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Starts Here.

With native festivals, outdoor excursions and nightly entertainment experience a mountain adventure in the homeland of the Cherokee Indians. | |

Sponsored in part by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 • VOL. 12 • NO. 5 800-438-1601



Mountain Adventure

Smoky Mountain L I V I N G

Celebrating THE

Southern Appalachians




Knoxville’s historic comeback

Revitalizing a native tongue



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The Lee Brothers’ Lemon & Cucumber Pickles Visit the Tuckasegee towns of Sylva, Dillsboro, and Cullowhee, N.C.

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Make memories, not landfills.

Subaru was the first automotive plant in the U.S. to achieve zero landfill status,and the only one certified as a national wildlife habitat. We like to peacefully co-exist with nature.


877.931.7822 •

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we lco m e :

FROM THE MANAGING EDITOR When the weather for gardening isn’t right,

there remain certain activities with which I can distract my mind, shut it down such that it does nothing more than focus on the task at hand. I’ve an affinity for jewelry making; it’s nothing fancy, but beadwork is tedious enough to require a keen eye and a steady hand. Cooler temperatures motivate me to rustle up dried herbs and essential oils to mix into melt and pour soaps. Reading allows me to take on another life altogether given the power of imagination. Yet, it is cooking that my husband is most likely to find me doing—or starting to do—at 11:30 p.m. when the stress boils over like an overfull pot of potatoes. He sighs, kisses me on Sarah E. Kucharski the forehead and goes off to bed, and I try not to clatter about with the pots and pans any more than necessary. The pickling began at an even later hour. I was done, cashed, written out, overwhelmed, but I had a selection of vinegars and vegetables to burn. The carrots were first. Given that I wasn’t actually canning and had little fear of botulism, I improvised—an absolute canning don’t—and warmed apple cider vinegar, water, salt,

From the Web Are you a fan of Smoky Mountain Living on Facebook? We asked our fans, “What’s a skill that you wish you had learned from a family member or family friend who has passed? What’s a skill that you want to make sure to pass on to the next generation?” “Fly Fishing from my dad—we fished often but I never got the knack for it and now he’s gone! I taught my grandson a lot of things including fishing, but the most important is love and honesty. I have tried


sugar, and slivers of ginger in a saucepan. As the mixture came to a simmer, a hot bitterness wafted up to tease my nostrils, and I wondered if my husband wouldn’t awaken to the strange though not unpleasant smell. I removed the pickling brine from the heat, allowed it to cool while filling a jar with baby carrots, and poured the warm liquid bath into the jar and covered it loosely. The carrots, which had been refrigerator relics, soaked up the vinegar mixture. The process, which had taken 20 minutes at best, had returned my brain to neutral. So I ran another batch, pickling carrots and preserving my sense of self. This edition of Smoky Mountain Living is focused on preservation—of lifestyle, of language, of land. It’s about recognizing what we have before we lose it completely. Once things are gone, we cannot bring them back, at least not in the same way they once were. We clutch tight keepsakes and useless trinkets because they remind us of a time past. What we hold in our hearts is so much stronger than any candy dish or baby gown or pocket watch. Our love, our memories, our stories live on when they are shared, and these things, unlike finite material things, can be shared time and time again with anyone willing to accept them into their own heart. Each story in this edition of Smoky Mountain Living is marked by a passion for passing on something intangible, a recognition of history and heritage in defining one’s sense of self and in fighting for self-preservation. — Sarah E. Kucharski, managing editor

Mail your letter to Editor, P.O. Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786 or email

to instill in my son and grandson like my dad did with me! Being a tomboy growing up made all those things easier for me to teach both boys!” — Pamela Oprea Yenglin

“My mama tatted beautiful things, and both mamaws crocheted. I can’t do either one. I tie knots in string.” — Lisa Garrett Bryant

“Cooking. My mother was a phenomenal cook. She kept telling me that I needed to learn...I made the mistake of telling her we had plenty of time. Then she died when I was 23. I am useless in the kitchen.” — Rebecca Horton Ballard

“I wish I knew all my great-grandfather’s natural healing skills. He (Sylvannus B. Parker) was allowed to practice medicine in the Smokies and some surrounding states. I would like to teach people how to write their family stories.” — Liesa Ann Swejkoski

“I wish I had learned to milk a cow. Actually, Mama always said, “Honey, NEVER learn to milk a cow!” I think she was right. She ended up milking way too many cows!” — Mary Barbara Byford Owens

Connect with us at Fans have access to special promotions and giveaways including subscriptions, tickets, and more.


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About our writers VOL. 12 • NUMBER 5 Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . Scott McLeod General Manager . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd Advertising Sales Manager . . Hylah Smalley Managing Editor . . . . . . . Sarah E. Kucharski Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Bumgardner Graphics . . . Margaret Hester, Micah McClure Finance & Admin. . . . . . . Amanda Singletary Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd, Whitney Burton, Scott Collier, Drew Cook Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier Contributing Writers . . . . . Dianne Gholson, Joe Hooten, Beverly Hooven, Carl Iobst, Becky Johnson, Denton Loving, Marla Hardee Milling, Jack Neely, Anna Oakes, Angela Raimondo Rosebrough, Katey Schultz, Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, Bill Studenc Contributing Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ashley T. Evans, Diana Gates, Mark Haskett, Margaret Hester, Becky Johnson, Micah McClure, Don McGowan, Kevin Millard, Marla Hardee Milling, Karen Rindge, Sherry Shook Contributing Illustrator . . Mandy Newham Smoky Mountain Living is published bi-monthly by SM Living LLC. Smoky Mountain Living has made every effort to insure listings and information are accurate and assumes no liability for errors or omissions. For advertising information, contact Hylah Smalley at 828.452.2251 or For editorial inquiries, contact Sarah Kucharski at Smoky Mountain Living assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Queries should be sent to Sarah E. Kucharski at ©2012. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reprinted without the express, written consent of the publisher. Smoky Mountain Living is published bi-monthly (Dec/Jan, Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov) by SM Living, LLC, 34 Church Street, Waynesville, NC 28786. Application to Mail at Periodical Postage Prices is pending at Waynesville NC and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: please send address changes to Smoky Mountain Living, PO Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786.

Bill Studenc is senior director of

news services at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. Studenc, who grew up in Black Mountain, has worked as a reporter and editor at The Mountaineer in Waynesville, editor of The News Record in Marshall and sports reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times. A journalism and history graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Studenc recently earned his master’s degree in public affairs at WCU after a six-year stint as a “gradual student.” He lives near Lake Junaluska with wife Margaret, daughter Neva, son Will. An unrepentant headbanger, he still listens to 1980s heavy metal bands.

Jack Neely is a reporter and

associate editor for Knoxville’s alternative weekly, Metro Pulse, where he may be best known for his awardwinning column, “Secret History,” about the city’s oftenstartling past. He is the author of Market Square: A History of the Most Democratic Place on Earth (2nd ed., 2011) and Knoxville: This Obscure Prismatic City (2009). Neely also is co-host of the liveaudience radio/internet show, Scruffy City Roots. He grew up in Knoxville, and spent many, perhaps most weekends of his childhood hiking and trout fishing with his dad in the Smoky Mountains.

Becky Johnson grew up in

Raleigh, raised by parents who instilled in her an appreciation for the outdoors and wild places, which in turn gave rise to a strong environmental ethos. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999 as a double major in journalism and anthropology and a creative writing minor. She worked as a park ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a year WWW.SMLIV.COM

before pursuing journalism in Western North Carolina. She has been with the Smoky Mountain News, based in Waynesville, since 2003, where she is a reporter and news editor.

Denton Loving lives on a farm

near the historic Cumberland Gap, where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia come together. He works at Lincoln Memorial University, where he co-directs the annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival and serves as co-editor of drafthorse: the literary journal of work and no work ( His poem “Reasoning with Cows” received first place in the 2012 Byron Herbert Reece Society Poetry Contest. Other fiction, poetry and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Appalachian Heritage, Minnetonka Review, Trajectory, Main Street Rag and in numerous anthologies including Degrees of Elevation: Stories of Contemporary Appalachia.

Anna Oakes is a mountain girl

raised in the rural northern end of Caldwell County and a proud graduate of Appalachian State University. She tolerates the harsh mountain winters in exchange for the heavenly summers of the High Country, where you’ll find her on the river, vegetable gardening or dancing to an old-time string band. She writes for the Watauga Democrat in Boone.

Angela Raimondo Rosebrough is

associate editor of High Country Magazine and a freelance writer. She loves hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway and has fun experimenting with cooking, entertaining friends and traveling whenever she can. She lives with her son in Asheville, N.C.


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IT’S A HARD KNOX LIFE Today downtown Knoxville bustles with shopping, dining, live music and local hangouts, but it took dedication to turn downtown around. BY JACK NEELY






A little boy turned lawyer turned writer—is uniting his skills with his passion for preservation to fight for his mountains.

The general store was more than just a place to buy and sell goods; it was a gathering place for the community.

Cherokee strives to revitalize its language, the only Native American language with a written syllabary.










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Preserving heritage while facing change.



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An eclectic mix of heritage, hipness, and history.



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Talking with The Avett Brothers about their new album The Carpenter.



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Rutherfordton celebrates its 225th anniversary this year.


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Zorb in Pigeon Forge—the only place in the country for this New Zealand adventure.

ON THE COVER Canning and pickling preserve the season’s harvest. MARGARET HESTER PHOTO PICTOGRAPHYBYMARGARET.COM



A Land More Kind Than Home and Jay Leutze’s Stand Up that Mountain.


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Spruce Pine Potters Market puts clay on display.


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Learn canning basics and make a pan of cornbread dressing with pecans and apples.

MOUNTAIN VIEWS Denton Loving speaks to the bees.


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Maggie Valley, N.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Hendersonville, N.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Blue Ridge, G.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Waynesville, N.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Swain County, N.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Select Lodging. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

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Executive Retreat


Smoky Mountain Sanctuary WAY N E S V I L L E , N C

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Executive retreat on 3.79 acres overlooking the historic Waynesville Inn golf course, long-range mountain views and vistas of Hazelwood, Waynesville and Lake Junaluska. Craftsman/Prairie style with over 5,000 square feet of open living space with extensive stone, timber, stucco, porcelain tile and Brazilian mahogany hardwood floors. Four bedrooms all ensuite and one half bath. Whole house solar-assisted radiant floor heating system in addition to a 4-zoned HVAC system. Large, private Master Suite with sitting area, huge walk-in closet and spa-type bath with his/hers facilities. Commercial Sub-Zero/Wolf kitchen, custom cherry cabinets with wraparound granite surfaces. Beautiful landscaping, level yard with patios and party pavilion. Must see to believe — all within 10 minutes from downtown Waynesville’s shops, restaurants and vibrant arts scene.

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62 Church St. ~ Waynesville, NC

George Escaravage BROKER/REALTOR






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Preservation—it is about what we have kept and what we will pass on. Smoky Mountain Living’s readers shared their images of preservation from around the region. Do you see yourself, your heritage, your values reflected in these images?

Beverly Hooven

Diana Gates

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Dianne Gholson Carl Lobst

When you realize the value of

all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future. — Dian Fossey

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What do you see in the Smokies? Our next edition will focus on the theme of “heat.” Submit your images—hearth cooking, animals’ shaggy winter coats, grandma’s quilts—to by Oct. 17. For more information, visit

Diana Gates

Micah McClure

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Mystery is a resource, like coal or gold, and its preservation is a fine thing.

—Tim Cahill Sherry Shook

Diana Gates

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d e p a r t m e n t :


Choosing what to— and what to not—preserve BY BILL STUDENC


reserve. It’s a simple word that carries so much weight on its slight, two-syllabled shoulders, especially here in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. For many who call the hills and hollows of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee home, preserving things is an integral strand of DNA in our shared genetic makeup. The act of preservation began simply enough. For our mountain ancestors, preservation was not an option or a luxury; it was a way of life. Long before the days of Frigidaire and General Electric appliances, early settlers would preserve meat through the processes of salting or smoking. Fruits and vegetables from the harvest were put up for the winter in cans, jars or other containers, and the verb “preserve” morphed into a noun as great-grand-


mother’s peach preserves shared valuable pantry space alongside her blackberry jelly, strawberry jam, and apple butter. Over the years, preserving things in the mountains became less a matter of survival, at least in terms of direct, day-to-day sustenance. For the vast majority of us, we now trust our neighborhood Ingles, our Fresh Market, our Bi-Lo, our Name Your Grocery Store of Choice Here to ensure that the bacon is properly cured, packaged and refrigerated, the green beans and broccoli frozen, the locally grown apples and grapes happily hobnobbing with their exotic cousins from warmer climes, the oranges, bananas, and papayas. We don’t have to go about the dirty business of growing and harvesting, raising and slaughtering, canning and curing. Preserving things important to us is no longer just about the art of preservation. It’s about the


preservation of art. It’s about the preservation of heritage and culture. And it’s about the preservation of the staggering natural beauty that has become a hallmark of what it means to be blessed enough to live in this corner of the world. It also has become a vital part of the region’s economy. Although we are no longer personally responsible for preserving the things that wind up on our family dinner table, the people of this region still depend in large part on preservation to pay the salaries that put food on our tables, the roof over our heads, and the clothes on our children’s backs. It’s because of the tourism industry that flourishes in the wake of our successful efforts to preserve. Tourists flock to these peaks and valleys to revel in the splendor of our mountain

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riety, Dollywood also features a bald eagle rescenery, with long-range views of ridgeline after habilitation center; they’re in rehab because ridgeline extending far into the horizon, seemthey’ve been injured, not because they’ve been ingly to infinity. From Great Smoky Mountains partying with Charlie Sheen. National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Despite its ample upside, all this attention on Grandfather Mountain to Looking Glass Rock, preservation can have its pitfalls, points out from the Cherohala Skyway to Chimney Rock, Richard Starnes, professor of history at WCU, the incredible views remain for generations to in his book “Creating the Land of the Sky: enjoy only through efforts to preserve these natTourism and Society in Western North Carural treasures. olina.” The tourism industry has ballooned from Visitors come for the profusion of festivals of modest beginnings in the early 19th century folk music and dance that dot the region’s calwhen Low Country planters escaped the heat of endar year-round, from the just-concluded summer by heading for the hills to become the Mountain Heritage Day that takes place every defining economic and social force in WNC. last Saturday of September on the campus of Western Carolina University to the Mountain Quiltfest coming up in March Author and professor in Pigeon Forge. They travel here for the Richard Starnes. myriad of museums of folk art and crafts, ASHLEY T. EVANS PHOTO to soak in our Appalachian Mountain traditions, to watch demonstrations by painters and potters, basket-weavers and metalsmiths, and to purchase their handiworks. And, without even leaving the country, they enter a sovereign nation to experience the culture and heritage of the first people to live in the mountains, the members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. It’s plain to see that, in the Southern Appalachians, preservation has spawned something far more than just a cottage industry—although many of our local artisans and crafters do work out of their homes. In addition to transient visitors, these mountains have become a haven for part-time residents and vacation home-owners. And, speaking of cottage industry, these aren’t cottages rented by weekend visitors. Second homes, many of them massive high-dollar estates in developments that, fittingly enough, have “preserve” as part of their names, have added to a local tax base already lifted by our efforts to preserve. We’re not talking small potatoes, either, the type that Great Aunt Bessie “The positive impact of tourism on the reMae might have stored over the winter in the gion’s employment, economic development and root cellar. The N.C. Department of Comlocal tax revenue are indisputable,” says merce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Starnes, currently interim head of WCU’s ColDevelopment estimates that in 2011 alone the lege of Arts and Sciences. On the other side of tourism industry generated $1.34 billion in the equation, he says, are commonly held conspending in the 16 westernmost counties of cerns about the potentially negative aspects, inNorth Carolina. That’s billion with a ‘b.’ cluding inflated property values resulting from Even Dollywood, with its theme-park boufwidespread second-home construction, air and fant wigs and Splash Country false eyelashes, water quality issues associated with an influx of prides itself on staying true to its mountain tourists, and the loss of forestland for recreation roots, promoting a wide variety of traditional and timber to real estate development. crafters showing their stuff, including black“Of course, not all residents are pleased with smiths, glassblowers, and candle-makers. For the roles that tourism plays within the region. those who prefer preservation of the natural va-

Even today, native-born residents sometimes resent outsiders, whom they feel view mountain people as backward and ignorant,” Starnes says. Some stereotypes remain because they’ve been perpetuated by many mountain businesses over the years—from an Asheville “motor lodge” with its neon-lit image of a barefoot, shotgun-toting hillbilly, corncob pipe clenched tightly in his mouth, to the use of tipi and headdress imagery by Cherokee entrepreneurs to attract tourists to town in spite of the fact those items reflect the culture of American Indian tribes of the Plains. Thanks to the staying power of “Deliverance,” we’re all sadistic, toothless sodomizers; and given the infamy of Popcorn Sutton, we’re all moonshiners. I often find myself discussing these stereotypes with my son, who worries that his mountain roots will automatically brand him. I remind him of Billy Carter, Jimmy’s younger brother and promoter of Billy Beer, who once defined the difference between rednecks and good ol’ boys: A redneck rides around in a pickup truck, drinking beer and throwing the cans out of the window; a good ol’ boy rides around in a pick-up truck, drinking beer and throwing the cans in the back. We have a lot more good ‘ol boys (and good ol’ girls) than we do rednecks these days, I tell my kid. To be sure, there are aspects of our mountain heritage that could use some improvement. Our levels of education are still too low, our levels of poverty still too high. Our law enforcement officers spend too much time dealing with problems associated with meth, and our health care professionals spend too much time working with patients suffering from obesity, diabetes and other issues related to poor nutrition. Every geographic region has its own set of problems, but being the stubborn, independent mountain people that we are, we continue to chip away at ours. Driving with my family on the Blue Ridge Parkway on a rainy late summer day, clouds were clinging to verdant mountaintops like whiffs of sticky cotton candy as tendrils of fog danced across on the face of Devil’s Courthouse. Even my teenage daughter was able to put down the cell phone and stop texting long enough to gaze out the window at scenery that was absolutely breathtaking in spite of the overcast and the drizzle. Yes, this is a special place, one that is well worth preserving—for ourselves, for our children, for our children’s children, and for generations to come.

The tourism industry has

ballooned from modest beginnings in the early 19th century when Low Country planters escaped the heat of summer by heading for the hills to become the defining economic and social force in WNC.



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Small towns on the Tuckasegee

The Jackson County Courthouse rises above Main St. with 107 steps to the top, said to give N.C. Highway 107 its name. MARK HASKETT PHOTO (ABOVE) • DONATED PHOTO (BELOW)


Sylva is Jackson County’s retail and professional center where day-to-day services meet unique history. The town’s development rose with the construction of the Western North Carolina Railroad in the 1880s. Its name came about at the suggestion of Mae Hampton, daughter of E.R. Hampton, who is credited as being the founder of Sylva. E.R. Hampton had married into the Cannon family, which owned a sawmill where William D. Sylva had helped saw the logs that built the Hampton’s home.


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he railroad’s route through Sylva made it a prime location for the county seat—originally located in Webster—but the issue of relocation resulted in years of bitter dispute between the two town’s representatives. The state legislature settled the dispute, giving Sylva permission to construct a courthouse so long as the town paid the moving costs to relocate. Today the courthouse remains the crown jewel of historic Sylva’s downtown and reputedly is the most photographed courthouse of its kind. Though no longer where court is held, the courthouse has been renovated for local organizations’ office space and adjoined to a new, yet architecturally appropriate library that reinvigorates the location’s role as a gathering Relax with a good book from City Lights Bookstore place. Look here not (above), or take the family out for a dip—cone, that is— at Jack The Dipper. only for free wi-fi and a reading room with a breathtaking view but exhibits featuring local crafters’ work, books by local authors, live music with Lady and the Old Timers Band from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, and free movies on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Downtown brings locals, tourists and college students to the tree-lined streetscape with art galleries, furniture and antique stores, clothing stores, restaurants, coffee shop, hangouts, a small brewery, music store, outfitter's shop, bike shop and more.

