Get Breaking News

Enter your email address to sign up.

Receive special offers from AveryJournal.com.

Celebrate Avery County's and Banner Elk's 100th Birthdays in 2011...

Our Avery County: Grandfather Mountain photos sought

If a single picture is truly worth a thousand words, then we could write a couple hundred volumes about Grandfather Mountain. The mountain that is visible from many different points in Avery, Watauga, Caldwell and other surrounding counties is undoubtedly one of the most photographed locations in all of North Carolina.

Read more...

Once in a lifetime at 100: Newland’s Centennial Celebration this week

Newland’s Centennial Celebration aims to usher in the town’s next 100 years in style, as the county will pause after Independence Day — this Friday and Saturday, July 5 and 6 — to honor the highest county seat east of the Mississippi. Read more...

Avery County and World War II: 1944

Global events began to make a positive turn for the Allies in 1944. The siege of Leningrad was lifted in January, and in May, German troops withdrew from Southern Italy. Read more...

Our Avery County: Remembering an Appalachian pictureman: W.R. Trivett

Here in northwestern North Carolina, we are blessed to have a number of great museums. These include places like the Avery County Historical Museum in Newland, Fort Defiance just north of Lenoir and the Mineral Museum near Spruce Pine. This past week, the Blowing Rock Museum of Art and History opened a new exhibit dedicated to early 20th-century Avery County photographer W.R. Trivett.

Read more...

Our Avery County: Discovering Newland – Our Toe River

On August 1, 1911, voters gathered in the recently created Avery County and cast votes for a new county seat. In the running were Elk Park, Montezuma, Minneapolis and Old Fields of Toe. Many expected Elk Park to win. It was the up-and-coming spot in Avery County, boasted a railroad and was a hub for local roads. In the end, the more centrally located Old Fields of Toe won. Read more...

Our Avery County: Galax – A staple of our mountain community

If you are wandering in the woods of Avery County on a chilly day when most plants are dead or dormant, you may stumble across a bunch of shiny, leathery, heart-shaped leaves close to the ground. With their green or burnt red foliage, they are particularly noticeable when little other color is decorating the forest.Read more...

Our Avery County: An incomplete story: Slavery in Avery County

Back a couple of months ago, the subject of our article was on the role of Avery County women in the struggle for the right to vote. That article came with a disclaimer. Likewise, this article also comes with a disclaimer: The few lines penned below will produce more questions than answers. But, it is a start to an understanding of the role that slavery has played in the area that today makes up Avery County. Read more...

Our Avery County: The Elk River Queen

Have you ever heard of the Elk River Queen? That name might evoke an image of a famous paddle-wheeled steamboat that once plied the mighty Mississippi River, like the Comet, launched in 1813, or the Natchez, first launched in 1823.Read more...

Our Avery County: ‘Did you feel the mountains tremble?’

There is a song, a newer song, that many of us might sing at church. Read more...

Our Avery County: Wetmore – Unearthing forgotten history

Sometimes, I believe that the title of this column should be “Stumbling Through History.”Read more...

Our Avery County: Votes for (Avery County) women

In the interest of complete transparency in this election season, this article is based upon one simple sentence found in the Oct. 19, 1918, edition of Charlotte Observer. That sentence reads: “Sixty women, in Avery County, in the heart of the mountains of North Carolina, met together some months ago and sent resolutions to Senator Overman, urging the passage of the amendment.”
The amendment to which the article refers to was the Suffrage amendment, giving the women the right to vote.

Read more...

Our Avery County: The Newland Depot

At one time, a person could board a train in Newland and ride the rails to any place served by passenger train in the United States.Read more...

Our Avery County: Avery’s highs and lows

As I travel about doing lectures and book signings, people often ask me where I am from. In response, I proudly tell them, “I live in Western North Carolina, not far from the famous Grandfather Mountain.” Read more...

Our Avery County: From Appomattox to Avery County: Local cemetery includes many resting places of Civil War soldiers

The graves of the boys who wore the blue and the gray are scattered throughout Avery County.Read more...

Our Avery County: The darker side of moonshining in Avery County

There is a certain mystique when it comes to moonshine. Read more...

Our Avery County: Avery County’s first jailbreak

Since Avery County Historical Museum is housed in the old Avery County Jail, the volunteer museum staff members are always looking for stories about the jail, the people who lived there and the people who were incarcerated within its walls. Read more...

Our Avery County: Deserting in a time of war

It has always been the purpose of this column to go where no one else has in exploring and recording the history of Avery County.Read more...

Our Avery County: Avery County’s oldest house of worship

Here in America, we like to celebrate our oldest things. Read more...

Our Avery County: Dr. Phyllis Crain and the transformation of Crossnore

Summer is a busy time for the small community of Crossnore. Read more...

Our Avery County: Avery County’s ‘history on a stick’

We have a funny expression in our family: Those gray-and-black markers that stand by the roadside are generally called “hysterical markers.”Read more...