Programs & Exhibits 2019
***Please continue to check this page for additional listings for the year as program dates are confirmed.
The North Carolina Room has a new patron, Jude Elliston, whose Papa Jon doesn’t bring her often enough.
Also currently on exhibit:
All programs are held in the Lord Auditorium, Pack Memorial Library, lower level.
All event are free and open to the public.
This exhibit is just inside the front entrance to the library.
Programs & Exhibits 2019
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In Celebration of Black History Month
Contribute to + Correct the Record
Add important African American figures from Asheville and Buncombe County to Wikipedia, plus update information on existing pages using resources conveniently on hand in the NC Reference section of the library. Use our computer or bring your own + library card information to login to WIFI. We will supply a list of names that do not have Wikipedia entries, or bring you own names that you think should be represented.
Where: North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library
Light refreshments will be served
Thursday February 28, 2019 from 6:00 to 7:00
Lord Auditorium, Pack Memorial Library, lower level.
All event are free and open to the public.
In Celebration of Women’s History Month
Becky Stone Portrays Civil Rights Activist Pauli Murray
Pauli Murray was a worker bee. She played significant roles in the work of stinging the conscience of America and changing the dynamics of race and gender relations in this country. Yet so few of us know of her. In many ways she was ahead of her time and presaged activities that the media later would hail as ground-breaking. Rosa Parks was arrested for challenging the bus segregation laws in 1954. Pauli Murray was arrested and jailed for the same crime in 1940! Lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro in 1964 brought national attention to Jim Crow. Pauli Murray and fellow Howard law school students had successfully defeated Jim Crow at a Washington DC restaurant 20 years before! Pauli Murray challenged biases by applying to Chapel Hill grad school when black students were prohibited and applying to Harvard law school when women were forbidden to matriculate.
Born in 1910, Pauli grew up in “The Bottoms” of Durham, NC under oppressive Jim Crow laws. She did everything she could to escape those laws and to change them. Her autobiography reads as a parade of the famous and familiar. She was instrumental in forming the National Organization of Women. She was among the first women priests ordained in the Episcopal church – at the age of 67. Stephen Vincent Binet served as mentor for her poetry. Murray counted Eleanor Roosevelt as one of her close friends. Murray researched and wrote a book that was considered “the bible” by NAACP lawyers as they waged war against discrimination. A published poet. An ordained Episcopal priest. An attorney. A law professor. A feminist. How could one person accomplish so much? The answer lies in her God-given gifts, how she used those gifts, and how she was raised. Her story is a remarkable one – a journey from anger to reconciliation. She was a woman worth knowing and remembering.
Becky Stone, a native Philadelphian, moved to the mountains 40 years ago with her husband to start their family. With a background in theater, reading stories to their four children came quite easily. A librarian heard her reading to her children and asked Becky to volunteer telling stories at Pack library. And a storyteller was born! Becky has told at schools, libraries, universities, festivals and private events in the region for the last 30 years. Becky, Janet Oliver, and the late Rocky Fulp worked together as Thrice-Told Storytellers, a group that specialized in African American history and stories. She has appeared with Asheville Community Theater, SART, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater, HART, Montford Players and in plays in Greenville and Lexington VA. Her storytelling skills have served her well as, since 2003, she has portrayed Pauli Murray, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Maya Angelo for Chautauquas in Asheville, Greenville, Spartanburg, Colorado, and Ohio.
A Tribute to the Faculty of Stephens-Lee
Thursday April 25, 2019
Held at the Stephens-Lee Center, Gymnasium upper floor.
30 George Washington Carver Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
This Event is Free and Open to the Public
(South Charlotte Street, left on Max Street, left at sign for Stephens-Lee Recreation Center)
What Professional Degrees Did Stephens-Lee Faculty Have?
Being Barred From Many Schools of Higher Learning, What Institutions Did They Attend?
How Many Faculty Members Were Asheville Natives?
Why Did Non-Native Teachers Come to Asheville to Teach?
What Happened to the Faculty After Integration?
The North Carolina Room staff have been researching these questions over the past year. Most of the research centered on the 34 faculty of 1964, the year before Stephens-Lee was closed. Please join us and a panel of Stephens-Lee graduates and be a part of the conversation.
Wednesday November 27, 2019 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
In observance of Veteran’s Month
Civil War Stories between Haywood County Soldier James M. Henderson and his Wife Maria
A Dramatic Reading
— Directed by Deborah Austin
James M. Henderson, Company F, 25 N.C. Regiment wrote to his wife Maria Henderson and little son, William Henry Drayton Henderson. Henderson was killed August 23, 1864 at battle of Weldon Railroad, Petersburg, Va. From the NC Room Collection MS024.
The readings will show contrasting views during the same time period of the war–one from a soldier and one from a woman trying to carry on at home.
PAST EVENTS & EXHIBITS 2018
Asheville Hotel Cutlery, China and Serving Items
Items are on loan from collector Don Kosher
Includes a plate and bowl from the Margo Terrace
Clifford Davids has spent almost two decades gathering stories of extraordinary human endurance.
