Economy Archive

  • Early in the 19th century railroads were being built throughout the expanding United States. Western North Carolina was growing as well. Asheville, a crossroads for agriculture, was also emerging as a magnet for tourists seeking the healing climate, loggers looking to harvest timber, and miners interested in the large deposits of minerals.

    Railroads in Western North Carolina

    Early in the 19th century railroads were being built throughout the expanding United States. Western North Carolina was growing as well. Asheville, a crossroads for agriculture, was also emerging as a magnet for tourists seeking the healing climate, loggers looking to harvest timber, and miners interested in the large deposits of minerals.

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  •   The Great Valley Road was a product of geography and history. It followed the contours of the Appalachian Mountains […]

    Great Valley Road

      The Great Valley Road was a product of geography and history. It followed the contours of the Appalachian Mountains […]

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  • To truly appreciate the value and impact of western North Carolina’s historic Buncombe Turnpike it is useful to have a […]

    Buncombe Turnpike

    To truly appreciate the value and impact of western North Carolina’s historic Buncombe Turnpike it is useful to have a […]

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  • One of the most historic railroads in Southern Appalachia, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina,ran from Johnson City, TN, to Boone, NC, from the late 1800s until 1950. It was born when the Tennessee state legislature granted a charter to construct the railroad in 1866.

    Tweetsie Railroad

    One of the most historic railroads in Southern Appalachia, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina,ran from Johnson City, TN, to Boone, NC, from the late 1800s until 1950. It was born when the Tennessee state legislature granted a charter to construct the railroad in 1866.

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  • Located in Madison County at the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek, Hot Springs has long been a destination for therapeutic relief. First Native Americans, then European settlers “took the cure” in the hot mineral waters. In 1831 James Patton of Asheville built the 35- room Warm Springs Hotel.

    Hot Springs

    Located in Madison County at the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek, Hot Springs has long been a destination for therapeutic relief. First Native Americans, then European settlers “took the cure” in the hot mineral waters. In 1831 James Patton of Asheville built the 35- room Warm Springs Hotel.

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  • In 1935, North Carolina created one of the nation’s first highway historical marker programs to point out places of historic interest to the motoring public.  Over 1400 of the silver and black highway signs have been erected throughout the state. . .

    Historical Markers

    In 1935, North Carolina created one of the nation’s first highway historical marker programs to point out places of historic interest to the motoring public. Over 1400 of the silver and black highway signs have been erected throughout the state. . .

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  • We have pure air, common-sense, digestible food, quiet in the bedrooms at night, the finest orchestra outside of New York and Boston, a great organ, and an atmosphere where refined people and busy business men with their families find great cofort and a good time." ~From the 1916 Maps and Road Book of Western North Carolina."

    Grove Park Inn

    We have pure air, common-sense, digestible food, quiet in the bedrooms at night, the finest orchestra outside of New York and Boston, a great organ, and an atmosphere where refined people and busy business men with their families find great cofort and a good time." ~From the 1916 Maps and Road Book of Western North Carolina."

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  •   Essay By Timothy N. Osment History, M.A. WCU 2008 The Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching 469 miles between the Shenandoah […]

    Blue Ridge Parkway

      Essay By Timothy N. Osment History, M.A. WCU 2008 The Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching 469 miles between the Shenandoah […]

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  • Tanning is the ancient craft of transforming animal skins into durable leather.
It was widely practiced in the southern mountains. . .

    Tanning

    Tanning is the ancient craft of transforming animal skins into durable leather. It was widely practiced in the southern mountains. . .

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  • Industrial logging came to Appalachia with the railroad in the late 19th century.  As timber supplies in the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions dwindled, National Lumber Corporation shifted to the vast hardwood forests of the Southern mountains.

    Logging

    Industrial logging came to Appalachia with the railroad in the late 19th century. As timber supplies in the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions dwindled, National Lumber Corporation shifted to the vast hardwood forests of the Southern mountains.

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  • Long before Western North Carolina was celebrated by visitors for its majestic Blue Ridge Parkway views; even before it was recognized by the ailing for its beneficial climate and therapeutic mountain air, our region was famous for something else: its seemingly-infinite amounts of mineral wealth. . .

    Blacksmithing

    Long before Western North Carolina was celebrated by visitors for its majestic Blue Ridge Parkway views; even before it was recognized by the ailing for its beneficial climate and therapeutic mountain air, our region was famous for something else: its seemingly-infinite amounts of mineral wealth. . .

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  • In order to develop atomic weapons during World War II, the Federal Government needed a source of energy to power the top-secret Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Out of that need the Fontana Dam, Fontana Lake, and Fontana Village were born. . .

    Fontana Dam

    In order to develop atomic weapons during World War II, the Federal Government needed a source of energy to power the top-secret Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Out of that need the Fontana Dam, Fontana Lake, and Fontana Village were born. . .

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  •   In 1906, Peter Thompson arrived in Haywood County, North Carolina, looking for a source of pulp for his growing […]

    Champion Fibre Company

      In 1906, Peter Thompson arrived in Haywood County, North Carolina, looking for a source of pulp for his growing […]

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  • Nearly 100 years ago, Horace Kephart, in his classic study Our Southern Highlanders, called the mountain region “the Land of Do-Without.” He admiringly describing the resilience of mountain people coping with the poverty in more remote communities. . .

    Making Do

    Nearly 100 years ago, Horace Kephart, in his classic study Our Southern Highlanders, called the mountain region “the Land of Do-Without.” He admiringly describing the resilience of mountain people coping with the poverty in more remote communities. . .

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  • Barter was a vital element in the subsistence economy of early Appalachia. In its purest form, it was the moneyless exchange of goods and services. Barter allowed farm families to supplement the goods they produced on their farms with things that they could not provide for themselves. . .

    Bartering

    Barter was a vital element in the subsistence economy of early Appalachia. In its purest form, it was the moneyless exchange of goods and services. Barter allowed farm families to supplement the goods they produced on their farms with things that they could not provide for themselves. . .

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