Sunday, May 30, 2010

David L. Swain Historical Marker

David L. Swain Historical Marker

David Lowry Swain (4 Jan. 1801-29 Aug. 1868), lawyer, governor, and educator, was born in the Beaverdam area near Asheville in Buncombe County. His father was George Swain, a Massachusetts native who settled in the Georgia frontier, married, and served in the legislature and the constitutional convention of 1795 before moving to the North Carolina mountains for his health. His mother, Caroline Swain, was the daughter of Jesse Lane, member of a well-known North Carolina family, who moved first to Georgia and then farther west. Her first husband, by whom she had four children, was David Lowry, who was killed during an Indian raid in Georgia. She and George Swain had seven children, of whom David Lowry Swain was the youngest.

Source: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William S. Powell, Editor (1994) (Volume 5, P-S).



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Davidson's Fort Spring Muster 2010

Davidson's Fort Spring Muster 2010

While Davidson's Fort is in McDowell County, North Carolina, the family for which the fort is named was among the earliest settlers of Buncombe County, North Carolina. See: Davidson Family.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Norwood Park Historic District (Asheville)

The Norwood Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Norwood Park Historic District on National Register of Historic Places


(click on photograph for larger image)


North Carolina Built Heritage: Buncombe County

The Built Heritage of Buncombe County

The Built Heritage of North Carolina

"The Built Heritage of North Carolina" provides access to documentation on hundreds of buildings and structures in North Carolina dating from the 1700s to the early 1900s. Buildings represented in this project include well-known examples of historic architecture, such as Baldhead Lighthouse, the Bellamy Mansion in Wilmington, and Blandwood in Greensboro. Also covered are such lesser known but historically significant structures as the Jordan House in Bertie County (one of the earliest brick buildings in the state) and the Allison-Deaver House in Transylvania County (one of the oldest frame dwellings west of the Blue Ridge). Several buildings in Beaufort, Bethabara, Hillsborough, and Old Salem, as well as Mecklenburg and Wake Counties, are included.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Asheville: A Pictorial History

Asheville: A Pictorial History, Mitzi Schaden Tessier (1982).

Nestled in the blue mountains of western North Carolina, Asheville has long been a favorite spot for vacationers who enjoy its scenic beauty. But there is another Asheville, a close-knot community beloved by residents throughout the years. Now, in a limited-edition treasury of pictures, which chronicle the growth and development of the city, Mitzi Tessier explores all aspects of this special place, from its beginning as a watering stop for travelers to its present position as a leader in fields ranging from industry and health to art and literature.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Civil War Battle of Asheville (6 April 1865)

Asheville — When word came in the waning days of the Civil War that Union troops were advancing on the city, Col. George Wesley Clayton hastily assembled a ragtag group of Confederate defenders. Historian Jeff Lovelace believes that without Clayton's successful defense of the town of 1,200 in the Battle of Asheville, the consequences would have been dire. “The town would have been burned,” he said. “Every home would have been looted and pillaged and robbed. The womenfolk would have been terrorized. It would have been unpleasant to say the least.” Clayton's descendants and Civil War re-enactors honored his legacy Saturday with a burial site rededication service at the Clayton family cemetery on the grounds of the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville. The small cemetery, in a wooded plot next to the tee on the seventh hole, holds several Clayton family graves. Sisters Nellie Clayton Holleman and Nan Holleman Waite, both of Atlanta, are great-granddaughters of Clayton. They saw the gravesite for the first time Saturday and learned of it only weeks ago from Lovelace, a local author and founder of the Battle of Asheville Commemorative Corps. “We had no idea he was here,” Holleman said. “We're very proud of our name and we've heard the history of the Clayton family all our lives.”

Friday, May 7, 2010

A. L. Duckett, Asheville Fire Chief

Asheville (North Carolina) Fire Chief A. L. Duckett became Chief on January 23, 1920, after 23 years on the line. He fought at most of the fires that defined the department at the time. He was Chief when Headquarters moved from Pack Square to the Municipal Building in 1925 and was a strong advocate of fire prevention. He was instrumental in starting the North Carolina Fire School, and the department received four major awards from the NFPA for fire prevention. He also saw the opening of Stations 4 and 5. On December 9, 1938, Chief Duckett retired with 43 years of service to the city of Asheville. He died less than a year later at the age of 62. He received full honors as the bell atop City Hall tolled once for every year of his age. J.C. Fitzgerald was promoted to Chief on December 9, 1938. Like Chief Duckett, Chief Fitzgerald had been a member of the department for 22 years prior to his promotion. He had fought the hard fires and seen many dramatic changes the department experienced. He was well seasoned and an excellent fireman.