Between 1996 and 1998 he traveled regularly from the Catskills in southeastern New York State down to the Connecticut shore conducting interviews with Holocaust survivors for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. After moving to the mountains of North Carolina in 1998, on the occasion of Eliada’s upcoming centennial, Director Stewart Humphrey hired Davids to gather the stories of the children who had grown up at the orphanage. After having served as CEO for over twenty years, he wanted to provide a permanent and lasting record, a testament of sorts, for the children whose only home had been at Eliada. Davids spent a decade tracking down and interviewing people who had grown up at the former Eliada Orphanage in Asheville, N.C. Some of these stories are published on his website entitled “Confessions of an Oral Historian.”
Mr. Davids donated to the North Carolina Room the 23 sound interviews that he had taken as well as several albums of photographs and Eliada newsletters. The interviews are in the process of being transcribed (MS368).
Rev. Lucius B. Compton was the president and founder of Eliada Orphanage, as well as Faith Cottage for unwed mothers. The home was established in 1906. When Compton died in 1948 the orphanage was home to 68 children with more than 1,000 children who had grown up there. Eliada continues today providing “a cradle to career continuum of services for over 700 children and youth annually.”
Saturday September 15, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:30
An Artist’s Work Gets Digitized
With Art Historian and Digital Archivist Erin Dickey & Local Artist Connie Bostic
As a Fellow in the Learning from Artists’ Archives program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Erin Dickey developed a studio archiving project with western NC artist Connie Bostic. This project entailed the digitization of selected materials, creation of an artwork inventory, and recording of oral histories in order to provide context on and insight into her art and legacy, as well describing her role in the growth of the Asheville arts community in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The inventory and digitized works were subsequently archived as part of the collection of the NC Room at Pack Memorial Library. As this project demonstrates, navigating between the roles of artist, archivist, and art historian instills an understanding of archival materials as living and connected to people, clarifying the connections between archival work, art history, and community engagement. In conversation with Connie Bostic, Erin Dickey will discuss this project, contextualize it within recent similar artists’ archives initiatives in the South, and provide tips for artists hoping to improve their own record-keeping systems.
This program will include a 20-30 minute talk with Erin describing her work, a 15-20 minute discussion between Erin and Connie and a question and answer period.
If you’d like to browse this digital collection go to the North Carolina Room’s Special Collection’s website and in the “Keyword Search” box at top right, type in MS233.005* and it will bring up all of the folders for this collection. Connie Bostic has donated other materials to us regarding her two previous art galleries, The World Gallery in conjunction with Western Carolina University and Zone One Gallery that was at 37 Biltmore Avenue. If you’d like to view this material type in MS233*.
Wednesday August 29, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00
The Southern Appalachian Grassy Balds
Author and hiker and researcher
Amy Duernberger — Author of Exploring the Southern Appalachian Grassy Balds
“Treeless wonders” of the Southern Appalachians, grassy balds have long baffled scientists and enchanted outdoor enthusiasts. Come hear the story of story of these unique ecosystems. They exist as open spaces, often grassy meadows, found on or near the summits of mountains that are technically below the tree line. Are they artificial, the result of climate change, or something else entirely? While no one knows for sure, their natural beauty is undeniable.
Amy Duernberger, a longtime lover of the outdoors, has been hiking and researching the Appalachian mountains for more than twenty years, also serving as a volunteer in balds conservation efforts. She has worked for the National Park Service on the Blue Ridge Parkway and now lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of South Carolina.
Wednesday July 25, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00
Asheville’s Movies: The Silent Era
Author and film historian
Asheville lured major film companies such as Paramount Pictures as well as itinerant movie makers who made short comedies on the streets of Asheville, cast entirely with locals. Frank Thompson will use photograph stills and real film footage as he talks about movies produced in Asheville from the earliest in 1900 to the final silent film produced in 1929.
Wednesday June 27, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00
“Asheville Shops For Dinner: A Grocery on (almost) Every Block”
Nan Chase and Terry Taylor
A Multi-media Lecture
This program will include an eye-opening overview of the history of grocery stores in Asheville from the 1880’s until the opening of our own Ingle’s grocery chain in the early 1960’s. The lecture features dozens of historic photographs and advertisements from the North Carolina Collection.
In 1887 Asheville’s library was located at 53 S. Main Street—today’s Biltmore Avenue—above S. R. Kepler’s Grocery. In 1890 eleven “grocers” served 10,000 citizens; today approximately 40 grocery stores serve a population of 90,000. Asheville’s early neighborhood grocery stores were often family-run businesses with street-level retail and upstairs living space. Much like today’s on-demand grocery delivery, these early stores offered quick delivery by boy, horse-drawn wagon, or newfangled trucks!
Come join us and see a map of grocery stores with Asheville’s city limits in 1925 and 2018. You will be amazed!
Saturday May 19, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:30
Karen L. Cox
Program Title: “Confederate Monuments in the Jim Crow South”
Author of Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture
After our February 3, 2018 program with Professor Fitzhugh Brundage from UNC Chapel Hill, we wanted to keep the conversation about Asheville’s Confederate Monuments alive. And we want to continue to do what we can, to keep Asheville residents informed about the history behind the Confederate monuments.