Trout Trail draws trophy anglers The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail in Jackson County features some of the best trout waters in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trail covers fifteen excellent spots for catching brook, brown and rainbow trout including Panthertown Creek in Panthertown Valley, known as the “Yosemite of the East” because of its bowl shape and rocky bluffs; the Tuckasegee River, which based on location offers a chance to score the Tuckasegee Slam (catch all three species in one spot) or hook a smallmouth bass; and Raven Fork, which is Cherokee Trophy Water, and fish of 20-30 inches are common. “The Raven Fork trophy water enhances the trail's overall experience because it provides a type of fishing not found anywhere else,” said Julie Spiro of the Jackson Country Tourism Authority, which created the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. “It's thrilling to catch fish on that stream.” Guide services are available for fishing trips along the trail. In downtown Sylva look to Hooker’s Fly Shop & Guide Service, or contact AB’s Fly Fishing Guide Service—owner Alex Bell helped create the fishing trail. A weekly fishing report can be found at or Fishing permits are required and special regulations apply to certain waters. Complimentary maps and lodging details are available by contacting the Jackson County Tourism Authority at 800.962.1911 or by visiting


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d e st i n at i o n :


A long-time favorite is City Lights Bookstore where there are numerous author appearances, game nights, live music, poetry readings and lectures going on throughout the week. This is the place to go if one is looking for local literature—the store’s collection of which is only outranked by its fine selection of used books. Say hello to the black and white shop cats, then head downstairs to City Lights Café. The Nichols House, which is a purveyor of antiques in a now beautifully restored Victorian, is a treasure seeker’s adventure, as is Jones Country Store, which is less cornmeal and flyswatters and more fishing creels and old tools. The ladies will appreciate B&B’s Gifts and the one-of-akind works at It’s By Nature, while the men will be better suited with the Carhartt at Jacksons General Stores or testing out some gear at Blackrock Outdoor Company or Motion Makers Bike Shop. At Main Street Bakery, perk up with a cup of coffee and a sweet treat—look for the goat cheese stuffed, chocolate covered dates with crumbled bacon. For a bite to eat, Lulu’s is a Main Street mainstay, while up the street Speedy’s Pizza, another institution, offers a much more laid back vibe and TVs to catch the game. O’Malley’s is another nightspot for a drink with friends. Jack the Dipper has been the town’s ice cream shop of record for more than twenty years—though it’s location in the movie theater plaza is what some still describe as “new,” even after half a decade.

The Nichols House, up the hill from Sylva’s Main St., offers a variety of antiques and decorative items in a historic Victorian home.

Dillsboro: Crafters abound in this creativity-friendly town


illsboro, a charming village home to a community of artists, unique retailers and restaurants, has been a tourist town since the late 19th century when the railroad first brought visitors to

the "land of the sky" to escape the summer heat. This is a great place to spend some family-friendly time. Don’t miss Dogwood Crafters, Oaks Gallery, Bradley’s General Store, and be sure to get

your hands dirty at Claymate’s with a DIY art project suitable for kids or adults. Stop in the Jarrett House, founded by William Allen Dills—note the town bears his name. This one-time boarding house has welcomed guests to Jackson County since the 1880s. Now a family restaurant, the Jarrett House offers home cooked, Southern food and a few lessons in history. At the Jackson County Green Energy Park, methane gas is captured from the old town landfill and used as fuel in studios for glassblowers, blacksmiths and a greenhouse. A gallery onsite showcases the work of the artists that use the "green" space. Just outside town, the century-old Monteith Farmstead is a town park with walking trails featuring interpretive nature signs along a creek.

Dogwood Crafters (left) is an artists’ co-op featuring work from around the region. ASHLEY T. EVANS PHOTO



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Western Carolina University’s football team may be on track for a winning season (top right). The school has more than 9,000 students (above) and is the focal point of Cullowhee. Head down by the Tuckasegee River to Sazon (below) after visiting the Mountain Heritage Center (bottom) where exhibits feature regional culture and history. WCU PHOTOS (ABOVE, TOP RIGHT)


Up the road, Cullowhee awaits


ullowhee—a Cherokee word that translates to Valley of the Lilies—is a university town. Founded in 1889, Western Carolina University was first a semi-public secondary school. Often called “the Cullowhee experiment,” founder and professor Robert Lee Madison’s idea became the model for the other regional colleges in the state. In 1972, the university became a member of the University of North Carolina system, which includes UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University. Today, WCU has more than 9,000 enrolled students. Nestled in the mountains, WCU recognizes the rich traditions of the Appalachian and Cherokee cultures. The Mountain Heritage Center is located on the ground floor of the university’s administration building and hosts several exhibits and programs throughout the year. A perennial favorite is an exhibit chronicling the migration of the Scots-Irish, while a just closed exhibit focused on the people and stories behind the quilts in the Mountain Heritage Center's collection, and a just opened exhibit features Horace Kephart, who was influential in convincing individuals on both the local and national levels of the need for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. WCU also is a major center for arts. The Fine & Performing Arts Center’s season includes the Galaxy of Stars series with shows such as “101 Years of Broadway,” as well as student productions from the School of Stage & Screen. The Fine Arts Museum, draws from the museum’s permanent collection, curated and visiting exhibits. Through February, the museum features North Carolina Glass 2012, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement in the United States. On the field, WCU opened the football season with a 42-14 win over Mars Hill, snapping a nine-game losing skid for WCU that dated back nearly a full year. The win came with new head coach Mark Spier, a Clemson University graduate who spent the past nine seasons at Appalachian State University where he was a part of three-consecutive NCAA Football Championship Subdivision National Championships. WCU plays rival ASU at home on Oct. 27. While in Cullowhee, make sure to stop in some of the local shops that give the campus and surrounding area its unique character. The Mad Batter is a funky favorite among faculty and students that specializes in vegetarian cuisine and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The food is locally sourced, and baked goods made in house. To boot, there’s free wi-fi and beer. By the river, there’s the tried and true Cullowhee Café, and the creative Sazon, which serves up spicy shrimp tacos and fresh salads with cilantro vinaigrette in addition to burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas.


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Rest in a rolling river valley Wind along the Tuckasegee River and take up quiet repose at the River Lodge Bed & Breakfast, where hosts Cathy and Anthony Sgambato welcome guests into their luxuriously rustic home. Hand-hewn logs give this retreat a warm character from the exposed beam and mortar construction to the massive plank staircase that leads up to the guestrooms and down to the spacious living room with a stacked stone fireplace at its focus. To stay here is to relax. Enjoy a glass of wine and watch dusk fall on the river valley and, come morning, fill up on a gourmet breakfast such as eggs benedict with smoked salmon, asparagus and shrimp or thick French toast. Visitors wishing to make the River Lodge Bed & Breakfast part of their retreat best hurry. After nearly 20 years as innkeepers, the Sgambatos are thinking of retirement, which means that this one-of-a-kind home will be on the market—with potential to remain an inn or return to its original purpose as a family home. In the meantime, the River Lodge Bed & Breakfast is an ideal escape, located just 10 minutes from the Western Carolina University campus. Regardless the season, it’s a beautiful and cozy place to be. For more information, visit

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Home boys build on success BY JOE HOOTEN DONATED PHOTO

Q&A with Scott Avett While taking a break from their never-ending tour, Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers spoke to SML about the band’s new album, “The Carpenter,” family life, songwriting, and even barbecue. There’s a track on the new record called “The Day I met Eleanor,” your daughter, correct? It’s a beautiful song. Yes. Thank you, thank you. There’s no mystery to the song or anything; it’s not very abstract. I heard Jay-Z talking recently about his newborn in an interview I read, he said something to the tune of, “I thought I’d be writing so much about my child when they were born, instead I’ve just put that to the side, spend time with the family, and not do much writing at all.” That was very true about fatherhood for me. There weren’t that many songs that came from that moment, right there at the beginning of it. There wasn’t a lot of time, nor did I want to take the time to be writing. I just wanted to be spending time with the family. All that inspiration was poured into that one tune. It was given quickly, I grabbed it, and I ran with it.


cott Avett, the 36-year-old singer\songwriter\banjo player for the successful indie-folk group, The Avett Brothers, has been a North Carolinian for most of his life. Born into a respected middle class family, the son of a welder and a teacher, Avett embraced music at an early age. Starting with piano, he moved on to guitar and then finally found his way to the banjo. Although not a devout follower of the traditional styles that other bluegrass or old-time musicians have championed, Scott Avett plays from the heart regardless of his unconventional methods. After spending time in other rock bands when he attended East Carolina University, Scott and his older brother Seth formed The Avett Brothers in 2000. From there the group has seen a steady rise in record sales, adoration from fans, and recognition among their peers. Following the success of their major-label debut, “I and Love and You,” the Avett Brothers found themselves in the murky waters of the sea of success. Challenged by the complaints of selling-out and going mainstream, the brothers continued to write and record songs with no expectation other than to perfect their craft and give the world their honesty and sincerity in the form of song and music. Arguably their most cohesive album to date, “The Carpenter” opens up their sound with electric guitars and louder percussion, but never fear, listeners can still hear the beautiful harmonies, the witty songwriting, the energetic blasts of folk tinged power-pop explosions with sway-ready melodies and singalong songs. While the Avetts’ formula for crafting songs has gone up a notch with “The Carpenter,” producer Rick Rubin has a subtle touch for simplicity and has helped the band retain grit and energy while exploring more mainstream territory. The twelve tracks that became “The Carpenter” were recorded at the highly regarded Echo Mountain studios in Asheville, N.C., back in January 2011. “The Carpenter” is more of a spiritual journey rather than a Biblical one—a reference to Moses, pharaohs, divine intervention, and even bits of scripture don’t necessarily indicate the Avetts are headed towards a religious detour like Bob Dylan took in the late 70’s early 80’s. It appears experiencing significant life events has had a profound effect on the group and they have emerged from the trials of success with a record that continues the forward motion they seek. Filled with dignified grace and beauty, their lyrics are heartfelt and truthful, and the harmonies between the two brothers are a true pleasure to listen to, as the melodies they create are truly one of a kind.

It would seem like it would be an intimidating step, as a songwriter, to write something specifically about one of the greatest loves of your life. Yes, it’s scary; it’s very scary to let it out there. I’m nervous about it now. I’ve been with the song so long I almost didn’t bring it to the table to record because it was very special to me. It came so naturally and organically; it was so sacred that I was like…maybe, maybe not. I can remember this writer once told us: that’s what separates the men from the boys, the guys that are


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really truly willing to throw it out there. If it’s scary to put it out there, then it’s probably right. There were other songs we felt the same way about, so I’m running with it. What will be will be.

Sometimes you get comparisons from the traditional bluegrass folks; do you ever get tired of hearing that? We don’t really get bugged with that. I think in the beginning we got billed as a bluegrass band or an oldtimey band a lot more. As far as I’m concerned, any individual can say we are whatever they want to say we are. And whatever that is, is what we are to them. It’s all good. Time will let us nestle in to whatever we are. I love old-time and bluegrass music. I find myself playing both at times—not as much on stage as I once did—that’s just because we have our own songs that we’ve written that we want to express ourselves with.


North Carolina, and the world, lost a great man and gifted musician recently; did you ever get a chance to play with Doc Watson at Merlefest? We never sat and played on stage with him, professionally. We spoke with him when we opened for him outside of Merlefest. I know he heard us playing; Seth has done some writing about meeting him as a younger man. We never did play on stage with him. We might well have been performing with him cause it seemed like the whole time we were developing, we were performing from the inspiration that his recordings were bringing us. His voice, as far as the old-time category, was to us, physically and metaphorically, affecting us so deeply, it felt like we were just an extension of that and we wanted to take part in being an extension of that. He was very close to us, very close.

we’d leave them, revisit again, and then when we recorded these songs for this effort certain ones did rise to the top. Certain ones presented themselves as complete works. And with that, you look back and say, “Wow, we had to live through some more life to get those songs out.” We had to go through all the other albums we’ve done before to learn

This record feels different than the last; there are some heavy themes that float in and out of the songs. Was this album more difficult to make than “I and Love and You?” It took longer, for sure. We listened more; we took more time after the recording process had started as well. I think over time, it was more difficult to make because some of the songs were written over maybe seven or eight years of writing. Some of them had been refining themselves. We would revisit;

“Certain [songs]

presented themselves as complete works. And with that, you look back and say, “Wow, we had to live through some more life to get those songs out.” how to identify how to tap in to which songs are working and happening— compositionally, emotionally, mechanically, all those things. So yes it has been a more difficult, more involved process. Maybe the next one won’t be, maybe we’ll just step out of it. Who knows? I don’t think we intended this one to be, in some ways the songs formally were more complete when we started recording, more so than the songs for “I and Love and You” were. WWW.SMLIV.COM

You spent most of January 2011 recording the songs for “The Carpenter” in Asheville at Echo Mountain studio; did the mountain winter add anything? It could have, yes. I remember it was cold. I was trying to jog one morning, as I was starting to lose my mind during the recording process. I remember this clearly now—running up a mountain, it was frigid cold; I just needed to run some steam off, get rid of some tension cause we were working so hard. We love the Blue Ridge Mountains. There’s a type of blanket of calm that I feel when I’m in the Asheville area. The cold weather certainly does nothing but cozy things up and makes you more OK with being locked up in a studio and focused on work. Whether I know it or not, I betcha it did add something to it. The Avett Brothers have been good for North Carolina and North Carolina has responded in kind. You’ve developed a following in all the regions of our state. Do you prefer one area the most? We’ve all had our fair share of spending time in each region. I went to East Carolina, and I’ve lived for 6 1/2 years in Greenville, N.C. I’ve lived in Mars Hill for a couple years, and we always had family in Fletcher and Asheville. We’ve had a long time relationship with Lake Junaluska where we would visit my grandfather for being the Methodist minister and having Methodist ties. And of course the Piedmont, in the central part of the state, when we were growing up. I can’t really say, but I’ve found each region to be certainly beautiful and different in its own right. All have great barbecue, and all have great people. Ok, I need a definitive answer; do you prefer Eastern or Western style BBQ? (Laughing) Well, I’ll say that I’ve spent more time in Lexington Barbecue in Lexington, N.C., than in any other place. But B’s Barbecue in Greenville, if it’s not, it should be worldfamous or legendary, but both are great.

read more:

For the complete interview, visit


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Outdoor center fits the pieces together The Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center is located on the shore of the Tennessee River just off Neyland Drive in downtown. It’s a setting that’s almost too perfect to have been an accident, but indeed the center’s facility was built for another tourism purpose and sat empty for years prior to Outdoor Knoxville taking shape. The downtown adventure center is the result of dedicated outdoorsmen and Legacy Parks Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to preserve land, expand parks, create trails and greenways and create recreational opportunities for everyone. On the facility’s ground floor, gear from national companies is available to help get adventurers suited up for bike and boat rentals via River Sports Outfitters. The goal is not just to provide those who already know how to get rough and tumble with an outdoor experience near downtown— rather staff can facilitate completely introductory adventures like paddleboarding down the Tennessee River. There are also maps, flyers and other outdoor resources available; plus the center itself features a small theater, and a community room that looks out onto a large patio with a waterfall. Outdoor Knoxville is about more than what’s going on down by the river though. At, regional clubs—bicycling, disc

Rappellers unveil the new Outdoor Knoxville Center logo, covering the building’s former branding as a visitor center. DONATED PHOTO

golf, hiking, padding, rock climbing, running/walking, ski and snowboard—are listed to facilitate connecting and getting involved. Various outdoorsy events like disc golf doubles or beginner greenway rides can be found. For more information about any of the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center’s offerings, visit

Rutherfordton, N.C., heralds 225 years The town of Rutherfordton is the oldest continuous government in Western North Carolina. It was home to the first school chartered by the state in the region as well as the first post office and the first newspaper. It too is home to the first $1 gold coin minted in this nation. This year, Rutherfordton is celebrate its 225th anniversary. The anniversary theme, “Walking in the Footsteps of History,” will be celebrated and illustrated with different aspects of the county's history each month through December. October will bring a celebration of Revolutionary War heritage. The Town of Rutherfordton was formed in 1787 to serve as the seat of government for Rutherford County. Both the County and the Town are the namesakes of General Griffith Rutherford, a popular western North Carolina politician and general during the Revolutionary War period. In November, Rutherfordton’s faith community and all of the churches along with the ministerial association will recall and retell the history of Rutherfordton churches and center on the importance of faith to the Town’s heritage. For more information about anniversary events, visit

DOLLYWOOD TO HOST A MONTH OF GOSPEL Southern gospel music takes top billing during Dollywood's National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration, Oct. 3-Nov. 3. In addition to free concerts by some of gospel music's finest entertainers, the park welcomes dozens of craftsmen and artists for the month-long festival. Performers will include The Florida Boys, Punches Family, Triumphant Quartet, Diplomats, Proclaimers Quartet, Chuck Wagon Gang, Dixie Melody Boys, Archie Watkins & Smoky Mountain Reunion and Tribute Quartet. The purpose of the SGMA is to maintain a Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum for the historic preservation of the accomplishments of our music, its people and its message. The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 1999 at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. For more information, visit

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Clean Air Clean Air Clean Water Clean Water Good Jobs Good Jobs All three three for NC All NC

