ravaged the mountains of Western North Carolina, causing severe flooding of the region’s many streams and rivers, catastrophic landslides and substantial damage to structures and roadways. At the Watauga Humane Society, Shelter Manager Lynn Northup watched as the heavy rains fell and the waters of the South Fork of the New River crept closer and closer to the animal shelter, which is located in a floodplain. The many dogs, cats and other domestic animals housed in the shelter would need help reaching higher ground. The crisis called for an immediate evacuation. Lynn reached out to the Humane Society’s network of volunteers, and they answered the call, bravely crossing the low bridge that crosses the

New en route to the aging shelter building. The volunteers brought with them any pet carriers that they had, loaded up their vehicles with nervous cats and dogs and transported them to local veterinarians’ offices, where the animals were boarded until the water receded. By the time all of the animals had been evacuated, the New River’s muddy waters were lapping at the steps of the shelter and standing several inches deep in some of the kennels. After 40 years of existence, the Watauga Humane Society finally has a new, spacious location where it can build a new shelter—atop a hill and away from a floodplain. In June 2009, the organization held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility, located on Don Hayes Road just past Rutherwood Baptist Church off Old Highway 421.

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Former and current Watauga Humane Society board members, volunteers and supporters gather at the new shelter site on Saturday, June 13, to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Irma Baker Lyons Adoption Center. The new 14-acre Watauga Humane Society campus will include the new shelter, a dog park is already in place, a home for the shelter manager and walking trails. The site is located on Don Hayes Road off of Old Highway 421.

“When this is built, we’re not going to have to worry about that creek or river overflowing, are we?” said Humane Society President Shaun Lundy before a crowd of cheering supporters at the ceremony. The new facility has been many years in the making, and it will enable the Humane Society to better fulfill its mission: the prevention of cruelty to animals, the relief of animal suffering and the extension of humane education.

Shelter from the Cold

In the late 1960s, several local residents felt that the freezing temperatures, biting winds and harsh conditions of rural Watauga County winters were terrible conditions in which abandoned, lost and abused dogs and cats were forced to live. They formed a coalition to provide shelter for these animals and advocate for animal control. In 1969, 10 members of the Boone community signed articles of incorporation for the Humane Society of Watauga County. Among the founding members were businessman and retired Col. Clyde Miller of Miller Industries; Rachel Coffey, editor and owner of the Watauga Democrat newspaper; and Velma Burnley, then the vice president of Northwestern Bank and later the mayor of Boone. Velma served as the organization’s first president, and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the new organization. 108

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As word got around about the new Humane Society, people began dropping off animals at the Watauga Democrat office and at the Burnley home. The need became so great that Dr. John Martin, a local veterinarian, asked the Town of Boone for help. Soon after, the Humane Society built two small dog kennels at the Humane Society’s present location adjacent to the town’s sewer plant. The town agreed to rent the land to the organization for $1 per year. Originally, a town employee at the sewer plant was charged with accepting and adopting out animals. At first, the animals could be adopted for free, but the Humane Society later charged a $5 adoption fee because, as the Humane Society website puts it, “people put little value on free animals.” The Humane Society began to offer a number of new services and programs thanks to the ideas of Pat and Mike Cade, who moved to Boone from Louisiana and became members of the organization. The Humane Society began to offer memberships as a way to raise funds and increase the number of people involved with the nonprofit. The society also began obedience classes and rabies clinics and launched an annual spay and neuter campaign featuring reduced fees with local veterinarians. Pat Cade continues to volunteer with the organization. Before 1985, the Humane Society kept cats in cages in its small office area.


Get Involved You can help the Watauga Humane Society’s mission in many ways. For more information, call 828-264-7865. • Volunteer. You can help out with daily chores at the shelter, assist with administrative duties, serve on a committee or volunteer at a Humane Society fundraiser event. • Donate. Your cash donations can help pay for animal medical expenses, food, utilities at the shelter, maintenance, cleaning supplies and much more. You can also donate needed supplies such as dog beds. For information about donating to the capital campaign for the new shelter and naming opportunities, call Jan Watson at 828-264-1743. • Foster. Temporarily care for animals until space becomes available for them at the shelter. • Join. Support the Humane Society by becoming a member. Memberships are $60 for families, $35 for individuals, $100 for businesses, $10 for students and $1 for kids ages 6 and under. An endowment membership costs $100 and a lifetime membership is $1,000.

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“We all contrib spend long h ours uting t o sa f et y th and w e health, ellbein animals g of in our c Shaun Lu ndy, Wata ommun uga Hum ane Socie ity.” ty presid ent

The Watauga Humane Society’s staff and volunteers have tough jobs that include feeding and cleaning shelter animals, providing medical care and maintaining the shelter facility. (Center) Assistant Shelter Manager Nicole Carper answers the phone while a feline friend joins her on the desk.

“It was impossible to even open the door to the office without hitting the desk,” wrote former president Dee Dundon, who served as president for about 19 years. “There was absolutely no isolation or quiet place for the sick cats or nursing mothers and babies.” Thanks to years of savings and a generous donation from one couple, the Humane Society built the present-day cat mall and office area at the Casey Lane location in 1985. In May 2000, the Humane Society changed its official name to the Watauga Humane Society to avoid confusion with the Watauga County Animal Control, a facility operated by the county.

Serving Animals and People

At any given time, the Watauga Humane Society shelters around 25 to 30 dogs and about 30 cats, said Nicole Carper, assistant shelter manager. Those numbers don’t count the animals staying in the Humane Society’s foster homes—about 10 households serve as foster families for animals when the shelter is at capacity, Nicole said. “We’re trying to increase the number of foster homes right now,” she said. Most of the year, the need for dog and cat adoptions is about equal, but cats tend to have more litters in the summer. “We definitely have a higher need for kitten adoptions during the warmer months,” said Nicole. Dogs and cats are the primary pets you’ll find at the Humane Society, but they’re not the only ones. 110

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“We accept all kinds of animals,” she said. That includes birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and hamsters. Once, a man called to ask if it was okay to bring in a python. The shelter would have accepted the reptile, Nicole said, but the man never brought it in. If animals are wild, however, the Humane Society sends them to the Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary. The adoption fees for cats and dogs have increased since that $5 fee many years ago, but the fees help pay for valuable medical services for your pet. These include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping and tests. Adopters also receive coupons for dog training, grooming and pet supplies and a free DVD geared toward adopted dogs or cats. Potential adopters are screened to ensure they fully understand the responsibility and commitment of owning a pet and to make sure they have a home environment suitable for a pet (the Humane Society will not adopt to renters living in a home where pets are not allowed or to people who intend to keep their pets outside all the time as guard dogs or mouse cats.) The Watauga Humane Society boasts one of the highest adoption rates in the country. In addition to adoption services, the low-cost spay and neuter program is a major initiative of the Watauga Humane Society. Spaying and neutering your pets plays an important role in controlling the unwanted pet population. Every Thursday, the Humane Society loads a group of dogs and cats in carriers onto a custom-built, climate-controlled truck and drives them to the Humane Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic in Asheville. Following surgery and recover, the animals are kept overnight for observation and returned to the shelter in Boone the next morning.


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imals n a e r o m t o al “There are t h an o g o t e c a a pl in need of a t t he o g o t s e c a l there are p opley, Humane Society secretary Kathy C .” t n e m o m

Kathy Copley, secretary of the Humane Society board of directors, has been involved with the organization’s spay and neuter program for some time. “Spay-neuter is such an important cause—it’s good for the animals, good for us as owners and it’s good for the community,” Kathy said. Every month, the Humane Society also offers a microchip clinic. Microchipping is the process of embedding a tiny microchip under a pet’s skin. The microchip contains a unique ID number, and when an animal enters a shelter or research facility, he or she is immediately scanned 112

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with a microchip detector. The ID number is then called into a 24-hour hotline to identify the pet’s owner. Another service that the Humane Society provides is humane education. Staff members and volunteers are available to speak to organizations, schools, churches and other groups about various animal issues, including bite prevention, responsible pet ownership and pet overpopulation. “We believe that reaching the young ones is really where it all begins,” Nicole said. “If they grow up to treat animals humanely, hopefully it will just offshoot from them.”


A Labor of Love

Kathy’s work with the Humane Society began in the summer of 2002, when she noticed an unclaimed cat hanging around her neighborhood. She called the Humane Society, who agreed to take the cat, and made her first trip out to the shelter. Soon after, she discovered a litter of feral kittens, but the Humane Society told her the kittens would have to be “socialized”— comfortable with humans—before they could be adopted. So, Kathy spent many afternoons at the shelter playing with the kittens to help them warm up to people. As Kathy became a familiar face at the shelter, Lynn, the shelter manager, asked if she would be interested in temporarily caring for some kittens that needed to be bottle-fed. Kathy was hesitant at first, “but I said yes, and I was hooked,” she said. She continues to foster animals, volunteer for the organization and serve as the board secretary. “I love kittens, so that’s been my niche,” Kathy said. But, she points out, “I am just one person of many. I have never been involved with anything that is a team effort like this is.” The Humane Society employs three fulltime staff members and several part-time staffers. The organization relies heavily on the contributions of volunteers. “We have about 15 to 20 of our core folks that we know we could call on for anything and they would be here to help

us,” Nicole said. In addition, about 40 to 50 volunteers show up each week to walk dogs on the Greenway and play with the cats in the cat room. At the shelter, volunteers help prepare crates for the weekly spay-neuter trips, clean up after the animals, wash and fold laundry, wash dishes, clean out the vacuum, scrub windows and walls and perform maintenance around the shelter. Volunteers also serve on Humane Society committees, help out with administrative work, assist with fundraisers and monitor the dog park. Volunteers also help with the society’s pet adoption fairs at the Boone Mall every weekend. Many organizations, such as Girl Scouts, fraternities and sororities and civic clubs, hold their own fundraisers and service projects benefiting the Humane Society. “We all spend long hours contributing to the health, safety and wellbeing of animals in our community,” said Shaun Lundy, who was recently elected as president of the Humane Society board. The groundbreaking ceremony was a special event for the Humane Society, as many past leaders and volunteers joined current members to celebrate the organization’s hard work and accomplishments. “We’ve just been so fortunate to have such great leadership over the years. It’s more than leadership; it’s dedication,” said Velma Burnley, a founding member of the society and its first president, at the ceremony. “I am so proud of this Humane Society.”

