Sunday, August 29, 2010

Drhumor Building (Asheville, NC)

Drhumor Building
(click on photograph for larger image)
The Drhumor (pronounced "drummer") Building purportedly is the oldest standing commercial building in downtown Asheville. It was built in 1895 by William J. Cocke, an attorney who studied at the University of North Carolina and at Harvard. The building was named for the ancestral Irish island of Cocke's Scots-Irish grandfather and rests on the land where Mr. Cocke's childhood home and birthplace once stood. Architect Allen L. Melton designed the grand Romanesque Revival building, and Biltmore Estate English stone carver Frederic Miles was commissioned to carve the limestone frieze above the first floor exterior.


USS Asheville

USS Asheville
(click on photograph for larger image)
USS Asheville (PG-21) (Photo #: NH 91411): At Hong Kong, 1924, while serving as flagship of Commander, South China Patrol. The donor served as a radioman in this ship at the time, and has written her radio call letters, "NELV", on the print. Collection of Henry J. Poy. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USS Asheville (PG-21) was a gunboat that served in the United States Navy during the early days of America's participation in World War II. She was sunk by Japanese forces on 3 March 1942, south of the island of Java, in what was then the Netherlands East Indies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

OBCGS Annual Fall Genealogy Workshop

Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society
2010 Fall Genealogy Workshop

Family History in Your Pajamas: Genealogy on the Internet


September 18, 2010 (Saturday)


Registration and Socializing: 9:00 - 9:30AM
Morning Workshop: 9:30 - 12 Noon
Lunch: 12 Noon - 1:00 PM
Afternoon Workshop: 1:00 PM - 3 PM

Biltmore House Christmas (Asheville, NC)

The television station WRAL-TV (Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, NC) produced a video segment called "Tar Heel Traveler." Below is a link to the piece done on the Biltmore House Christmas decorations:

Biltmore House: Christmas


The Conquest of Canaan

Released by Paramount Pictures in August of 1921, this 35 mm black and white silent film is based on the Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) novel The Conquest of Canaan, written in 1905. The story follows the life of a small-town lawyer, Joe Louden, who endures alcholism and social exclusion, and public ridicule, only to prevail after he earns a law degree, inherits a fortune, and takes on corrupt city officials. [Also based loosely on the John Martin moral treatise, The Conquest of Canaan, (1811), which explores the natural and moral state of individuals in a small town who are both conquerors and conquered in a series of letters from a father to his son.]

The story was filmed in downtown Asheville, N.C., in and around Pack Square, the old Courthouse facing College Street and near the First Baptist Church at the corner of Spruce and College Streets. The old Swannanoa-Berkeley Hotel, later the Earle Hotel, was used as a backdrop and renamed the "Canaan City Hotel" for the film. Streetcars, signs, and other landmarks were re-named for the film and hundreds of extras were hired for the large scenes, particularly the mob-scene on Pack Square.

Tar Heel Traveler (WRAL-TV): Buncombe County, NC

The television station WRAL-TV (Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, NC) produced a video segment called "Tar Heel Traveler." Set forth below are links to those installments relevant to Buncombe County, North Carolina. Note that at times the WRAL video database may be unavailable, perhaps for maintenance purposes. Just check back later.

1. Biltmore House: Christmas

2. Ella Swain

ABC Weblog: New Appearance and Functions

Please note the changes made to the appearance and functionality of the Asheville and Buncombe County Weblog.

In addition to the freshened appearance, functional modifications are:

(1) "Read more" button.
(2) Ability easily to email a link to an article.
(3) Ability to send an item to your own blog.
(4) Ability to share via Facebook and Twitter.
(5) Expanded comment capability.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina

Asheville and Buncombe County has added a new book to its library:

A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina, Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, Jennifer F. Martin (1999).

From the Preface:

"This book, a guide to historic architecture in Western North Carolina, is the second in a three-volume series that includes a volume on Eastern North Carolina (1996) and a forthcoming [now published] volume on Piedmont North Carolina. The series is part of the educational and outreach program of the State Historic Preservation Office, North Carolina Division of Archives and History. Each book is intended as a field guide and reference for the traveler, resident, student, and preservationist with an interest in North Carolina's historic architecture. Although too large for a coat pocket, it is meant to fit in a knapsack, glove compartment, or bike basket, for it is intended to accompany the traveler and visitor in the field as well as to rest on a bookshelf."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

UNC Stereograph Collection: Buncombe County

(click on photograph for larger image)


A collection of miscellaneous stereographs made in North Carolina from circa 1870 to circa 1904. The stereographs are arranged geographically by county, followed by a separate non-geographic group. Stereographs by the photographer Rufus Morgan are in a separate collection (P57: Rufus Morgan Collection).

UNC Sterograph Collection

The stereograph shown above is titled: "Mountain View from Fernihurst or Connally's." The Fernihurst mansion is on the campus of A-B Tech in Asheville.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cherokee Genealogy

Rootsweb posted a tutorial on conducting Cherokee genealogical research. Go to:

Cherokee Genealogy Tutorial

(click on photograph for larger image)



Friday, August 6, 2010

Trolleys in the Land of the Sky

New acquisition for our library:

Trolleys in the Land of the Sky: Street Railways of Asheville, N. C. and Vicinity, David C. Bailey, Joseph M. Canfield, Harold E. Cox (2000).

The history of street railway development in Asheville, North Carolina, dates from about 1880. However, the true trolley era did not begin until 1889 when an overhead electric trolley system was placed in operation by the Asheville Street Railway.