M[ij[hdDehj^9Wheb_dWÊiXki_d[ii[iWdZ\Wc_b_[i M[ij[hdDehj^9Wheb_dWÊiXki_d[ii[iWdZ\Wc_b_[i Z[f[dZedYb[WdW_hWdZYb[WdmWj[h$ Z[f[dZedYb[WdW_hWdZYb[WdmWj[h$ J[bboekhb[]_ibWjehijeZem^WjÊi]eeZ J[bboekhb[]_ibWjehijeZem^WjÊi]eeZ \ehXki_d[ii[iWdZ\Wc_b_[iWdZikffehjWbbj^h[[\ehD90 \ehXki_d[ii[iWdZ\Wc_b_[iWdZikffehjWbbj^h[[\ehD90 Yb[WdW_h"Yb[WdmWj[h"]eeZ`eXi$ Yb[WdW_h"Yb[WdmWj[h"]eeZ`eXi$ Goto to to Go to contactyour yourlegislators legislators and get contact get more moreinformation. information.   7Zl[djkh[i<WijH_l[hiHW\j_d]š8Wbbjemd8[[<Whcš8>=hWd_d]BWdZiYWf_d]š8_eM^[[biš8bWYaheYaEkjZeehiš8hoiedÊi<WhcIkffboš8hoied 7Zl[djkh[i<WijH_l[hiHW\j_d]š8Wbbjemd8[[<Whcš8>=hWd_d]BWdZiYWf_d]š8_eM^[[biš8bWYaheYaEkjZeehiš8hoiedÊi<WhcIkffboš8hoied 9_jo8_YoYb[iš9Wj^oÊi=WhZ[d>[hXWbiš9WjÊiD_f9W\ƒš9_joB_]^ji9W\ƒš9ef[bWdZ9ebekhš9ekdjhoHeWZi<WhcDkhi[hoš9khj_iMh_]^jEkjÓjj[hi 9_jo8_YoYb[iš9Wj^oÊi=WhZ[d>[hXWbiš9WjÊiD_f9W\ƒš9_joB_]^ji9W\ƒš9ef[bWdZ9ebekhš9ekdjhoHeWZi<WhcDkhi[hoš9khj_iMh_]^jEkjÓjj[hi š:_bbiXehe?ddš<_bb_d]IjWj_ed:[b_WdZIkXI^efš<hWdab_d>[Wbj^WdZ<_jd[iiš=ei^[dJ_cX[h<hWc[iš=h[WjIceaoCekdjW_d<_i^9WcfWdZ š:_bbiXehe?ddš<_bb_d]IjWj_ed:[b_WdZIkXI^efš<hWdab_d>[Wbj^WdZ<_jd[iiš=ei^[dJ_cX[h<hWc[iš=h[WjIceaoCekdjW_d<_i^9WcfWdZ IW\Wh_iš>[WZmWj[hiEkjÓjj[hiš>[_dp[bcddY^[d8h[m[hoš>ebb_Ó[bZ@[m[b[hiš>ec[]hemd9edY[fji?dY$š>eea[hiš>kYa<_ddHW\j_d]š?dOekh IW\Wh_iš>[WZmWj[hiEkjÓjj[hiš>[_dp[bcddY^[d8h[m[hoš>ebb_Ó[bZ@[m[b[hiš>ec[]hemd9edY[fji?dY$š>eea[hiš>kYa<_ddHW\j_d]š?dOekh ;WhCki_Yš@7=WdZ7iieY_Wj[i9edijhkYj_ed"?dY$š@Wa[ÊiCekdjW_d>eki[š@ed[i9ekdjhoIjeh[šAWbb[dIjhWj[]_YFWhjd[hišA[bb[hM_bb_Wci=eb\ ;WhCki_Yš@7=WdZ7iieY_Wj[i9edijhkYj_ed"?dY$š@Wa[ÊiCekdjW_d>eki[š@ed[i9ekdjhoIjeh[šAWbb[dIjhWj[]_YFWhjd[hišA[bb[hM_bb_Wci=eb\ šahkbbYecfWdošB[]WYoFWZZb[ifehjišB[m_i<beeh_d]FW_djšB_X[hjo8_YoYb[i"?dY$šCWZ8Wjj[h8Wa[hošCW^Wb[oEZ[bbJ^ecfied7hY^_j[Yjš šahkbbYecfWdošB[]WYoFWZZb[ifehjišB[m_i<beeh_d]FW_djšB_X[hjo8_YoYb[i"?dY$šCWZ8Wjj[h8Wa[hošCW^Wb[oEZ[bbJ^ecfied7hY^_j[Yjš CW_dIjh[[j8Wa[hošCej_edCWa[hišCekdjW_dBWkh[b>WdZhW_bšDWdjW^WbWEkjZeeh9[dj[hšEWai=Wbb[hošEkjZeehÉ-,šFWjh_ej;b[Yjh_YšF[dkcCW_dIjh[[j8Wa[hošCej_edCWa[hišCekdjW_dBWkh[b>WdZhW_bšDWdjW^WbWEkjZeeh9[dj[hšEWai=Wbb[hošEkjZeehÉ-,šFWjh_ej;b[Yjh_YšF[dkcXhW=Wbb[hošFecc[Z[J[hh[<WhcšFhkZ[dj_Wb=h[WjIceaoiH[WbjošHebb_d]Ijed[8khh_ješHei[XkZ9ejjW][=_\jiWdZIWdZm_Y^I^efšIWl_d] XhW=Wbb[hošFecc[Z[J[hh[<WhcšFhkZ[dj_Wb=h[WjIceaoiH[WbjošHebb_d]Ijed[8khh_ješHei[XkZ9ejjW][=_\jiWdZIWdZm_Y^I^efšIWl_d] =hWY[BB9šI^[bjed<Wc_bo<WhcišI_]dWjkh[8h[m9eʹ[[HeWij_d]9e$Ia_9ekdjhoIfehjišicWbbmehbZijhWj[]_[iBB9šIceaoCekdjW_d8_YoYb[i =hWY[BB9šI^[bjed<Wc_bo<WhcišI_]dWjkh[8h[m9eʹ[[HeWij_d]9e$Ia_9ekdjhoIfehjišicWbbmehbZijhWj[]_[iBB9šIceaoCekdjW_d8_YoYb[i šIecWj_YCej_ed%JW_9^_9^kWdšIekb?d\ki_edJ[W>eki[šIekhmeeZ?ddšIjWoWdZFbWo_dj^[Icea_[išIkdZWdY[Fem[hIoij[cišJ^[CWfb[i šIecWj_YCej_ed%JW_9^_9^kWdšIekb?d\ki_edJ[W>eki[šIekhmeeZ?ddšIjWoWdZFbWo_dj^[Icea_[išIkdZWdY[Fem[hIoij[cišJ^[CWfb[i 7ZkbjCeX_b[>ec[FWhašJ^[J[d7Yh[=WhZ[dšL[][dk_=WhZ[dšL[djkh[BeYWb<hWdab_dšM[ij[hd9Wheb_dW9ekdi[b_d]I[hl_Y[iF7šM_bZmWj[hš 7ZkbjCeX_b[>ec[FWhašJ^[J[d7Yh[=WhZ[dšL[][dk_=WhZ[dšL[djkh[BeYWb<hWdab_dšM[ij[hd9Wheb_dW9ekdi[b_d]I[hl_Y[iF7šM_bZmWj[hš M_bbemMehai"?dY$šM_bied9^_hefhWYj_YšOekd]XbeeZ8_YoYb[i M_bbemMehai"?dY$šM_bied9^_hefhWYj_YšOekd]XbeeZ8_YoYb[i 7ffWbWY^_WdLe_Y[iš9b[Wd7_h9Wheb_dWš;9Eš;dl_hedc[djWb:[\[di[<kdZš;dl_hedc[djDehj^9Wheb_dWšDWj_edWb9ecc_jj[[\ehj^[D[mH_l[hš 7ffWbWY^_WdLe_Y[iš9b[Wd7_h9Wheb_dWš;9Eš;dl_hedc[djWb:[\[di[<kdZš;dl_hedc[djDehj^9Wheb_dWšDWj_edWb9ecc_jj[[\ehj^[D[mH_l[hš Dehj^9Wheb_dW9edi[hlWj_edD[jmehašDehj^9Wheb_dW?dj[h\W_j^Fem[hWdZB_]^jšDehj^9Wheb_dWB[W]k[e\9edi[hlWj_edLej[hi<ekdZWj_edš Dehj^9Wheb_dW9edi[hlWj_edD[jmehašDehj^9Wheb_dW?dj[h\W_j^Fem[hWdZB_]^jšDehj^9Wheb_dWB[W]k[e\9edi[hlWj_edLej[hi<ekdZWj_edš I_[hhW9bkXšIekj^[hd;dl_hedc[djWbBWm9[dj[hšJ^[M_bZ[hd[iiIeY_[jošMWj[hi^[Z7iieY_Wj_ede\j^[JkYaWi[][[H_l[hš I_[hhW9bkXšIekj^[hd;dl_hedc[djWbBWm9[dj[hšJ^[M_bZ[hd[iiIeY_[jošMWj[hi^[Z7iieY_Wj_ede\j^[JkYaWi[][[H_l[hš M[ij[hdDehj^9Wheb_dW7bb_WdY[šM[ij[hdDehj^9Wheb_dWI_[hhW9bkX M[ij[hdDehj^9Wheb_dW7bb_WdY[šM[ij[hdDehj^9Wheb_dWI_[hhW9bkX Paidfor forby bySouthern Southern Environmental Environmental Law Paid LawCenter Center

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Fall color report: vibrancy an indicator of summer’s rainfall



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isitors to Western North Carolina’s mountains can look forward to a good display of color this autumn, although some areas will enjoy brighter hues than others, predicts Kathy Mathews, Western Carolina University’s fearless fall foliage forecaster. The intensity of the color show will vary depending on where leaf-peepers are looking because of fluctuations in the amount of rainfall received across the region this spring and summer, said Mathews. An associate professor of biology at WCU who specializes in plant systematics, she bases her annual prediction in part on weather conditions, including rainfall, during the spring and summer growing season. “This should be a pretty good year for fall color, but colors will be spotty,” Mathews said. “Many areas of Western North Carolina have experienced a lot of rainfall throughout the year, while Asheville and points north have been drier. The drier areas should have the best fall color, while the wetter areas will be less vibrant.” Mathews contends that the formation of higher levels of yellow, orange and red pigments in the leaves correlates with dry weather throughout the year. The drier the climate, the more brilliant the fall leaves tend to be, she said. “This has been an unusually rainy spring and summer for much of Western North Carolina, which, if it continues through September and October, could mean less color, especially in the red range,” she said. “However, if evening temperatures continue to drop steadily through the next two months, it will hasten the loss of green from the leaves to reveal more yellow and orange pigments.” In addition, a trend of warm, wet weather could equate to a longer fall color season. Mathews predicts that areas that have seen drought conditions, including the U.S. Midwest, may experience bright fall color, but only for a brief period before trees drop their leaves. As is the case with predicting the weather, there are no guarantees when it comes to forecasting the intensity of the fall color season. Cloud cover and ample rainfall in the weeks ahead could mute the color show, Mathews said. Cooler temperatures and fewer hours of daylight in the autumn contribute to the de-

composition of chlorophyll, the chemical that gives leaves their green color in spring and summer. As chlorophyll breaks down, yellow and orange pigments – always present in the leaves, but masked by the green of chlorophyll – are revealed, and new red pigments are produced. Depending upon the timing of the first frost, the peak of fall color should arrive during the second week of October in the higher elevations, and during the third week of October in the mid-elevations, Mathews said. Because freezing temperatures quickly degrade chlorophyll, leaves predictably peak in color a few days after a frost, she said. The color change will have begun at higher mountain elevations by late September and continue through mid-November in the lower levels of WNC. Regardless of when the peak is and how intense the hues are, visitors can always find good fall color somewhere in the WNC mountains, Mathews said. “We have more than 100 tree species in the Southern Appalachians, which means not only many different colors of leaves in the fall, but also a lengthy fall color season. Some trees change and drop leaves very early, such as tulip poplar and yellow buckeye, while others linger and change later, such as oaks and hickories.” The U.S. Northeast and Midwest have fewer tree species with good fall color, mainly sugar maples, leading to a short burst of brilliant colors, she said. “The same is true in the Western states, with color mainly coming from quaking aspens,” she said. “In Europe, again, there are many fewer tree species, meaning shorter, less diverse fall color than in the Southern Appalachians.” From the Great Smokies to the Blue Ridge, the WNC mountains offer ample opportunity for leaf-looking this fall, Mathews said. “Look for some of the best colors on Grandfather Mountain, the Graveyard Fields area of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Nantahala National Forest along U.S. Highway 64 between Macon and Clay counties,” she said. “These and other ridgetop areas show colors in all hues of red, orange and yellow. The forested areas will have a lot of yellow tulip poplars, red maple, and orange and red oak. Graveyard Fields also has a lot of shrubs that turn red.” WWW.SMLIV.COM

d e p a r t m e n t :


“We have more than 100 tree species in the Southern Appalachians, which means not only many different colors of leaves in the fall, but also a lengthy fall color season.” — Kathy Matthews, Western Carolina University’s Fall Foliage Forecaster


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Bearmeat’s Indian Den


• Authentic Indian Art • Herbal Products • Country Store


featuring fresh mountain apples

4210 Wolfetown Road | Cherokee, North Carolina 828.497.4052 •



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d e p a r t m e n t :


Take a tumble in Tennessee in a ZORB ball built for one to three. MARLA HARDEE MILLING PHOTOS

Zorbing in the mountains BY MARLA HARDEE MILLING


erched on a hillside in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., three humongous balls crafted out of flexible, transparent plastic provoke natural curiosity. At first impression, the oversized globes resemble exercise balls for giant hamsters. There’s a smaller ball inside the big ball, and a single opening allows participants access to climb in and out. For adventure seekers looking for a new thrill—this is it. It’s called Zorb, the newest extreme sport to emerge out of New Zealand (bungee jumping also got its start in the country). Pigeon Forge is the only place in North America that offers a Zorb experience, but plans are in the works to add a Zorb site near Boston.

GETTING STARTED During a recent trip to Pigeon Forge, I drove into the Zorb parking lot with my 14year-old son, Ben, and cautiously eyed the distant row of Zorb balls poised for that day’s continuous line of customers. This is an adventure that’s not for everyone. Zorb officials say people might not be able to participate for a number of medical conditions including back, neck or head injuries, epilepsy, pregnancy, previous dislocations and other ailments. Since I have a history of lower back pain, I opted not to take a tumble down the hillside. For my healthy, adventurous teen

there was no hesitation. There’s the Zorbit—only one passenger is strapped inside a dry ball; and the Zydro, which allows riders to go solo or join up to two friends sloshing around together inside a water-filled globe. The Zorbit follows a straight path, while there is a choice between a straight path or a zig zag track for the Zydro. Zorb Manager Shane Marks sealed the decision for my son when he described the Zydro as a “combination of a roller coaster and a water slide.” Ben changed into his swim trunks and then waited eagerly outside for the staff to transport him and others via a red truck to the top of the run. The view from the top can be a bit intimidating as customers gaze down the hillside. There’s a refund offer for anyone who gets cold feet, but that is very rare.

AWESOME ADRENALINE RUSH I watched from an observation deck near the bottom of the hill as the Zydro


carrying my son started its descent. Inside the ball, my son’s eyes got wide, and I heard, “Oh no! Oh no!” as the gyrating globe began to move faster and faster. I could see inside the globe thanks to a video camera inside each globe to record the participant’s reactions so they can remember the excitement. Ben whooped and hollered with delight as he sloshed and rolled and finally came to a slow stop. “THAT WAS AMAZING,” he shouts on the recording. Each roll down the hill in a Zorb generally takes about forty seconds, but it’s a wild, bumping, rolling ride. Two crewmembers stopped Ben’s rolling Zorb, tilted it so the water poured out followed by my son, feet first, sliding back to earth. Smiling with delight and soaking wet from the ride, he was instructed to jump wildly in the air while the crew snapped a picture. Ben is now an official Zorbanaut—the name given to Zorb riders. And was it fun? “It was thrilling,” he said. “When can I do it again?”

Want to go?

Visit or call 865.428.2422. ZORB is located at 203 Sugar Hollow Road in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and is open 363 days a year (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).


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Hendersonville, North Carolina: The Blue Ridge Mountains provide a backdrop for a memorable vacation

Enjoy the hospitality of the Historic Hendersonville area, known for its gentle climate, beautiful scenery, richness in culture & history and friendly people. The Historic Hendersonville area has been a popular vacation destination for over a century. Hendersonville is located in Western North Carolina, 22 miles south of Asheville, in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a plateau, 2200 feet above sea level. Explore the waterfalls in Dupont State Recreational Forest, the Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock Playhouse, historic sites, recreation, family activities, historic districts, festivals, shopping and a variety of accommodations, and restaurants. Drop by the Visitors Information Center, located at 201 South Main Street, for a complimentary copy of the Discover Hendersonville Vacation Planner, area brochures and maps. Or call 800828-4244 for your free Vacation Plan-


ner. Office hours 9-5 Monday through Friday and 10-5 Saturday, Sundays & Holidays. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day.

EVENTS & FESTIVALS INCLUDE: • Flat Rock Playhouse, March-December • Art On Main, first weekend in October • Farm City Day, first Saturday in October • Bearfootin' Public Art, October 1-20 • Home for the Holidays, December 1-31


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Mountain life in peril from within and without BY REBECCA TOLLEY-STOKES


delaide Lyle had brought most of the children of River Road Church of Christ into the world before the hospital was built around Marshall, N.C., area. She had attended the church since she was a girl, at least fifty or sixty years. Snake-handling and poison-drinking regularly occurred as part of services in those years, but the congregation’s character changed when Pastor Carson Chambliss started preaching there in 1975. One member had died before the altar, right before the congregation’s eyes as they danced and sang “Holy Ghost Power,” and Adelaide decided, “I’d seen enough, too much, and it was my time to go.” She prayed, and God told her to leave the church Wiley Cash. and take the children with her. KEVIN MILLARD PHOTO A Land More Kind Than Home offers multifaceted perspectives on the events occurring at River Road Church of Christ in the town of Signs Following. Its chapters are narrated from three characters’ points of view: Adelaide Lyle, Jess Hall, and Clem Barefield. Jess Hall’s older brother Christopher, nicknamed “Stump” is brought to the altar in an attempt to heal an undiagnosed affliction that rendered him mute from birth. However, the healing goes awry, and Sheriff Clem Barefeld, an import from Henderson County, responds to the 9-1-1 call. Barefeld has dealt with Pastor Chambliss before—when an exorcism resulted in a barn burning.

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash. NY: William Morrow: An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2012.


Cash details the rich emotional landscape of a halcyon Appalachian boyhood including exploring woods, playing in creeks, catching salamanders, and spying in windows while reminding readers of the helplessness children feel in altering a chain of events once set in motion. While Jess’s closeness to events reveals a deep secret, Adelaide and Clem’s perspectives ground the story within the larger community, rooting it with complex history and interpersonal dynamics that provide an intriguing backstory. The story culminates in a startling end of righting wrongs and correcting a multitude of injustices, thus restoring a community’s balance.


hen a mining company sets up without getting the proper permits from the federal government, Ollie Cox and Ashley Cook turn to Jay Leutze, a non-practicing attorney cum writer living nearby in Avery County, N.C. The mining company had cleared about four acres of trees and erected a behemoth Stand Up That Mountain: The operation with a plan to eventually Battle to Save One Small remove 46.82 acres of the mounCommunity in the Wilderness tain for gravel. Stand Up That Along the Appalachian Trail Mountain chronicles Leutze’s inby Jay Erskine Leutze. NY: volvement with the Cook and Cox Scribner, 2012. families, as well as other families, individuals and agencies who fought to remove Clark Stone Company from Belview Mountain (see feature story, page 40). Truly an underdog story, Luetze and the group of residents want their objections to the mining company’s presence and operation recognized. The permit to build the gravel/mining business was rushed through the process without notifying nearby property owners and allowing for public hearings. Once the powers that be come to understand that the Clark Stone Company is within two miles of a national park, the Appalachian Trail, and that its operations were visible from the trail and would impact hikers’ experience of the trail and that state officials failed to protect it, more advocates join in to bring the issue to the legislature’s attention. Luetze’s passion for helping his community, preserving a national resource and national park, and righting this wrong oozes from each page. He zig-zags across the Tar Heel state from the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy to the Nature Conservancy, from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to the Southern Environmental Law Center and onward to multiple state and federal agencies. His eloquent writing makes otherwise dry topics like the N.C. Mining Act of 1971, D.O.T. Driveway Connecting Permits, land surveying, and public hearings both palatable and appealing. Leutze’s graceful representation of local color dialogue provides the essence of Avery dialect while not diminishing their charm or relying on pejorative identities.



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“We wish we would have moved sooner.” It’s the comment we hear most often from new Deerfield residents. They delight in our location and their new-found friends; love the state-of-the-art amenities; feel safe, secure and well cared for by our expert staff – their only complaint is that they didn’t make the decision to move sooner. Since the best time to move may have been years ago, then isn’t the next best time now? Call to schedule a visit and learn how you can thrive at Deerfield – in body, mind and spirit.