“Confederate Monuments in the Jim Crow South” will provide an overview of the peak period of monument building between 1890 and 1920, including a discussion of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s role, but goes further by examining these symbols in the context of their time–the Jim Crow South. At the end of the talk will be an opportunity to discuss what we should do with monuments.
Karen L. Cox is an award-winning historian and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She is the author of three books and numerous essays and articles on the subject of southern history and culture. Her books include Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture, which won the 2004 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians for the Best Book in Southern Women’s History, Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture, and, most recently, Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South.
A successful public intellectual, she has written op-eds for the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, TIME, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post. Her expertise on southern history and culture has led to numerous interviews with newspapers from around the world and radio appearances on the BBC, Canadian Public Radio, NPR, Detroit Today, and Charlotte Talks. She’s also appeared on C-SPAN, Israeli Television, and NC Bookwatch.
In the wake of events in Charlottesville, University Press of Florida author and University of North Carolina at Charlotte history professor Karen Cox was called upon as an expert to comment on the meaning behind Confederate monuments and whether they should be removed. We welcome her to Asheville.
Wednesday April 25, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00
Title: “The Early Days of Coxe Avenue”
We’ve all heard how E. W. Grove bulldozed the hill on which the first Battery Park Hotel stood, and used the dirt to create Coxe Avenue. What did it look like? Was there a cemetery down near the bottom? Which buildings still stand from back then and which ones have we lost?
Rich Mathews will use photos from the North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library and several photos from the E. M. Ball Collection, D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, to reveal the changes during its first few years and compare the Coxe Avenue of the past to the same boulevard today.
Attended by 65.
“The Eclectic Lives of Two Asheville Women”
In Celebration of Women’s History Month
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00
Pack Memorial Auditorium, Lord Auditorium
Come Hear Asheville Natives:
Asheville City Mayor
Asheville City Councilwoman
Growing up in Asheville and
Their Lives as Mothers, Professionals & Women
And Why They Decided to Enter Public Service
This event is free and open to the public.
This program is sponsored by the Friends of the North Carolina Room with help from Mountain Express.
We begin our 2018 programming with a special program. Like any local history room, our goal is to add historical information, not to take it away.
Title: Monumental Decisions: The Legacy and Future of Civil War Markers in Our Public Spaces
Speakers: The program will begin with two brief presentations by local historians.
Roy Harris will survey Buncombe County’s Confederate monuments—when and how they came into existence.
Jon Elliston will review the history of the local white supremacy movement that undergirded the introduction of the monuments.
Special guest speaker: Professor Fitzhugh Brundage, Chair of UNC Chapel Hill’s History Department, will headline a program on interpreting and dealing with Civil War monuments. The title of Professor Brundage’s talk will be, “A Vexing and Awkward Debate: The Legacy of a Confederate Landscape?”
Date: Saturday February 3rd
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Questions about how Confederate monuments’ proper places will be decided came to a cataclysm in Charlottesville, Va., last August, causing one death, multiple injuries and an acceleration of the evolving national debate. Locally, disputes over what to do with fixtures as prominent as Asheville’s Vance Monument have led to heated discussions and soul-searching about a path forward.
The focus of this program is to present when and where monuments were placed, who placed them, who paid for them, and a look at how they were presented to the public when they were placed. We also hope to shed light on the social and political times of Asheville, Buncombe County and North Carolina, during the time that they were erected.
Professor Fitz Brundage, who received both his masters and PhD from Harvard University in the 1980s, has since become a leading scholar of the history of the American South, with a focus on the historical memory of white and black populations in the post-Civil War era. He has spearheaded Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, an ongoing online project to document the state’s monuments and their meanings.
This is a link to his site documenting Buncombe County’s monuments. Commemorative Landscapes.
This program is sponsored by the Friends of the North Carolina Room with support from Mountain Xpress.
Programs & Exhibits 2017
Brown Bag Lunch and Evening Programs:
All programs are on the last Wednesday of the month.
[With the exception of our Saturday September 16, 2017 program.]
“The Eclectic Lives of Two Asheville Women”
In Celebration of Women’s History Month
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00
Pack Memorial Auditorium, Lord Auditorium
Come Hear Asheville Natives:
Asheville City Mayor
Sheneika Smith-Asheville City Councilwoman
Talk About: Growing up in Asheville and
Their Lives as Mothers, Professionals & Women Why They Decided to Enter Public Service
Date: Wednesday April 25, 2018
Time: 6:00-7:00 PM
Title: Asheville: 200 Years of Good Eating
Speaker: Nan Chase
Date: Wednesday November 29, 2017
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Nan Chase writes about architecture and design and is the author of Asheville: A History and several other books, including, most recently, Drink the Harvest. She has written for such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Southern Living, and Air & Space. Nan served on the Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County. A long-time resident of western North Carolina, she now lives in central Asheville.
Asheville’s Service Industry Worker’s
Created by Jonathon Flaum with Photography by Jennifer Mesk
This exhibit is on the main floor of the Library just to the left of entrance.
