Exhibit Opening Reception for WNHCA Members

On Thursday, February 13 from 4:00 - 6:00pm, WNCHA members are invited to an opening reception for our new exhibit  “North Carolina in the Great War,” which explores state and local contributions to World War I through the stories of the men and women who served. The exhibit is on loan from the North Carolina Department of Natural […]

Free

CANCELED – Historic African American Cemetery Workshop – FREE

Participants of all ages and abilities are invited to join local and state experts from the South Asheville Cemetery Association and North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for a hands-on workshop to learn how to preserve, protect, record, and care for historic cemeteries. Morning sessions include: - Why is this work important? - […]

CANCELED – Annual Fundraising Dinner at Historic Fernihurst Mansion

Fernihurst Mansion 70 Fernihurst Drive, Asheville, NC

The Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) invites you to an evening of fine dining with all proceeds benefiting historic preservation in our area. The evening begins at 5:30pm with a reception in first floor library of the beautiful and historic Fernihurst Mansion and includes sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvres. Dinner service will begin promptly […]

$75 – $100

POSTPONED – Park Day

This event has been postponed until the Museum reopens to the public. -- The Museum will be CLOSED today while our volunteers are busy dusting, sweeping, raking, vacuuming, brushing...  To volunteer, please contact Elaine Blake at [email protected] or 828-253-9231.

POSTPONED – Living History Day (Thursday)

Smith-McDowell House 283 Victoria Rd., Asheville, NC

This event has been postponed until the fall. To be included on updates specific to this event, please send an email to [email protected] -- Bring your 4th and 5th grade students to one our of Living History Days! Held on Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24, 2020, historic interpreters will lead students in activities, […]

POSTPONED – Living History Day (Friday)

Smith-McDowell House 283 Victoria Rd., Asheville, NC

This event has been postponed until the fall. To be included on updates specific to this event, please send an email to [email protected] -- Bring your 4th and 5th grade students to one our of Living History Days! Held on Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24, 2020, historic interpreters will lead students in activities, […]

Lit Cafe – The French Broad with Jim Stokely

Zoom Webinar

Join us for a presentation on and discussion of Wilma Dykeman’s award-winning 1955 book, “The French Broad,” by her son, Jim Stokely. Wilma Dykeman (1920 – 2006) was a writer, speaker, teacher, historian, and environmentalist. Her son, Jim Stokely, President of the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, will speak about his mother and her groundbreaking work. His […]

Free

Paddle: The French Broad River

Amboy Road River Park 180 Amboy Road, Asheville, NC

“For the French Broad is, above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life. Water, forests, plants, animals, people: thronging here in rare and wonderful variety.” - Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad On Saturday, September 12, the Western North Carolina Historical Association, in partnership with Montreat College’s Outdoor Recreation Studies […]

Lit Cafe – Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography

Zoom Webinar

An icon of the Southern Appalachian region known for books such as Camping and Woodcraft and Our Southern Highlanders, Horace Kephart was instrumental in efforts to create a national park in the Smokies and to establish the Appalachian Trail through North Carolina and Tennessee. This librarian-turned-woodsman had a far-reaching effect on wilderness literature and outdoor […]

Free

Asheville’s Monuments: Past, Present, & Future

Zoom Webinar

Join us via Zoom on Saturday, October 17 at 4:00pm for a virtual symposium focusing on monuments and commemoration in Asheville presented by the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) in collaboration with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Our city, like many others, is currently wrestling with the meanings and fates […]

Free

Tour: Horace Kephart’s Bryson City

Bryson City Cemetery 80 Hillside Drive, Bryson City, NC

“The richness of the Great Smoky forest has been the wonder and admiration of everyone who has traversed it.” - Horace Kephart, Our Southern Highlanders On Saturday, November 14, the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) and WNCHA Vice President Geoff Cantrell will lead an interpretive walking tour of Kephart’s life in downtown Bryson City. […]

Film Screening: Guardians of Our Troubled Waters

Zoom Webinar

Join us Thursday, December 3 for this virtual film screening event! Award-winning film director David Weintraub has been an oral historian and filmmaker for over 20 years. His films have appeared on PBS stations around the country and at film festivals around the world. Weintraub’s latest documentary Guardians of Our Troubled Waters, tells the story […]

Free

VIRTUAL: Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award Celebration

Zoom Webinar

Originated by the Louis Lipinsky family and now also supported by Michael Sartisky, PhD, and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Committee, we have presented the annual Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award since 1955 for printed works that focus special attention on Western North Carolina. The December 16, 2020 award ceremony will celebrate six finalists for […]

Film Screening: Julian Price Documentary

Zoom Webinar

Join us Thursday, January 14 for a virtual film screening of "Julian Price: Envisioning community. Investing in people." with director Erin Derham. ‘Julian Price’ is a must-see for anyone who loves living in or visiting Asheville and solidifies Derham’s status as an elite filmmaker.” —Edwin Arnaudin for the Asheville Citizen-Times Julian helped start the movement of […]