1617 Hendersonville Rd. Asheville, NC (828) 274-1531 ext. 1

DERCSMLJuly12.indd 1

7/5/12 5:05 PM

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Meet the makers at Potters Market B Y K AT E Y S C H U LT Z


he annual Spruce Pine Potters Market Invitational features thirty ceramic artists from Mitchell and Yancey counties and attracts several thousand people to the region each year. “Visitors enjoy seeing an artist’s studio, but at this special gathering you can meet many more artists in one afternoon than you otherwise are able during a studio tour,” said Toe River Arts Council Executive Director Denise Cook. The potters market will be held Oct. 13-14 at the historic Cross Street Building in downtown Spruce Pine, N.C. Cynthia Bringle is as much a fixture in Western North Carolina’s mountains as the tucked away hollers themselves. “I make work because I love doing it and because of the pleasure I get from people telling me they use my work every day,” said Bringle, a North Carolina Living Treasure. Regarded as one of the most influential artists in her field, Bringle has kept a studio and home in Penland since 1970, where she works on her signature goblets, turtle vases, vessel sinks, platters, mugs, and more. Although her work has been collected around the world, Bringle says she is happiest when it’s found on someone’s kitchen table or in the cabinet, because “most of all, a pot is to use.” Western North Carolina For more information, visit is home to several other ing Treasures, including or call 828.765.0520. Norm Schulman, an exhibitor at last year’s SPPM. “Meeting your neighbors who have reached this phenomenal status in the world of arts and crafts creates pride for this sense of place,” Cook said. Additional exhibitors at this year’s invitational include Melisa Cadell, Shane Mickey, Liz Summerfield, Tzadi Turrou, Nick Joerling, and more. Ceramicist Jeannine Marchand is the 2012 SPPM Emerging Artist, selected for her unique framed fold wall pieces made with white earthenware. Once the clay is dry, Marchand finely sands and


Nonprofit efforts garner profitable attention A new study released by Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV


The Potters Market features a variety of styles of work such as this ornate recipe box by Liz Summerfield (top). The gathering gives pottery fans a chance to meet several artists. DONATED PHOTOS

fires the work, resulting in an uninterrupted surface that lets light travel to create natural areas of brightness and shadow. It’s an uncommon technique in the region. “I have been living in this area on and off since 2000, but I left for two years in 2006 to continue my ceramics graduate studies in Michigan, and again 2010 for a residency in Colorado,” Marchand said. “During that time, I got married, and we decided to make Spruce Pine our permanent home. It’s been a wonderful experience reintegrating into this community as a family and as a local artist.” Admission to the market is free, and light breakfast and lunch options will be available on site. SPPM is an affiliate organization of Toe River Arts Council.

provides compelling new evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture are a significant industry in the State of North Carolina— one that generates $1.24 billion in total economic activity. This spending—$659.3 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations


and an additional $582.6 million in event related spending by their audiences— supports 43,605 full-time equivalent jobs in North Carolina, generates $946.7 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $119.0 million in local and state government revenue.


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Shine on, WDVX The Tennessee Shines Radio Show happens every Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and is broadcast live on award-winning, listener-supported radio station WDVX FM and online at The month of October brings Eric Brace and Peter Cooper with Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley; Sarah Siskind and the Novel Tellers; and Chris Smither and Moses Atwood. East Nashville residents Eric Brace and Peter Cooper bonded over their shared histories as newspaper writers, then started playing music together, blending master storytelling

with musical craft. Together they’ve released the Grammy-nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow (2011), Master Sessions (2010) and You Don’t Have To Like Them Both (2009). Dale Ann Bradley has set the bar for bluegrass and country vocals with her sweet, soulful and evocative Kentucky twang. Performing with Bradley is singer and guitarist Steve Gulley, who performed with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver early in his career. Singer-songwriter Sarah Siskind received widespread acclaim for her 2009 release, Say It Louder, which won Best Americana Album in the Nashville Music Awards. Chris Smither’s unmistakable voice evokes a time and place both timeless and universal, rooted in the American blues and folk traditions. Moses Atwood channels the willing spirits of blues players in dim roadhouses, and his warm voice has drawn comparisons to Randy Newman and Van Morrison. Tickets for all Tennessee Shines shows are $10 and available in advance at Remaining tickets are sold at the door on the night of the show, while supplies last. Children 14 and under accompanied by a parent are admitted free of charge. For additional information, visit

Mon. - Sat. 10-5:30; Sun. 11-4

Oct. -

U.S. Cellular Center Downtown Asheville, NC Thu.-Sat.: am-pm Sun.: am-pm --

John Geci Glass



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SWEET TREATS AND CURED MEATS Scott Parker, owner of The Beef Jerky Outlet, and Bob Williams, owner of the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory, have developed a store featuring both the Beef Jerky Outlet and the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The original Dillsboro Chocolate Factory has been a stop for visitors to the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains since 1998. The Chocolate Factory makes some of the finest chocolate treats around using only gourmet single bean Venezuelan cocoa. The Smoky Mountain Truffles are all named for iconic places in the Smokies such as Chimney Tops, Cades Cove, Cold Mountain and Black Rock. Each flavor of truffle has a unique recipe. Chimney Tops is a chai tea truffle flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, black tea and cloves. This truffle earned first place in the 2009 Taste of Chocolate show in Waynesville, N.C. There are more than a dozen original Smoky Mountain Truffle flavors available. Shooters are the newest line of fine chocolates created by the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory. Shooters take the award winning ganache recipe used in making the truffles and adds a touch of spirits to create interesting new flavors. The Chocolate Factory's Wild Turkey shooter earned first place honors in the Professional Division at the 2012 Taste of Chocolate held in Maggie Valley, NC.

DON’T CAN THAT PUMPKIN! Canning pumpkin butter or mashed or pureed pumpkin is not recommended, according to the Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia. Only pressure canning methods are recommended for canning cubed pumpkin. Pumpkin is a low acid vegetable and requires special attention to preparation and processing. Use excellent sanitation in handling the fresh or preserved pumpkin. Do not let cut pumpkin sit out at room temperature for more than two hours during preparation prior to preserving. Freezing is the easiest way to preserve pumpkin, and it yields the best quality product. Select full-colored mature pumpkin with fine texture (not stringy or dry). Wash, cut into cooking-size sections and remove seeds. Cook until soft in boiling water, in steam, in a pressure cooker, or in an oven. Remove pulp from rind and mash. To cool, place pan containing pumpkin in cold water and stir occasionally. Pack into rigid containers leaving headspace for the pumpkin to expand, and freeze.


Make the most of your canning season


he “USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning,” publication available for free online at, includes detailed information on how to begin preserving food at home. While spring and summer months allow a wealth of fresh canning possibilities, by winter, one may be ready to try some different types of preserves. “There are recipes perfect for people yearning to can in the winter,” said Elizabeth Andress, director of the Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia. “You don’t always have to can with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of those preserves also make nice holiday gifts.” Using 8 ounces of either the summer’s canned tomatoes, or canned, store-bought tomatoes, with 1 ½ cups seeded, chopped Serrano peppers, 4 cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent) 2 tsp canning salt, and 2 tbsp whole mixed pickling spices, one can make an easy hot sauce. Start by washing half-pint canning jars; keep hot until they are filled. Prepare lids according to the manufacturer’s directions. Next place mixed pickling spices in a spice bag and tie ends firmly. Mix all ingredients in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer for twenty minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Press mixture through a food mill. Return the liquid to the pot, heat to boiling and boil for 15 minutes. Fill hot sauce into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes if 1,000-6,000 ft altitude; 20 minutes if over 6,000 ft). Allow hot sauce to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check seals. Always remember to practice good food safety skills when canning and cooking in general. Canning classes and cooking classes often may be taken through the local agricultural extension office. Visit to find a local agricultural extension agency in North Carolina, or to connect with a local office in Tennessee. The University of Georgia system also offers a free, self-paced, online course for those wanting to learn more about home canning and preservation. To learn more or enroll, visit


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The combination of dill with cucumber pickles is rote and expected. Pairing the cucumbers with lemon, however, is surprisingly delicious. Burgers and sandwiches get a nice bump when they’re scattered with these thin disks.



Cornbread Dressing with Pecans and Apples Kathleen Purvis, food editor of the Charleston Observer, a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, Association of Food Journalists, and the James Beard Foundation, released Pecans: A Taste of the South Cookbook in early September. “Show me a recipe with pecans, and I have to try it,” Purvis says. This cookbook, which is part of the University of North Carolina Press’ A Taste of the South series, includes bits about pecans culinary history along with the author’s personal stories. Purvis’ recipe for dressing—also known as stuffing but baked separately in an oven dish—comes just in time for the cooler days of fall, and serves up nicely along any kind of roasted bird.


INGREDIENTS: Makes 1 quart 1 pound Persian or Kirby cucumbers, trimmed (not peeled) and sliced on the bias 1/8 inch thick 1 large shallot, thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled ½ cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 6 large lemons) 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 1 ½ teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns Put the cucumbers, shallots, and garlic in a quart-size glass container with a lid. Pour the vinegar, lemon juice, and ½ cup water into a saucepan, set it over medium-high heat, and add the salt, sugar, and peppercorns. When the mixture starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and pour the brine over the cucumbers. Cover the container loosely and let cool to room temperature. Then seal it tightly and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.


Nonstick cooking spray 4-6 cups crumbled cornbread 4-6 cups crusty sourdough bread, cut into small cubes 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup chopped onion 1.2 cup diced celery 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans ½ red apple, diced, skin-on 1 pound pork breakfast sausage 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 3-4 cups chicken stock 1 tbsp dried, rubbed sage 1 tsp dried marjoram 1 tsp dried thyme 2 tsp salt ½ tsp black pepper

Pecans: A Savor the South Cookbook by Kathleen Purvis. University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine cornbread and sourdough bread and toss to mix. Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium heat, stirring often. Add celery and onion and cook just until the onion is soft and the celery is losing its crunch. Stir in pecans and cook for a few more minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat, stir into cornbread mixture along with diced apple. Brown sausage in skilled, crumbling it as it cooks. Drain sausage then combine with cornbread mix. Stir in the beaten eggs and enough chicken stock to make the mixture very moist. Moisture is needed for oven baking. Add the sage, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove foil and add stock or drippings from roasting bird if dressing looks dry. Continue baking for another 15 minutes or until top is crunchy.


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Blue Ridge, Georgia: Fall in love with Georgia’s gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains

Surround yourself with the beauty of fall in Blue Ridge, one of the state’s best destinations for enjoying spectacular fall color and festivals. Stay in a mountain cabin and you may not want to leave the view from your deck, but venture out and you will fall in love with the mountain towns of Blue Ridge and McCaysville. Blue Ridge is an art town, filled with galleries, antique and specialty shops, restaurants, small town atmosphere and friendly people. A river runs through the quaint town of McCaysville, twin city with Copperhill, Tennessee. Pick your own apples at Mercier Orchards and ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway as it follows the Toccoa River from Blue Ridge to Mc Caysville. Experience fall color up close on a hike to nearby waterfalls along forested trails in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

EVENTS & FESTIVALS INCLUDE: • Blue Ridge Blues and Barbeque Festival September 21-22 • Fall Arts in the Park, October 13-14 • Blue Ridge Marching Festival, October 13 • Fall Fest Arts & Crafts Fair, October 20-28 • Paws in the Park, October 27. • Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Pumpkin Pickin’ Special, October 28

MORE INFO: 800-899 MTNS (6867) 152 Orvin Lance Dr Blue Ridge GA 30513

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Surround Yourself!

Hiking Relaxing Dreaming Fishing Shopping Exploring


Antiquing Biking

Blue Ridge experience 800-899-mtns WWW.SMLIV.COM


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Peter Pan of Preservation Jay Erskine Leutze and his friends battle to save his boyhood place on Big Yellow Mountain BY ANGELA RAIMONDO ROSEBROUGH 40


Karen Rindge photo

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he road leading up to Big Yellow Mountain twists and turns, making tires to spin on gravel and engines grind into first gear. Climbing this mound of earth and rock seems best left to all-terrain vehicles, which fits it really. The community that calls this mountain home is suited by its nature of being somewhat cut off from the rest of the world, and one cannot help but see the beauty of this place come into view while ascending. Author Jay Erskine Leutze is among those who call this remote part of North Carolina— nestled deep within Avery County—home. This summer he celebrated the publication of his first book, Stand Up That Mountain; a story about how he and his neighbors fought to preserve the magnificent views and natural wonder of the Appalachian Trail, a national park entitled to government conservation efforts. This section of the over 2,000-mile path is considered by many to be the most scenic, and perhaps the most ecologically fragile. For at least three centuries humans have looked to harvest whatever resources they could from these mountains—be it coal, timber, or—as in this case, rock for gravel. Stand Up That Mountain outlines the saga from start to finish, telling how big companies with even bigger money thought to tear down the top of a mountain and expected to get away with it. The Putnam Mine, atop Belview Mountain, would have encompassed 151 acres as a quarry for producing crushed and broken granite. Not only were Leutze and his neighbors fighting to save a mountain, they were fighting for their homes and for justice. They were fighting to keep the tranquility that one expects as inherent to living on the side of a mountain. The group’s defense for shutting down the mine relied on proving that its permit had been obtained illegally. A saving grace was the mine’s proximity to the Appalachian Trail. According to poll results listed on the website for the National Parks Conservation Association, 95 percent of Americans feel it is appropriate for the government to protect and support national parks. These places are considered national treasures, and had the Putnam Mine been allowed to operate, the Roan Highlands would have been devastated by the sight and sound of the mine during its 99-year lease. After nearly five years of essentially volunteering his time, Leutze and his allies prevailed against Clark Stone Company and the mining efforts were shut down. This landmark case was fought by dogged individuals, many of whom describe themselves as “mountain”—such as Ollie Ve

Cook Cox and her niece, Ashley, the women who first brought the mine to Leutze’s attention. The importance of being “mountain” opens the book with the lines, “The story of the southern mountains is told in her face. The crepe-soft skin is laid over stone-hard bone. She’s as white as February snow, but her blue eyes smolder.” Recognizing that preserving the mountain was best for the ecology and tranquility of the area, Leutze also understands and gives attention to mountain culture. Preserving mountains becomes synonymous with preserving mountain life. “Son, you ain’t mountain. I’m mountain. That’s all the hell I am and you wouldn’t never understand,” Leutze writes at the end of the book’s prologue. The stories of these mountain people are even more interesting than the account of the legal battle to save Belview Mountain. Known affectionately as the Dog Town Bunch, Leutze makes their stories come to life. On an afternoon spent sitting with Leutze outside his home with views of both the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain ranges, along with three states, these narratives take on a life of their own. A natural storyteller, Leutze’s cadence gives breath to past voices as he recounts tales from a way of life nearly forgotten in this country. His home is humble by modern standards, a cabin, really. His is land where he thought to live and write and take his retirement. However, Leutze decided in order to enjoy the fishing and hiking he so loved as a child he would have to reverse the paradigm of work first retire second—and that is precisely what this native North Carolinian did. His motivation for moving back to his childhood summer escape was partly to preserve all things summer—the time when childhood is at its peak and kids can explore and tear things up and just have fun. “I was totally trying to reconnect to that camp self by spending time in a pond or a creek, or up in a tree,” Leutze said. “Of course it’s different as an adult—I definitely have a Peter Pan complex, though.” His boyishness shows as he continues, “I have this love of summer. I sleep outside in a hammock a lot. My sister has three kids and she gives them to me every summer for a week. We call it Camp Jay. We go hiking, fishing and exploring. They love playing in the creeks and waterfalls.” These are all the very same activities Leutze enjoyed himself as a kid on that very mountain. Raised in Chapel Hill, Leutze’s parents bought land on Yellow Mountain when Leutze turned five. “My parents were professors. They didn’t have a ton of money sitting around but WWW.SMLIV.COM

they bought this piece for $100 an acre—and this land now goes for sometimes $60,000 an acre,” he said. As soon as school let out the family would shut up their city house, drain the water, put the lock on and off they’d go. “I rode horses all summer, fished, built tree forts and just hiked all over with my brother and sister,” Leutze said. Five other families also lived on the mountain, and all the kids would spend the first half of the summer getting ready for the Burnsville Fair—making moss terrariums and collecting baby ferns and lichens. “I was always fascinated with the natural world,” Leutze said. Spending summers on a mountain essentially cut off from the world gave him and the other children the freedom to fully explore the land and enjoy everything the natural world—and a bit of mischief—had to offer. Since his parents were also adventurous, he and his siblings were free to explore unfettered, “though they did like to see us at suppertime,” Leutze said. It is no wonder that reclaiming that freedom became his passion as an adult. The life Leutze now leads on Big Yellow Mountain allows him to preserve something deeper than just the environmental aspect of the mountain. He has sought to preserve that sense of awe and wonderment that children feel when they’ve discovered something new. Leutze has made it his mission to foster the expressions seen lighting up children’s faces at the glory and beauty that the natural world offers. The ability to also adamantly lead the fight for conservation and land preservation is a bonus to him. While his major pursuit once back on Yellow Mountain was to “unclutter his mind” so as to focus on writing while enjoying all the things from his childhood, his passion for the natural environment and the wonderment of an essentially untouched scenic world led him into conservation work. Having attended law school, he was known on the mountain as a lawyer, even though he never actually practiced law. Leutze had participated in the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) work-exchange program and lived in Britain, working at a bookstore. When it opened a branch in Boston, he moved back to the States and continued working for them while enrolled in writing courses at Harvard. During one of these courses, his instructor had nothing to say during critique. “I was worried, but she said ‘you need to quit your job and become a writer full time,’” Leutze said. “I believed in my heart that was true because I’d always felt like a writer and I thought I can do this—whenever I get the chance I’m going to do it.” 41

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having mourned the loss of my sense of utter wilderness

solitude Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d known as a child in the summers, I found that the loss of quiet on top of that was more than I could bear.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jay Leutze

The British company he worked for offered him a job based out of Atlanta opening bookstores in airports with full-time travel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It would have been a nice job, but I thought if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m moving back to the south Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m moving back to Big Yellow Mountain,â&#x20AC;? Leutze said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My parents were going through a divorce and I became owner of the house through the divorce settlement. The house is mildewing and squirrels are eating the boards, so they gave it to me and I love it!â&#x20AC;? Thinking about mountains is something he claims in his book to have done much of throughout his life. His ancestors are mountain people, and he has purposely kept himself a part of the culture he experienced growing up only in summers. The mountainsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; have been revered by cultures throughout time and the world. In his book he writes of their magnitude, saying:

Family picnic c.1972 - Highlands of Roan.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;In nearly every culture, mountains are revered and held in esteem. They are the source of myth from Tibet to the Caucuses. The lofty elevations are where the sprits reside in the nine sacred mountains of China, and the indigenous people in the Andes still make pilgrimages into the mountains to convene with the spirit worldâ&#x20AC;Ś In the Blue Ridge we have our own myths. The Cherokee told stories of



& Heritage Center

Experience Southern Appalachia as recorded, documented, and collected by the students of Rabun County, GAâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and shared with the world through The Foxfire Magazine and The Foxfire Book volumes. Visit the legacy they created in honor of their neighbors and ancestors through 45+ years of work gathering and preserving their unique mountain heritage. Museum gift shop offers regional pottery, crafts, Foxfire & other books.