Jonathon Flaum, the founder of Farm to Home Milk, commissioned Jennifer Mesk — a professional photographer responsible for the Humans of Asheville Facebook page — to take portraits of the people he regularly encounters on his delivery rounds as a modern milkman. Jonathon Flaum graciously donated the Asheville’s Service Industry photographs and original digital files to the North Carolina Room.
Flaum’s idea behind the project is about how service is itself an art and a way of expressing his philosophy of simplicity. “In keeping it simple, I can serve without distraction. In service without distraction, work simplifies,” he writes. “These two actions magnetize together, and time passes easily — almost effortlessly, despite being in the midst of physical labor.” Flaum wanted to give other service workers the chance to think about how they go through their days, doing the same things day in and day out, but still find ways for their work to be enjoyable and satisfying.
“On The Front Porch”
A porch is a passage into a home. It’s where we comfortably pause before entering as well as when leaving. Porches link the private interior with the outdoors, the public sidewalk and street. Porches are where we rest, are silent, or talk quietly with family or friends. We sometimes gather on porches to play music. They are where we sit and watch kids playing across the street, where we wave at neighbors walking by. Where we watch the gloaming of the day, and the night come.
An interesting display of very different porches including porches of Montford.
“The only thing missing in the exhibit is a rocking chair.” Terry Taylor
Also currently on exhibit:
Past Events 2017
Title: North Asheville Neighborhood History Program
Speakers: Pat Fitzpatrick and North Asheville Residents
Date: Wednesday October 25, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:00 PM
The North Carolina Room will begin a 2017 North Asheville Neighborhood History Project focused through the North Branch Library. Long-time residents will be interviewed by volunteers of the Friends of the North Carolina Room. The project will also include a year long search for photographs, letters, ephemera and architectural drawings that document the early residential communities of North Asheville. The geographical focus of the program will include: Beaverdam, Elk Mountain, Grace, Grove Park, Kimberly Heights, Lake View Park, Macon/Sunset Mountain, Proximity Park and Sherwood Heights.
This is a pilot project that we will take to other library branches in Buncombe County.
This program will include a short overview of the history of the development of North Asheville following the opening of the Grove Park Inn in 1913, stories by residents, and the volunteer interviewers.
Title: Anne Penland, Asheville Native, W.W. I Nurse Anesthetist
Speakers: Symposium speakers to be announced
Date: Saturday September 16, 2017
Time: 1: PM to 3:00 PM followed by a dedication ceremony for the Anne Penland historical marker
Shortly after the United States entered World War I in 1917, the “Presbyterian Hospital was asked to send two surgical teams near the front to support the British attack on Western Belgium, one of the teams used a nurse as its anesthetist. Major William Darrach, the team’s surgeon and a future dean of P&S, told a British colonel that Anne Penland’12, was the most qualified in the group, even though the colonel didn’t think a nurse could physically hold down a larger man while giving anesthesia. One night more than 1,200 casualties came through the makeshift hospital and Ms. Penland performed admirably. Her achievements motivated the British to develop programs for nurse anesthetists. Graduates later freed up more than 100 doctors for medical and surgical work during the war.” [From “Nurses Who Went to War” by Matthew Dougherty.]
Title: Legends, Secrets and Mysteries of Asheville.
Speaker: Marla Milling
Date: Wednesday, August 30th
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Local historian and author Marla Milling will talk about her new book, Legends, Secrets and Mysteries of Asheville. As in Marla’ Milling’s first book, Only in Asheville: An Eclectic History, she again traces the people and places that make her hometown a truly unique city. She’s a full-time freelance writer and serves as a Contributing Editor for Blue Ridge Country magazine, freelance staff writer for TheManual.com, and freelance staff writer for Match.com. In addition, she writes frequently for the Asheville-based monthly magazine Capital at Play, WNC Parent/Asheville Citizen-Times, and other publications. She grew up in the Skyland area of south Buncombe County, where she graduated from T.C. Roberson High School. She went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She lives in north Asheville with her two teenagers, Ben and Hannah, and four cats. Her roots run deep in the WNC mountains, with ancestors on both sides going back for many generations.
Title: Family Feud: The Bitter Battle Between E.W. Grove and Fred Seely For the Grove Park Inn
Speaker: Bruce Johnson
Date: Wednesday, June 28th
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Bruce Johnson has been researching and writing about the Grove Park Inn since first coming to Asheville in 1986. In 1988 he founded the National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn and continues to direct that today. He has written several books on the American Arts and Crafts movement, as well as on the Grove Park Inn, including Built For the Ages: A History of the Grove Park Inn and Tales of the Grove Park Inn.
Title: “Made with the Simplest of Tools: Appalachian Rustic Style”
Speaker: Lynne Poirier Wilson
Date: Wednesday. May 31st
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Lynne Poirier-Wilson is a retired Museum Curator and Administrator who has worked in museums in eastern PA and western NY. She moved to Asheville in 2000 and took a part-time job as a Curator with the Asheville Art Museum curating exhibitions that explore both art and culture history. Lynne has served on the board of the Swannanoa Valley Museum, and volunteers for the Asheville Art Museum and for the North Carolina Collection. Lynne has a fond affection for anything rustic and has written several articles on rustic art and furnishings.
