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my BLOWING hometown scenic beauty and gracious,

2016

ROCK

comfortable mountain living

Retail ∙ Entertainment ∙ Restaurants ∙ Events ∙ Important Numbers Utilities ∙ The Chamber of Commerce ∙ Civic Groups and Much More!

Supplement to


Blowing Rock My Hometown

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June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock: A Little History led many business owners to rebuild their structures with the distinctive bluish gray stone that is found in the High Country. More durable than wood, and cheaper than bricks, it was used extensively for homes, hotels and businesses along Main Street, giving downtown Blowing Rock its classic “stone” look today. Children in Blowing Rock attended the local school from kindergarten through 12th-grade until 1965, when all of the high school students merged into the newly constructed countywide Watauga High School. Today, Blowing Rock School goes from kindergarten through eighth-grade.

By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

T

he town of Blowing Rock was chartered and incorporated on March 11, 1889, with “Uncle Joe” Clarke serving as the town’s first mayor. Before the town was officially a “town,” however, it was already a summer destination for folks attempting to escape the oppressive heat of Raleigh, Charlotte or Atlanta. And since the 1700s, the area has been home to settlers from Germany, Britain, Scotland and other countries. The first population growth of any note came during the Civil War, when many men sent their families to the mountains to seek refuge from more war-torn areas of the South, and then joined them up here afterward. By the late 1800s and early 1900s, Blowing Rock had established itself as a summer resort community and the people who lived here full time established comfortable hotels, inns and cabins for the “cottagers” who returned every year. Two fires that whipped through the town in the early part of the 20th century

About the cover:

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

TODAY Today, approximately 1,250 people live year-round inside Blowing Rock town limits, with that number multiplying by five or six in June, July and August. The economy of Blowing Rock is most definitely tourism driven, with tens of thousands of visitors coming to the area each year to enjoy the culture, scenery, shops, restaurants and attractions of Blowing Rock.

On the cover: Main Street in Blowing Rock is the hub for the town’s numerous activities including parades, concerts in the parks, shopping and dining. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The Cone Manor Estate at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park has been a popular tourist destination on the Blue Ridge Parkway since the early 1940s.

About this publication “Blowing Rock: My Hometown” is a joint venture between The Blowing Rocket and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Now in its fifth year of publication, “Blowing Rock: My Hometown” won first place in the 2014 North Carolina Press Association’s Editorial Awards in the “Best Niche Publication” category. “Blowing Rock: My Hometown” aims to help visitors to our area, whether it be for a weekend stay, a summer retreat or a possible retirement destination. It also contains information that should prove useful for full-time residents. The mission of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce is “to promote, protect and improve business through the cultural, social and economic development, growth and sustainability of Blowing Rock, while preserving the charm and character of the village.” The chamber of commerce is governed by a board of directors composed of business members from a variety of business types and individual member representatives. There are several standing committees, including Economic Development, Events, Finance, Business Support, Membership and Community and Government.

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June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock My Hometown

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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June 30, 2016

Victorian Inn The Perfect Romantic Get Away

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The Green Park Inn will celebrate its 125th year in Blowing Rock this year. Considered the ‘Grand Dame’ of luxury hotels in Western North Carolina, the Green Park Inn has hosted many famous guests during the years, such as Herbert Hoover, Annie Oakley, J.D. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Mitchell.

Changes coming to Blowing Rock By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

B

lowing Rock is a village that cherishes the old, while embracing the new. The stone formation known as

the Blowing Rock is hundreds of millions of years old. The Green Park Inn, the grand dame of resort hotels in Western North Carolina, turns 125 this year. And Blowing Rock Memorial Park nears CHANGES – Continued on Page 5

The elegantly restored Victorian Inn is nestled in the heart of Blowing Rock, offering four private, intimate, oversized suites, some with Jacuzzis. Begin or end your day on the veranda overlooking our English gardens. Within walking distance to shops, restaurants and entertainment. Sunset Drive • Ransom Street (two blocks south of Main St) INN 828-295-0034 • 242 Ransom Street

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June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock My Hometown

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How did you sleep last night? We have the

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Appalachian Ski Mountain’s new welcome center will serve as a gateway to the High Country and its attractions for visitors coming from Hickory, Charlotte and Florida.

