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2 - Mountain Times Publications

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Welcome to Blowing Rock


Blowing Rock: A look back at history BY THOMAS SHERRILL

The town of Blowing Rock was chartered and incorporated on March 11, 1889, with “Uncle Joe” Clark serving as the town’s first mayor. Prior to becoming a town, the village, sitting between 3,500 and 3,600 feet above sea level, was already a summer destination for visitors seeking to beat the heat of the lowlands. The population spurt of note came during the Civil War, when many men sent their families to the mountains to seek refuge from war-torn areas of the Confederacy, joining them in their new homes after the war ended in 1865. 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. In the early half of the 1900s, downtown Blowing Rock suffered through two devastating fires, which destroyed many of the buildings on Main Street. Not only did these fires lead to the establishment of a fulltime fire department in the town, but convinced store owners to rebuild using brick and stone instead of wood. Many of those classic stone buildings are standing today, helping to give the downtown area its rustic mountain charm. Children in Blowing rock attended the local K-12 school until 1965, when all of the high school students merged

into the newly-constructed countywide Watauga High School in nearby Boone. Today, Blowing Rock School serves students from kindergarten through 8th grade.

TODAY Approximately 1,250 people live year-round inside Blowing Rock town limits, with that number swelling by five or six times during the summer season, which traditionally goes from Memorial Day weekend to the end of October. 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.

About our cover The “Blowing Rock,” the rock formation shown on our cover, is what defines our home town. Not only is the formation North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction, it is home to two music festivals — the beach music festival Shagging at the Rock in August and the Blowing Rock Music Festival in September. Myriad Western North Carolina peaks, such as Table Rock, Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain, are visible from the Blowing Rock. — Photo by Jeff Eason

I would like to welcome our visitors and summer residents to our fine town of Blowing Rock. I was raised in Blowing Rock and left to pursue my career in the early ‘80s, and I made the decision to return five years ago to take over and renovate an old family business. Our town has seen many changes through the years. In 2018, we will see the opening of U.S. 321 as a four Sellers lane road, the opening of the Mayview Plaza located at the entrance of Laurel Lane which recognizes the local attractions that have been the driving force for our tourism industry and the revitalization of Memorial Park located on Main Street. In addition, we have many new businesses that have opened to serve our visitors and local residents. In 2018, there are many events planned for Blowing Rock: Art in the Park, movies in the park, Independence Day festivities, Symphony by the Lake at Chetola, St. Mary’s tour homes, the Blowing Rock Horse show and monthly exhibits at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) in addition to many other events throughout the High Country Once again, welcome to all of you that make our town a special place to visit and call home. Charlie Sellers Blowing Rock Mayor

About this publication Now in its seventh year of publication, the multiaward winning “Blowing Rock: My Hometown” is a partnership venture between The Blowing Rocket and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. While we’re proud of the North Carolina Press Association honors the publication has earned, our real source of pride comes from our intent to help visitors learn about our area, whether those visitors are here for a weekend stay, a summer retreat, retirement or a family relocation destination. Working with the chamber of commerce is a similar honor as we help to promote that organization’s vision 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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Blowing Rock My Hometown 2018  

Blowing Rock My Hometown 2018  

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