Lynne Poirier-Wilson is a retired Museum Curator and Administrator who has worked in museums in eastern PA and western NY. She moved to Asheville in 2000 and took a part-time job as a Curator with the Asheville Art Museum curating exhibitions that explore both art and culture history. Lynne has served on the board of the Swannanoa Valley Museum, and volunteers for the Asheville Art Museum and for the North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library. Lynne has a fond affection for anything rustic and has written several articles on rustic art and furnishings.
Title: “‘Mountain Scenery’–Discovering WNC from the 1850s, Asheville, Ancestors, and Immortality”
Speaker: Elizabeth “Liz” Colton
Date: Wednesday, April 26th
Time: 6:00-7:30 PM
Elizabeth (Liz) Colton, Ph.D. will talk about the book, Mountain Scenery: The Scenery of the Mountains of Western North Carolina and Northwestern South Carolina written by Henry E. Colton and published in 1859. No one could better present this fascinating book than Liz Colton, as she has visited every site in Western NC visited by her ancestor Henry E. Colton.
Known as “a worldwide connector”, Liz Colton grew up in Asheville, NC. She lived and worked around the world as a journalist, diplomat, educator. Now through her EO Colton & Associates Global Collaboration consulting firm based in Asheville and Washington, Dr. Colton speaks and advises globally on diplomacy, politics, education, journalism & the media. She has been a Fulbright Scholar, a university professor, a UN development planner, a Peace Corps Volunteer, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, and a Foreign Service Officer. Liz has an undergraduate BA from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and MAs from Vanderbilt University and holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Currently, Dr. Elizabeth Colton is serving as Diplomat in Residence at Lenoir-Rhyne University-Asheville Center and also as UNITAR trainer/moderator in Diplomacy courses.
Title: Greetings From Asheville: Postcards in the North Carolina Collection.
Speaker: Terry Taylor
Date: Wednesday, March 29th 2017
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Join Terry Taylor as he presents a visual potpourri of a selection of postcards which can be found in the North Carolina Collection. You’ll see Asheville (and Western North Carolina) as you’ve probably not seen it before, from the early years of the 20th century into the more recent past. Also check out the display of postcards from the North Carolina Collection on the main floor of the library adjacent to the Circulation Desk.
Terry Taylor is as close to a native as one can be without being born in a Buncombe County hospital. His grandparents and parents both hail from the Billy Cove in Candler and the Big Sandy Mush community. He’s lived in the mountains of WNC since 1964 except for a decade in Durham County’s rolling piedmont. After careers in special education and craft book publishing (both authoring and editing), he earned a diploma in Jewelry from the Professional Crafts Program at Haywood Community College. He lives and has a studio just outside of Asheville’s city limits.
Title: Sex, Lies, and Snake Oil: The Strange Career of Dr. John Brinkley
Speaker: Jon Elliston
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Local historian Jon Elliston will explore the bizarre odyssey of John R. Brinkley, one of Western North Carolina’s most infamous figures.
From his humble mountain origins, Brinkley rose to national stature as a medical scam artist. He made a killing on sketchy goat gland implants and other oddball treatments, only to die pretty young and totally broke. At the same time, Brinkley built radio audiences for some of his musically talented Jackson County neighbors and others from around the country, including the Carter Family. And he helped shape modern advertising and political campaign tactics that are still in use today.
Elliston’s presentation is based on his January 2017 article in WNC magazine about Brinkley’s rise and fall, and will include audio from Brinkley’s radio broadcasts along with rarely seen images of the would-be doctor and his enterprises.
Title: Poetry reading, storytelling and singing.
Speaker: Roy Harris with Sheneika Smith.
Date: Wednesday, February 22nd
Time: 12:00 to 1:00
Roy Harris is President of the Asheville Storytelling Circle, a board member of the Young Men’s Institute, and newest board member of the Friends of the North Carolina Room. Roy will be telling his story about two cousins who each think their own mule is the fastest, so to prove it they walk their mules from the Eastern part of North Carolina, through Asheville, and onto the Kentucky Derby. So Roy, which mule did win the race?
Sheneika Smith, a native of Asheville, NC, is a preacher’s daughter, fierce fashionista, community organizer and visionary leader. Sheneika graduated from Asheville High and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication from Winston-Salem State University. Her path is to develop her ministry to assist in the preservation of the African American interests and quality of life in her community. Her work includes ministry, motherhood, special events planning, supporting her community and the empowerment of those around her.
Sheneika is best known for organizing and producing “Asheville Sunday’s Best,” and for spearheading an initiative that encourages inclusion and empowerment of Black Asheville called “Date My City.”
Past Exhibits 2017
Two exhibit cases of “Folk Art of Southern Appalachia.”
One exhibit is just inside the main library doors at Haywood Street entrance. Second exhibit case is located on the lower level in front of the North Carolina Room.
“Folk artists thrive in North Carolina, evolving through self-instruction and emulation of the work of others
as well as upholding traditional and nontraditional methods of craft passed down through the generations.