CHANGES FROM PAGE 4 its 70th birthday, as it was created by veterans of World War II as a way of remembering those who fought overseas and never made it back to their hometown. If you want to learn all about Blowing Rock’s history, be sure to visit the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum’s historic artifact gallery, where you can find out all about the town and its people, going all the way back to before the 19th century. The museum itself is a recent addition to the town and will celebrate its fifth birthday on Oct. 1, 2016. Another fairly new item in Blowing Rock is the Grover Robbins Swimming Complex, which is also in its fifth year. Wherever you look in town, you will see new businesses and public facilities. If you attend the Blowing Rock Charity

Horse Show (now in its 92nd year), be sure to check out the new Schaefer Boarding Stables at the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve. In this past year, we have seen several new additions to Blowing Rock. The Blowing Rock School’s PTO has worked tirelessly to build a new playground, one that features climbing ropes, a giant tree house, new picnic area and other amenities. Last summer, Blowing Rock unveiled a newly remodeled American Legion Building and a new gazebo in Memorial Park. The new gazebo is more than twice as large as the old gazebo and is home to the Concerts in the Park series, Christmas in the Park, Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations and other events. It is also just a neat place to hang out while the kids play in the park. The remodeled American Legion Building has become a much desired location for

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CHANGES – Continued on Page 7

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Between Memorial Day and labor Day weekends, the Robbins Swimming Complex is alive with summer fun for the whole family.

Go to BLACKBERRYMATTRESS.COM and join our Savings Club for money saving coupons.

Rest Well Live Better


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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry Distinctive Antique, Estate & Fine Jewelry • Quality Diamonds & Colored Stones • Family Owned Since 1988

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

Page 7

CHANGES FROM PAGE 5 meetings, auctions, wedding receptions, dances and other events. One of the new features is an expansive back deck that overlooks Broyhill Lake. It can be rented out by calling the town at (828) 295-5200. This past winter saw the opening of the new Blowing Rock Medical Park and Urgent Care. Blowing Rock citizens will no longer have to drive to Boone for stitches, flu shots or routine medical visits. And in June, the town’s new $1.7 million Public Works Building held its grand opening. Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park has been going strong for more than a half century, but this year it was moved from Wallingford Street to Park Avenue. The new site is conveniently located in between the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and Blowing Rock Memorial Park. Attendees at Art in the Park now have more space to walk up and down the street viewing the work of the some of the finest artisans in the Southeast. Park Avenue is also the location of the fairly new Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market, which is held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Thursday from May to October.

COMING SOON There are a number of exciting new things coming to Blowing Rock, some of which may be up and running by the time you read this. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will open its newest facility, the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in August. Located on U.S. 321, near the Blue Ridge Parkway, this

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge is a new post-acute health care center to open this year next to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock. 112-bed extended care, non-acute facility will replace Blowing Rock Hospital and the Davant Extended Care. It will also feature a new pharmacy with drive-through, which will replace Village Pharmacy on Sunset Drive. Plans are still up in the air for the site of the old Blowing Rock Hospital, but at least one developer has proposed tearing it down and building a 24-condo development on the property. The N.C. Department of Transportation and Maymead Construction are putting the finishing touches on the U.S. 321 widening project from near the Blowing Rock Furniture Gallery to the Tanger Outlet Shoppes on the Parkway.

ON STANDS THANKSGIVING DAY

The project’s completion in this area includes new sidewalks on both sides of Valley Boulevard. When the widening project is finished, you will be able to walk on sidewalks from the Green Park Inn to the Shoppes on the Parkway, and at night they will be lighted. Speaking of sidewalks, the town is planning to build a sidewalk on U.S. 221 from the Speckled Trout Café to Bass Lake. When completed, the sidewalk will connect Bass Lake to the Middle Fork Greenway’s Section 1, which begins near the Shoppes on the Parkway, winds its way CHANGES – Continued on Page 10

Coming soon! Autumn Times and Winter Times – complete tourist guides to the High Country. Catered to the High Country’s seasonal events, activities, dining, shopping and more, this is an advertising opportunity you do not want to miss. Contact Rick Tobin or Mark Mitchell for more information or to schedule your ad today.

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016


June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock My Hometown

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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June 30, 2016

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

This year Art in the Park was moved to Park Avenue, a move that seems to benefit artists and shoppers alike.

CHANGES FROM PAGE 7 down across the Chestnut Ridge property, and follows the Middle Fork of the New River to Boone. The Middle Fork Greenway is a longterm project, but one section of the trail is finished in front of Tweetsie Railroad and Mystery Hill. It is proving to be a popular destination for walkers, bikers and families with strollers. Speaking of exercise, the Blowing Rock Country Club is currently constructing a new fitness center, which will augment the

Mystery House Hall of Mystery Gift Shop

club’s tennis courts and golf club. The new facility should be completed in 2017. Blue Ridge Mountain Club is also constructing a new health and fitness facility, which will be part of its “Village at Watson Gap” area. The area will also feature a bar and grill, croquet pitch, fire garden and other amenities. It is set for completion in the summer of 2017. Appalachian Ski Mountain’s new welcome center should be completed by the opening of ski season later this year. The new facility is located on the corner of U.S. 321 and Edmisten Road and will serve as a gateway to the High Country and its attractions.