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(Left) The annual Fur Ball, an extravagant affair held at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center in Boone, is the Watauga Humane Society’s largest fundraiser. Pictured from left to right are Judy and Kevin Beck and Gilda and Alan Gordon. (Right) Dee Dundon, a past president and volunteer, assists a

ne U pc om in g H um a S oc ie ty E ve n ts

customer at the annual Rummage Sale, another Humane Society fundraising event that takes place at the National Guard Armory.

A Haven Until Home

The current animal shelter off Casey Lane has served many animals since 1969, but the facility has long been inadequate for the community’s needs. “There are a lot more animals in need of a place to go than there are places to go at the moment,” said Kathy. “The main challenge is the building itself,” added Nicole. “The most challenging part is trying to keep it up and running. The biggest thing is making sure the animals are happy. That’s obviously our main objective.” Shaun said that if the Humane Society does not build a new shelter, the state agency responsible for shelter inspections will eventually shut down the organization’s operations. “This is an emergency situation,” he said. The push for a new animal shelter began 20 years ago, in 1989. At that time, the Humane Society attempted to raise funds to build a new shelter at the current location, but the drive was unsuccessful. In 1997, the Turchin family issued a fundraising challenge to the Humane Society, offering to donate money toward a new shelter if the organization could raise an equal amount of funds to match. The campaign was successful, but the Humane Society learned it could not rebuild at the current site because of local floodplain laws. The society saved the money from the challenge and spent several years searching for a new shelter site. After diligent searching and advertising, the Humane Society finally located a perfect location in 2003. The society purchased about 14 acres off of old Highway 421 in eastern Watauga County for $370,000. In April 2006, the Humane Society opened a new three-acre dog park on the new property. The park features a large fenced area for dogs to run and play unleashed and a section for smaller dogs.

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Rummage Sale y 25 and 26 Saturday and Sunday, Jul , Boone National Guard Armory

“Our dog park is grade A,” Shaun said. 12th Annual Fur Ball The new animal shelter, to be named Saturday, August 29 the Irma Baker Lyons ce Broyhill Inn and Conferen Adoption Center, is slatCenter, Boone ed to open at the new location in fall 2010. The 16,000-square-foot center will be built LEED-certified and will feature state-ofthe-art kennels, outside areas for play and behavioral training, a community room for behavioral training classes, children’s programs, meetings and conferences, a gift shop, a medical and surgical unit, quarantine areas, administration office space and storage, memorial gardens and walking paths. “The new adoption center will house twice the number of animals we can accommodate at our current Casey Lane shelter and will make it possible to offer many additional services to both the people and the animals of our community,” Shaun said. Nicole said the facility will serve the society’s needs for many, many years to come and will allow it to expand its program offerings, including new education and behavior classes for the public. “With the behavior training and education programs, I really think we can accomplish a lot,” she said. The original cost estimate for the new shelter was $2.7 million, but the society is currently in negotiations with contractors and the costs are expected to go down, Shaun said. Several sections of the new building are still available for donor naming rights. For more information about the Watauga Humane Society, call 828-264-7865 or click to www.WataugaHumaneSociety.org.

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This artist’s rendering shows the future Watauga Humane Society Adoption Facility.

r t una t e o f o s n e s t be “We’ve ju h great leadership uc t o ha v e s more than ’s t I . s r a ye over the edication.” ber of the d ’s t i ; p i h em leaders y, founding mmane Society elma Burnle u V

Watauga H

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Take a ike Through H Banner Elk’s

Story by Corinne Saunders Photography by Michelle Bailey

y r o t s i H

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F

rom a guide to the town’s 27 historic places, the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation has created a 15-stop historical walking tour brochure designed to acquaint both locals and visitors with Banner Elk’s history. Lees-McRae students volunteered to lead the tour during its first year; then, when volunteer interest dwindled the following year, the foundation provided tapes and earphones relaying the history to those who took the tour. Now in its third year, the newly created brochure supplements the self-guided walking tour. So far, the foundation has found this to be the optimal method of presenting Banner Elk’s historical buildings to the public. Organized in 2002, the nonprofit Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation has been instrumental in saving the Village Grocery and the Cheese House buildings. It is also responsible for the installation of the brick sidewalks downtown and has operated the Banner House Museum since 2007. Only one position is paid; the rest of the foundation’s board members are volunteers. The Greater

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(Top left) Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation board member Ciny Brown discusses the current display that shows Banner family Civil War enlistment. Authentic memorabilia in the Banner House Museum was donated by community members (middle). Foundation President Mary Elder Frisbie points out various historical tour stops in the brochure (above). Charles B. VonCanon pauses near the Mill Pond on the private tour he led (left).

Banner Elk Heritage Foundation includes President Mary Elder Frisbie, Vice President Jane Stephenson, Secretary Deka Tate and Treasurer Herbert (Bud) Hahn. The other board members are Frank Bragg, Barbara Cornett, Ciny Brown, Gene Ormond, Lynda Moore, Anne Shinn, Stu Strait, Martha Beasley, Sylvia Hahn, Ed Hardin and Charles Banner VonCanon Jr. “Charles B. VonCanon was born and reared in Banner Elk, his father and grandfather were born and reared in Banner Elk, [and] he is the most authentic of anyone we could have [on the board] because he has a straight line of [predecessors] living here,” Mary said. Charles is the fifth generation of his family to live in Banner Elk, and he is both a Banner descendant and a VonCanon descendant. Additionally, Mary’s mother and Charles’ father are first cousins.

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The Beginnings of Banner Elk

A sensible place to start when discussing the history of Banner Elk is with the etymology of the town’s name. It is believed that the last of the elk that roamed the mountains of North Carolina were eliminated in the late 1700s, but many places in the High Country, such as the Elk River and Elk Knob, retain the name of the once-native creature. “Originally, five Banner brothers settled in this area,” said Ciny Brown, a board of directors member for the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation. “It was referred to in the 1840s as ‘the place the Banners lived near the Elk River.’ They were real pioneers,” she said. The end of the valley between Beech and Sugar mountains where Martin, Lewis, Anthony, Edward and John Banner resided would become known as Banner’s Ford, Banner’s Elk and then simply Banner Elk when the town was incorporated in 1911. The Banner House Museum today is located in the house built right after the Civil War, circa 1865, by Lewis Banner’s


Banner Elk Trails # 4

One of the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation’s projects was to restore the Cheese House, which was built in 1917. The award-winning cheese factory of the 1900s now houses the Avery Arts Council.

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Charles B. VonCanon (back left) led a special tour group on June 18. Linda Ormond (back right) is the wife of board member Gene Ormond. Tour participants Carol Berns (front left) and husband Ted Silver (front right) are new to the area, and Carol will work as a museum docent for the first time this year. Pictured to the right is the view from the Banner House Museum’s front porch.

Banner House Museum Special Events Special events are often held at the Banner House. This year’s opening day celebration on Saturday, June

son, Samuel Banner. “Sam and Jane Banner raised seven children in this house. They had nine, but two died,” Ciny said. The house stayed in the Banner family until 1970s, at which time it became apartments for Lees-McRae students. The Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation purchased the house in 2005, renovated it to create an authentic appearance of a household in the 1870s-80s and opened the museum in 2007. “Most of the [items within] are donations from very generous families around Banner Elk, who went into their cellars and barns and brought us things over 100 years old,” Ciny said, adding that the foundation purchased very few items. In the Banner House Museum, the upstairs rooms are set up like children’s bedrooms, in honor of the seven children Sam and Jane Banner raised there. The downstairs includes a living room, another small room that will be the genealogy room and an exhibit room. The exhibit changes every year, but this year’s

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“The Civil War in the Western Mountains” exhibit is back by popular demand. “Steve Chandler of Clemmons Produce loaned us lot of [Civil War] memorabilia,” Ciny said. The centerpiece of the display of authentic Civil War artifacts, memorabilia and information is a board of Banner family members who enlisted in the war. Each soldier’s name is bordered by blue for Union service or gray for Confederate enlistment. Whereas most of the Boone community sided with the Confederacy, many Banners became Unionists. The Banner House Museum is open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and tour guides (docents) dressed in late 1800s clothing—such as gingham skirts, off-white aprons and bonnets—provide visitors with background information on the Banners and local history. This year marks the museum’s third season, which runs through October 17. Admission is $5 per adult and $1 for children under 12.

w

July 2009

20, featured storyteller Orville Hicks, the Corklickers band and Civil War re-enactment soldiers. All events are open to the public. On Saturday, July 18, Dr. Bill Anderson, professor emeritus of history at Western Carolina University and Road Scholar, will present a program on “The Cherokee Removal” at 2:00 p.m. The Road Scholar program is jointly sponsored by the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation and the Avery Arts Council, with additional funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council. Heritage Day, slated for 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 19, is an old-timey celebration that, in the past, has featured apple butter-making, dulcimer music and weaving. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. every Wednesday from June 24 to August 5, the Banner House Museum runs the Elk Camp for Children ages 6 to 10. This camp features stories, games, crafts and other hands-on learning experiences about pioneer life. Preregistration is required, and each session costs $5 per child. On July 30, foundation members will host a luncheon at Elk River Club. Cheryl Richardson, who lives in one of Banner Elk’s historic homes, will speak on the history of the Elk River Valley from the Cherokee Removal until recent times.