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the mountains, how they were formed by great spirits, of how the Long Man, the god of rivers, had his head in the upper reaches, where waters were born. How the streams carving the mountains into ridges are the blood of the Long Manâ&#x20AC;Ś But mountains, these mountains, have long held another allure, for they are also a source of money.â&#x20AC;? The resources of the mountains are vast, and it is defenders like Leutze and organizations such as Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy that will ďŹ ght for future generations to have access to mountains untouched by human greed. The call to defend preservation efforts is as natural to him as breathing oxygen. He is credited with numerous pieces of legislation and protecting more than 15,000 acres of critically important high elevation habitats. His goal is to protect 30,000 acres, and he maintains a

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strong presence in both the state legislatures and in Washington to help make this goal a reality. He remembers when Sugar Top, a mountain top resort also known as the Citadel, went up in 1983 and claims that it simply wrecked him. He watched in horror as more and more of the mountains in the viewshed of Big Yellow Mountain were cut and scraped and domesticated for second-homes and resorts. With gravel mining, the Putnam Mine was not only disturbing the landscape of the mountain but contributing a good deal of noise. The loss of quiet and the solitude he had come to love about living in isolation was more than he could bear. “Having mourned the loss of my sense of utter wilderness solitude I’d known as a child in the summers, I found that the loss of quiet on top of that was more than I could bear,” he writes. “Home was becoming my torment. I had a notion that maybe being sensitive to the destruction of Belview Mountain was called for, was the least I could do. If I could come to terms with that, with the dismantling of a mountain, with the daily churn of devastation out my door, then maybe I would become the kind of man who could accept anything, could give in until there was nothing left. And that seemed to me like dying.” From the field outside Leutze’s home one can see Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock (which is 60 miles away) Mt. Mitchell (38 miles away), Hawksbill and Table Rock (14 miles away), Grandfather Mountain, and beyond that Howard’s Knob and Elk Mountain. “This truly is one of the most scenic places in the Eastern United States. Not a great place for a quarry to take off the top of a mountain,” he says with a touch of humor. The Appalachian Trail comes down within view as well, and from there one can easily see Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To the eyes of Leutze and his neighbors, who have been a part of these mountains for generations, the landscape is remarkably changed as more and more people flood into it. “When I grew up out here you couldn’t see an electric light anywhere,” Leutze said. He remembers how even before North Carolina started its Natural Heritage Program his family and several neighbors understood that grassy balds were extremely rare and deserved the first order of protection. As they built their home, leaving as minimal an ecological footprint as possible, Leutze’s parents and others worked on ways to conserve and protect the land. “I grew up watching these conservation heroes because they would meet in my home,” he recounts. Conservation is truly in his blood. It isn’t enough for Leutze to simply enjoy the mountains himself. He understands that having built on top of one puts him in a unique situation in terms of balance between man and the natural world. He is not completely opposed to finding a way to become a part of the mountain and has deep respect for the people who have always called these mountains home. It’s the privatization of the mountains, the shutting out, that causes him problem. And to that end he tirelessly works on behalf of the people in keeping these mountains open to the public. Coming to grips with the fight that often ensues regarding the environment between preservationists and developers can be complicated as each side makes valid claims. Striking up a balance in a world that is ever increasing in population is difficult, and perhaps it is this tension between the two groups that keeps things in check. Thankfully men like Leutze continue to dedicate themselves to keeping land public for the enjoyment of all. WWW.SMLIV.COM WWW.SMLIV.COM


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Eclectic Home Decor, Jewelry and Gifts! A stylish blend of old & new. A new shop in Hazelwood Village phone 828.246.9697 486 HAZELWOOD AVE. | WAYNESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA




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Haywood County, N.C. See Yourself in the Smokies! Here are some spectacular fall foliage spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway. At 6,047 feet, the Richland Balsam Overlook is a breathtaking experience. Just outside of Maggie Valley is Waterrock Knob, where the views are magical. Don’t forget Graveyard Fields near Canton where an easy hike takes you to two waterfalls. With winter fast approaching, experience great skiing in the Great Smokies. Cataloochee Ski Area has 16 exciting slopes and trails for skiers and snowboarders, and the nearby Tube World is also great fun for those who don't ski. OCTOBER • 10.5: Art After Dark in Downtown Waynesville • 10.05-10.21: “The Light in the Piazza” at HART Theatre • 10.11- 10.13: High Country Quilt Show at the Maggie Valley Town Hall • 10.12: The Lake Junaluska Singers Concert at Lake Junaluska Stuart Auditorium

• 10.13: 29th Annual Church Street Art & Craft Show in Downtown Waynesville • 10.13-10.14: October Leaves Craft Show at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds • 10.20: Apple Harvest Festival in Downtown Waynesville • 10.20-10.21: Maggie Valley Annual Fall Arts & Craft Show at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds • 10.21: Sunday Concert Series at the Haywood County Library • 10.27: Ghosts & Goblets at the Shelton House Barn • 10.31: Treats on the Street in Downtown Waynesville. NOVEMBER • 11.2- 11.3: Art After Dark • 11.9-11.18: “August: Osage County” at HART Theatre • 11.18: Holiday Open House in Downtown Waynesville • 11.18: Sunday Concert Series at the Haywood County Library. DECEMBER • 12.01: Maggie Valley Christmas Parade in Maggie Valley • 12.03: Waynesville Christmas Parade in Downtown Waynesville • 12.06: Christmas Parade in Downtown Canton

For detailed information connect with us on Facebook at www.Facebook/SmokyMountainsNC or call 800.334.9036




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It’s a

HARD KNOX LIFE Knoxville’s resurgence the result of inspiration and dedication




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eople who haven’t been to downtown Knoxville in a decade or two will need to allow some time for adjustment. The general shapes of the narrow old streets and crowded buildings look familiar, maybe. But that fourlevel 1930s cafeteria, vacant for a quarter century and repeatedly targeted for demolition, is now an Aveda Institute, a beehive of young beauty students in bold hairstyles and striking attire offering cuts and cosmetics. What was a building boarded up so long most didn’t remember it was ever a sporting-goods store is now a colorful destination for Italianstyle gelato, some evenings too crowded to find a seat. At the base of a 1919 hotel building closed since the ‘70s, what had been a defunct Delta customer counter is now a sunny creperie with an outdoor café. What was a century-old bank building with decrepit office space is now a fully occupied 15-story

Market Square was established in 1854 for local farmers, but by the 1990s, only one old farmer was showing up regularly. Today, Market Square’s reborn farmers’ market attracts dozens of lively vendors and thousands of customers; a 2010 Internet poll named it one of America’s five best farmers’ markets. Today, Market Square, and downtown in general, is busy almost all the time. It might appear to be something like sorcery—or perhaps some billion-dollar philanthropic or municipal effort along the lines of an expert’s master plan. But Knoxville hasn’t built a modern performing-arts center, no big shopping mall, no aquarium, planetarium, no ballpark. Its expensive 2002 convention center doesn’t draw enough conventions to be considered a major driver of downtown development. Downtown hasn’t even seen a major new office building in twenty years. John Leith Tetrault, president of the National Trust Community Investment Corp., based in Washington, D.C., may understand Knoxville’s advantage: “We have never seen a downtown renaissance occur so quickly and with such a clear connection to the rehabilitation of historic buildings,” he recently said. Most of what has happened downtown has happened in buildings that were built for other purposes and renovated for new ones. Kim Trent, executive director of preservationist nonprofit Knox Heritage, isn’t a developer, but has been helping developers for

residential tower with 44 of the highest-end condos in the area, some of them selling for more than one million dollars. That’s all on one block. Maybe more astonishing is old Market Square, around the corner. In the 1990s, businesses were still evacuating this odd accumulation of Victorian commercial buildings. No one had lived on the Square in decades. The awnings of a former era’s renovation in tatters, several roofs caving in, as Knoxville’s municipal Eeyores, with I-told-you-so shrugs, mumbled it was just a matter of time before the lot would have to be torn down. Back then, the Square’s handful of lunch-centric restaurants all closed before 3 p.m. Today it’s lively until 3 a.m. Home to fifteen restaurants, the half-block Square also hosts several shops, a boutique hotel, a wine bar, and a popular three-floor live-music-and-beer nightclub, and scores of residents.

What remains of downtown Knoxville speaks of a

later era, the industrial late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the city grew burly brick wholesaling houses and banks on some streets, and smaller, scrappier shops and saloons on others. twenty years. “Historic buildings were key to downtown’s revival because they provided appealing architecture and access to the Historic Rehabilitation tax credits to help offset costs of restoration,” she said. Knoxville’s preservation story involves some strong-willed individuals, among them some unlikely characters who didn’t know they were developers until they were. Knoxville’s most influential preservationist developers of recent years include a professional hairdresser, an airline hostess, a hospital-supplies salesman, and an aerospace engineer.

Knoxville has never been famous for preservation. The city has rarely cherished its history, though it has plenty. Hardly just a college town, Knoxville is one of the region’s oldest cities, founded in 1791 and the politically dynamic new state’s first capital. Unlike some other 18th-century Southern cities that made it into the 20th century with a large stock of gorgeous antebellum homes, Knoxville saved little of its past. Of the 300-odd houses that comprised Knoxville in 1815, when it was the capital of Tennessee, only one survives. Of the approximately 4,000 structures that stood in Knox County during the Civil War, not quite one percent of them are still standing. What does remain of downtown Knoxville speaks of a later era, the industrial late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the city grew burly brick wholesaling houses and banks on some streets, and smaller, scrappier shops and saloons on others. Several turned out to be more impressive than they seemed when they were covered with soot, plywood advertisements, or cheap modernist siding. Cleaned up and renovated, they surprised and fascinated Knoxvillians who’d never thought twice about their hometown and its history. In 1974, a Herculean effort to save an old vaudeville theater, which in recent years had been known as a porno house, resulted in the Bijou Theatre, today one of the region’s acoustic jewels. That unlikely success spawned Knox Heritage, formed to boost and inform

Market Square, Knoxville's traditional economic and cultural center, from the rooftop deck of Preservation Pub, on a weekday. In the background, the taller red-brick structure is the 1906 Arnstein Building—an old department store being vigorously renovated for offices, residences, and restaurant retail. The shorter building with arched windows is the 1876 Kern Building, an old bakery and confectionary which now serves as a boutique hotel, the Oliver—and, this fall, Tennessee's first location for the Asheville-based restaurant, Tupelo Honey. The Square itself dates to 1854; farmers have sold produce here almost every year since. Extensively renovated in 2004, it's now an unusual concentration of businesses, restaurants, and residences around a pedestrian plaza. Its Saturday farmers’ market draws thousands. SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTO



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Patrick Sullivan’s Saloon was a key to making the so-dubbed “Old City” a destination unto itself. PHOTO COURTESY OF VISIT KNOXVILLE

preservation of old buildings. For twenty years, though, Knoxville Heritage found only a few green shoots to tend. As the 1982 World’s Fair brought a flurry of interest in downtown, two very different developers rehabbed two old buildings on the western edge of downtown for upscale residences. A professional real-estate firm accomplished the larger of the two: the Pembroke was a 1930 office building which had served for forty years as the main headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The other, an eccentric hairdresser named Kristopher Kendrick, renovated some oncesleazy 1916 rowhouses as condos with garden courtyards, and renamed them Kendrick Place. An eccentric given to flights of fancy, often imbued with a whiff of Old-World decadence, Kendrick would become downtown’s unlikely godfather of preservation. For almost two decades, if you were affluent and lived downtown, it was a pretty safe bet that you lived in either the Pembroke or Kendrick Place. A forgotten, neglected, and frankly avoided old warehouse and saloon district on the far end of downtown particularly fascinated Kendrick. He dubbed it The Old City, a title historically vague, but it stuck. The neighborhood was then 50

The Old City was a thicket of fascinating Victorian architecture, gamey lore, and intimidating problems.

a thicket of fascinating Victorian architecture, gamey lore and intimidating problems. Fires, injuries, and uncooperative landowners conspired to make revival seem unlikely. More than one investor left town in frustration. A decade after work began, nothing was presentable to the public. But its promise kept drawing unconventional investors. The first to break through was Annie Delisle, an Englishborn former professional dancer. She also happened to be the ex-wife of novelist Cormac McCarthy, who had described this seamy part of town in sordid detail in his 1979 novel, Suttree. In 1983 she opened a French restaurant cum jazz club. Annie’s shocked affluent, suburban Knoxville by succeeding. More investment followed, much of it pushed by Kendrick, including the Old City’s landmark building, the brick-turreted Sullivan’s Saloon, and by 1987, the Old City was a sensation. This small remainder of the warehouse district was by the late 1980s showing exciting potential as a compact nightlife entertainment district. These SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 12 • ISSUE 5

interesting old Victorian buildings, cleaned up, were a big part of the attraction. By the end of the century, though, the Old City seemed to have peaked, but other dreams were in the works. Market Square, once Knoxville’s cultural nucleus, needed major help. Narrow and oblong compared to most town squares, Market Square is two rows of buildings facing each other across a pedestrian mall. Thirty-seven addresses in all, it represents buildings of a variety of sizes, quality, and styles, most built between the Civil War and the Great Depression. A superficial redo in 1986 succeeded in removing the modernist vestiges of a 1960 redo, but showed little permanent result in restoring its vitality. Kim Trent remembers how it was. “I was raised in Mobile and have always loved historic buildings and downtowns,” she said. “When I moved here from Atlanta (in 1992), one of the first places I visited was Market Square. There was something so magical about it and the town seemed to have so much potential. I’m a sucker

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for potential when I see it—even if downtown was mostly deserted nights and weekends back then.” In 1999, a private developer’s arrogant plan called for a massive coordinated redo of a multiblock district, running the 150-year-old square like a shopping mall, with “covenants” governing business types and opening hours. For a while, they proposed a giant dome over the square to protect it from weather. The plan alarmed many downtowners and prompted alternate proposals. Preservationminded progressives became handy with the word “organic” to describe the kind of growth they wanted to see in downtown Knoxville: no restrictive top-down plans, but natural growth, like a flower garden with many different species, some of them experimental. After numerous public meetings, the city rebuilt the Square’s infrastructure, with some limited façade improvements, in 2003. It turned out to make a fertile bed. One trick, after decades of attempts to recreate Market Square at the daytime-retail level, was to encourage mixed-use development including, for the first time since boarding-house days, residences. They’d already been sprouting there, without close direction from the city. Kendrick retired from the field, spending his last few years in the small Market Square hotel he called the St. Oliver, which he was proud to note was the favored Knoxville home of actress Patricia Neal. He remained a mentor and inspiration to some much younger developers, especially David Dewhirst. A young aerospace engineer who’d worked on the designs of F-16s, Dewhirst had East Tennessee roots, but had lived in several other cities, most recently Washington, DC, when he returned to the Knoxville area to help a tech start-up. That didn’t pan out, but it re-introduced him to Knoxville, which, on his first-ever drive around downtown in 1993, astonished him. “Downtown was beautiful, just vacant,” he recalls. “I’ve seen these buildings all over the world,” but never affordable. “Knoxville was so inexpensive at the time, I thought, I want to buy one of those.” Not all aerospace engineers are sentimental about old buildings, but for Dewhirst, “there’s something unique, authentic, refreshing” about late-Victorian commercial buildings. Many are built of materials impossible to duplicate, like oldgrowth beams, likely from ancient trees harvested in the Smokies long before it was a park. With the encouragement of Jim and Jo Mason, an insurance agent and a wicker dealer who were rehabbing a large building as their own

residence—along with a homeless shelter, they’d be Dewhirst’s only residential neighbors on what was perhaps downtown’s most dreaded block— Dewhirst bought one small building and moved into it. Others followed, including the shop/condo he redeveloped as a home base for his globetrotting mother on Market Square. In 1997, the elderly Mrs. Dewhirst became the Square’s first resident since boarding-house days. Most properties he redeveloped on a mixeduse model: retail and offices near the street, residences higher up. It was an ancient scheme, but startling in the 1990s, and often discouraged. Postwar zoning laws banned some old-fashioned development until they were overturned to introduce new urbanism. Encouraged by architects who had long been intrigued by the potential of downtown’s underused buildings, the clean-cut, personable Dewhirst negotiated City Hall with political ease, familiar with the numbers and practical concerns of politicians and bankers. Preservation “raises property values, increases the tax base, brings in capital—it makes sense,” he says. Not that he was persuasive back then. He began small—the walkup condo he shared with his veterinarian wife was one of his first. Sometimes working with unconventional architect Buzz Goss, and sometimes on former Kendrick properties, Dewhirst seemed to have a magic touch. What he did in the ‘90s was small in scale. The scale of Knoxville preservationism changed radically at the turn of the century. Some date the beginning of the current turnaround to a historic building many didn’t even know was there. In the center of the business district in the 1980s and ‘90s was a giant glass cube. It looked for all the world like a cheap, and particularly unimaginative office building. One architect named Duane Grieve remembered that beneath the modernist glass was a beaux-arts department store called Miller’s—concealed in a modernist sheath since the early ‘70s, presumably to make it more marketable. Though Grieve later became a popular city councilman, in the ‘90s he was a private architect who’d had mixed results rejuvenating a forgotten corner of downtown, an old square on the wrong side of I-40. No one had ever attempted a renovation on the scale of the Miller’s Building before, but Grieve, who’d been planning it for years, seemed up to the task. With investors and city encouragement,

Built around 1924, the Sterchi Building was the headquarters of a furniture company until it closed around 1980. The building sat vacant for 20 years until a preservationist developer's surprising proposal to convert it into an apartment building. Now home to about 200 mostly young people, it's busier around the clock than it ever was as an office building. SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTO WWW.SMLIV.COM


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he stripped the glass skin off Miller’s, hoping for the best. Once noted for its four buxom nude busts across the top of the building, Grieve was dismayed to find that the ill-advised modernization had scraped them off. He found one survivor, though, in a suburban garden, and found a way to make copies of it with a synthetic stone-like material. From the sidewalk, they may look better than the originals. The renovation included something the department store never had, a lofty hotel-style atrium. It attracted the local utility, the Knoxville

music into the working class by sponsoring an early radio station and some of the first commercial recordings of country music. But its old building had been empty for almost twenty years, its entrance fenced off from the sidewalk. One of Knoxville’s least-likely turnarounds, it was isolated from downtown’s few beaten paths, located on a long-neglected block that still hosted pawn shops, cheap jewelers, and a homeless shelter. The Sterchi looked impossible to reuse, difficult to demolish. Burch moved to Knoxville. “Nobody thought

The eccentric Preservation Pub. Located in a centuryold commercial building, Market Square's extremely popular three-story bar sports a rooftop deck and often hosts multiple musical groups simultaneously, on two stages. SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTO

Utilities Board, to move into the building, along with some private businesses. For Grieve, it was the fulfillment of a personal dream. The next major project was, if anything, a little more impossible. Leigh Burch was a well-known developer and real-estate broker in Atlanta, part of the downtown boom that coincided with the 1996 Olympics. In 1998, he visited Knoxville, where he’d spent part of his early childhood, to see a football game. “I drove around downtown, and it was just dead,” he recalls. “But there were a lot of good-looking buildings. I thought, golly, why not just pick a nice building and fix it up. It might as well be a big one, so I picked the biggest one I could find.” The Sterchi Building, was once the ten-story headquarters of one of the region’s largest furniture companies. For a furniture company, it had some real history. In the 1920s, Sterchi sold Victrolas, and expanded the market for recorded 52

it would work,” he says. “We went to every local bank. Everybody thought I was high.” The city itself seemed skeptical at first. “I just wouldn’t go away, I just kept coming back,” he says. “I had the blinders on. I believed, I believed, I believed.” Local banks never did, but with a complicated patchwork of deals through the federal Housing and Urban Development, and historic tax credits, Burch found $10 million to finance the project. (The empty building itself was only about 7.5 percent of that total.) The administration of conservative and previously skeptical Mayor Victor Ashe eventually pitched in, helping with a guarantee of nearby parking and some assistance with Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program. It took years to complete, but now the Sterchi is home to approximately 200 people, mostly young, mostly affluent. Even Knoxville’s famously conservative bankers might call it a success. SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 12 • ISSUE 5