& MORE

The Mystery Platform

Appalachian Heritage Museum and Native American Museum

weird wild wacky A Family Roadside Attraction Since 1948 PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The new Blowing Rock Medical Center on Valley Boulevard will serve a variety of needs from stitches to flu shots to physical exams.

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

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July 23 - Sept. 15 AUTUMN:

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

Important Phone Numbers in Blowing Rock (All numbers in the 828 area code, except where noted). Any Emergency ............................................................................................................... 911 Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue ...................................................295-5218 (non-emergency) Blowing Rock Police Department ..............................................295-5212 (non-emergency) Blowing Rock Post Office ........................................................................................295-3589 Blowing Rock Town Hall .........................................................................................295-5200 Planning and Inspections .......................................................................................295-5240 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce .....................................................................295-7851 Grover Robbins Pool Complex .................................................................................295-5224 Parks and Recreation ..............................................................................................295-5222 Blowing Rock School ..............................................................................................295-3204 The Blowing Rocket newspaper .............................................................................295-7522 Blowing Rock Hospital ............................................................................................295-3136 Village Pharmacy ...................................................................................................295-3482 U.S. 321 Widening Hotline ......................................................................................964-3260 High Country Council of Governments ................................................................... 265-5434 High Country Workforce Development Board .........................................................265-5434 Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation ..........................................................264-8894 Appalachian Energy ...............................................................................................295-9563 Blue Ridge Energies ................................................................................................264-3521 Carolina West Wireless ..................................................................(336) 973-5000, ext. 1250 Charter Business ........................................................................................... (800) 314-7195 SkyLine Membership Corporation ...........................................................................963-1350 Wireless Center/Verizon Wireless ............................................................................406-4040 Blowing Rock Art and History Museum ..................................................................295-9099

Churches Serving Blowing Rock Blowing Rock Methodist Church (Summer only) 1314 Main St., Blowing Rock 295-6207 Blowing Rock Refuge Church Blowing Rock School Gym Morris St., Blowing Rock Sundays at 10 a.m. 773-6750 Church of the Epiphany Catholic Church (Summer only) 163 Galax Lane 264-8338 FaithBridge United Methodist Church 194 Aho Rd., Blowing Rock 295-8333 First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock 350 Sunset Dr., Blowing Rock 295-7715 First Independent Baptist Church Possum Hollow Rd., Blowing Rock

Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church 1218 Main St., Blowing Rock 295-7675 St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church 140 Chestnut Dr., Blowing Rock 295-7323 St. Mark’s Lutheran Church 5570 Blowing Rock Blvd., Lenoir 295-4750 The Temple of the High Country 1043 W. King St., Boone 264-8364 St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church 259 Pilgrims Way, Boone 264-8338 Sandy Flats Baptist Church 1776 Hwy. 221 S., Blowing Rock

Your Hometown Pharmacy Village Pharmacy 379 Sunset Drive | Blowing Rock, NC 828.295.3482


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

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What makes Blowing Rock unique? Art galleries, distinct seasons and much more SPECIAL FROM THE BLOWING ROCK TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

T

he town of Blowing Rock is a unique, year-round mountain destination in North Carolina’s High Country known as the Crown of the Blue Ridge. At 4,000 feet in elevation, it sits astride the Eastern Continental Divide, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and from the top of Blowing Rock (yes, there is one), there are commanding views of layer upon layer of gorgeous mountain scenery. Blowing Rock features four distinct seasons: It’s a festival of wild blooms in the spring, cool in the summer, dazzling with color in the fall and a Currier and Ives portrait in the winter. Activities such as hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, mountain and road cycling, rock climbing, fishing and hunting are close at hand, along with skiing and other snow sports in the winter. Blowing Rock has been welcoming visitors since the 1880s. Reminiscent of a small New England village, it has a population of just 1,500 that grows to nearly