Masonic Temple (Asheville, North Carolina)

The following appeared in the 20 April 2010 online edition of the Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina), which retains all rights:

Asheville — Tucked away in a mysterious brick building downtown, a windowless, ornate room sat darkened late last week. Then J.R. Yarnall flipped a light switch, illuminating beautifully-restored hardwood floors, a new multi-color paint job and a lone, gold star painted on the ceiling. “A few months ago, this was powder blue carpet that was put down in 1983, and really light, washed out blue walls with plain white trim,” said Yarnall, master of Asheville's Masonic Lodge. The Mt. Hermon Lodge is undergoing renovations focused on painting walls, redoing trim and ripping up carpet and linoleum to refinish the underlying hard pine floors. But members also hope to remake part of the lodge into a game room and possibly add a small gym. The renovations to the building, an architectural gem designed by Richard Sharp Smith, who helped plan Biltmore Estate, are costing the lodge somewhere “in the low six figures,” Yarnall said.

Historic Preservation Grant: Buncombe County

Salisbury, N.C.-The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources today (7 May 2010) announced $92,000 in grant support to nine historic preservation projects in nine counties around the state. Projects range from work on nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, to a Wooden Window and Energy Efficiency Workshop, to preservation plans for the cities of Salisbury and New Bern.

“May is National Preservation Month,” said Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle, as she made the grant announcement in Salisbury, one of the communities receiving a grant. “This year’s theme is ‘Old is the New Green,’ and historic preservation grants help communities assure that their vital heritage is cared for and shared.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Elias Lovelance Revolutionary War Pension Application

Pension application of Elias Lovelace
W9143 Anne fn31NC
Transcribed by Will Graves 4/23/10

He states that when he was about twenty years old he removed to and settled in Rowan County North Carolina in which County he continued to reside until after the close of the Revolutionary War. He states that in the month of May 1776 he entered the service as a volunteer in a company of Indian spies for the term of three months under Captain Samuel Reed of Rowan County North Carolina who belonged to a Regiment commanded by Colonel Locke under whom this applicant and his Company marched to the frontier on the Catawby [Catawba] River where they joined General Rutherford [Griffith Rutherford] who commanded about three thousand men. He states that he continued in service on the head waters of the Catawba River & under the above named officers until the expiration of his tour of three months during which time he ranged the country round and watch the movements of the Indians occasionally remaining some days at a time at Fort Rutherford on the head of Catawba River built by General Rutherford; After the expiration of his tour of three months he received a discharge signed by General Rutherford and returned home. He states this discharge has long since been lost.


Davidson's Fort Spring Muster

On May 22nd (2010) step back into history, starting at 10am. Old Fort North Carolina at Exit 73 on I-40 will be the location of Davidson’s Fort Spring Muster. The fort is a replica of the 1776 colonial frontier fort that protected the settlers of western North Carolina from the Indians. The muster will feature historical interpreters and reenactors depicting life on the western frontier of NC at the time of the Revolution, and will include period crafters and Sutlers.

All participants are expected to wear period clothing and to demonstrate a craft or life skill to the public, and all are welcome to sell period-appropriate crafts and Sutlers wares to the public. Several historical reenactment groups will be attending, including “South Carolina Independent Rangers,” “The New Acquisition Militia,” and members of the 1st Maryland Southern Campaign, along with many individual reenactors. Donations from the public will be appreciated. Davidson’s Fort is a 501c3 public charity. For directions and more information visit Davidson's Fort or Old Fort or call 828-668-4831.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Richard William Iobst II (1934-2010)

Richard William Iobst II, Ph.D. (Culowhee, NC) - Richard William Iobst II, Ph.D., 75, of Cullowhee died Saturday January 23, 2010 at Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville. Born in Allentown Pennsylvania in 1934, he was the son of Carl R. Iobst and Marguerite Biehl Iobst. He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Mary Ann Iobst; son, Richard William Iobst III; and sister, Carol Iobst Groscup. Iobst was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in France during the Cold War. Iobst graduated from the University of North Carolina and received a Ph.D. in American History. He taught history at Western Carolina University. He started the Archives at Western Carolina and was also the archivist. Iobst served as Chief Historian of the Office of History at the Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, in Warner Robins Georgia.