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Banner Elk Historical Tour Stops 1

Sam Banner built the dam to power his

The Sam Banner House is one of the

sawmill. Also on this site, Rev. Edgar Tufts

oldest houses in Banner Elk. Built in 1870 by

commissioned the first of two hydroelectric

Samuel Banner, a son of one of the five Banner

plants to serve Lees-McRae in 1912. The

brothers who first settled the area, the house

second plant was closed in 1950, but part

remained in the family until 1970. Today it is

of its once-1,000-foot flume for channeling

home to the Banner House Museum and is

5

2

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tuition. Square dances were held at the gym

now home to the Avery Arts Council. “It was

every Friday night in the early 1950s, and for

a prize-making cheese factory in the early

years, movies were shown upstairs for about 50

1900s. Restoring it was one of our projects,

cents. The original projector is on display inside

[and] then we turned it over to the Avery Arts

the gym’s front door, along with pictures of the

Council,” said Mary Elder Frisbie, president of

building under construction in the late 1930s.

the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation.

Inside the gym, a piece of the original wooden

Across the road, the red Bill Banner House was

6

was originally a watermill that powered a chair factory and a sawmill.

This wooden building from 1895 was

relocated to this site. Originally, the building

and the red Bill Banner House and The Bark

housed a general store and, later, it became

House were under four feet of water, said

Charles’ grandfather’s Ford dealership.

foundation board member Charles Banner

“My dad would go in there at night [at]

VonCanon Jr. The road was not in its current

about age 14 and would practice driving

location at the time, he added. The sawmill

Model T’s, backing them up, [and he] would

stood where the present-day road is—in

sometimes hit the walls,” Charles said. “They

between The Cheese House and The Bark and

would have to repair [whatever] damage he

3

did in the morning.”

Before crossing the bridge over the Elk

River, one can see this large conglomerate rock—called pudding stone—that is 452 million years old. Pudding stone is commonly

4

found in the Elk River area.

As you cross the bridge overlooking Elk

River and Dam, the original mill cornerstone was once visible on the left.

July 2009

floor hangs on the far left wall.

The 1940 flood washed out the waterwheel,

Bill Banner houses.

High Country Magazine

Reynolds Gym, completed in 1938, was

built completely by students to pay for their

Cheese House, which was built in 1917 and is

built around 1890. To its right, The Bark House

122

water still stands.

7

Students built the Whitesell Workshops in

the 1930s. The shops, including the wood kiln located behind the main building, were in the central part of town at the time. Mr. Whitesell taught Lees-McRae students woodworking, and they kilned their own lumber and made furniture and crafts for the college and for sale to the public.


2. 1. 4.

3.

5. 6.

7. July 2009

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8.

Blanche VonCanon Lowe sits in front of the Banner Elk Hotel. She and her husband Bob Lowe bought the hotel in the early 1890s and owned it for decades. George Washington Dugger built the Dugger Home, pictured upper right, in 1860. The Banner Elk Hotel, pictured bottom left, was the center of community activity from 1898 until the mid-1960s. Because of the hotel’s irreparable condition, it was burned as a training exercise for area fire departments in 2004. The Dugger Home today, pictured bottom left, remains a private residence.

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High Country Magazine

8.

office until it was moved to its own building on Townhomes now stand on the original

Banner Street.

site of the Banner Elk Hotel, which opened in the

The hotel closed in the mid-1960s. After Fannie

1890s. Once the center of community activity,

Lowe’s death in 1973, her brother Charles lived a

the hotel was burned on January 10, 2004, as a

hermit’s existence in the hotel’s dining room until

training exercise for area fire departments.

his death in 1997. The hotel, in disrepair by that

Fannie and Charles Lowe’s parents, Robert

time, ended up being sold to local businessman

(Bob) Lee Lowe and Blanche VonCanon Lowe,

Angelo Accetturo, who decided to tear it down

bought the building in the early 1890s and

and build 22 condominiums on the property. He

officially opened the hotel around 1898. In its

salvaged some original hotel building material,

heyday, the Banner Elk Hotel had 20 rooms to rent,

including wormy chestnut boards from the floor

parlors, a large dining room and long porches.

and halls, for use in the condos.

Boarders came from as far away as Florida and

Across the street, to the left of the condos, the

California, and one family came from England

Dugger Home was built by George Washington

every summer for 20 years. String band-driven

Dugger in 1860. Originally it was not blue. A

dances were held every night except Sunday.

section of the house was sold during World War

Blanche was the first postmaster of Banner Elk, and she ran the post office out of the hotel’s

July 2009

II. The old post office is across the street from the Dugger Home.


9.

9

Walk through the Stone Arch on College Street into

the Banner Elk Cemetery. Once, a wrought iron gate made in the nearby wrought iron shop hung under the stone arch, but only rusted hinges remain today. Shepherd M. Dugger donated the land for the cemetery. Lewis Banner, one of the five original Banner brothers, brought 16 slaves to the area. He eventually gave them their freedom and some land, and some of them were buried in the cemetery, Charles said. Charles’ parents, Charles Banner VonCanon (1914-2003) and Aileen Virginia Hughes (1917-2006), are also buried in this cemetery. “I made my father a tombstone out of puddingstone because he liked to play in the river so much as a little boy,”

10.

Charles said.

10

Banner Elk Presbyterian Church was built by

Rev. Edgar Tufts in 1915 out of native river rock. Originally a wooden frame building, Tufts wanted to make the church a more permanent structure, and nearly the entire community assisted with its construction. The stained glass windows each cost $55. “Children [in Banner Elk] raised pennies for one window,” Mary said, adding that they held lemonade stands to raise the

11.

money.

Tufts commissioned Tufts Tower in 1924. The

six-sided tower housed a 25,000-gallon wooden water tank. “Originally…water lines from Beech Mountain supplied water to the town, but it was not sufficient,” Charles said. Tufts built a wooden water tower but didn’t like the look of it, so the wooden structure was covered up with stone, Charles said. Since its days as a water tower ended, Tufts Tower has housed a trout viewing tank, a beauty parlor, a summer gift

11.

shop, the office of the president, a bell tower, a radio station and a Civil Air Defense Program observation point.

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High Country Magazine

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13.

12 .

12

14 .

Rev. Tufts built Grace Hospital, the

original town hospital that is now Lees-McRae’s Tate Dorm, in 1932. Mrs. Helen Hartley Jenkins of New York provided most of the funding for the hospital, which was named in memory of her sister, Grace.

13

The

North

Carolina

Dormitory

was constructed first, with Tennessee and Virginia dormitories following shortly after, and all three were completed by 1927. The Pinnacle Inn, located beneath the Tennessee Dorm, opened in the summer of 1932. Tourists would stay at the inn, and since there were no classes in the summer, students would work there waiting tables and making beds. The original slate floor of the inn is still intact, and the former Pinnacle Inn is now used as a gathering room. The dorms also housed an indoor swimming pool in the 1920s and the town’s first telephone company, Charles said.

14

The Little Rock House, built in 1920,

was one of Tufts’ first permanent structures for LeesMcRae. Miss Sue Hall of Wilmington, N.C., who resided in Banner Elk in the summer, gave the building to the school. Over the years, the Rock House has housed an

126

15

15.

In 1927, Tufts constructed this cottage as a new

Industrial Arts Center, a summer tea room, a gift shop,

president’s residence. The building was a gift of Jim Cannon of

a biology laboratory, a general gathering place and the

Charlotte, and it was renamed Cannon Cottage when it was converted

Literary Society’s headquarters. Currently, the Rock

into a male dorm in 1938. Upperclassmen honors students currently

House serves as the president’s office.

reside in Cannon Cottage.