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce presents Art in the Park once a month from May through October. 8,000 during the summer and fall months. It’s unique as a tourist destination, with virtually no chain hotels, fast-food places or strip malls. Lodging and dining venues are locally owned and operated, many in

historic buildings constructed with local natural materials. Accommodations for overnight guests are diverse; visitors can choose from among a variety of small inns, rustic

cabins, and bed-and-breakfasts, along with the famous Chetola Resort. The acclaimed Westglow Resort and Spa is nearby as well. Blowing Rock’s sophisticated small-town atmosphere inspired best-selling author and former resident Jan Karon to pen her famed Mitford series. To celebrate the much-loved series, two Mitford Days festivals were planned and presented for fans. The events were well-attended and the neighborly atmosphere proved that Blowing Rock really is Mitford in spirit. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the heart of the area, and it connects Blowing Rock with miles of beauty, cultural and historical sites and recreation. Within easy parkway driving distance is Grandfather Mountain, a spectacular biosphere reserve with a Mile High Swinging Bridge, wildlife habitats and incredible views (grandfather.com). Other area attractions include Tweetsie Railroad, Linville Caverns, Mystery Hill and the town of Boone, home of Appalachian State University. Ten years in the making, the Blowing UNIQUE – Continued on Page 15

Your Hometown Restaurant For More Than 30 Years Catering Available for Special Events Luncheon Specials Weekdays 11am - 2pm Live Entertainment Nightly - No Cover All ABC Privileges Hwy 321 Bypass, Blowing Rock, NC www.WoodlandsBBQ.com | 828.295.3651

The Woodlands Barbecue & Pickin’ Parlor


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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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UNIQUE FROM PAGE 13 Rock Art and History Museum is located in the heart of downtown, where it hosts exhibits, educational programs and classes that promote the visual arts, history and heritage of the mountains of Western North Carolina. The building blends with the surrounding natural environment, incorporating architectural elements that include 16-inch Douglas fir timbers bound by iron banding, river stone and cedar siding. BRAHM opened to the public on Oct. 1, 2011. Events enliven and enhance the visitor’s experience throughout the year, such as the long-running Saturday Art in the Park, May through October. Now in its 50th year, the renowned Art in the Park series features the works of juried artisans in watercolor, oil painting, fiber, metal, wood, basketry, glass, clay, jewelry, photography and more. Blowing Rock is also well known for its fine art galleries, most of which are within a few blocks of each other. Arts entertainment is provided by Ensemble Stage Company, a professional theater group. Numerous concerts and music series provide even more opportunity for fun and

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Tweetsie Railroad’s Engine No. 12 served the Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina Railroad until a flood in 1940 washed up the tracks. The coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive will celebrate its centennial in 2017. enjoyment. tural events, verdant cottage gardens and and the artistic to its tranquil environBlowing Rock is a time-honored destina- trails in which to roam, in close proximity ment for more than 100 years, and history tion, replete with high-end retail shops, to exhilarating outdoor adventures and continues to repeat itself as more and more unique restaurants, upscale retreats and parks. visitors make the journey to discover the charming inns, renowned artists and culBlowing Rock has attracted the affluent lure of Blowing Rock for themselves.

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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June 30, 2016

BRAHM has something for everyone By MEGHAN MINTON

W

ithin the town of Blowing Rock, there is a hidden gem that sits just at the end of Main Street: The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. At the museum, one can experience the arts and heritage of the mountains through exhibitions, educational programs, scholarly lectures, concerts and workshops. The museum provides something for everyone, from children to seniors. Youth and family activities focus on developing individual artistic skills through weekly art classes and engaging children in the traditional music and heritage of the mountains through storytelling, summer camps and art workshops. For those who prefer scholarly programming, the museum hosts several monthly art- and history-related lecture and discussion series, including: Scholars and Scones, Third Thursday and Watauga Wanderings, as well as a monthly Appalachian Documentary Film Series. On the social side, the museum host special events, summer concerts, membership coees and an annual Art and Antiques PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

BRAHM – Continued on Page 20

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum features six galleries, educational classroom, community meeting rooms and more.

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

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Jerald Melberg Gallery Comes to the High Country For the Summer and Fall! BLOWING ROCK 110 Sunset Drive Wednesday-Saturday 12-7, Sunday, 1-5

RE/MAX Realty Group is one of the top producing High Country real estate companies in Western North Carolina with only the most experienced and educated agents available to assist you.

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Representing

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Emerging and established artists of distinction and important estates

Exhibiting Regularly rotating solo shows by gallery artists as well as invitationals

Holding An extensive inventory of paintings, works on paper, sculpture and fine prints

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Consulting Corporations and private individuals on new and existing collections

Educating Through lectures and Q&A events with our artists

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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BRAHM

June 30, 2016

Clubs, nonprofits and civic organizations in Blowing Rock

FROM PAGE 18

Show weekend featuring more than 20 antique dealers from all over the East Coast. The museum boasts more than 5,000 square feet of gallery space, which houses seasonal exhibitions of art and historical artifacts. Twice a week, docents provide tours of the museum’s six galleries and the exhibits and collections manager hosts a monthly Coffee with the Curator, offering visitors several opportunities to get a closer look at the exhibits. Private group tours are available upon request. The museum is located on the corner of Main and Chestnut streets and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with extended hours on “Be our Guest” Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., where admission is a donation. For more information about the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, call (828) 295-9099 or visit www.BlowingRockMuseum. org.