An exhibition of documentary photographs taken in 2016 by the staff of the North Carolina Room.
Past Events & Exhibits 2016
Pack Memorial Library, Lord Auditorium, Lower Level
Sponsored by the Friends of the North Carolina Room
All events are free and open to the public
The North Carolina Room threw a social for the Friends of the North Carolina Room in October. It was held at the Bier Garden on Haywood Street. Moderators from the “Asheville in the 1980s” series were invited as special guests.
NC Room Staff Ione Whitlock created a slide show of all of the photographs used in the “Asheville in the 1980s” series and 1980s music played in the background.
The North Carolina Room staff thanked long time volunteer and past library board member Bob Etter for his consistent help volunteering in the NC Room. He accomplished finishing scanning the post card collection. Every Friday morning he scanned whatever was set in front of him, from 9:00 to 11:00.
Pitchers of local beer, chips and Bier Garden’s special salsa. Librarian’s love socials!
“Asheville in the 1980s: A Formative Decade Told by Those Who Shaped It”
A Summer-Long Evening Series
April through September
6:00 to 7:30 pm
These programs will be made up of panelists and two moderators, all of whom were involved in their subject area in Asheville during this decade.
Wednesday April 27: Save Downtown Asheville & the Wrap. Moderators: Jan Schochet, Wayne Caldwell and Peggy Gardner.
Wednesday May 25: Downtown Businesses & Restaurants. Moderator: Rob Pulleyn
Wednesday June 29: Social Activism & Social Agencies. Moderators: Ann Von Brock and Ellen Clarke
Wednesday July 27: Arts, Theater & Music. Moderators: Deborah Austin and Phyllis Lang
Wednesday August 31: Downtown Housing & the State of Buildings. Moderators: Kevan Frazier and Erin Derham
Wednesday September 28: Politics and Civic Engagement. Moderators: Leslie Anderson and Becky Anderson
EXHIBITS: Exhibits of photographs from the North Carolina Collection of Asheville in the 1980s are on the main library floor to left of entrance, as well as three exhibits on the lower level, in the hallway going to the North Carolina Room and in the North Carolina Room.
PAST EVENTS & EXHIBITS 2016:
June 1 through July 14:
“So Great the Devastation: The Flood of 1916”
Traveling Exhibit from the North Carolina Office of Archives and History
Main floor Pack Memorial Library
A display case on the main floor and one on the lower level outside the North Carolina Room also features photographs and real photo postcards form the North Carolina Room Collection on the flood of 1916.
HUNGRY FOR HISTORY: A Brown Bag Lunch Series
Bring a brown bag lunch and listen to local historians.
“The Unforgettable Rampage: Remembering the Great Flood of 1916”
A free multimedia presentation by local historian Jon Elliston
Wednesday, July 13, 12-1 p.m.
Lord Auditorium, Pack Memorial Library
Even after a century has passed, the flood waters of July 1916 remain the French Broad River’s “chief and unforgettable rampage,” as writer Wilma Dykeman described the cataclysm. And indeed, almost the entirety of Western North Carolina was devastated by the Great Flood, which cost some 50 lives here and destroyed thousands of farms, roads, railroad lines, homes and businesses. Join WNC magazine senior editor Jon Elliston for a free multimedia presentation based on his historical exposé in the new issue of the magazine. He’ll show the pictures, and tell the stories, of how the Great Flood’s watery depths came to haunt our region, even to this day.
Monday, March 14, 2016, 6:00-7:00
“Civilian Conservation Corps Camps in Western North Carolina”
Bill Jamerson will present a music and storytelling program about the Civilian Conservation Corps. It’s a nostalgic program with lots of laughter and many heartfelt stories. His program is as entertaining as it is important; as honest as it is fun. It’s about people both ordinary and extraordinary, with stories of strength, wit and charm.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a federal works program created by President Franklin Roosevelt in the heart of The Great Depression. During its nine-year run beginning in 1933, over 75,000 men served in North Carolina. The enrollees were paid $1 a day with $25 sent home to their families each month. The money kept many families from starving.
February 24, 2016 (Wednesday) 12: to 1:00: Rick Russell spoke about Robert Henry, Forgotten Pioneer and the Sulphur Springs Hotel
Join Asheville historian and award-winning author Richard Russell for the unusual, contradictory and fascinating life story of Robert Henry, a pioneer who fought with the Overmountain Men at Kings Mountain, battled British troops along the Catawba River, and went on to build the Sulphur Springs resort in what is now Malvern Hills in West Asheville.
PAST EVENTS 2015:
Wednesday, October 28th, 6:00-7:00, 2015: Phil Jamison on Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance.