High Country Magazine

July 2009


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High Country Magazine

127


The Eggers Family:

A Century of Legal Service Going to work at one Boone law firm is something like a family reunion. Story by Jim Thompson • Photography by Peter Morris

A

t Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers on West King Street, three generations of one family practice law side by side, continuing a tradition that began when Stacy C. Eggers Jr. hung out his shingle on June 1, 1950. Today, he, his daughter Rebecca Eggers-Gryder and grandson Stacy C. Eggers IV share the same office. The patriarch of the family is Stacy Clyde Eggers Jr., whose active role in the firm, wonderful storytelling and rapid-fire sense of humor belie his 85 years. Having just started his 60th year as an attorney last month, Eggers is the senior member of the bar not only in Watauga County, but in the whole 24th Judicial District. He is not, however, the oldest practicing attorney in the state, he believes. “There are some old coots out there even older than me,” he said with a grin. Eggers’ rich memories provide one of the few remaining living links to when Boone was still a small town, when you knew everyone on King Street—and that was all there was to Boone in those days. The stories of people and events dating back half a century ago and longer flow naturally from the man. The Eggers family traces its ancestry to Landrine Eggers (1757-1837), a Revolutionary War soldier who left his native New Jersey for Ashe County (which then included what is now Watauga) following that conflict. He settled on How-

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ard’s Creek and his family was among the first members of Three Forks Baptist Church. Stacy Clyde Eggers Sr., who was known by his first initial and middle name, was a real estate agent in Boone for many years. Active in the Republican Party, he served four terms in the state legislature. In 1960, the elder Eggers ran as the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, winning 41 percent of the vote—the highest any Republican had received for that office since 1896. Born in 1924, Stacy Eggers Jr. served two and a half years in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. “I spent more time at sea than most sailors,” he said, and in the process literally got a ‘round-the-world tour. “I started at Fort Bragg, then sailed to North Africa,” Eggers said. “Then we went on the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. I arrived at Bombay, India, and then took a train across India, almost to Calcutta.” There, he took part in the effort to drive the Japanese invaders from Burma. “I left there for Australia, which is a great country that I thoroughly enjoyed,” he said. Which prompted a story. Years later, when his daughter Becca was in first grade, she asked her daddy whether he had been to Australia, which she was studying in school. The answer was, of course, yes, and Eggers went on to explain, with a straight face, how the president of the United


E E Portrait by Bob Caldwell

E

Stacy Clyde Eggers Sr. (lower right) was a Boone real estate man whose family has now produced three generations of attorneys. Lower left: The law firm of Stacy Eggers Jr. (left) became Eggers, Eggers & Eggers after two of his children, Stacy Eggers III and Rebecca Eggers-Gryder became attorneys. Above: Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers today includes (left to right) Stacy Eggers IV (known as “Four�), Stacy Eggers Jr. and Rebecca Eggers-Gryder. A portrait honors the memory of Stacy III, who died in 1990.

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At age 85, Stacy Eggers Jr. is an active attorney. It’s “work, work, work” around the office, he says.

“I’ve tried cases in living rooms, on front porches and in a barn shed.” ~ Stacy Eggers Jr.

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July 2009

States had asked him to go around the world, and paid him $50 a month. At that point, his late wife could no longer stand it and said, “Stacy, tell her that you were drafted before she gets up at show and tell and embarrasses the whole family!” When he left Australia, Eggers was assigned to the Marianna Islands in the South Pacific. “I was on Tinian Island when the planes left that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” he said. When peace came, Eggers was shipped to Los Angeles and took a train to Fort Bragg, “ending back where I started from.” Once again a civilian, he decided to study law. While his uncle, Austin E. South, had been clerk of court in Watauga County for many years, it was his military experiences that made him decide on his career path. After graduating from Wake Forest, he opened a law office above what was then Northwestern Bank. The legal world was entirely different in those days in Watauga County. “I made the fourth lawyer in Watauga County,” he said. The others were the recently deceased Wade Brown, J.E. Holshouser Sr. (whose son would become governor) and Louis H. Smith. There were four then; “today, there are between 75 and 100,” he said.


E E Stacy Eggers IV -- researches a legal matter in law books first opened by his grandfather almost 60 years ago.

Todd Bush

July 2009

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E E Good staff is key to the work of any law firm. Here Stacy Eggers Jr. and IV (left) pose with the team that keeps everything moving forward.Left to right: Stacy C. Eggers Jr., Stacy C. Eggers IV (four), Nicole Worley, Lou McLean, Pam Moretz, Bridgette McLean, Cindy Wallace and Renee Greene.

There were no district courts in North Carolina in 1950. Back then, each township had a justice of the peace, who was either elected by the people or appointed by the governor. “They decided cases involving misdemeanors which had a penalty of no greater than $50 or 30 days in jail,” he said. “They also handled civil cases up to $200.” These justices of the peace also conducted probable court hearings—and the system made it hard on defense attorneys. “If they didn’t find probable cause, they didn’t get paid for the case,” he said. “If the superior court threw out the case, they got half pay.” Thus creating considerable motivation among lawyers to find probable cause whenever possible. There were other challenges in this bygone system. Justices of the peace could hold court sessions wherever they chose, which often meant near (or even in) their homes. “I’ve tried cases in living rooms, on front porches and in a barn shed,” he said. Superior court only sat for four weeks in Boone each year. “There were two one-week sessions of criminal court, and two one-week sessions of civil court,” Eggers said. The prosecution was handled by a solicitor, who covered an area stretching all the way to the South Carolina line—and who did not have even a secretary to assist him. All this changed in 1968, when the present district court system was adopted. Since then, the legal system,

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and the number of cases, has grown exponentially.

“Little Stacy”

The law firm became a family affair in 1974, when Stacy Eggers III, became an attorney. “We called him ‘Little Stacy,’” his father recalled. “He was six feet, five inches tall!” A graduate of Wake Forest like his father, the younger Eggers soon became a fixture in the local courts. He inherited his dad’s sense of humor and quick wit, and added to it a great mastery of the bluegrass banjo. His career was cut tragically short when he died of sudden, massive heart attack in 1990.

A Third Eggers

By then, the firm had grown to include three members of the family. Stacy Eggers Jr.’s daughter, Rebecca Eggers-Gryder (known as Becca) graduated from Campbell and joined the firm in 1986. The firm’s name changed to Eggers, Eggers & Eggers that year. Even after Stacy III’s death, the name remained in his honor. For Becca Eggers-Gryder, her career started off with a bang. She had passed her bar exam, and was waiting for the official paper to arrive. “She checked the mail Monday, and it was there,” her father recalled. “Superior Court was in session, so Stacy and I went with her to have her sworn in as a member of the bar.” That moment took place, and then the two senior partners of the firm had a


surprise in store. “We were getting ready to try a capital murder case,” Eggers said. “Stacy and I told Becca that she just as much an attorney as anyone else here, and that we felt sure she could handle this case.” And with that, the two men walked out of court. “I don’t know whose eyes got bigger,” Eggers-Gryder said. “Mine or our client’s.” After a few agonizing minutes, her brother reappeared in the court. “She did stay and assist in the case,” Eggers said. “I was the book handler,” she added. “We did win the case,” he added. Today, she focuses on family law. “You have to have the temperament for it,” she said. “You just don’t know how people live, until you work in this field,” Eggers said, and she agreed. In addition to the family legal tradition, she is also a highly talented singer and musician, with several recordings to her credit. EggersGryder can frequently be seen performing around the High Country with her group Amantha Mill.

A New Generation

When Stacy III died in 1990, he left a family behind. In 2001, one of his sons, Stacy Clyde Eggers IV (who is known locally as “Four”), was admitted to the bar and joined the firm, adding his name to give the firm its present name: Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers. Like his aunt, he graduated from Campbell, and, like his grandfather, is a general practitioner. How does this family reunion approach to business work? Splendidly, apparently. “We enjoy each other’s company and have always worked well together,” the senior Eggers said. And there is a lot of that work—adding them all up, the four members of the firm have served Watauga County as attorneys for 106 years! Both Stacy Eggers Jr. and Rebecca Eggers-Gryder, when thinking of that number, can also recall when they were each, at one time, the youngest member of the Watauga County Bar! “When I started, female attorneys here were very rare,” she said, noting that there was only one other woman practicing in the county at the time. “Today, there are all these women.”

Going to work at Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers is something like a family reunion. Here (top) Four goes over the fine points of the law with his grandfather. Bottom: Three generations of attorneys from a firm whose members have provided 106 years of legal service in the community.

Honors and Service

Though he has handed over the courtroom work to his daughter and grandson, Stacy Eggers Jr. maintains an active practice. More

July 2009

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E 134

E than 13 years after being admitted to the North Carolina Bar Association’s General Practitioner Hall of Fame, he continues to work every day, helping clients with a wide spectrum of needs and issues. Last year, he was honored with the 2008 Liberty Bell Award. This honor is given annually by the Young Lawyers Division of the Bar Association to an attorney “who has strengthened the American system of freedom under law.” All the members of the family have served their community well over the years. Stacy Eggers Jr. has served as president of the Watauga County and 24th Judicial District bars. He was also county attorney from 1951 to 1955, 1957 to 1958 and (following his late son) from 1990 to 1999, and was town attorney for Seven Devils from 1984 to 1988. He also served a term (only one is allowed) on the state’s Client Security Fund, which protects citizens from financial harm caused by unethical lawyers.

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Practicing the law is not all about dramatic moments in court. Before a case ever goes to trial, there are hours and hours of preparation behind the scenes. Here Stacy Eggers IV digs through archived records, looking for a fact that could determine the outcome of an upcoming case.


Another day in court is over -- and for these busy attorneys, that means it is back to the office to get ready for the next day.

Rebecca Eggers-Gryder has also served as president of the county and district bars. She was county attorney from 2002 to 2004, attorney for the county Planning Board from 1986 to 1999, attorney for the county Department of Social Services from 1988 to 1999, and town attorney for Seven Devils from 2000 to 2003. Stacy Eggers IV has been president of the county bar, and has served as county attorney, attorney for the Department of Social Services and attorney for the Town of Seven Devils. He has been a mem-

A Blowing Rock Tradition...

Hemlock Inn ber of the Watauga Board of Elections since 2004, is chairman of the Legal Aid of North Carolina Local Advisory Board.

Next Generation?

It’s a little premature to tell, but there could be a day when the familiar sign on the front door might read Eggers, Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & (one more) Eggers. Stacy IV and his wife had a son on May 9 of this year, Stacy Clyde Eggers V. Perhaps there is a law book tucked away in his crib next to the rattle. w

Downtown Blowing Rock

www.hemlockinn.net (828)295-7987 July 2009

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The 15th hole is a 173-yard, par three.