(All numbers in the 828 area code, except where noted).

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Now in its 5th year, BRAHM consistently exhibits the finest in new and historic works of art from the Southeast and beyond.

American Red Cross (Watauga County chapter) .................................................................................. 264-8226 Appalachian Women’s Fund ................................................................................................................ 264-4002 Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S (Children Are Really Extra Special) Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce ................................................................................................. 295-7851 Blowing Rock Community Foundation ............................................................................................... 295-3048 Blowing Rock Historical Society .......................................................................................................... 295-6114 Blowing Rock Art and History Museum .............................................................................................. 295-9099 Boy Scout Troop 101 Girl Scout Troop 02252 Blowing Rock School PTO Blowing Rock Garden Club Blowing Rock Community Library ...................................................................................................... 295-7000 Blowing Rock Jazz Society .........................................................................................................(423) 727-0795 Blowing Rock Women’s Club ............................................................................................................... 295-7656 Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation ................................................................................................(336) 721-0260 High Country United Way ................................................................................................................... 265-2111 Blowing Rock American Legion Middle Fork Greenway Association ..................................................................................................... 264-3754 Rotary Club of Blowing Rock ....................................................................www.blowingrockrotary.org Watauga Humane Society .................................................................................................................. 264-7865 Dylan’s Hearts ........................................................................................................................... (336) 299-6392 OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Shelter, Information and Service) ......................................................... 264-1532 Habitat for Humanity ......................................................................................................................... 268-9545 Hospitality House ............................................................................................................................... 264-1237 Watauga Arts Council ......................................................................................................................... 264-1789 Western Youth Network .................................................................................................................... 264-51274 Wine to Water .................................................................................................................................... 355-9655 Samaritan’s Purse ............................................................................................................................... 262-1980

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

Discover

Page 21

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Page 22

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum The Corner of Chestnut & Main, Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-9099 • www.BlowingRockMuseum.org • facebook.com/brmuseum

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June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock My Hometown

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Showcasing over 35 local & regional artists Handmade gifts unique to the high country Reclaimed & sustainable wood furniture & accessories Gourmet foods & sea salts PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The new Rotary Gazebo at Blowing Rock Memorial Park has proven popular with visitors and bands performing during the Concerts in the Park series.

BLOWING ROCK, My hometown By GINNY STEVENS

W

hen I am working at the 1888 Museum or Edgewood Cottage, I find that our guests want to know what it’s like to live in Blowing Rock, which has made me think about all the components that have filled my life since we bought our house here in 1985, and there are many pieces of that puzzle. They all meld together to make our choice of Blowing Rock for our retirement years the best of all the options. We really enjoy the deer and turkeys that come through the yard daily, which will always be a distinctive pleasure of living here. First of all, the village and the surrounding mountains are not only beautiful to behold, but a nurturing place to call home. The beautiful scenery that surrounds us daily is an inspiration, both visually and emotionally. Winters in the snow are idyllic with the exception of ice storms, and that makes it easy to stay home, snuggle in and read a good book. Snow is not usually a constraint to venturing out, as our road crew comes to plow at 6:30 a.m. and is pouring salt on the roads by 7:30 a.m. in our neighborhood, making the roads quite accessible; we do have fourwheel drive on both cars, however. Spring and fall are both colorful, with perfect temperatures, and we await the blooming jonquils, peonies, iris and other harbingers of spring or the colorful leaves and crisp breezes of autumn.

Summers have always filled the village with guests who come to the delightful 75 to 85 degree temperatures and the attendant activities outside: swimming, hiking, exploring, tennis, golf and the special events put on by the variety of organizations in town, as well as the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Horse Show board, house and garden tours, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and Historical Society events, as well as the Blowing Rock Foundation and Rotary activities. The churches also play a very important role in this area, as does the town Parks and Recreation Department. There seems to be far too many things to attend, but there are a greatly increased number of people to host and entertain and the community arises to meet the need. All of these activities require a guiding hand and much camaraderie in gathering together to plan and present these activities, which leads me to talk about the people of our town, who work exceptionally hard to make the kind of activities that bring people to the village, as we are all very much aware that our economy is dependant upon bringing guests and visitors to the village. Thousands of volunteer hours are invested by the residents of Blowing Rock in the beautification of town and the organization and planning of activities presented by the village, to appeal to residents and visitors. With all the pleasures of interesting shopping and eating in the exciting village HOMETOWN – Continued on Page 26