Free

LitCafe: When All God’s Children Get Together w Ann Miller Woodford

Zoom Webinar

In the spirit of exploring great WNC writing and writers, we are reprising our popular LitCafe series with the multi-talented Ann Miller Woodford, author of When All God's Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina. Ann's exhibit of the same name is currently […]

Free

WNC History Lecture Series: Settlement & Transportation

Zoom Webinar

We are excited to bring you a new virtual lecture series. Each month WNCHA will feature an expert on various topics in Western North Carolina history and culture. Our first speaker is the Museum Education Associate for Western Carolina University's Mountain Heritage Center. Peter Koch will present on the settlement of and transportation within Western […]

Free

LitCafe Experiences: DuPont Forest History Hike with Danny Bernstein

DuPont State Forest 3051 Reasonover Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC

History Hike through DuPont Forest What is an airstrip doing in the middle of DuPont State Recreational Forest? Why the formal entrance into a state forest? And how did the lakes come to be? Come on a moderate all-day hike through historic DuPont Forest where we will walk, talk, take photos and even speculate. DuPont […]

Free

WNC History Lecture Series: Cherokee Mound and Village Sites

Zoom Webinar

Join us as Dr. Ben Steere of Western Carolina University presents research from his forthcoming book The Fire Yet Burns in These Great Mounds: Archaeology and Resilience in the Cherokee Heartland. Dr. Steere's presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Dr. Ben Steere of WCU Dr. Steere says of his work: Mound and village […]

Free

LitCafé: John Ehle’s The Road w Steve Little and Dr. Richard Starnes

Zoom

LitCafé: John Ehle's The Road w Steve Little and Dr. Richard Starnes Join us April 13 at 6pm. This third event in our LitCafé series explores John Ehle's 1967 book, The Road. Set in western North Carolina, this work of fiction is based on the real history and people behind the Western North Carolina Railroad […]

Free

LitCafe Experiences: History Hike with the RAIL Project

Point Lookout Trail, Ridgecrest Trailhead Mill Creek Road, Old Fort, NC

This is one special hike you do not want to miss! John Ehle's The Road After reading and discussing John Ehle's work of historical fiction The Road, join WNCHA for a special hike exploring the real history of the incarcerated laborers who toiled and often died constructing the Western NC Railroad. We are joined by […]

Free

LitCafe Experiences: History Hike with the RAIL Project (Hike 2)

Point Lookout Trail, Ridgecrest Trailhead Mill Creek Road, Old Fort, NC

After reading and discussing John Ehle’s work of historical fiction The Road, join WNCHA for a special hike exploring the real history of the incarcerated laborers who toiled and often died constructing the Western NC Railroad. We are joined by a special guest presenter, member of the RAIL Project committee and mayor of Marion, Steve Little. By popular […]

Free

WNC History Lecture Series: Rep. John Ager on the Drover’s Road and Sherill’s Inn

Zoom Webinar

Join us for the third event in our Intro to WNC Lecture Series. Rep. John Ager will discuss the drover's road through the Hickory Nut Gap and the historic Sherill's Inn. After the presentation, we will hold a Q&A where the audience can ask questions. Western NC once hosted large herds of livestock being driven […]

Free

LitCafe: Mary Burnette presents Lige of the Black Walnut Tree

Zoom Webinar

LitCafe: Mary Othella Burnette presents Lige of the Black Walnut Tree For the fourth installment of this year's LitCafe series, we are very excited to bring you author and local native Mary Othella Burnette who will present her recently published memoir Lige of the Black Walnut Tree: Growing Up Black in Southern Appalachia. This virtual […]

Free

WNCHA 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award Ceremony

Zoom

WNC Historical Association presents Outstanding Achievement Award to Ann Miller Woodford The WNCHA 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented to Ann Miller Woodford for her work preserving and promoting the history of African American people in far western North Carolina, on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30pm via Zoom. The live Zoom webinar is free […]

WNCHA Annual Meeting

Zoom Webinar

Join us on Wednesday, May 19 at 5:00pm for our annual meeting. This year's meeting will be held via Zoom and will include updates on the Western North Carolina Historical Association and the Smith-McDowell House as well as the election of WNCHA officers and trustees. The meeting is open to the public. Only current, dues-paid […]

Free

WNCHA Outdoor Experiences: Hickory Nut Gap Hike

Hickory Nut Gap NC

Join us Saturday, May 22 as WNCHA leads a hike in the historic Hickory Nut Gap. In this exclusive hike, on a trail section not yet open to the public, we will explore the history of this area as a boundary and barrier, as well as a route connecting various people and places. Native Americans, […]