About half of the people who moved in, Burch noted, had lived in bigger cities, Boston, New York, Chicago. They said, “We were looking for something like this.” Dewhirst took his turn with one of Kendrick’s old dreams, the unusual 1890s Emporium Building, used mainly for storage for decades. Knoxville banks still weren’t budging, but now Mayor Ashe was listening. (Dewhirst thinks the tipping point might have been a conversation with Chattanooga Mayor-turned developer Jon Kinsey.) Again, local banks turned him down. It took a vigorous partner from Florida and a bank in Birmingham, as well as city investment in the building’s lower quarters, which became an artistic non-profit center, Dewhirst renovated the rest as an innovative apartment building. Today it’s fully occupied as a big upscale apartment building, but also the single most popular destination of the city’s monthly First Friday gallery walks. Soon, Leigh Burch bought a two-story building down the street, a former shoe store, which with an innovative restoration including outdoor decks became Lerner Lofts, downtown’s first condos since the Pembroke, twenty years earlier. “People saw that you could sell condos down here, and it just opened up the floodgates,” says Burch, who later developed a larger condo building near the Sterchi, a century-old building called the Commerce. Burch and Dewhirst’s rough opposite was Scott West, a brash, uninhibited long-haired guitarist for an alt-rock band, who with his airline-hostess wife Bernadette, began opening artsy, offbeat shops and nightclubs in the Old City with mixed success. At the turn of the century, they turned their attention toward Market Square, where after years of hearings and threats of condemnation, the city had become frustrated with do-nothing landlords, one in particular. Ensconced on the Square daily, the Wests convinced the erratic and longrecalcitrant property owner to sell them his buildings, comprising more than a quarter of the historic square, and including its very worst. With a speed that baffled other developers, and unorthodox approaches that sometimes scotched historic tax credits, the Wests transformed a string of empty hulks into a a nightclub, a shop, a pasta restaurant, a wine bar, an art gallery, another nightclub, and a residential suites with rooftop patio--where, a couple of years earlier, there had hardly been a roof. The Wests’ influence survived a dramatic crash. It seemed some of the money they were investing in the buildings was involved in a major international marijuana conspiracy. The

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two spent six years, between them, in the penitentiary for money laundering. Though they were obliged to surrender their buildings to the federal government, astonishingly, their families were able to keep all but one of the businesses thriving during their founders’ absence. Knox Heritage, the preservationist nonprofit founded in 1974, but often just a meek coordinator of volunteers and a generator of good ideas in its early years, began to roar in 2002, hiring its first executive director Kim Trent, who’d been a communityinvestment specialist. “Until 2002 we only had occasional part-time administrative support,” she says. “Today we have a staff of five and our budget is 13 times bigger than it was 10 years ago. Our membership has quadrupled and we’re saving more places and helping more people than ever before. It’s a thrilling time.” The group’s original emphasis was the city of Knoxville, but now an acknowledged success with some national credibility it’s at the center of a sixteen-county effort to save significant structures around East Tennessee. The successes attracted other investors, hardly any of them traditional developers. Jeffrey Nash, an Englishman who had made a career redeveloping buildings in unlikely neighborhoods in London, redeveloped several historic buildings into condos. Then, feeling homesick, he opened Tennessee’s first “gastropub,” the Crown & Goose, in the Old City. John Craig had been in the hospital-supplies business for twenty years, but the discovery of a family connection to an old building on Market Square prompted him to invest in purchasing it. It became a habit, and Craig has led renovations, notably that of the old four-floor art-deco cafeteria, the S&W, vacant since 1981—as well as some of downtown’s biggest events, like the city’s first successfully sustained public New Year’s Eve party, and the three-year-old International Biscuit Festival. Perhaps downtown’s most painstaking renovation was that of the 1928 movie palace the Tennessee Theatre. An astoundingly aggressive multi-million-dollar renovation resulted in a redefinition of the Tennessee, with a deeper stage and a much more elaborate backstage area, as Knoxville’s closest approximation to a modern performing-arts center. The public parts of it looked more like it originally did when it opened in 1928 than it had, literally, since about 1930. The precision renovations, based on 1928 plans, old photographs, assisted by laser technology, 54

“I just wouldn’t go away, I just kept

almost uncanny, kept working: the Cherokee, the enormous Holston, completed just before the condo-market collapse. The empty JFG Coffee factory is now a fully-occupied apartment building. What had seemed like a plain, twostory office building of little interest to history was slated for demolition a few years ago. Before it turned out to be lined with copper—painted, over the years, people assumed it was tin or — Leigh Burch, developer of the plastic—and to include an abundance of Sturchi Building windows and skylights, some covered over for decades. It’s now an apartment building with four thriving businesses on the ground floor, including an organic grocery and café. Dewhirst has joined several buildings together around an urban corner once dominated by a homeless shelter, to create a mini-city, a complex of apartments and businesses, employing a subterranean corridor unseen since 1919, when it was a sidewalk. Today downtown Knoxville is so busy—almost around the clock—it looks like an optimistic city planner’s Off Jackson Avenue drawing. Residents, tourists, and behind the Emporium suburbanites have made a habit of the Building, this complicated alley, once known as Fire place, roaming the sidewalks every Street, speaks of the day and night. For a testament to the years, a century ago, when value of preserving an old building, Knoxville was a major the most extreme example may be regional wholesaling center. An innovative Knoxville’s first big historic developer has long-range restoration, the Bijou. In 1974, it was a plans to make it a blighted porn theater many wanted to pedestrian shopping area. see removed. In 2009, New York SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTO Times critic Ben Ratliff declared it was acoustically one of the best places surprised even its oldest admirers, who didn’t to hear music in the United States. recall the elaborate wall sconces, removed for “Our success is the result of a complicated reasons unknown not long after the theater’s mix of people, politics and national trends opening. Reinvented based on photographs, coming together,” says Trent, “plus a huge shot they’re there now. of pure luck that they came together at all. I Funded by a different group dominated by believe it was a once-in-a-generation window of older, more established philanthropists, it had opportunity, and will always be grateful we were little direct connection to the mixed-use able to take advantage of it.” residential developments changing Gay Street— Today Leigh Burch is proud of what they’ve but, of course, it made them all more appealing. been able to do, but sounds a little melancholic. The theater hosts Broadway plays, operas, rock “I think we’ve done more than there is left to shows, and, still, old movies, often several do,” he says. “There’s so little left.” Thanks to attractions each week. Meanwhile, the smaller their work, the unrenovated buildings that do Bijou, also subject of a recent renovation, remain are worth three to four times as much as continues to thrive, making Knoxville an they were a few years ago. unusual city with two restored historic theaters Dewhirst isn’t quite done, biting off maybe two blocks from each other. his biggest challenge yet. He’s bought the Both are booked by Ashley Capps, a founder abandoned White Lily factory, the huge, onceof the huge music festival Bonnaroo—who’d famous 1886 flourmill that closed after 120 years. begun his own career in the ‘80s, as co-owner of The demand for downtown residences, which a nightclub fashioned out of a rehabbed old he and his colleagues played a role in creating, building in the Old City. hasn’t yet been met. He expects to start Dewhirst, whose instincts for preservation are construction in 2013.

coming back. I had the blinders on. I believed, I believed, I believed.”


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A dramatic view of the 1912 Holston Building. Once a bank headquarters, and for a while in the 1940s, home to a radio studio that witnessed some of the first broadcasts of Flatt & Scruggs and other bluegrass legends, it's now renovated as condos, and Knoxville's most expensive residential building, with some homes selling in the seven digits. TRAVIS J. BUMGARDNER PHOTO



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Country Life and Ledgers General stores formed the central nervous system

of American towns and communities. Most are long since gone, but a few continue to serve that role today. BY ANNA OAKES



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Mast General Store Valle Crucis, N.C. DON MCGOWAN PHOTO



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Before suits in corporate boardrooms determined the cookie-cutter layouts and mass-marketed inventories of literally thousands of department stores, Walmarts, and Targets, it was the general store that served a community, and no two general stores were ever the same.


he stock on the shelves, from funeral clothing to candy to medicines, and the services rendered, from tanning hides to grinding coffee, were tailored by shopkeepers to match the needs and desires of the locals. The ledgers of general stores, as a result, have much to tell us about mountain history: patterns of agriculture, diet, clothing, and transportation; the advance of technologies; education; and the ailments for which remedies were sought. To author Gerald Carson, general stores were distinctly Americana.

Cumberland Mountain General Store Clarkrange, Tenn.

“The Yankee peddler had his roots in Europe. The city merchant and the shopkeeper had their analogues in older lands,” he wrote. “But the general store was an American origination, something new under the sun, improvised to

“In the days when

men lived separate and solitary lives, it was the country store that tied the scattered farms into a community.” — Gerald Carson, author

meet the raw conditions of a new continent.” The earliest country stores are described as being simplistic in their selection, but merchants soon expanded and diversified their stock, bringing the fineries and indulgences of Charleston or Europe to even the smallest of communities. Even in the mountains, where

transportation could be slow and precarious, merchants supplied a bounty of products for their customers. In his lengthy historical account of the American general store—The Old Country Store, published in 1954—Carson wrote, “Yet it was… the interior of the store and what it contained that made a well-run country store seem in the Centennial year of [18]76 no less than a World’s Fair exhibition itself, with the products of all nations, the fruits of all science and industry on parade.” The general store sold groceries, hardware, shoes, confections, medicines, fabric and sewing supplies, jewelry, hats, dishes, books and stationery, and tobacco. Some also butchered and cured hogs, traded livestock, tanned hides, and ran a gristmill. There was the James Bane Price Country Store in Price’s Fork, for instance, which operated from 1871 until the 1930s and was located in a mountain community just east of the New River and west of Blacksburg, Va., home of Virginia Tech. Eight ledgers found in the store’s attic were published in a 1983 book, providing insight into the store’s daily operations and the needs of rural nineteenth century consumers.

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T.M. Rickman Store Franklin, N.C. For the better part of the 20th century, Thomas Rickman manned the counter at the T.M. Rickman General Store in Franklin, N.C. Constructed in 1895, Rickman acquired the building in 1925, running the store until his death in 1994 at the age of 93. Mr. Rickman lived in the quarters above the store with his wife Fannie, daughter Zena Pearl and son James Roy, and all took part in the store’s daily operations. Londa Woody featured the Rickman and about a dozen other Macon County area stores in her 2001 book All in a Day’s Work. “The stock was standard merchandise of the time,” she said about Rickman’s inventory. “Thomas sold more flour than anything else in the early days because people made their own bread. He used to say he couldn’t give away a bag of store-bought bread and that people laughed because he carried it.” Like many other general store operators of the day, Rickman assumed the community duties that needed fulfilling. A truck he purchased to haul lumber and mica also hauled other “cargo” for a time—because he was the only one around with a truck, Rickman was appointed the undertaker. Rickman bought and sold chickens and provided apples from his orchard, and checkers and horseshoes tournaments made for regular entertainment. Because the store was located close to the Cowee school, children often were tasked with buying their families’ groceries and bringing them home by school bus. Once, said Elena Carlson, a member of the Friends of Rickman Store, a girl carried money to pay for groceries, and a friend convinced her to buy the groceries on credit and use the cash to buy ice cream for their classmates. Rickman was immediately aware of their scheme but sold the ice cream to them anyway, later calling the school to tell someone what had happened. “He made sure the kids learned their lesson,” Elena said. After Rickman’s death, the store was sold to a woman who sold crafts, antiques, ice cream, and other touristoriented items, and then to a woman who planned an art gallery there but never realized her vision. When the old store was again put up for sale in 2007, the nonprofit Land Trust for the Little Tennessee saw an opportunity to preserve a historic and cultural treasure. “The decision to buy the store was a pretty big deal for our organization,” said Paul Carlson, executive director of the

LTLT. “Since then we’ve acquired several historic buildings.” A coalition of community volunteers formed the Friends of the Rickman Store, who coordinate events at the building and help the trust raise the money to pay for its purchase. The store now hosts dances, lectures, plays, children’s programs, gardening classes, seed swaps, and mountain musicians, and offers local crafts and artisan foods for sale. The group has restored about 85 to 90 percent of Rickman’s collection of old tools, antiques, shotguns, saddles, horseshoes, lanterns and other artifacts. “That is what we try to keep alive at the store. Not only the objects, but also the spirit,” said Elena. The T.M. Rickman General Store, located at 251 Cowee Creek Road, is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the summer. For more info, call 828.369.5595.

have a place to see how their grandparents were able to shop.” “I just thought it was so neat that it would appeal to other people,” said John. “I thought it had a future.” He was right about that. His future business model, though, came as a surprise

Mast General Store Valle Crucis, N.C. With its distinctive front façade, white siding, green trim, and antique Esso gas sign, the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis has landed on many a list of North Carolina and national icons. Even more extraordinary is that the store, built in 1882 and opened by C.D. Taylor in 1883, continues to operate full time to this day, serving Valle Crucis community members and tourists alike. William Wellington Mast purchased a half interest in the store in 1897, changing the business’ name to the Taylor and Mast General Store. W.W. Mast bought out his partner in 1913, and the Mast family owned and operated the establishment until 1973, when it was sold to an Atlanta doctor and Appalachian State University professor. But in 1977 the owners closed the store. By this time, the advent of national chain stores and the movement of people from downtowns to suburbs had forced many general stores out of business. But John and Faye Cooper nevertheless felt compelled to invest in the nearly-100-year-old store, reopening it in June 1980. “We just felt somebody should save it,” said Faye, recalling that on her husband’s first visit to the store, before 1977, that “his friends literally had to drag him out.” Like the shopping malls that were springing up everywhere, the Coopers saw the Mast Store as a “one-stop shopping adventure,” said Faye. “It’s a unique place in a beautiful setting. It has a lot of history. We wanted to allow the future generations to


Handwritten store ledgers reflect sales of nails, oil cloth, envelopes, violin strings, a saddle, coffee, and other dry goods. W.L. EURY APPALACHIAN COLLECTION IMAGES

given the retail patterns of the time. Originally seeing potential in catalog and later online sales, the Coopers have found true success in opening new brick-andmortar stores—often targeting old buildings and helping to revitalize downtowns. Today, the company operates stores in Boone, Asheville, Waynesville, and Hendersonville, N.C.; Columbia and Greenville, S.C.; and Knoxville, Tenn., selling traditional mercantile items, outdoor gear, candy, old-fashioned toys and games, and more. “That really was not a vision I had when I opened the store in 1980,” said John. Back in Valle Crucis, the Coopers have changed very little of the original store’s SEE STORES, PAGE 66


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“Back when I was a little boy, my daddy sold goods and they all came to the store. I’m living in an age now where I’m nearly a stranger in my own county.”

— Frank C. Moore

Londa Woody profiled a number of historic general stores of Macon and surrounding counties in North Carolina in a book published in 2001. Nolen’s, established in 1891 about seven miles west of Franklin, served a community called Cartoogechaye, trading clothing, shoes, jewelry, sundries, food, animal feed and tobacco. “Though the town of Franklin was only a few miles away, Nolen’s was so well stocked, some people didn’t venture into Franklin for up to five years at a time,” remarked Woody. West’s Mill Store, north of Franklin, operated a gristmill and livery and tack, and its commodities included kerosene and locally made coffins. It, and its later incarnation, C.N. West General Merchandise, was open from 1906 until the ‘80s. Foxfire—a magazine published by high school students in Rabun County, Ga., since 1966, containing stories and interviews gathered from Southern Appalachian elders—reprinted a group of articles about general stores in its ninth anthology, Foxfire 9. They told of the Fort Hembree Store and Tannery in Hayesville, N.C., founded

by John C. Moore, son of Irish immigrants. He was born in Rutherford County and is said to be

Typical Prices in 1871 Price Country Store, Va. 1 skein silk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 cents 1 piece tobacco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 cents 1 bale cotton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.50 shoes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2 to $3 a pair pocket knife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 cents 1 lb. coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 cents 1 lb. sugar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 cents gloves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 cents 1 coconut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 cents 1 cow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $27 rifle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12

the first white man to move into the Tusquittee Valley area, where he opened the “first big store” in Western North Carolina. A Fort Hembree



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ledger from 1846 and 1847 recorded trades of a harness, shoe soles, bell collars, sheepskin, calf skin, deer skins, hog skin, and even dog skins. A review of the ledgers of the Patton D. Queen Store in Mountain City, Ga., revealed that tobacco was the store’s top seller. Founded in 1883, the Taylor and Mast General Store remains open today as the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, located in the North Carolina High Country. Invoices and store ledgers preserved in the Appalachian State University library archives reveal that much of the store’s inventory came from suppliers in Bristol, Elizabethton and Johnson City, Tenn. One document indicates that goods were delivered to Elk Park, N.C.—a town fifteen miles southwest of Valle Crucis and a stop on the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad, or “Tweetsie,” which ran from Cranberry, N.C., to Johnson City, Tenn. Japanese rice, silk chiffon, tomatoes, string beans, mustang liniment, coffins and caskets, and a range and enamelware from Chattanooga were among the store’s orders in 1906.

OCTOBER Every Saturday through MidNovember • Saturday Evening Music Concert Series, Unicoi State Park. 1-800-573-9659. 1 – Oct. 28 • 42nd Annual Oktoberfest, Festhalle. 706-878-1908 or 706-878-2181. 13 • Fall Celebration, 12PM-4PM, Smithgall Woods. 706-878-3087 19-20 • Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown & Fall Leaf Festival, SNCA. Friday, 7PM-10PM, Sat. 10AM-5PM. 706-809-0139 22 • Art-Oberfest, 10AM-5PM, Helen Arts & Heritage Center. 706-878-3933 27 • Halloween at Babyland, Babyland General. 706-865-2171

NOVEMBER 9-11 • Northeast Georgia 2012 Winter Arts Tour. 10-11 • Civil War Expo, Helen Riverside Park. For more information, e-mail Al Platt at 17 • Appalachian Christmas, Babyland General. 706-865-2171 21-Dec. 8 • Festival of Trees. 706-865-5356

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Shopping carts weren’t necessary: according to store ledgers, customers typically only bought between one and three items at a time. The term for doing business at a general store was to “trade”—not to “shop” or to “buy”— which was accurate, since very few transactions involved cash. Instead, customers traded produce from their farms or their services for items they could not raise at home. Mary Hazel Farthing Mast, 84, is the daughter of R.A. Farthing, who ran the store just down the road from the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. Today the store is owned by Mast and called the Mast Store Annex—it’s where you’ll find the candy barrel. Mary married H.W. Mast, the grandson of W.W. Mast. “You didn’t, in the store back then, you didn’t go around picking stuff yourself,” Mast said. Customers handed a list of needed items to the store owner or clerk, who fetched the products for them. “They bought food for animals in big sacks. My mother used to make dresses for us out of the cloth of those sacks.” Haskel Deal, 90, remembers trading at Hubbard’s Groceries and Childers General store. He would trade eggs, which sold for about 1 and 1/2 cents apiece, for snuff for his grandmother. It would take around six eggs to get a small box of snuff. One time Haskel would not go to get his grandmother snuff because there were not enough eggs to get candy too—a thing he later felt badly about. At the Fort Hembree store, one farmer would bring in a cow hide to be tanned, split down the backbone into two pieces. The farmer would take one half for use on the farm and leave the other half as payment, which the shop owner could then sell to shoe makers or other merchants. The Foxfire students compiled of a list of items and services traded as payment by Fort Hembree’s customers, including potatoes, onions, fur and feathers, wool, beeswax, bear skin, steers, iron, flax seed, butter, green hide, opossum, cat and raccoon skins, mink skin, gold, whiskey, chairs, fruit, driving cattle, work on a chimney, cutting wood, and “services of

wife.” Up at the Price Country Store in Virginia in 1871, a day of hauling was good for a $4 store credit; Henry Snider earned a $1.50 credit for making two plows.


“That is what we try to keep alive at the store. Not only the objects, but also the spirit.”