Tasting Table with FREE daily in-store tastings of our Art of Oil Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars Kitchen collections & entertaining Blowing Rock Village & Blue Ridge note cards Join us from 4-6pm during each Art in the Park for live music & hors d'oeuvres

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Page 24

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 30, 2016

Page 25

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 26

And the award goes to…

Y

ou don’t have to live in Blowing Rock to appreciate it, but it certainly helps. Every year, Blowing Rock is recognized by a number of outside organizations and publications for its beauty, activities and overall friendliness. Here’s a short list (compiled from a much longer list) of recent awards and honors Blowing Rock has received from folks who don’t even live here. Blowing Rock was named: • North Carolina’s Prettiest Small Town by a panel of Southeastern travel journalists, beating out places such as South Port and Southern Pines.

HOMETOWN FROM PAGE 23

restaurants, there is more than ample opportunity to enjoy the fellowship and leadership of our permanent residents. In the 1989 town survey, 88 percent of the population stated that their primary interest was to keep the historic character of the village, and we are still working hard to maintain that goal. The Blowing Rock Country Club has a full schedule of activities from May to October for its membership, and hosts many of the local organizations’ benefits and special events throughout the summer. This is a beautiful and popular venue for extraordinary fundraisers, hosted by the Blowing Rock Hospital and others who help support the community. The staff at Town Hall, under the leadership of Town Manager Scott Fogleman, has a special place in the hearts of permanent residents, as they are every ready to assist and problem-solve. Tony Jones, our chief of police, and his well-trained officers have a “can-do” attitude, as does the entire fire department and emergency crew, with Kent Graham at the head. Each fall, we have the Hometown Harvest Supper for the entire village in November, where we gather for fellowship and the chance to know each other a little bit better. This is popular celebration will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, for the ninth time at the Fire Station.

• One of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns by Travel+Leisure magazine. • Favorite Mountain Destination by Our State magazine. • Best Mountain Town by Blue Ridge Country magazine. • Best Day Trip by the Winston-Salem Journal. • Platinum award for Art in the Park/ Best Arts/crafts Show, Gold award for Best Main Street and Silver awards for Best Arts Town and Best Shopping in the 2013 Blue Ridge Country’s “Best of the Mountains” readers poll. Winners were selected from candidates in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. • A 2013 “Great Places in North Carolina” Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Our mayor, J.B. Lawrence and wife, Lynn, lead our elected officials and the board of five town council members are responsible for the town’s well-being and the boards under their tutelage. These elected officials have a difficult job of pleasing everyone all the time, and for the most part have done an excellent job of keeping the town alive and well. We have a number of special celebrations around the Christmas holidays, with a parade the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the lighting of the huge tree in front of town hall. (I forgot to mention the Independence Day parade, a typical Norman Rockwell celebration of our town, with bicycles, horses, floats and much merriment, including our town clown, Bobby Ball). There is certainly more to do than one could possibly do alone, and I hasten to mention the kindness of our citizenry, now that I am using a cane, and have a constant barrage of folks asking to help me load things in my car, or assist in some manner. I know that would not be the case in a larger location, and am ever grateful that so many people stop to assist me, and feel this may be unique to the High Country and Blowing Rock. Living here is the best of all worlds, as far as my husband and I are concerned. We have been nurtured and loved and found so many treasured memories that are unique to Blowing Rock, its people, and the beautiful mountains that we feel we could have no better place to live; we count our blessings daily and know that we have made the best choice to share this “Shangri-la” with all of the other residents who enjoy this paradise with us.

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June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 27


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 28

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The Shelby Rae Moore Band performs a Music on the Lawn concert in front of the Best Cellar Restaurant.

Music and theater By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

I

t seems as if there is always something to do in Blowing Rock, especially in the summer. For some reason, a lot of talented folks end up in our village and are constantly looking for an audience.

ENSEMBLE STAGE For the past seven and a half years, Ensemble Stage Company has been producing quality theater entertainment for all ages. This summer, Ensemble Stage will present a wide array of productions, including a comedy, a thriller and children’s programming, among others. Ensemble Stage will present four plays at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium, as well as two children’s theater productions, as part of its summer season. This year’s summer season kicks off with the comedy “The Melville Boys,” which runs from June 25 through July 3. The suspense thriller “Toyer” takes the stage July 16-24. Written by Gardner McKay, the play details the arrival of a charming stranger at psychologist Maude’s remote house, which soon becomes a battle of wits. Is the stranger merely a playful admirer or the man who has been terrorizing the neighborhood as labeled as the “Toyer” by the local media? Jeff Baron’s heartfelt play “Visiting Mr. Green” takes the stage Aug. 6-14. When elderly Mr. Green wanders into traffic and is almost struck by a car, the court system sentences the young driver, Ross Gardiner, to helping the recent widower once a week for six months. Ensemble Stage’s main stage summer series concludes with “Waiting for MacArthur,” by P. Paulette MacDougal. While most stories from World War II are told from the male perspective, “Waiting for MacArthur” sheds light on the role of women during the conflict. Ensemble Stage’s Saturday Kids Theatre will present The Commedia productions