WNC History Lecture Series: Kieta Osteen-Cochrane on Tuberculosis & Tourism

Zoom Webinar

Join us (virtually) for our fourth installment in the WNC History Lecture Series. Asheville native and WNCHA board member Kieta Osteen-Cochrane will present on the Von Ruck Sanitarium—one of many such facilities built in and around Asheville to treat tuberculosis patients in the late 1800s-early 1900s—as well as its impacts on Asheville and regional tourism. […]

Free

LitCafé: Dale Neal on Appalachian Book of the Dead

Zoom

Join us (virtually) for another installment of LitCafé as author Dale Neal discusses his writing and most recent work Appalachian Book of the Dead, a finalist for the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. The event kicks off at 6pm. Like all of our virtual programs, this event will be recorded and available for you […]

Free

WNC History Lecture Series: Sites of Resistance

Zoom

For the fifth installment in our Intro to WNC Lecture Series, we are joined by two researchers and historians who will present on sites of African American history and resistance here in western North Carolina. Ronnie Pepper will discuss his research into the Kingdom of Happy Land, demonstrating the importance of viewing it from an […]

Free - $5

LitCafé: Historic Tales of Sylva and Jackson County w Jim Buchanan

Zoom

Our LitCafé series continues as author and WNCHA board member Jim Buchanan discusses his recently-published work Historic Tales of Sylva and Jackson County. His book was a nominee for the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Join us Tuesday, July 13 at 6pm for this virtual event. The Author: A Jackson County native, Sylva-Webster and Western Carolina […]

Free

Building a Historic Cemetery Community

Zoom

Your cemetery has an important story! How do you expand your reach, develop community buy-in, and build the public and professional relationship you need? Join the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, and the South Asheville Cemetery Association for a FREE evening online workshop featuring professionals and community […]

WNC History Lecture Series: Literature and Stereotypes

Zoom

All good things must come to an end. On Thursday, July 29, Dr. Erica Abrams Locklear of UNCA will conclude our Intro to WNC Lecture Series with a discussion of literature and stereotypes of western North Carolina and Appalachia. From traveler accounts and color writers, to stereotyped hillbillies and a romanticized land, this presentation examines […]

Free

WNCHA Outdoor Experiences: The Buncombe Turnpike

Palmetto Trail Anders Road, Zirconia, NC

Ready to hit the old dusty trail and explore the history of the Buncombe Turnpike? Join us Saturday, August 7 as special guest Lauren May of the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site partners with the Western North Carolina Historical Association to lead a hike in the historic Saluda Gap. This area was the southern terminus […]

Shiloh, Past and Present

Zoom

Join us (virtually) on Thursday, August 12 at 6:30pm as we bring you a multi-generational discussion of Asheville's historic Shiloh community. We are joined by a special moderator—Jefferson Ellison of JAWBREAKING Creative. Founded by newly freed people after the Civil War, Shiloh is one of Asheville’s oldest historically Black communities. Due to construction of the Biltmore […]

Free

CANCELLED: Exhibit Opening Reception and Pickin’ in the Parlor

Smith-McDowell House 283 Victoria Rd., Asheville, NC

Due to the weather forecast and rising COVID cases in Buncombe County we are canceling this event. So sorry for the inconvenience. Stay safe! Join the Western North Carolina Historical Association for a reception marking the official opening of the exhibit, "Unearthing Our Forgotten Past: Fort San Juan," on Wednesday, August 18 from 5:30 - […]

Free

LitCafé: Anne Chesky Smith Presents Murder at Asheville’s Battery Park Hotel

Zoom Webinar

Join us live via Zoom Tuesday, August 24 at 6PM for a special LitCafé event. WNCHA Executive Director Anne Chesky Smith will discuss her new book Murder at Asheville's Battery Park Hotel: The Search for Helen Clevenger's Killer, out July 26. In 1936, Helen Clevenger's uncle discovered her bloodied body crumpled on the floor of […]

Free

LitCafé: Peter Barr Presents Exploring North Carolina’s Lookout Towers

Zoom

LitCafé continues Tuesday, September 7 at 6PM. We are joined by Peter Barr who will discuss his recently-published book, Exploring North Carolina's Lookout Towers: A Guide to Hikes and Vistas. This event airs live and will be recorded as well. As usual, we will hold a Q&A session following Peter's presentation. About the Author: Peter […]

Free

WNCHA Outdoor Experiences: Paddle the French Broad

Amboy Road River Park 180 Amboy Road, Asheville, NC

“For the French Broad is, above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life. Water, forests, plants, animals, people: thronging here in rare and wonderful variety.” - Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad On Saturday, September 11, the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA), in partnership with Montreat College’s Outdoor Recreation […]

Free

Guastavino Marker Dedication

Christmount Conference Center 222 Fern Way, Black Mountain, NC

Join the Guastavino Alliance, Swannanoa Valley Museum, and Western North Carolina Historical Association on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 10:30 am for the unveiling and dedication of a new NC Highway Historical Marker recognizing Rafael Guastavino’s vault and dome tile work and marking the site of his Black Mountain estate, Rhododendron. After the dedication, we'll […]

Free