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E l e va t e d A s p i r a t i o n s

& Beech Mountain

Carolina Caribbean

the

g ol f c ou r s e

Story by Harris Prevost Photography by Ken Ketchie

T

he Beech Mountain Golf Course, the second highest elevation course in Eastern America, is one of those courses golfers never get tired of playing. It nestles along the ridges of the backside of the mountain, around 4,500 feet in elevation, rewarding its players with inspirational panoramic views stretching out from North Carolina into Tennessee and Virginia (and some say Kentucky). Beech Mountain members are very proud of their course, and rightly so. It is a well-designed, beautifully conditioned course that makes excellent use of its varied terrain. It’s not long—6,225 yards from the back tees and 5,743 yards from the regular tees—but it plays much longer than its yardage. Beech Mountain requires accuracy and good shot making. Each hole is different and memorable, and each presents an interesting challenge. Most of its par fours are doglegs, so stray shots on these holes can mean “jail” to the golfer. Fairways are tight and the rough can be thick, making wandering shots difficult to advance. Despite the challenges, Beech Mountain is a fun course. Good advice from long-time members is to “play smart, don’t get greedy, and your day at Beech Mountain will be one to treasure.” Beech Mountain is also a course that almost didn’t make it. The course’s colorful history is interwoven with one man and one company.

road is not named for Armstrong. It is named for Grover Robbins, the man who built the road and then donated it (now N.C. 184) to the state of North Carolina. Robbins had an incredible impact on the lives of countless High Country residents and visitors. Grover, along with his brothers Harry and Spencer, created numerous attractions and sports venues. The brothers were inseparable friends and loved to play practical jokes. They got their promotional DNA from their father, who started The Blowing Rock scenic attraction and who played a significant role in routing the southern half of the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina instead of Tennessee. “Grover was not athletic,” his brother Spencer said. “He didn’t play sports. Instead, he was a historian. He loved to read, and his favorite topics were the Civil War and Tweetsie Railroad. “He knew that after the flood shut down Tweetsie and the ET & WNC Railroad, the locomotive was headed to an amusement park in California owned by singing cowboy Gene Autry,” Spencer continued. “Grover developed a plan to keep it in the High Country where it belonged. He found a similar train in

THE MAN WITH THE PLAN The road up to Beech Mountain gained international fame as the training ground for Lance Armstrong’s recovery from cancer and his record seven straight Tour de France cycling titles. But the

Grover Robbins Jr. built the road up to Beech Mountain and then donated it to the state of North Carolina. The road, now Highway 184, was named in honor of him. Photo by Brian Barnes July 2009

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Arizona, took out an option to buy it, and persuaded Gene Autry to trade trains.” In 1956, Grover had the historic #12 engine restored and in 1957, Tweetsie opened as an attraction. Five years later, Grover and his brothers started a similar attraction, the Rebel Railroad, in Pigeon Forge. After the Robbins brothers sold the attraction, it became Dollywood, which continues to be a popular tourist destination. Grover felt that some of the unused land at Beech Mountain was perfect for an attraction, and he and Charlotte designer Jack Pentes, who helped design Tweetsie, devised a concept for the Land of Oz, an amusement park with a Wizard of Oz theme. Grover also lent his entrepreneurial efforts to several golf courses. “Grover Robbins was the man with the vision,” said Dennis Lehmann, who planned the Beech Mountain development for him. “He saw things others didn’t see.” In the High Country, he and his brothers founded the Hound Ears Club in

Grover Robbins was the man with the vision. He saw things others didn’t see.

Dennis Lehmann, Beech Mountain development planner

1964, the Beech Mountain Golf Club in 1969 and Linville Land Harbor in 1970. Harry and Spencer founded the Elk River Club in 1984. “He was a creative genius,” Spencer said of Grover. “He always had the ideas, but he also was a perfectionist. He wanted to do things right. He took golf lessons for a year before he played his first round of golf.”

GROV ER’S VISION The idea to develop Beech Mountain as a ski resort came from a group of Birmingham, Ala., investors led by George

and Chessie MacRae and ski pioneer Dr. Thomas Brigham. In 1965, they put together a land package for part of the Beech Mountain property, but they could not raise enough money to see the idea through. Grover embraced the idea for a Beech Mountain ski resort, and the Robbinses bought out their leases, options and property, totaling about 1,800 acres. Grover’s idea for the resort took shape thanks to the influence of the Hound Ears development and the popularity of what is now Appalachian Ski Mountain. Dr. Brigham was excited about Grover’s vision,

Ralph Gwaltney, who supervised the construction of the golf course, spoofs the traditional first shot hit on the golf course. Everybody loved Ralph for his sense of humor and ability to work with people. Photo submitted

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THIS AIN’T YOUR MAMA’S HAIRCOLOR

Beech Mountain was going to be Grover Robbin’s crowning acheivement. He died in in March 1970 from cancer after only seeing the front nine holes of the course completed. Photo courtesy of Spencer Robbins

and his enthusiasm spurred Grover on. Hound Ears had an 18-hole course, part of which doubled as an airstrip for STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft and a small ski slope. Real estate was not part of the original plan, but Hound Ears members wanted a second home close to the course and the Robbins owned the adjacent mountainside. What they thought was useless land made a significant contribution to the success of the development. Grover saw even greater potential for success if the Hound Ears formula—a four seasons resort with skiing, golf, real estate and airport—could be duplicated on a larger scale at Beech Mountain. The additional acreage needed to fulfill Grover’s vision was owned by about 20 families, and the Robbins brothers didn’t want anyone to know they were trying to acquire all of it—the same approach used by Walt Disney to purchase property to build Disney World in Orlando. If word got out, the price of property would quickly become prohibitive and the deal would be ruined. S.B. Lacey of Newland began making the purchases on behalf of the Robbins brothers, with additional purchases following over the next five years. The total property acquired was approximately 10,000 acres—around 7,300 acres on Beech Mountain and 2,700 acres

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at its southern base, which is now the Elk River Club. One of the promotional slogans used for Beech was “9,000 families on 10,000 acres.” The key pieces to the resort, in Grover’s mind, were the ski slope and airport, and they were built in 1967 to begin the development. Grover’s vision included two golf courses. A “member’s course,” enjoyable for all levels of golfers, would be built first. A championship course to challenge the best players would follow. Grover also envisioned a monorail connecting the two courses, but the idea was dropped because the elevation difference between the two courses was too great. Grover wanted Beech to have a Bavarian look like Hound Ears, so in 1967, he asked Claus Moberg to design the Beech Tree Village at the base of the slopes and to establish the same theme for residential homes. The Robbinses began their Beech Mountain entrepreneurial activities under the name Appalachian Development Corporation. They had about 40 initial investors. Some were local, some were members of Hound Ears and some were investors in Tweetsie. In 1968, Grover decided to expand their operations to include The Reef, a 100-unit condominium and nine-hole golf course development at St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and back home, Linville Land Harbor, a cottage/camper development with a lake and nine-hole golf course. Grover changed Appalachian Development’s name to Carolina Caribbean in 1968 to better describe the geographic foot-

Fred Pfohl, owner of Fred’s General Mercantile, said that when the course was built, a lot of arrowheads were uncovered. He has kept many of them for his collection. The first summer visitors to Beech Mountain were the Cherokee Indians.

print of the company’s operations. Because of the scope of their plans and the need for capital, Carolina Caribbean issued stock in the company on the Carolinas stock exchange. Stock prices began at 50 cents a share and rose to $12 in Carolina Caribbean’s heyday.

Pictured here is the 5th tee, located 208 yards from the tips and 175 yards from the blues.

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Willard Byrd, a highly regarded golf course architect and land planner out of Atlanta, was hired in 1968 to plan the development and design the two Beech Mountain golf courses as well as the ninehole Land Harbor course (later to become 18 holes). Willard designed more than 100 courses in the Southeast, including the Atlanta Country Club, MacGregor Downs in Cary, Willow Creek in High Point, Planters Row in Hilton Head and The Breakers (Ocean Course) in Palm Beach, Fla. Willard was particularly active in the Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand area, designing Litchfield CC, Lion’s Paw, Farmstead, Meadowlands, Byrd Course at Sea Trail, Brunswick Plantation and Calabash Golf Links. Beech Mountain was Byrd’s first mountain course. Willard brought along his young land planner, Dennis Lehmann, to help lay out Beech Mountain. When Dennis got to Beech, about a third of the mountain was already developed. Dennis planned the rest of the development and integrated it with the golf course. The work at Beech Mountain and Linville Land Harbor kept him busy—Dennis traveled to Beech from Atlanta every other week. Beech Mountain Golf Course’s original name was supposed to be Grassy Gap, but it didn’t stick. Construction began in 1968, with the front nine opening in 1969 and the back nine two years later. Harry Robbins liked the layout, but he felt Willard took some prime course-side real estate out of play in his design. Harry enlisted the help of Beech Mountain’s civil engineer, Buck Smith, to help him tweak Willard’s design so that more property could be opened up for sale. Harry and Buck loved to say the course was designed by the fancy-sounding firm “Cooledge and LaBrun,” which were actually their middle names. With help from Dr. Brigham and Tweetsie Railroad engineer Frank Coffey, Buck laid out the ski slope. He also helped lay out the roads and developed the mountain’s utility system. John Troxler, a Navy veteran and later an ASU student, remembers helping build the course in the late 1960s. “My first job was on the rock-picking-up crew,” Troxler said. “A second crew was the dynamite crew. We called them the ‘no fear people’.’ They were half-crazy. They laid out charges in a row to create a line for the irrigation

The 17th is one of the holes that saw its teeing position changed by golf course architect Tom Jackson in 2007. Today, the hole is a 383-yard par four.

pipes. They blew out a lot of rock.” Troxler remembers the truck drivers not being as scared as he was. Then he found out why. One of the drivers asked him, “You ever try this, son?” That was Troxler’s first taste of moonshine! Fred Pfohl, owner of Fred’s General Mercantile, began his life on Beech working in the ski shop. He later headed up all of the recreation programs. Fred remembers that Grover wasn’t getting the construction crews to work like they should on the new golf course, so he hired a local

guy, Ralph Gwaltney, to run the project. Gwaltney connected with the workers and quickly gained their respect, and construction on the course moved quickly. Beech Mountain’s first mayor, Vern Holland, also worked at Carolina Caribbean in the early days. “The thing about Grover was he could put the right people together to carry out what he dreamed,” Vern remembered. “He made people feel a part of that dream. He depended on us to take the ball and run with it while he went dreaming about something else.”