of “Cinderella” on July 2 and July 23 and “Robin Hood” on July 9 and July 30. The shows are full of comedy, improvisation and audience participation. The Saturday shows begin at 11 a.m. and last approximately one hour. Tickets are $6 per person. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (828) 414-1844 or visit www. ensemblestage.com. For more information, or to order tickets, visit www.ensemblestage.com or call (828) 414-1844.

HIGH COUNTRY JAZZ SOCIETY For the past decade, the High Country Jazz Society (formerly the Blowing Rock Jazz Society) has been presenting monthly “Second Sunday” concerts at the Meadowbrook Inn. Pulling in talented acts from all over the Southeast, the HCJS concerts are a class act in a wonderful relaxing setting. You can also order food and drinks while you listen to pianos, saxes, bass and drums. Members of the High Country Jazz Society get to hear the shows for free. Regular admission is $20 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call (828) 295-4300.

JOE SHANNON’S MOUNTAIN HOME MUSIC Started more than two decades ago by the late musician and host Joe Shannon, Mountain Home Music is presented at a variety of venues in Blowing Rock and Boone from St. Patrick’s Day through Christmas each year. With an emphasis on regional musical styles, Mountain Home Music performances are your best bet for finding the finest musicians in the worlds of bluegrass, country, gospel, old-time, folk and Celtic.

MUSIC – Continued on Page 29

June 30, 2016


June 30, 2016

UNIQUE FROM PAGE 28

BLOWING ROCK MUSIC FESTIVAL Held for the past two years at the historic Blowing Rock attraction, the Blowing Rock Music Festival was a smashing success, so much that they have decided to do it again. The 2016 Blowing Rock Music Festival will feature two stages at the Blowing Rock. Performers include The Harris Brothers, Shelby Rae Moore and many others. In addition to the great live music, the festival features a chance to see the legendary Blowing Rock and visit some of the best local food, beverage and craft vendors. Gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show and $35 for advance reserved seating. For more information, call (828) 295-7183.

LIVE MUSIC In Blowing Rock, you never know when somebody’s going to break out into song. But if that is too random and unpredictable for you, there are a number of surefire locales where you are bound to hear great music. Canyons of the Blue Ridge features live

Blowing Rock My Hometown music on the weekends, usually starting around 10 p.m. The majority of the shows are free, but Bart Conway occasionally books the big national act and charges a little bit at the door. You can also always count on Canyons for great live jazz music during its Sunday brunch. Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor is the perfect place to grab some grub and hear some live music. The upstairs of the restaurant features live music nightly, usually by some of the High Country’s best bluegrass and country musicians. Live music can also be heard at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort, Twigs and the Town Tavern. More and more restaurants are adding live entertainment to their offerings, especially in the summer. Call ahead to find out when they are playing. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce presents a summer concert series called Concerts in the Park. About once a month, you’ll find a musical act performing to an audience of about 100, filling the warm Sunday atmosphere with beautiful music. Another outdoor concert series uses Mondays instead of Sundays and Broyhill Park instead of Memorial Park. The Monday Night Concert Series, organized by Amy Marie Young, features a wide variety of acts performing at the gazebo next to Broyhill Lake, behind the Blowing Rock American Legion.

Page 29

National Park Service celebrates its centennial in 2016 Blue Ridge Parkway is a natural draw for Blowing Rock By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

I

n 1934, planning for the Blue Ridge Parkway’s route through North Carolina fell largely to the staff at the State Highway and Public Works Commission, through the office of engineer R. Getty Browning. Considered the “architect of the Blue Ridge Parkway,” Browning guided the scenic driveway along the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains and generally planned for it to avoid cities and towns. All except one: Blowing Rock. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs just north of Blowing Rock and one of its most popular areas, Moses H. Cone Park, lies just outside town limits. Additionally, Pisgah National Forest,

one of the most scenic areas of the Appalachian Mountains, lies just to the south of Blowing Rock. This year, the National Park Service celebrates its centennial. Special events are planned at Moses Cone Estate, the Linn Cove Viaduct and other areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. On weekends in the summer, park rangers will be giving tours of the Cone Manor and ranger-led parkway programs provide family fun and environmental education at the Julian Price Campground Amphitheater (milepost 297). Obviously, Blowing Rock’s proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway is a driving factor in its tourism-based economy. Restaurants and hotels stay busy with folks who have just pulled off of the parkway — the most visited of all of the National Park Service sites.