Elena Carlson, Friends of the Rickman Store

In 1925, the first customer at the Rickman Store in Franklin, N.C., traded three eggs for a spool of thread. “That has become our logo,” said Elena Carlson of the Friends of Rickman Store, the volunteer organization that now works to preserve the establishment. “We al-

ways use that to remember what was the life in Cowee [Valley] at that time.” To celebrate the store’s anniversary each year, the Friends organize a “Bartering Day,” in which community members bring items they want to trade. “It’s a lot of fun…to see that there is so much resources that can be traded in that way without the use of money,” she said. Store owners were savvy businessmen. At West’s Mill Store, leftover candy and mixed nuts went on sale after Christmas. “Large peppermint sticks that usually sold for $1 a box then sold for thirty-five cents. Kids knew a bargain when they saw one,” wrote Woody. Five miles northwest of Franklin, Duvall’s General Merchandise set prices a little higher than those in town, but Grady Duvall kept customers coming through the doors by undercutting everyone on two items: two packs of cigarettes for a quarter and three candy bars for a dime. And in many ways, all of these stores served as community centers. The area post office was located there; so was the only telephone available for public use. As more families began to own automobiles, general stores added service stations, and cars parked beside horses at the hitching posts. Citizens gathered around wood and coal stoves to tell stories or play chess. The Rickman Store served as a polling place on Election Day, and a barber traveled to the store on a regular basis to provide haircuts. The store owner was a purveyor of news and information: “If they wanted people to know things, they would give the word to Mr. Rickman. It’s where everyone knew what was going on,” said Carlson. “It was more than just a general store. It was the center of the community.” Frank C. Moore, the great-great grandson of John C. Moore, founder of the Fort Hembree store, longed for those times in the Foxfire account, lamenting, “Back when I was a little boy, my daddy sold goods and they all came to the store. I was just a little kid, but I knew them. I’m living in a new age. I’m living in an age now where I’m nearly a stranger in my own county. People’s moving in here by the hundreds, and not twenty or thirty years ago I knew everybody in Clay County by name.”

Bringing Back the Black The pot belly stove of the historic Rickman Store is coming back to life thanks to the careful care of Jerry and Joyce Starr. Many stories were shared by Tom M. Rickman around this centerpiece of the building where new memories are being created. The store located on 259 Cowee Creek Rd., outside Franklin, N.C. opens its doors to visitors every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. offering a Music Jam at 2 p.m. For more information, call 828.369.5595. Jerry Starr from Franklin. ELENA CARLSON PHOTO



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STORES, CONTINUED FROM 61 design, preserving the store’s original fixtures, décor and advertisements. A few years ago, the original store underwent a major renovation to preserve the floor and install a sprinkler system. The store continues to serve as the local post office, which the Coopers worked to restore after the station was lost in 1977. “One of the first things we did was try to get the post office back. We offered to do it for $1 a year,” remembered John. “We were turned down the first time—they thought we weren’t serious.” Locals stop by for a cup of coffee in the morning before work, said Faye, and some stop by to pick up there lunch there. “A lot of local folks come down and sit and visit,” she said. “We have felt very good about the culture that we’ve helped to perpetuate,” she added. “We tried to uphold the traditions and the values of a general store.” The original Mast General Store, located at 2918 Broadstone Road, is open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 828.963.6511.


Cumberland Mountain General Store Clarkrange, Tenn. “There’s not too many of us left in Tennessee,” remarked Todd Evans. He acknowledged the existence of a number of old general stores in North Carolina, but in the Volunteer State, Evans only knows of three or four. One is the Cumberland Mountain General Store in Clarkrange, Tenn., a tiny community on the Cumberland Plateau. Originally built in 1923 as the Todd McDonald General Store on Highway 127, the store was due to be demolished in the early ‘80s, but a local family preserved the building, having it moved across the street. It was then renamed the Cumberland Mountain General Store. Evans, who has helped out around the store for the past two decades, purchased the property within the past year. “There’s nothing like it,” he says. The building still features the original counters, shelves, floor, and ceiling from 1923—and even the original cash register is still in use. “We do antiques and


collectibles, homemade fudge, and bulk candy that people haven’t seen since they were little kids,” said Evans. Adjoining the store is a 1950s-style diner. “It’s not been modernized. We don’t do any bar codes or scanning,” Evans noted, calling the store’s recent acceptance of credit cards its “biggest upgrade.” In years past, the 5,000-square-foot store closed from Christmas to Memorial Day, but Evans hopes to keep the store open year round. The store is popular with tourists, classic car clubs and motorcycle riders. Cumberland Mountain General Store is a participant in the annual 127 Sale, held the first weekend of August. Known as the “World’s Longest Yard Sale,” the event is a series of yard sales along 690 miles of Highway 127 from Alabama to Michigan. “We usually get between 150 and 200 vendors setting up on the property,” said Evans. “It’s an event like you’ve never seen before.” Cumberland Mountain General Store is located at 6807 South York Highway and is generally open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, call 931.863.3880.

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Tracy Long, a Cherokee artist, carves the Cherokee syllabary into wooden baby blocks — a take-off on the traditional ABC letter blocks that are a requisite part of any child’s toy collection. For older kids, she makes a Scrabble game, with tiny wooden cubes engraved in the Cherokee syllabary. BECKY JOHNSON PHOTO



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Re-Learning the Language Cherokee works to revitalize the only Native American language with a written alphabet BY BECKY JOHNSON

When Samantha CroweHernandez packs her three young children into the car for a Sunday afternoon visit with their great- grandparents, she’s bearing a special gift—a living testament to the Cherokee people’s resilience despite centuries of repression, a promise that the Cherokee language, once given up for lost, is being reborn. Crowe-Hernandez’s three children have been immersed in the Cherokee language since infancy at the New Kituwah Language Academy, a day-care and elementary school on the Cherokee Reservation in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. Seventy years ago, Crowe-Hernandez’s grandparents grew up hearing and speaking nothing but Cherokee in the traditional Snowbird community, a stronghold of Cherokee people and culture that borrows its name from the remote and rugged Snowbird Mountains outside Robbinsville, N.C. But they purposely didn’t pass the language on to their own seven children. The white world looked down on speaking Cherokee as ignorant and

backward. Like so many of their generation, they were forced into government boarding schools where speaking their native tongue came with the risk of a beating and having their mouth washed out with soap. “They get emotional because they say it has been so long since they’ve heard children speak Cherokee,” CroweHernandez said about her family’s elders. “That’s not something they could even fathom, that there would be a new generation of speakers.” Sadly, over just two generations’ time, the language nearly ceased to exist. The number of fluent speakers in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians dwindled to just 300 people out of the tribe’s 14,000 members, mostly elderly. But today, thanks to the New Kituwah Language Academy, Crowe-Hernandez’ baby spoke her first word—mommy—in Cherokee. Dozens of children are learning Cherokee as infants and becoming fluent themselves as they move up through the grades. A sign hanging over the front entrance proclaims in all-capital letters “ENGLISH STOPS HERE.” “If you think about how folks practice and learn English, they are surrounded by it. It is embedded in everything around them,” said Charlie Myers of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, which helps fund language


immersion. “We are trying to create that environment for the Cherokee language.” Now, instead of speaking Cherokee in the home and absorbing English at school, it’s the other way around. Switching between languages—Cherokee at school, English at home—isn’t hard to Makala McGaha, an 8-year-old at New Kituwah. Makala’s mother, as with nearly all the parents who send their kids to New Kituwah, knows only limited Cherokee

“If you think about how folks practice and learn English, they are surrounded by it. We are trying to create that environment for the Cherokee language.” — Charlie Myers, Cherokee Preservation Foundation

herself. She is trying to learn, but “it’s real hard for her,” Makala said of her mom. For the kids, however, it’s second nature—which, indeed, is the entire concept behind an immersion school. “Those kids, the second you tell them a new word, they know it,” said Shayla Jackson, a Cherokee college student who interned at the academy last summer. Cherokee is the only Native American language with a written alphabet, invented in the early 1800s by the Cherokee man


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“Our language was always around, and there were always people who spoke it. You thought there was a never ending supply and it was always going to be there. Suddenly, we realized we were in a critical situation. We had no new speakers. We had no one to replace them.”

— Tom Belt, Cherokee studies professor at Western Carolina University

Sequoyah. Technically called a syllabary, the 86 characters may seem daunting to decipher, but Prarie Toineeta, a third-grader at New Kituwah, rattles through the intricate characters with ease. “It’s easy,” Prarie said. Sticking out her finger, she began writing the syllabary in the air while reciting their sounds “ga, tsa, di, li, me, na….” Despite the amazing success stories that unfold every day at New Kituwah, the challenges are enormous. The biggest is simply finding enough Cherokee speakers. Of the roughly 300 fluent speakers in the Eastern Band, many are too old or not healthy enough to be in a classroom all day, or simply lack the skills to work in early childhood development. “We have the space. The tribe has the funds. We have the waiting list,” Jackson said. “We need the speakers who are able to step up.” When Kituwah opened its doors, there were only a few classrooms for babies. But as the oldest children moved through preschool and began advancing up through the grades, the school had to keep adding a new class every year, compounding the shortage of fluent teachers. The school now goes through third grade. Lacking enough fluent speakers born into the language, the school supplements its classrooms with teachers who have undertaken 70

New Kituwah Language Academy is the frontline of language revitalization for the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Kylie Shuler (left) is elementary principal of the school. Third-graders Prarie Toineeta and Makala McGaha (right) spend free time reading and listening to a story in Cherokee on the computer.

the monumental task of learning the language as an adult. Among them is Crowe-Hernandez, a teacher at the school her children attend. She learned basic Cherokee going to school on the reservation—how to say cat and dog, the seasons, your name, and the colors—the 101 essentials. As a former Miss Cherokee, she was a cultural ambassador for the tribe, and was regularly called on to make appearances at tribal functions. One such appearance was a language symposium, where she heard a talk on the slow death of the Cherokee language as the tribe’s last fluent speakers aged. That’s when she had an epiphany, switched college majors from nursing to teaching, and dedicated herself to helping keep the language alive. Kylie Shuler, the principal of New Kituwah’s Elementary School side, is also a secondlanguage learner. It is her first year at the school and finding her way has been tough at times. Some of the first phrases she learned were “You look pretty today” or “I like your outfit” to use SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 12 • ISSUE 5

when greeting each student who walks through the front doors in the morning. Shuler grew up in Snowbird and was a high school science teacher in Robbinsville. She recently went back to school and got her masters specifically with the goal of becoming the principal at New Kituwah. Shuler’s own grandmother was fluent but had the language beaten out of her at government boarding school—the same sad but familiar story of most—and never passed it on to her own children. Ironically, learning the Cherokee language is catching on outside Cherokee itself. NonCherokee students at nearby Western Carolina University are majoring in Cherokee studies and taking it as a foreign language. A white attorney from the neighboring town of Sylva heads to Cherokee on his lunch hour once a week for free, drop-in beginner grammar classes. A white college student from Alabama spent last summer as a volunteer at Kituwah Academy. For some, it’s simply a fascinating subject. To others, the grace and wisdom encoded in the language is a path to a deeper and broader understanding of the world. Still others are learning it as a symbol of moral support for what their Cherokee neighbors are doing—a way of

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Eastern Tennessee, particularly the contributions of Sequoyah. Sequoyah was born in 1776 at the village of Tuskeegee, which was very near where the museum is today. His father was Nathaniel Gist, a Virginia fur trader. His mother was Wut-teh, daughter of a Cherokee Chief. Sequoyah married a Cherokee, had a family and was a silversmith by trade. Sequoyah and other Cherokees enlisted on the side of the United States under General Andrew Jackson to fight the British troops and the Creek Indians in the war of 1812. Although Sequoyah was exposed to the concept of writing early in his To learn more about life, he never learned the English Sequoyah and the alphabet. He began to toy with the Sequoyah Birthplace idea of literacy for the Cherokee Museum, visit people. Unlike the white soldiers, he and the other Cherokees were not or call 423.884.6246. able to write letters home, read military orders, or record events as they occurred. After the war, he began in earnest to create a writing system for the Cherokees. When he returned home after the war, he began to make the symbols that could make words. He finally reduced the thousands of Cherokee thoughts to 85 symbols representing sounds. He made a game of this new writing systems and taught his little girl Ayoka how to make the symbols. In 1821, after 12 years working on the new language, he and his daughter introduced his syllabary to the Cherokee people. Within a few months thousands of Cherokees became literate.


The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, a property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, promotes the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in


Clay County < North Carolina Come and enjoy Clay County year round. No matter what time of the year it is, there's always something to explore. From seasonal celebrations and special events to natural beauty and local history, every family member can find something enjoyable. Whether you like hiking on a mountain trail, fishing on Lake Chatuge, or shopping on the square. Also, history lovers will be interested in the Clay County Courthouse, which was built in 1888 and is designated in the National Register of Historical Places, the Clay County Museum, and the John C. Campbell Folk School.

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3: Brasstown Guitar Show at the Brasstown Civic Center 10: Miss Hayesville Pageant To keep up with the scheduled events for Clay County, please visit the Clay County Chamber of Commerce website. While there log on and like us on Facebook.

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“My father spoke only Cherokee to me but my mom didn’t speak at all. Like most people I didn’t learn what I could have or should have from him.”

— Bo Lossiah, New Kituwah Language Academy


Translating the present to preserve the past


s students at the New Kituwah Language Academy climb into higher elementary grades, teaching increasingly complex subject matters in Cherokee-only lessons can be difficult. The Cherokee language simply doesn’t have words in its vocabulary that a teacher needs—mammal, habitat, solar system or interrogative sentence—to teach the standard state curriculum. So every quarter, top Cherokee speakers from the Eastern Band and the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma gather for two intensive days of creating new words. The work helps keep the language alive and modern, filling in the gaps for new words coming along in English, like computer or rocket ship, but the lion’s share of the work is backfilling the language with words that Cherokee simply never had before. At the most recent gathering, held in a classroom of the New Kituwah Language Academy in Cherokee, forty fluent speakers joked, gossiped and bantered in Cherokee as they ticked though a list of 200 words they were tasked with inventing over the twoday consortium. Take tundra, for instance—school kids need it for studying habitats around the globe, but the Cherokee never had the need for a word describing a barren, sub-arctic landscape. There was no such word for saltwater, but teachers needed it not only to describe the difference between freshwater and saltwater, but also when doing chemistry experiments. Another challenge for older grades, however, is the lack of textbooks and worksheets in Cherokee.


“The wish list is huge,” said Bo Lossiah, whose desk is buried with stacks of books that need translating into Cherokee, from infant and toddler picture books to lesson plans for second graders. Bo Lossiah, 44, is one of the rare few in his generation who heard Cherokee growing up. “My father spoke only Cherokee to me but my mom didn’t speak at all. So to learn in a household you need two people to speak. I heard it all my life but I can’t speak it like they can,” Lossiah said. “Like most people I didn’t learn what I could have or should have from him.” Like so many others who found their way to the halls of New Kituwah, Lossiah’s career path took a drastic turn to get there. He was the head chef at Lulu’s, a famous restaurant and mainstay in nearby Sylva, N.C., largely removed from reservation life for years. He was getting a degree at Western Carolina University in electronic media when he began filling his class schedule with courses in Cherokee culture and language. “I was never going to get my degree, because I was taking all these Cherokee classes for fun,” Lossiah said. The university helped him combine the fields to end up with a major in electronic media and minor in Cherokee studies—giving him the coveted skill set to translate books and media that teachers at New Kituwah desperately needed in the classroom. Thanks to his much-needed intersection of skills, Lossiah also shoots video, splices together audio recordings and creates digital books paired with the spoken Cherokee word. Occasionally, he’ll steal time for his own pet projects, like a poster on the wall above his desk with a picture of Albert Einstein and the famous quote “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” His Cherokee version translates roughly as “What I envision is more powerful than what I know.”


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saying “we salute you and your efforts.” On the outside, the Cherokee language seems alive and well. Street signs are in Cherokee. Police officers have Cherokee syllabary on their uniform badges. The pastor of Big Cove Baptist Church gives sermons in Cherokee. But to Tom Belt, the tribe has a long row to hoe. Scattering the Cherokee syllabary around on signs and teaching students their numbers and colors in Cherokee doesn’t count in his eyes as keeping the language alive. “One language is not just a code for another language,” said Belt, a fluent speaker and Cherokee studies professor at Western Carolina University. “It’s more than just a communicative tool. Language is the core of the culture. It is a way of being.” Belt said the loss of the Cherokee language wasn’t noticed until it was nearly too late. “Our language was always around, and there were always people who spoke it. You thought there was a never ending supply and it was always going to be there,” Belt said. “Suddenly, we realized we were in a critical situation. We had no new speakers. We had no one to replace them.” On the heels of that realization came an even

than simply teaching it graver one: that the to the next generation, Cherokee language is a however. Proponents fundamental part of early on realized it what it means to be would take a highly Cherokee. complex strategy on “Language is the several fronts. way in which we “When we started interpret the world,” out we weren’t sure Belt said. “It is a way of how to do it,” Jackson looking at the world, a said. way of thinking. Until recently, for Within the language example, Cherokee there is a storehouse of Western Carolina University's Cherokee didn’t count as a wisdom and knowledge Language Program is helping create muchneeded children’s books in Cherokee, including foreign language in the that goes back the latest Animal Colors by Beth Fielding and eyes of universities and hundreds of years.” published by Waynesville’s EarlyLight Books. colleges. It posed a Researchers outside conundrum for high Cherokee have turned school students, who had to choose between to fluent speakers to help unlock that giving up coveted course time in their school knowledge. An ethno botanist has been day for Cherokee language versus a bona fide systematically recording Cherokee words for foreign language that would pass muster with native plants and trees. college admissions officers. “In it you find out a little bit more about the “I learned Spanish before I learned innate properties and qualities of those plants. Cherokee,” said Teria Morgan, a recently Embedded in that identification process is graduated high school senior from Cherokee, what that plant is for,” Belt said. who had to plug away at Spanish during high Revitalizing a dying language takes more


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able to speak it, then the school to get the requisite language isn’t really that foreign language credits alive. We think it is under her belt. important that it is used A massive effort on the daily, and not archived tribe’s part convinced the somewhere like the sixteen universities in the Smithsonian.” North Carolina system The Cherokee last year to finally Preservation Foundation recognize Cherokee as a has played a lead role in foreign language, freeing both funding and steering up critical time in language revitalization students’ class schedules over the past decade. The to take Cherokee Foundation, also funded language without giving by casino profits, makes up college-centric 50 to 55 grants a year for coursework. an array of projects and At the same time, the A sign over the front door of New Kituwah Language Academy signals the beginning of Cherokee programs—including tribe had to work language immersion. BECKY JOHNSON PHOTO renewable energy, through the American economic development and cultural initiatives. many resources into language revitalization.” Council of Teaching Foreign Languages to get Language revitalization has gotten $3.5 million A wildly successful resort-style casino and specific certification standards for teachers, an from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation hotel operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee objective way to measure their competence as over the past decade on top of the millions by has brought unprecedented wealth to the tribe foreign language instructors. the tribe itself. over the past fifteen years. Casino profits are While the majority of Cherokee youth attend As the Cherokee people stare down the loss pumped into improving the lives of people in tribally-run schools in Cherokee, a couple of of their language, they are hardly alone. The Cherokee—bolstering education, health care, hundred live in surrounding communities and world had 6,000 languages at one time, and has housing, job training, business development attend public schools off the reservation. The fewer than 2,000 left. Hundreds of those are in and social programs. On the recreation front, tribe has been working with the public school jeopardy, including dozens from Native casino revenue has built a movie theater, a golf systems in neighboring counties to offer American tribes that unlike the Cherokee have course, a skateboard park and greenway. Cherokee language in those schools by no hope of saving their dialect with only a few Tourism has also gotten a piece of the pie, like providing a language instructor for free to a fluent speakers in their 90s still left. new visitor centers, tourist shuttle busses, school willing to offer the classes. Within the Eastern Band of Cherokee, the evening bonfires featuring Cherokee “At one time people were saying ‘It ain’t number of fluent speakers sadly gets smaller storytellers, and a beautifications to downtown going to work. It just ain’t going to work. It each year—there are around 300 fluent streets and shopping districts. never has, it never will,’” Jackson said. “Now speakers, but they are dying at the rate of 15 to But the tribe has also made a point of they see our kids read, write, talk—even fight 20 a year, a pace that’s likely to accelerate as the investing in its own culture. Millions have been and argue—in Cherokee.” group of fluent speakers continue to age. invested into language revitalization, including Nowhere else have the components for such a The hope is one day soon the number will the $8 million construction of the New Kituwah language restoration project fallen into place: a begin growing again, as new speakers become school and an annual operating budget, thanks core of fluent speakers, young people with a fluent and join the list. to casino profits. desire to learn, broad community support and “We are up against a challenging situation. “The difference the casino has made is it has all-important money to make it happen. We don’t have 20 or 30 years so there is an been able to apply significant resources to it,” “The tribe has made a huge commitment to urgency,” Myers said. “If we aren’t getting there said Myers of the Cherokee Preservation this,” said Susan Jenkins, the executive director quick enough, we will know we need to step it Foundation. “It has transitioned from exposure of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. “I up a little more.” to it, to developing real fluency. If you aren’t don’t know another tribe that is putting this

“[My grandparents] get emotional because they say it has been so long since they’ve heard children speak Cherokee. That’s not something they could even fathom, that there would be a new generation of speakers.”