Phil Jamison is nationally-known as a dance caller, old-time musician, and flatfoot dancer. He has called dances, performed, and taught at music festivals and dance events throughout the U.S. and overseas since the early 1970s, including more than thirty years as a member of the Green Grass Cloggers. His flatfoot dancing was featured in the film, Songcatcher, for which he also served as Traditional Dance consultant. From 1982 through 2004, he toured and played guitar with Ralph Blizard and the New Southern Ramblers, and he also plays fiddle and banjo. Over the last thirty years, Phil has done extensive research in the area of Appalachian dance, and his recently-published book Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance (University of Illinois Press, 2015) tells the story behind the square dances, step dances, reels, and other forms of dance practiced in southern Appalachia. Phil teaches mathematics as well as Appalachian music and dance at Warren Wilson College, in Asheville, North Carolina, where he also coordinates the Old-Time Music and Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering. http://www.philjamison.com
Wednesday September 30, 2015: Kevan Frazier: “Asheville and The Roaring 20’s”
In celebration of the Allied Victory in World War I, the 1920s ushered in an era of what some believed would be permanent prosperity. The Roaring Twenties were a period of tremendous change in United States, in general, and Asheville, in particular, as the city’s population nearly doubled to over 50,000 in only a decade. The boom could be seen in the dramatic physical transformation of the city, from Asheville’s first skyscraper, to its many Art Deco masterpieces. At once, the city’s “Program for Progress” moved Asheville closer to being one of the South’s great cities while at the same time it plunged it into a mire of debt that crippled the city for some 50 years.
Frazier is the Executive Director of Western Carolina University at Biltmore Park in Asheville and has been a History professor and higher education administrator for some 20 years. A native, Kevan is also the owner/operator of Asheville by Foot walking tours, and recently published a new book, Legendary Locals of Asheville, a collection of 150 biographical shorts of folks who have shaped the city over the past 200 years.
Thursday, August 27th, 6:00-7:30
Missing History: The Family Store. A panel about the bygone days of the many Jewish-owned businesses that used to be in downtown Asheville. From 1880-1990 there were more than 454 different Jewish-owned retail businesses downtown. This panel discussion will follow a 20 minute visual presentation on how instrumental these merchants were in creating what we know today as downtown Asheville. Why did these merchants come to Asheville, why were they even merchants? The panel will include some of the merchants themselves, most of whom are descendants of the original store owners.
Presenter: Jan Schochet, co-creator of the public history exhibit you can see now across downtown, “The Family Store: A History of the Jewish Businesses of Downtown Asheville, 1880-1990.
Dora Rapport, owner of Doray’s Hat Hop on Haywood Street across from Pritchard Park (photo around 1940s).
Wednesday July 29, 2015: Danny Bernstein: “The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: A Thousand Miles through Wildness, Culture and History”
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina, published by the History Press, focuses on the beauty, quirkiness, and vibrancy of the 1,000 miles from Clingmans Dome in the Smokies to the Outer Banks. Danny recounts the highlights and challenges of walking the MST. Meeting people is also a vital part of walking the trail.
The route takes in Fraser fir trees and pelicans, old grist and textile mills, working cotton and tobacco farms, Revolutionary War sites and two British Cemeteries complete with Union Jacks. Author Danny Bernstein shares stories that will captivate the curious, adventurous, hiker, biker, and history and culture buff.
Danny’s mission is to get people out of their cars and hiking. A committed hiker for over 40 years, she completed the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the South beyond 6000, many other hiking challenges, and, of course, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Recently she walked the 440 miles of Le Chemin de St. Jacques, the French section of the El Camino. She’s written two hiking guides, Hiking the Carolina Mountains (2007) and Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains (2009) and blogs at http://www.hikertohiker.com.
Her motto is “No place is too far to walk if you have the time.” Danny plans to die with her boots on.
Danny Bernstein is one of fifty people to have walked the Mountains-To-Sea Trail. No, Danny is not afraid of running into a bear on the trail, and she considers stumbling on a wild boar a “gift.” The only thing she’s afraid of, is getting lost. Sixty-five Hungry for History enthusiasts got to vicariously hike across the state with Danny. If you haven’t heard her speak, don’t miss her when you get a chance.
Wednesday June 24, 2015 from 5:30-7:00: Social for the Friends of the North Carolina Room
The social for the Friends of the North Carolina Room will be held this year at the Rankin House Inn, 32 Elizabeth Place, Asheville, NC 28801. The Rankin House Inn is the oldest frame-built home in Asheville and predates the founding of Montford. This five bedroom, five bathroom B&B offers luxurious common spaces, private entrances, over 1200 square feet of covered porches and balconies all just a short walk from downtown. North Carolina Room staff will have on exhibit some newly archived items from the Rankin-Bearden Collection. Light appetizers will be served. If you haven’t yet joined the Friends of the North Carolina Room, or renewed your membership at $15.00/year, do so now, so you won’t miss this event.
Wednesday June 10, 2015 from 6 pm to 7 pm: Jon Elliston: “Asheville 100 Years Ago”
Back by popular demand, Jon will do an evening presentation, similar to his standing-room-only program last March. In a multimedia presentation, local journalist and historian Jon Elliston will open a window into Asheville as it was 100 years ago, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of local history during an early phase of the city’s rise to prominence.
Elliston is an editor and writer for Carolina Public Press and WNC magazine — and the curator of the @AVL1915 Twitter feed, which recounts century-old local news and was launched from records in Pack Library’s North Carolina Collection.