Blowing Rock My Hometown

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June 30, 2016

Music Festival

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 434 Rock Road • Blowing Rock, NC

Rain or Shine Event TICKETS GO ON SALE JULY 15TH For More Information www.theblowingrock.com www.facebook.com/TheBRMusicFestival 828.295.7183

A North Carolina Tradition. Iconic Views and Unique Gift Shop theblowingrock.com • 828-295-7111 • 432 Rock Road • Blowing Rock


June 30, 2016

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Blowing Rock: A great place to call home, or second home By LESLIE EASON leason@boone.net

B

lowing Rock is not only a great place to visit, it is also a great place to call home. The last 12 months have seen a record number of home sales in the Blowing Rock area, with a median price of about $300,000. While many visitors to the area think buying a home in Blowing Rock might be out of their reach, there are options for almost any budget. Condos and smaller cottages start in the mid-$100,000s, and grand timber frame homes can exceed $2 million. Home prices in Blowing Rock have dropped by about 20 percent since the recession, and are staying at more affordable levels. Despite the fast pace of sales, this area is currently a buyer’s market with about two years of inventory and an average time on market of eight to nine months. Being a resort area without large employers means that there are fewer “necessary” relocations driving sales.

Second homes: The driving factor More than half of the homes sold in Blowing Rock are second homes. Buyers look here to escape the summer heat or live here for half of the year. With Charlotte a two-hour drive and Raleigh/Durham three hours away, most buyers are from North Carolina. Many buyers purchase a second (or third) home in Blowing Rock with plans to make it their retirement home. Real estate is not only a great long-term investment, it is one that an owner can enjoy as well. A healthy and growing segment of the Blowing Rock real estate market is second homes that can also be used as vacation rentals to generate income to help pay for the cost of owning and maintaining the home. There are several excellent vacation rental management companies in the area that can manage the entire process. Additionally, homeowners are increasingly managing vacation rentals themselves through companies such as Airbnb.com and Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO.com). If you are looking for a home that can also be used as a vacation rental, be sure to ask your realtor whether vacation rentals are allowed in that location. Within the town limits of Blowing Rock and in some subdivisions, vacation/short term rentals are not permitted. Blowing Rock residential areas While strolling on Main Street or visiting

the attractions in Blowing Rock, visitors may not be aware of the many residential areas. The Blowing Rock Real Estate market includes homes beyond the town limits. While looking online will show you the homes, working with a realtor is the best way to learn about the various neighborhoods and their relative locations. While some of the homes in Blowing Rock are older, do not let the age deter you. Many of the older homes have been transformed inside with impressive mountain-style renovations. In the town of Blowing Rock: The town of Blowing Rock is known for its grand homes along Main Street and in historic Mayview and Laurel Park, as well as cottages around Ransom Street. There are also condominium developments such as Royal Oaks, Glen Burney and Chetola Resort, which also boast sa hotel, fine dining restaurant and spa. Cross U.S. 321 (Blowing Rock Boulevard) to Echo Park, Green Hill Road, Wonderland Woods and areas surrounding the Blowing Rock Country Club and Golf Course. U.S. 221 south: There are several neighborhoods on either side of Highway 221 headed south, some offering great Grandfather Mountain and St. Johns River Gorge views. These include Misty Mountain, Saddle Hills and Sweetgrass, a newer development with trails and a lake. U.S. 321 north toward Boone: One of the largest residential areas in this direction is Appalachian Ski Mountain, with many mountain and log homes close to skiing. This is a popular location for vacation rentals. Also along 321 are the luxury, gated communities of Firethorn and Timber Creek, as well as the log home community Friendly Mountain Acres. Blue Ridge Parkway north: There are several established neighborhoods with midrange to high-end homes along this route. This general area is referred to on maps as the Aho area and includes the Sorrento, Greystone, Blackberry, Goshen, Summit Park and Brown Stone Ridge, to name a few. Some of these neighborhoods are in the Boone zip code, but are considered the Blowing Rock area from a real estate standpoint. Also in this direction is the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, a newer and impressive development with timber-frame homes and many lots available. BRMC offers trails and amenities and just broke ground on a new clubhouse and gym. If you are considering purchasing a home in Blowing Rock now or in the future, take a drive around the area or contact a realtor to see some properties. There are so many choices.

Page 31

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Blowing Rock My Hometown

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