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The clubhouse overlooks the 10th fairway . The 10th tee is on the upper ridge, located to the left of the clubhouse in the photograph, and 374 yards from the flag.

THE VISION UNRAVELS Grover died of cancer in March 1970, and due to a number of factors, the death of his company, Carolina Caribbean, was soon to follow. Without the vision and stabilizing influence of Grover, Carolina Caribbean began to self-destruct in the short period of two years. Grover saw the front nine of the Beech Mountain golf course completed, but not the back. He missed seeing the Land Of Oz open by four months, and he missed seeing the golf course at St. Croix completed. Carolina Caribbean aggressively pushed forward with a philosophy of “the more the better.” The company took on even more projects. A key to its future plans was the creative genius of Dennis Lehmann, who was hired away from Willard Byrd in 1972. Dennis added the creation of three 142

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of Grover’s dream projects to his already busy workload. Carolina Caribbean formed a joint venture with Blythe Brothers, a major Charlotte builder, to develop Carolina Shores and Walden. Carolina Caribbean handled the land planning and sales and Blythe did the engineering and construction. Carolina Shores was a 1,000-lot development located in Calabash on the North Carolina and South Carolina line. It featured a Tom Jackson-designed golf course and a marina. Walden was a 2,000-acre development of five- to 10-acre miniranches in Charlotte. The third project was Little River Land Harbor, a cottage/ camper development about 100 yards from Carolina Shores. Grover thought up the concept of a water-based inland “land harbor” resort, and his dream was to brand the “Land Harbor” name and have one in every state to compete with KOA.

July 2009

The company also started building the second golf course on Beech, the championship course located in the West Bowl. Willard’s preliminary design and routing plan were completed, as was the survey, field stakeout and hole rough-outs. Carolina Caribbean’s path to financial success was to generate revenue as quickly as possible through property sales. Property sales were the fuel for the company’s engine. Their Beech Mountain office alone had a dozen real estate salesmen. At one time, Carolina Caribbean had eleven planes. The company opened satellite sales offices in Charlotte, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Atlanta, Virginia Beach, New Orleans, Dallas, Nashville, Columbia, S.C., Dayton, Ohio and Washington, D.C. The company chartered planes and buses to transport thousands of potential customers into Banner Elk. They treated them to lavish weekends, no expense


spared. The sales effort worked early on, with a thousand lots selling per year. Sales were moving far ahead of the company’s progress in completing the schematic design and layout, building roads and providing water and sewer service to the lots, however. Sales were by contract for “a lot to be developed and selected at a later date,” so people didn’t really know what they were buying. Pressure mounted for the developers to speed up their infrastructure work. In the few short years of its existence, Carolina Caribbean had taken on an incredible number of projects—projects

they found were far more expensive than anticipated. Compounding the problem was Carolina Caribbean’s rush to complete all its projects in a short amount of time. Its mistake was trying to do too much too quickly, all on borrowed money. Dennis saw what was happening and warned Carolina Caribbean officials it was inevitable that the company would fail. The cost to build 72 miles of roads (the total mileage of roads in Boone and Blowing Rock combined) and provide utilities to sold lots was becoming closer and closer to the revenue received from property sales. Profits were mostly “pa-

per profits,”—not cash profits—because the lots were sold on the installment basis, and money was to come later. Earlier, banks bought the mortgage contracts and paid Carolina Caribbean the lot purchase price. Later, they stopped. The only way out was for everything to go perfectly. Just the opposite happened. The economy began a meltdown. Inflation increased expenses. Escalating interest rates put a lot of pressure on the highly leveraged, cash-starved company. OPEC imposed an oil embargo that resulted in gas rationing. People didn’t travel, and they didn’t buy second home property.

I was working at the Land Harbor nursery and Grover brought me in to seed the back nine. They were having trouble making the grass grow. I ended up staying about 15 years.

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HA 143


The teeing area for 179-yard 12th hole was changed two years ago by the golf course architect Tom Jackson which greatly improved the hole. Photo by Brian Barnes

Carolina Caribbean’s engine no longer had fuel. It found itself in a situation much like some real estate developments today. Tragedy struck at St. Croix. Several tourists were robbed and killed by natives, including some playing golf on the other side of the island. The front-page news brought property sales at The Reef to a standstill. Carolina Caribbean ended 144

High Country Magazine

up selling its $8 million investment for $2 million just to generate some cash flow. In order to conserve cash, Carolina Caribbean sold its receivables and stopped construction on its projects. Casualties included the championship course on Beech Mountain’s West Bowl, which had five holes completed. Some of the heavy equipment still remains on site some 35 years

July 2009

later. The Carolina Shores joint venture was dissolved in 1973, with Blythe taking over. Carolina Shores was completed by 1974, but Blythe went under in 1976. Walden, later to become Ballantyne in Charlotte, had broken ground on its development and some of the golf course holes were cleared. About 100 lots were presold as early as 1970. When construction


stopped, Carolina Caribbean gave each purchaser their money back plus 10 percent interest. Ballantyne is now a luxury golf resort and large upscale business/residential district with more than 25,000 residents. Little River Land Harbor stopped as well. The resort was purchased by Blythe, merged in with Carolina Shores, and its name changed to Windjammer. In April 1974, Roger Hard was retained by New York investment banking firm Kidder Peabody to assess the value of its $5 million unsecured loan to Carolina

Caribbean. Roger traveled to Beech Mountain and deemed the loan to be worthless. Carolina Caribbean president Dwight Crater had left the company by then, and the creditors asked Roger to step in as president. Roger convinced Bob Quinlan, who was on site representing the interests of Tri-South Mortgage, to join him as chief financial officer (Quinlan later became a partner at Alpine Ski Center at the base of Sugar Mountain). The only positive cash flow within the company’s operations were skiing and the Land of Oz. The company was in too deep to recover. Tom Adams, head pro at the Boone Golf Club, was Beech Mountain’s pro in 1974. “Times were tough,” he said. “We didn’t even have enough money to fix the mower blades.” Sam Cartner was Beech Mountain’s first golf course superintendent. “I was working at the Land Harbor nursery and Grover brought me in to seed the back nine,” Sam remembered. “They were having trouble making the grass grow. I ended up staying about 15 years.” At the end, some said Sam was using his own money to help take care of the course. The Beech Mountain POA saw what was coming. It collected the property owner assessments for road and recreation area maintenance for Carolina Caribbean. It didn’t pass the money on to the company’s general fund because they doubted the money would be used for its intended purpose. Instead, the POA reimbursed Carolina Caribbean only for specific projects as they were completed. This further squeezed the company’s fragile cash flow. When Carolina Caribbean stopped paying Northwestern Bank the interest on the mortgage it held on the Elk River property, the bank used its “right of offset” to take the funds in the company’s operating account, which was with Northwestern. Suddenly, there was no money for payroll or to pay bills. Roger was able to get Northwestern to give back enough for some payroll and payroll tax checks to clear. “We had researched this scenario with lawyers, and we knew what had to be done,” Bob Quinlan said. “We declared bankruptcy virtually the next day.” Carolina Caribbean declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy (a reorganization: the court thinks the company can be salvaged) in February 1975. Northwestern Bank, NCNB Mortgage Corporation, Bank of North Carolina and Tri-South Mortgage Investors took over the company. Soon afterwards, Roger

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The thing about Grover was he could put the right people together to carry out what he dreamed. He made people feel a part of that dream.