Wednesday May 27, 2015: John Toms: “The Guastavino Family: Asheville and South America.”
Members of the docent team at the Basilica of St. Lawrence will discuss May’s exhibit in the North Carolina Collection, which documents architect Rafael Guastavino’s extended family, particularly after his 1881 move to America. Topics, and related items on display, include Guastavino’s second wife, Francesca Ramirez Guastavino, who remained at his local estate, Rhododendron, for forty years after his 1908 death; members of her family who later moved to this area; and items pertaining to Guastavino’s older sons and his first wife, who moved to South America in 1881.
John Toms, who produced the National Register text for St. Lawrence’s 2010 National Significance designation, will provide general background and an introduction of the research of Albert Czarnecki and Lori Dorr, who have served as tour guides at the Basilica of St. Lawrence for a number of years, and interviews and research conducted by Diane Wright, the Basilica’s tour director. Time will be provided for the researchers to discuss their work and answer questions.
Wednesday April 29, 2015 from 6:00-7:00: AN EVENING EVENT WITH PHOTOGRAPHER TIM BARNWELL
Join Tim Barnwell for a talk about his latest book, Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas: A Comprehensive Identification Guide to What You See from the Many Overlooks. Mr. Barnwell will discuss the 5-year effort involved in identifying the hundreds of mountains seen from over 40 overlooks along the Parkway plus views from other area locations including the Biltmore House and Chimney Rock Park. Discussions will also touch on the history, geography, unique features and attractions of the areas of North Carolina and Virginia that surround the spectacular 469-mile route the Parkway traces through the western mountains of those states. There will be time for questions and a book signing to follow (books will be available for purchase at the event).
TIM BARNWELL is a photographer based in Asheville, North Carolina. His career has spanned more than 30 years as a professional photographer and photography instructor, including eight years as Executive Director of the nationally recognized Appalachian Photographic Workshops.
His images have been widely published, appearing in dozens of magazines, including Time, Newsweek, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, American Craft, Outdoor Photographer, Sky and Telescope, Billboard, Travel South, American Style, Black & White Magazine, Aperture, Lenswork, and National Parks. He has been a principal or contributing photographer to dozens of books, and is the author of four of his own–The Face of Appalachia: Portraits from the Mountain Far, On Earth’s Furrowed Brow: The Appalachian Farm in Photographs, and Hands in Harmony: Traditional Crafts and Music in Appalachia, and Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas: A Comprehensive Identification Guide to What You See from the Many Overlooks.
Mr. Barnwell’s widely collected work has been included in many group and one-man shows in the U.S. and abroad. His prints are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Mint Museum, SOHO Photo Gallery, Newark Museum, and the Bank of America corporate collection.
Wednesday March 25, 2015 from 12 noon to 1 pm: Jon Elliston: “Asheville 100 Years Ago”
In a multimedia presentation, local journalist and historian Jon Elliston will open a window into Asheville as it was 100 years ago, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of local history during an early phase of the city’s rise to prominence.
Elliston is an editor and writer for Carolina Public Press and WNC magazine — and the curator of the @AVL1915 Twitter feed, which recounts century-old local news and was launched from records in Pack Library’s North Carolina Collection
PAST EVENTS 2014:
Anthony Lord: Artist, Architect,Craftsman
In conjunction with a month-long exhibit in the North Carolina Room, Anthony Lord: Artist, Architect,Craftsman, The Friends of the North Carolina Room hosted a presentation, “Let’s Talk About Anthony Lord” on August 28th from 6:00 to 7:00. A few of Anthony Lord’s friends spoke briefly, from their own professions, on Lord’s work and what he contributed to Asheville. 76 people attended.
Peter Austin, The Ironwork of Tony Lord; Dianne Cable, The Watercolors and sketches of Tony Lord; Elizabeth Kostova, Working with Tony Lord on the book she wrote with Tony Lord, 1927: The Good Natured Chronicle of a Journey; Terry Davis, The Photography of Tony Lord; John Rogers, Tony Lord the Architect.
A video was also played of several of John Warner’s favorite “Tony stories” which included a video of Tony talking.
And Buncombe County TV filmed the whole event.
Click here if you would like to view the presentation.
Here is a link to our Heardtell blog post about the exhibit:
Here is a link to our Heardtell blog post about the presentation:
Social for the Friends of the North Carolina Room, 95 Charlotte Street
NC Room staff and the board of the NC Room Friends held a social on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 to celebrate their newly formed Friends of the North Carolina Room. We also celebrated the life of Mary Parker (1914-2012), who would have been 100 years old that day. Mary was a longtime library supporter, and her family, the Patton-Parker family, has had a long tradition of friends and family joining for merry-making. The beautiful old home seemed glad for its walls to hold the sounds of laughter again. Fifty Friends attended. And the traditional front-porch-steps-photograph was taken.
Click here for more photographs: https://packlibraryncroom.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/the-social-for-the-friends-of-the-north-carolina-room-at-95-charlotte-street/?preview=true&preview_id=1477&preview_nonce=912166f321&post_format=standard