— Samantha Crowe-Hernandez WWW.SMLIV.COM


SML_Vol.12-Iss.5 TRAVIS:Layout 1 9/5/12 12:51 PM Page 76



OAK HILL ON LOVE LANE BED AND BREAKFAST Awarded Best in the South by, Oak Hill on Love Lane features “The service and amenities of a fine hotel in the quiet comfort of a B&B.” Each luxuriously appointed room in this historic 19th century home is equipped with hypo-allergenic bedding, fine linens, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, private en-suite baths and wireless internet access. Enjoy 24-hour access to the Butler Pantry, daily maid service, nightly turn-down service and a full 3-course gourmet breakfast. Within walking distance of historic downtown Waynesville. 244 Love Ln. • Waynesville, NC 888.608.7037 ANDON REID INN Experience the Smoky Mountain views from our beautifully restored 1902 home. Sumptuous breakfasts, private baths, Jacuzzis, working fireplaces, fitness studio and distinctive features that contribute to your comfort. Moments away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest, waterfalls and Asheville. Let us “wow” you! 92 Daisy Ave. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.3089 HERREN HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST Six spacious guest rooms with sitting areas and private baths blend modern comforts and ample space with distinctive Victorian charm. Enjoy

sprawling porches, an open-air gazebo, and relaxing gardens with nature’s seasonal colors. Situated only one block from Main Street Herren House offers convenience to an array of shops and dinning as well as easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 94 East St. • Waynesville, NC 28786 828.452.7837 BOYD MOUNTAIN LOG CABINS AND CHRISTMAS TREE FARM Featured in 2011 Southern Living Best Weekend Getaways . Enjoy a peaceful country setting in charming authentic log cabins, 1—4 bedrooms, located on 130 beautiful acres. Full kitchens, wood burning fireplaces, Wifi, & A/C. The cabins overlook the Smoky Mountains, our Fraser Fir Christmas tree farm, 3 stocked fishing ponds ,flower and vegetable gardens. Hiking trails to the top of Boyd Mountain, volleyball, basketball and badminton, swimming hole in the creek, sledding in the winter. Open every season. 828-926-1575 RESIDENCES AT BILTMORE HOTEL Ideally located between Biltmore Estate and downtown Asheville. Studio, 0ne- and two-bedroom suites available with full kitchens, fireplaces, balconies and most with whirlpool jet tubs. Property amenities include 24-hour Concierge, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, hot tub and fire-pit. Your mountain retreat in the heart of the city. 700 Biltmore Ave. • Asheville, NC 866.433.5594

THE SWAG COUNTRY INN Chosen by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the #2 Best Small Hotel in the Unites States, the secluded hideaway itself consists of 250 private acres. The main lodge and cabins, consisting of 15 rooms, are built of 17th and 18th century hand hewn logs and local field stone. Join us for our 30th season to experience just how remote, rustic, refined and remarkable it can be at 5,000 feet. 3 gourmet meals are served daily, with turn down service each evening. 800.789.7672 BAINES MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY AND SKY COVE HIDEAWAY Choose from two luxury vacation rental cabins located in Bryson City. Both are minutes away from the Smoky Mountain Railroad, 18 holes of golf at the Smoky Mountain Country Club, Tsali mountain bike trails, Fontana Lake, Smoky Mountain National Park and the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Hiking, biking, paddling, boating, fishing, golfing ... all outdoor activities within minutes. Each cabin has 2 bedrooms, a full bathroom on each of the 3 levels, game loft with pool table, Jacuzzi bath tub, hot tub, outdoor fire pit, 2 fireplaces, 2 large decks, gas grill, satellite TV, wireless internet, mountain views ... rest and relaxation! Bryson City, NC 877.488.8500 HEMLOCK INN This historic inn, set just off Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, is only steps from


A Blowing Rock Tradition... Discover the magic of Blowing Rock, NC with a relaxing stay at the beautiful Hemlock Inn. This historic inn, set just off Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, is only steps from shopping, restaurants and event activities. At the Hemlock Inn, you’ll find 18 uniquely designed and decorated rooms. Come and make Hemlock Inn your “Blowing Rock Tradition”.

11914 Hwy. 105 S. Banner Elk NC 28604


76 70378

Owned and operated by the Summers family since 1994 Innkeepers: Bryan and Donna Summers



Managed by Vacation Resorts International

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shopping, restaurants and event activities. Eighteen unique rooms, including suites with fullyequipped kitchens. All rooms are non-smoking. Rooms feature private baths, cable TV, air conditioning, phone services, microwave ovens, refrigerators and WiFi. Take away the unnecessary stress and time spent planning your vacation by taking advantage of a variety of packages offered throughout the year. Downtown Blowing Rock, N.C. 828.295.7987 MAGGIE MOUNTAIN VACATIONS Maggie Mountain Vacations offers cabin rentals in the Smoky Mountains! Large or small cabins with hot tubs, views, creeks, waterfalls and privacy anything you need for a great mountain escape we've got you covered. Call us today or check out our website for 24/7 online booking. 213 Soco Rd. • Maggie Valley, N.C. 888.926.4270


A REMARKABLE MOUNTAIN RESORT AT 5,000 FEET 2300 Swag Road • Waynesville, NC • 800.789.7672 •

SMOKETREE LODGE Smoketree’s cozy atmosphere and prime location allows its visitors the choice of enjoying the peace and solitude of the Blue Ridge Mountains or the opportunity of partaking in the many activities available in the High Country! 11914 NC Hwy. 105 S. • Banner Elk, NC 800.422.1880

BEST WESTERN RIVER ESCAPE INN AND SUITES A Best Western with a style all its own. Overlook a rambling river from your spacious room or relax on our scenic riverside patio. Enjoy deluxe guest rooms, suites, a heated indoor pool and hot tub, a hot breakfast bar and an atmosphere flowing with charm. One block from Historic Dillsboro, NC. 248 WBI Dr. • Dillsboro, NC 828.586.6060 THE WAYNESVILLE INN GOLF RESORT & SPA This resort has been welcoming visitors to the mountains with southern hospitality since the 1920s. Traditional resort amenities include historic and mountain view lodging, 27 holes of championship golf, restaurant and tavern, plus outdoor event space and pro shop. The location provides convenience to shopping, skiing, fishing, hiking and more. 176 Country Club Dr. • Waynesville, NC 800.627.6250

IN NORTH CAROLINA’S GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS Nestled in 130-acre cove overlooking the Smoky Mountains. Secluded peaceful country setting with seven charming 1-4 bedroom antique cabins with wood burning fireplaces, full kitchens, WiFi, hiking, stocked fishing ponds and a Choose ‘N’ Cut Fraser Fir Christmas Tree Farm, which opens Friday, Nov 16.

445 Boyd Farm Road • Waynesville, NC 28785

(828) 926-1575 •

Your mountain retreat within the heart of the city. Our all-suite hotel is located just outside the gates of the Biltmore Estate with studio, one and two bedroom suites all including our exclusive 24-hour concierge service. Convenient to all of the most sought out tourism destinations, restaurants, and shopping in the area.

Named one of the top 25 hotels in the U.S. in the 2011 Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Awards


GRANDVIEW LODGE Tucked away in a mountain cove just off the beaten path near Waynesville, North Carolina, the newly-remodeled farm style home on 3 acres features 8 deluxe, country rooms with private baths. There’s also the 2-bedroom, 2-bath Grandview Cottage with full kitchen, living area and dining area. The Lodge has just introduced Popcorn's Moonshine Grill on Friday & Saturday nights from 5 til 9pm featuring a full bar, live entertainment, and an American Tapas menu featuring items such as Pig Wings, Redneck Caprese, and Drunken Clam Dip. The Lodge is the perfect getaway destination, and ideal for your next Special Event. 466 Lickstone Rd. • Waynesville NC 800.730.7923 • 828.456.5212

Rustic Elegance

“A very nice room in a great location ... with all the amenities that anyone could want. We have been visiting Asheville for over 20 years and have never stayed here before. From now on, this is where we will stay.” Jesse R. — Via Tripadvisor, Nov. 2011


700 Biltmore Avenue


866.433.5594 77

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climbing, hang gliding, paddling, obstacle courses and more. There are multiple venues/times. Riverfront in Chattanooga, Tenn. Oct. 6-14. 423.265.0771.

ca le n d a r :

UPCOMING EVENTS THE CRAFT FAIR OF THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS More than 200 of Western North Carolina’s finest artisans and craftsmen come together for the largest show of its kind in the region. Demonstrations, live music and more. U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville, N.C. Admission. Oct. 18-21. 828.298.7928.

Church Street Art & Craft Show

Hundreds of juried crafters and artists line Main Street in Waynesville, N.C. for one of the finest art shows in the mountains. Music, food and more. Oct. 13. 828.456.3517.

Blue Ridge Artists & Crafters Show

Area artists and crafters come together for annual show at Haywood County Fairgrounds near Waynesville, N.C. Food, entertainment and more. Oct. 13-14. 828.452.3021.

October Leaves and Craft Show

Dozens of mountain crafters gather in beautiful Maggie Valley, N.C. during the height of autumn. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Oct. 13-14. 828.497.9425.

High Country Quilters Bear Foot in the Valley

Quilting guild’s fall show features a theme quilt in the bear paw block design. More than 100 quilts and more crafts. Town Hall, Maggie Valley, N.C. Oct. 11-13. 828.456.3021.

Haywood County Apple Harvest Festival

Celebrate the fall harvest in picturesque downtown Waynesville, N.C. amid a backdrop of fall color. Crafts, music, food. Oct. 20. 828.456.3021.


OCTOBER 100th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair

This year the Cherokee Indian Fair is 100 years old, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has decided to celebrate this special birthday with more music, dancing, crafts, exhibits and fun than ever before. Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds, Cherokee, N.C. Oct. 2-6. 800.438.1601.

Ghost Train Halloween Festival

Tweetsie Railroad’s Halloween ride has become one of the High Country’s Halloween traditions. Tweetsie is located between Boone and Blowing Rock, N.C., on U.S. 321. Oct. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27.

booths featuring some of the nation’s finest work. Convention Center, Gatlinburg, Tenn. Oct. 11-28. 865.436.7479.

Stingy Jack’s Fall Festival

Annual fall festival in Pisgah Forest includes illuminated twilight trails, pumpkin chunkin’, enchanted hayrides, hay maze, human hamster wheel, musical entertainment and more. Pisgah Forest outside Asheville, N.C. 855.784.6497. Oct. 12, 19, 26.

River Rocks Festival

Unique and distinctive outdoor festival celebrating natural resources with events including hot air balloon rides, film fest, live music, hiking, biking,

The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad Exhibition

Banner Elk, N.C. hosts annual festival where wooly worms race up a string to win grand prize. Music, food and more. Oct. 20-21. 828.898.5605.

Cherokee Myths and Legends Tour

Tour guides take visitors stops throughout the Qualla Boundary discussing unexplained happenings and time-honored stories of spirits of ancient Appalachian lore from funny to frightful. Cherokee, N.C. Oct. 24-30. 800.438.1601.

NOVEMBER Great Smoky Mountain Cluster of Dog Shows

Four full days of All-Breed Dog Shows and Specialty Breed Shows. Not-to-be-missed competitions are


Explore the lives of George, Edith, and Cornelia Vanderbilt at home and in their travels throughout Europe and the Far East. See exotic and rare treasures they collected. Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. Ongoing exhibit. 828.225.1333

Guided walks led by interpretive rangers to discuss the reasons trees change color in the fall and to identify what trees turn what colors. Oct. 13. Grandfather Mountain, N.C.

“1912 Facts About Titanic” Book Signing Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge will host author Lee Merideth to sign books and talk about Titanic history. Oct. 4-21. Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 417.334.9500.

Gatlinburg Craftsmen Fair


October 11, 2012 - October 28, 2012 Art, crafts and music lovers can find almost 200


35th Annual Wooly Worm Festival


SML_Vol.12-Iss.5 TRAVIS:Layout 1 9/5/12 12:59 PM Page 79

for Best Puppy, Bred-By-Exhibitor, Best of Opposite Sex in Group, and Best in Show. Obedience and Rally trials. Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, Tenn. Nov. 1-4.


Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly Fishing Tournament

Held on the Cherokee Reservation on 2.2 miles of trophy catch and release waters. $10,000 in prize money. Nov. 2-3. Cherokee, N.C.

Christmas at Biltmore

Enjoy America’s largest home decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias, miles of evergreen garland, and thousands of ornaments. Nov. 3Jan. 1, 2013. Asheville, N.C.828.225.1333.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Festival

Gatlinburg, Tenn.’s winter long lights festival now uses LED bulbs, using the same amount of electricity all winter that it use to consumer in just three days with old lights. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come each year to this must-see collection of bright, colorful lights and favorite winter scenes. Nov. 7-Feb. 28. 865.436.7479.

Climate Change in the Smokies

Join staff and guest speakers at the Tremont Environmental Learning Center on the Tennessee side of Smokies for a look at how climate change is affecting the mountains. Seminar is geared toward educators. Townsend, Tenn. 865.448.6709. Nov. 2-4.

Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run

13th annual Fall Cherokee Rod Run features hundreds of pre-1985 classic cars and thousands of car enthusiasts and custom parts vendors. Acquoni Expo Center in Cherokee, N.C. Admission. Nov. 2. 800.438.1601.

Festival of Trees

Dozens upon dozens of ornately decorated Christmas trees await visitors in this winter wonderland at Gatlinburg Convention Center’s W.L. Mills Conference Center. Event benefits Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries. Gatlinburg, Tenn. Nov. 20-24. 865.436.7479.


T H E G AT E WAY C L U B Home of Anthony

Wayne’s restaurant.

DECEMBER Winter Wonderland

Historic downtown Franklin, N.C., will be changed into a Winter Wonderland. Live music, Santa Clause, wagon rides. Dec. 7.

Lights and Luminaries

Journey back to the days of yesteryear as Dillsboro, N.C., presents its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. Entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights and candles. Horse and buggy rides, live music, holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa, carolers and Santa. Dec. 7-8, 14-15.

10th Annual Sugarfest

Winter festival includes winter Olympians, Sugar Bear, new ski and demos, fireworks, music, giveaways. Sugar Mountain Resort in Banner Elk, N.C. Dec. 8-9.

T H E G AT E WAY C L U B Weddings | Award-Winning Cuisine | Receptions | Reunions 37 CHURCH ST. | WAYNESVILLE, NC | 828.456.6789 70099



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t seems like Colony Collapse Disorder is regularly in the news, and yet, we can’t agree on what to do to save the honeybee from extinction. Maybe the government will finally do something soon. Unwilling to wait, I took my own small action last summer to save the honeybee. I set up my own hive. I had thought about it for years. I live on a farm. I like honey. It seemed natural that I should have bees. Then my friend Phil explained how easy it was to set up a hive. He even offered to order the bees. I gave Phil the green light, and while I waited, I ordered materials to build a hive box. For weeks, I contemplated the perfect location. I wanted it to receive plenty of sun in winter but not be too hot in summer. The bees would need access to water, as well as to their food source. I settled on the crown of a hill where the grass merges into woods. The hive is equal distance between a creek and a pond. An orchard of apple and cherry trees is nearby, as well as a cow pasture full of clover, both white and purple. The best feature of this location is that I can see it every morning from my kitchen window. My bees came as a nucleus colony, which means they were a small colony removed from a larger colony. A queen was already installed. What I hadn’t anticipated was the act of collecting the bees and transporting them to my house. In my mind, Phil would deliver the bees and set up the hive, and I would watch. In reality, I drove to Kentucky to pick up my bees. Phil couldn’t be there the evening I arrived, but he had written my name on the white corrugated plastic box that served as their temporary home. It was evening, close to dark, and I waited for the last of the worker bees to return to the colony. I closed the plastic flap that formed a door, then carried the humming box to the trunk of my Impala. I tried not to imagine what would happen if I had an accident as I drove south on the interstate, how my car might crash into another and angry bees would swarm out of the trunk like determined kamikazes. Just after I crossed the state line into Tennessee, I turned the radio down to confirm the buzzing sound in my ear was not just in my head. There was a bee loose inside the car, flying around the back window. She must have arrived looking for her hive after it was packed in my trunk, but she was smart enough to hitch a ride anyway. After I stilled my pulse, we rode the rest of the way in peace. It was full dark when I got home and gingerly removed the nucleus colony from my trunk. The next morning, I suited up in apiary gear and transferred the bees and their frames to the new box. I expected to be stung, but luck was on my side, and we moved together without anyone getting hurt. My thoughts were



In my mind, Phil would deliver the bees and set up the hive, and I would watch. In reality, I drove to Kentucky to pick up my bees.

a thousand little prayers that the bees would be happy in their new home, that I’d learn how to simply keep them alive. I took off my bee suit and headed to work. As I backed out of the driveway, I heard buzzing and remembered the lost bee from the night before. She was in the rear window, still alive but not sure how to escape. I drove through the greening branches of the orchard and up the hill to the new hive. I used a piece of paper to scoot the bee away from the window and outside. We were close enough to the hive that I could see the bees moving in and out, investigating their new home. It was easy for this solitary bee to find her way back to her colony. At that moment, I was happier to save one lost bee than I had been five minutes earlier when I thought I was saving them all. Who’s to say which act was more important or more satisfying? A summer later, my bees thrive. I can walk outside nearly any summer day and find one in my yard, flying from bloom to bloom. Maybe one is that same bee that rode from Kentucky.


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Make memories, not landfills.

Subaru was the first automotive plant in the U.S. to achieve zero landfill status,and the only one certified as a national wildlife habitat. We like to peacefully co-exist with nature.


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Starts Here.

With native festivals, outdoor excursions and nightly entertainment experience a mountain adventure in the homeland of the Cherokee Indians. | |

Sponsored in part by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 • VOL. 12 • NO. 5 800-438-1601



Mountain Adventure

Smoky Mountain L I V I N G

Celebrating THE

Southern Appalachians




Knoxville’s historic comeback

Revitalizing a native tongue



T H E AV E T T B R O T H E R S | FA L L C O L O R P R E D I C T I O N | C A N N I N G

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The Lee Brothers’ Lemon & Cucumber Pickles Visit the Tuckasegee towns of Sylva, Dillsboro, and Cullowhee, N.C.

Smoky Mountain Living Oct. 2012  

Smoky Mountain Living is a bi-monthly magazine covering the people, places and events that make the Smoky Mountain region of western North C...

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