Vern Holland, Beech Mountain’s first mayor

From left, Beech Mountain Club Manager Brian Barnes , Golf Pro John Carrin and Course Superintendent Rory Ellington are passionate about taking good care of the golf course and its members. Photo by Lyndsey Fox

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had the audited financial statements restated because he discovered that the cost of lots sold only included the raw cost of the land and left off the infrastructure costs (roads, water, sewer, etc.). The restatement showed an additional $9 million in lot costs. By that fall, it became clear the banks’ efforts to revive Beech would fail, too, because with the $9 million write-off, Carolina Caribbean had no more equity. Carolina Caribbean was forced into Chapter 10 bankruptcy (can’t be salvaged), and a trustee was brought in to close out the company. Carolina Caribbean would be broken up into pieces, with the banks receiving the property secured by their loans. Hunter Furches, president of the POA, was appointed to run the recreation facilities with Fred Pfohl managing ski operations and Bob Ash making snow. After the ski season made a profit despite poor weather, the trustee released the ski area and Land Of Oz from bankruptcy to TriSouth Mortgage. The ski resort was sold to Ray Costin, its present owner, in 1985. Tweetsie Railroad was able to purchase the airport and surrounding property, now called Elk River, from First Union. Linville Land Harbor was taken over by the Bank of North Carolina. The bank then sold the development to the Property Owners Association, the resort’s current owner. The second golf course and surrounding West Bowl area were auctioned off to several people, who later sold it to the Eagles Nest resort and development. It was comprised of 800 acres, 350 of which were planned out and included the golf course and a second ski slope. Before Eagles Nest acquired the property, the Beech Mountain Club seriously considered building the second course. The Beech Mountain POA purchased the present golf course and the 13-acre recreation park from NCNB, which held the mortgage, but it didn’t have the funds to buy it outright. Hunter worked out a deal with the bankruptcy trustee to buy the golf course for $800,000 and the recreation park for $50,000, paying what they could down and borrowing the rest. The golf course and recreation park cost Carolina Caribbean $3.2 million to develop. Part of Hunter’s proposal was the POA’s elimination of dues for the investor-owners of bulk lot purchases. Dues on the lots wouldn’t kick in until the lots were sold to someone else. The POA’s offer to give up those dues made it easier to sell the huge backlog of property. July 2009

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The 394-yard, par four 8th hole provides a beautiful downhill view with mountains in the distance. Photo by Brian Barnes

NCNB had the bulk of land financing, but it was tied to the contracts of sold lots rather than mortgages. The bank kept the title to the lots until the owners paid the contract off. Disposing of the unsold lots was the responsibility of the trustee. “The golf course was being looked at by a group that wanted to turn it into time-share condominiums, but Furches convinced the bankruptcy trustee that the POA had a better right to it than an individual,” Vern Holland said. “The POA also wanted to buy the ski resort, but we didn’t have enough money. We really needed that golf course for the property owners.” The POA depended on the income from property assessments to repay the $403,000 golf course debt, including 18 percent interest on the note, but there was a problem. Many of Beech’s property owners purchased their lots as investments. Some owners never received deeds, and others purchased lots that were on uncompleted roads without water and sewer. These owners refused to pay the POA assessments, so the POA 148

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The tricky 16th hole is only 305 yards long, but a downhill second shot with a pond guarding the green often puts a damper on a golfer’s round.

tried placing liens on the lots. The court ruled all the assessments were unenforceable. Without the assessments, the POA could not meet its bank obligation, much less maintain the roads, water and sewer.

A HA PPY ENDING The POA was forced to ask the North Carolina General Assembly to pass a law making Beech Mountain a town. A municipal property tax system would then be

July 2009

enforceable. The law passed in 1981, and Beech Mountain became the first resort town in the state. The POA turned the utility company along with its equipment and service facilities over to the town. The POA amended its mission from “promote the health, safety and welfare of property owners” to “own, acquire, build, operate and maintain recreation facilities as the members may desire,” and it started operating as a nonprofit club. It


kept its POA name from the sale date in 1977 until the end of 1983, when it officially changed its name to the Beech Mountain Club. Membership in the club was optional, but the golf and recreation facilities would be reserved only for the private use of members and their guests. Jim Brooks, who came to Beech Mountain in 1970 and now owns Beechwood Realty, praised Hunter. “He got the POA members to pass a motion in a July 4, 1981 meeting to make an assessment of $285 per member to remain a member of the new club,” Jim said. “Those not paying by the end of September were out, but they could be reinstated later by paying the initial assessment, all past dues plus interest. They estimated that 2,000 out of the 6,000 parcels sold would stay in the POA, and more than 2,400 did. They were able to pay the bank off for the rest of the golf course and recreation park purchase.” The Beech Mountain Club had some bumpy stretches along the way, but the club’s financial status gradually grew stronger and the membership began making long-range, significant improvements to the golf course and its facilities. A new clubhouse was completed in

which is separately owned) for a daily fee. Annual passes are available for the various recreational options. More than 400 sign up for the annual golf pass, which costs $870. Daily guest fees to play the golf course range from $50 to $80. Riley Hatch was the golf course’s second superintendent and is now director of utilities for the town. His father was Beech Mountain’s first POA president. Riley looks back with amazement about what has transpired over the years. “Grover’s dream, it’s unbelievable what was going to take place,” he said. “The man was a visionary.” The dramatic changes that took place at Beech Mountain because of Carolina Caribbean are responsible for bringing many people to the area. Included in that number are childhood friends Jim Brooks, John Troxler and Fred Pfohl, who left their homes in Greensboro to work for Carolina Caribbean and live at Beech Mountain. Speaking for his friends and for the thousands who enjoy Beech Mountain every year, with a tribute of appreciation, Jim said, “We are lucky that Grover Robbins was a dreamer.”

1997, and a new irrigation system was installed in 2005. An agreement with Ski Beech gave the course access to its snowmaking water from Santis Lake, providing it with another important source of water to go with Lake Coffey. In 2007, golf course architect Tom Jackson replaced all tees on the golf course, and in a couple of cases, changed the way the holes are played. The course was lengthened by about 200 yards in the process. Today, under the care of superintendent Rory Ellington, the course is the best it has ever been. According to Brian Barnes, Beech Mountain Club’s manager since 2000, Beech Mountain today has 2,400 residences—1,800 houses and 600 condominiums. Winter is busier for Beech. During ski season, 7,500 to 10,000 people are on the mountain on a typical day and in the summer, that number ranges from 3,000 to 5000. Four hundred residents live there year round. The Beech Mountain Club has more than 1,700 members. Dues to be a member of the Club are $1,245 a year. Membership entitles a family, or visitors renting their residence, to use the private recreational facilities (except Ski Beech,

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Blowing Rock Grille.......................................... 295-9474 ������������������������147

Fred’s General Mercantile................................. 387-4838 ������������������������145

Blowing Rock Real Estate / David Laughter II..... 295-8485���������������������������87

Gamekeeper, The............................................. 963-7400 ��������������������������47

Blowing Rock Resort Rentals & Sales............... 295-9899 ������������������������135

Gems By Gemini.............................................. 295-7700 ��������������������������34

Blowing Rock Properties, Inc............................ 295-9200������������� Inside Back

Gladiola Girls................................................... 264-4120���������������������������55

Blue Ridge Investments Property, LLC.............. 268-2882���������������������������92

Glidewells........................................................ 295-9683���������������������������53

Blue Ridge Realty / Todd Rice......................... 263-8711���������������������������46

Green Leaf Services, Inc................................... 737-0308���������������������������42

Blue Ridge Vision ........................................... 264-2020 ��������������������������27

Gregory Alan’s Unique Gifts.............................. 414-9091���������������������������74

Boone Drug Down Town................................... 264-3766���������������������������26

Haircut 101...................................................... 262-3324 ������������������������139

Boone Mall...................................................... 264-7286���������������������������53

Hardin Fine Jewelery........................................ 898-4653���������������������������42

Boone Paint & Interiors.................................... 264-9220���������������������������85

Hawksnest Zipline........................................ 800-822-4295������������������������35

Boone United Methodist Church....................... 264-6090���������������������������62

Hayes Performing Arts Center........................... 295-9627 ������������������������143

Bouquet Florist................................................ 264-3313 ������������������������130

Headwaters at Banner Elk, The...................... 866-200-3290��������������������������5

Cabin Fever..................................................... 295-0520���������������������������27

Hemlock Inn.................................................... 295-7989�������������������������135

Cabin Store, The.............................................. 295-8005���������������������������57

High Country Timberframe............................... 264-8971���������������������������21

Café Portofino.................................................. 264-7772 ��������������������������37

High South Realty............................................ 1-877-846-1818�������������������������� 1

Canyons.......................................................... 295-7661 ��������������������������93

Horn in the West.............................................. 264-2120�������������������������127

Carlton Gallery................................................. 963-4288���������������������������26

Isley Construction Company............................. 898-7544���������������������������27

Carrington Design, LLC................................ 336-246-2326������������������������45

Jersey Mike’s Subs.......................................... 264-4447�������������������������112

Casa Rustica ................................................... 262-5128 ��������������������������63

Joe’s Italian Kitchen......................................... 263-9200 ������������������������113

Char Modern American Restaurant................... 266-2179���������������������������67

Jo-Lynn Enterprises, Inc................................... 297-2109 ��������������������������26

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All Area Codes are 828 unless noted. ADVERTISER

PHONE 

PAGE

Judy Ann Pere Massage........................................................ 387-2848�����������������������������������������������124 Knox Group Realtors.............................................................. 963-7325�����������������������������������������������127 Kuhns Bros. Log Homes........................................................ 898-4143�������������������������������������������������23 Logs America, LLC................................................................ 963-7755 ������������������������������������������������39 Lucky Penny.......................................................................... 264-0302�������������������������������������������������98 Makoto’s Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar........................ 264-7976�������������������������������������������������67 Maple’s Leather Fine Furniture ............................................. 898-6110 ������������������������������������������������25 Mast General Store .............................................................. 262-0000�������������������������������������������������11 Melanie’s Food Fantasy......................................................... 263-0300�����������������������������������������������127 Mountain Bagels................................................................... 265-4141�����������������������������������������������124 Mountain Construction Enterprises, Inc................................. 963-8090 ����������������������������������������������151 Mountain Land.................................................................1-800-849-9225�������������������������������������������88 Mountaineer Landscaping..................................................... 733-3726�����������������������������������������������101 Mountain Tile........................................................................ 295-0472 ����������������������������������������������113 Mustard Seed Market, The..................................................... 295-4585�������������������������������������������������92 Mystery Hill.......................................................................... 263-0507�����������������������������������������������104 Neaco............................................................................... 877-336-3226���������������������������������������������38 Open Door, The..................................................................... 355-9755�����������������������������������������������130 Outdoorsman Inc., The.......................................................... 268-1313�����������������������������������������������151 Outersanctum Salon.............................................................. 264-8181�������������������������������������������������47 Parkway Craft Center............................................................. 295-7938�������������������������������������������������47 Peppers Restaurant................................................................ 262-1250�������������������������������������������������52 Pet Place, The....................................................................... 268-1510����������������������������������������������105 Planet Tan............................................................................. 262-5721�������������������������������������������������55 Play It Again Sports............................................................... 264-8955�������������������������������������������������38 Precision Cabinets................................................................ 262-5080�����������������������������������������������104 Pssghetti’s............................................................................ 295-9855�������������������������������������������������99

The Outdoorsman, Inc.

Since 1975

Red Onion Café..................................................................... 264-5470�������������������������������������������������79 Rug Company, The................................................................ 295-4271�������������������������������������������������93 Seven Devils Tourism Development Authority........................ 963-5343�������������������������������������������������46 Shannon’s Curtain Bed & Bath.............................................. 264-8321�����������������������������������������������109 Shoppes at Farmers Hardware............................................... 264-8801 ������������������������������������������������99 Silver Springs Farm.............................................................. 898-6896�����������������������������������������������149

Buying Gold, Silver & Coins www.YourItemsWanted.com

Six Pence Restaurant & Pub................................................... 295-3155 ������������������������������������������������56 Sorrento’s Bistro................................................................... 898-5214 ������������������������������������������������27 Spin A Yarn....................................................................... 336-846-7746�������������������������������������������105 Speckled Trout Cafe & Oyster Bar.......................................... 295-9819�����������������������������������������������121 Stone Cavern, The................................................................. 963-8453�������������������������������������������������13 Stonewalls ........................................................................... 898-5550�����������������������������������������������101 Stick Boy Bread Company..................................................... 268-9900�����������������������������������������������104 Sugar Mountain Resort.......................................................... 898-4521�������������������������������������������������17 Sugartop Resort Sales........................................................... 898-5226�������������������������������������������������98 Superior Spas....................................................................... 963-6624 ������������������������������������������������19 Tatum Galleries & Interiors.................................................... 963-6466�������������������������������������������������75 Todd Bush Photography........................................................ 898-8088�����������������������������������������������131

Gold Chains, Rings, Earrings, Bracelets Clean Your Jewelry Drawers - Cash in Today!

Turtle Old Man...................................................................... 264-4882�����������������������������������������������104 Watauga County Farmers’ Market.......................................... 355-4918�������������������������������������������������83 Watauga Insurance Agency, Inc............................................. 264-8291 ������������������������������������������������45 Wolf Creek Traders ............................................................... 963-6800�����������������������������������������������103

July

The Outdoorsman, Inc., Since 1975 828-268-1313 Appointments Welcome • 135 Hardin St. Log cabin across from Dan’l Boone Inn

2009

High Country Magazine

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Parting Shot...

T

WHITEWATER THRILLS

he abundance of rainfall this spring has raised the water levels of local rivers and streams, making whitewater rafting experiences better than they’ve been in years. Local outdoor adventure and rafting companies take clients out on area waterways, such as the Watauga River, Wilson Creek, the Nolichucky River and the New River. These rivers, all convenient to the High Country, offer some of the best whitewater rafting experiences in the nation, offering participants Class I to Class V rapids. River ratings go up to Class VI, but those who get through a Class VI rapid without suffering serious injuries or death are considered very lucky or extremely skilled. The Watauga and New rivers have Class I to Class III rapids and offer mostly gentle rides suitable for the whole family. The Nolichucky River offers Class III and Class IV rapids, as well as breathtaking scenery of a gorge that plummets 2,800 feet from the Appalachian Trail down to the river. Photographer John Jarrett captured this photo of a family rafting the Anaconda rapid on the Watauga River, which carries a Class III rating. 152

John Jarrett

High Country Magazine

July 2009

Below Watauga Lake, the Wilbur Dam release program guarantees water flow from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m., from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The dam, used to generate electricity, releases 45-degree water from the bottom of Watauga Lake, providing the point of entry for those rafting the Watauga River. If you’ve never tried whitewater rafting, this year might be the opportune time to venture out on the river, because water levels are up—meaning your chances of getting marooned on shallow sections and having to walk are down. The High Country is home to a number of companies that cater to whitewater rafting and all other outdoor needs. With their convenient locations and expert guides, no prior experience is required to immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty and ride down a river. John Jarrett currently resides in Banner Elk and captures shots of people skiing, snowboarding, participating in bike races, tubing, whitewater rafting, playing softball and participating in other special events. Jarrett’s company is River Life Photo, and he can be reached at riverlifephoto@yahoo.com. His website is www.riverlifephoto.com.


LYNAGH: One of the most unque & appealing properties in the High Country! Log estate home on 7.71 acres in Yonahlossee Estates. Magnificent lodge-style home features antique hand-hewn logs & exposed beams, 4 bedroom/5 full baths, heart pine floors, 5 stone fireplaces, 400 square foot covered deck with fireplace and adjoining stone patio. The great room features soaring ceilings, a massive stone fireplace & a wall of windows to take in the inspiring Grandfather Mountain view. $2,350,000. DAVENPORT: Seclusion and convenience combine in this solidly built log cabin. Long range mountain views overlooking rolling pastures. Wrap around porches, beautiful slate tile, oak floors, polished granite countertops, soaring cathedral ceilings and custom features throughout. $629,000. HARD: Gorgeous classic farmhouse in the heart of Valle Crucis which also includes a converted barn, now housing two spacious apartments & garage. An additional large barn as well as delightful chicken houses. Almost all new plumbing, GFA furnaces & central vac and fireplaces in both the main house & the apartments. Covered deck, hot tub room and 5.8 acres feature beautiful perennial gardens, groves of trees & rhododendrons, and Watauga River frontage! $1,395,000. WOODY: Stunning long range views from this stylish mountain contemporary, wonderfully redesigned and totally remodeled. Situated on almost one acre, the lay is remarkably flat & is a quiet private setting for this unique home. Open living with a gourmet kitchen featuring honed granite and limestone counters, stainless appliances, vaulted beamed ceiling, and stone fireplace. Lower level bedroom/bath has a stone fireplace and bath. $1,275,000. Miller: Log cabin with view in private 2+ acre setting. Beautiful finishes inside and out. Interior woods include cherry, oak and ash. Large loft, walk in pantry and additional 1740 unfinished space in basement. Deep covered porches run 74’ to enjoy views. Other amenities include; corner porches, sunroom, 1/4 acre fenced side yard, and two master suites! $738,000. LOST CREEK: Views, bold creeks, southern exposure, dramatic cliffs, old growth trees, and Pisgah National Forest boundaries. Located on the side of Grandfather Mountain! Simply the most beautiful land left in Blowing Rock! Gentle building sites available with paved access. Lots and Tracts starting at $64,900. Broker Interst BRADLEY: Wonderful private estate with 75 plus acres--owned by horse lovers so has year round creek, barn, fenced pastures, hayfield, riding trails and a convenient hitching post near the main house! Architect designed home features soaring ceilings, massive beams, huge wood burning stone fireplace, stone exterior columns and trim, 4 bedrooms, 3 bath, 2 half baths, two garage areas, library/office, big loft/den area. Grounds are beautifully landscaped and the home opens out to south facing patios and a lovely covered porch. $1,895,000. BOGUE: The New River from your covered back porch, this beautiful pond from your front porch. All of this from an in-town Blowing Rock location. This three bedroom, 2.5 baths townhome has it all-plus a garage. $439,900. SMART: Pristine commercial property in the heart of West Jefferson’s downtown art district. Business on the street level, and a beautiful 3 BR/2BA apartment upstairs. Use the upstairs apartment as your vacation home and rent the lower level to help pay the mortgage! Building completely renovated and shows beautifully. Great retail space, high ceilings, wood floors, kitchenette and half bath main level. Upstairs apartment has wood floors, fireplace, open great room w/skylights. $489,500. Broker Interest 121 PROPERTIES ACERAGE: 35+ acres zoned for commercial use! The lower portion at the intersection of Hwy. 221/Wade Bare is a flat corner and would have multiple retail and/or restaurant potential. The upper ridge lays great and has outstanding views with close proximity to the hospital, retirement villas or build along the ridge with its excellent long range views or on the bluff overlooking the beautiful stream. Broker Interest! $995,900. DENGLER CABIN: Delightful tumbling creek cascades below this 4 bedroom, 4 bath mountain log home and its music is enjoyed from the inside as well as from several large decks. The private master suite adjoins the main cabin via a breezeway. This beautiful private retreat is offered for $549,500 Broker Interest Kay: Spacious gorge view home with 4 bedrooms / 3.5 bath with over 5,000 sq. ft. on top of Misty Mountain. Views down the gorge for sunrise, and across to Grandfather for sunset. Central vac., jetted Jacuzzi tub, three season room, 2 car garage and numerous decks for enjoying long range views all on a flat lot. $1,180,000.

Blowing Rock Properties, inc

800-849-0147 • 828/295-9200

www.BlowingRockProperties.com July

2009

High Country Magazine

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Actual morning view from Echota on the Ridge Clubhouse overlooking Grandfather Mountain.

Like the inspiring views, the reasons Echota has become the High Country’s most successful community are clearer than ever. Lock-and-leave luxury. And a central location between Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. See for yourself why Echota was the only choice over 450 families could make.

800.333.7601 EchotaNC.com

Visit one of our sales offices located at 1107 Main St, Suite C, Blowing Rock, NC or 133 Echota Pkwy, Boone, NC • Condominiums from the $300s D

High Country Magazine

July 2009


High Country Magazine | Vol 4 Issue 7 | July 2009