Lake Lure, NC – Lofty Views, Deep History

Lake Lure is beautiful with a view of the lake and of the mountains.  The town has a nice beach that gets a lot of people.  I loved the town, and there are several restaurants overlooking the lake. The flowering bridge was lovely, so glad they did not tear the bridge down.

Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County.  In 1902, Dr. Lucius B. Morse and his brothers Hiram and Asahel purchased 64 acres around Chimney Rock.  Lucius Morse’s wife Elizabeth is credited with naming the Lake Lure (and the town). In 1925, the Morse family created Carolina Mountain Power Company and funded the construction of a dam on the Broad River which created Lake Lure. During the Depression the mortgage holder foreclosed on the dam, power company and lake.  In 1965, the town of Lake Lure was able to purchase the dam, power company, and real estate of Lake Lure.

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LOOKING ACROSS THE LAKE AT THE BEACH
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LAKE LURE INN & SPA – BUILT 1927
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VETERANS MEMORIAL – IN FRONT OF LAKE LURE INN & SPA

Lake Lure Adventure Company – boat rentals, guided fishing trips, wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing and kayaking.  480 Memorial Hwy.

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Lake Lure Municipal Golf Course – The 9-hole Lake Lure Municipal Golf Course is a public golf course that opened in 1927.  658 Memorial Hwy

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Lake Lure Tours – pontoon tours of the lake – 2930 Memorial Hwy.

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Morse Park Gardens – The park has beautiful views of the mountains of Hickory Nut Gorge. The park is 23-acres in the center of town at the western end of the lake. A number of events takes place at the park, including Dragon Boat Racing, Dirty Dancing Festival, arts and crafts fairs, car and boat shows and fly fishing tournament.

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Lake Lure Flowering Bridge – Lake Lure Flowering Bridge blooms on the historic 1925 Rocky Broad River bridge. When the bridge was closed to traffic in 2011, the Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge came together to create gardens on the 155 feet of the bridge and along a pathway at both ends of the three-arch span itself. With an emphasis on native plants, the Friends mission is to create a “Gateway to Somewhere Beautiful”.

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Welcome Center (below) –

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PLAQUE AT WELCOME CENTER
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PLAQUE AT WELCOME CENTER

Rutherfordton, NC – Where the First One-Dollar Gold Coin Was Minted

Rutherfordton is a town in Rutherford County.  The town was formed in 1787 to serve as the county seat.  The County and Town was named to honor General Griffith Rutherford, a North Carolina politician and general during the Revolutionary War period.

The small town of Rutherfordton is 3 blocks with several vacant buildings.  It’s a nice town and the people are friendly.

KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum – The museum features over 40 interactive exhibits in a 10,000 square-foot space. The museum occupies a building that was previously a “Five and Dime” store in the late 1920s and a car dealership in the 1960s.

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Rutherford County Visual Arts Center – Gallery artists work in a variety of art forms and fine crafts. There are paintings, drawings, prints and photographs and works in clay, glass, fiber, wood, and metal. 160 N. Main St.

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The Gallery – custom framing, fine arts and crafts. 181 N. Main St.

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Main Street Coffee and Ice cream – they also have baked goods. 185 N. Main St.

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MAIN STREET COFFEE

Tanners – Since 1931 the Tanner name has been synonymous with lady’s fine apparel & accessories. Main Street

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TANNERS

Victorian Lace – antique mall – 196 N. Main St.

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BUILDINGS IN FRONT OF THE COURTHOUSE
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RUTHERFORD COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Carrier House circa 1835 – on National Register of Historical Places

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Bechtler Mint Site Historical Park:  342 Gilboa Church Rd.

Christopher Bechtler, his son Augustus, moved to Rutherford County in 1830.  Bechtler first opened a jewelry shop in Rutherfordton but soon saw that the lack of currency in western North Carolina was stifling the regional economy.  Experienced metalworkers, they developed dies, built a press, and by July 1831 were striking $2.50 (quarter-eagle) and $5.00 (half-eagle) coins in a shop on Hollands Creek 3 1/2 miles north of Rutherfordton. The following year the Bechtler mint began to strike the first gold $1.00 United States coins.

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 Bechtler’s Mint – Established 1831, four miles N., by Christopher Bechtler. Later stood at this point. Minted more than $2 1/4 million in gold. Closed about 1849.

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Christopher Bechtlers House circa 1837  – 130 W. 6t.h St

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BECHTLERS HOUSE – CIRCA 1837

St. John’s Episcopal Church – Completed in 1847.  The oldest original church building standing in Rutherford County.  Listed on the National Register of Historical Places.  Today, it is the home of Rutherford County Historical Society.

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HISTORICAL MARKER IN FRONT OF THE CEMETERY

Waynesville, NC – Frog Level & Hazelwood

Frog Level – The area of Waynesville located along Richland Creek, down the hill from Main Street, was where the railroad tracks were laid. Until this time the area had been essentially a swampland, with a few scattered buildings but no major development. Once the depot was built and the train arrived this section was developed. It was given the name of Frog Level.

Mahogany House – studio and art gallery, over 50 artists have artwork displayed. 240 Depot St.

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Mountain Spirit – yoga & pilates – 245 Depot St.

Art on Depot – Cathey Bolton is the artist & owner, the space is her working pottery studio as well as a Fine Arts & Craft Gallery. 250 Depot St.

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RetroVision – used items like furniture, glassware, toys, tools and Pottery. 262 Depot St.

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RETROVISION

Frog Level Estate Sales – 270 Depot St.

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Frog Pond Estates & Downsizing Services – 10 Commerce St

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LOOKING FOR FROGS

Frog Level Brewing – they make the beer, from pale ale to dark, no food, but you can get something next door.  Sat on the back deck and after two mugs forgot to take a picture of the building – 56 Commerce St

Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.   Ben Franklin

In July 1995, the towns of Hazelwood and Waynesville merged into one community.

Hazelwood

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Hazelwood Soap Company is a family owned business that specializes in bath, body and home products.  435 Hazelwood Ave.

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Lily Belles – monogram and personalize buy from them or bring in your own. 448 Hazelwood Ave.

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Studio SG – Suzanne creates mixed media textiles.  She weaves fabric on her loom with paints, dyes, paper, canvas and stitching she creates her artwork. Hazelwood Ave. next to Lily Belles

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Robin Blu – home décor, jewelry, gifts and accessories – 486 Hazelwood Ave.

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Netties Bakery – Owned and operated by pastry chef Kristin Allen and her mother Pam Allen. Specializing in freshly-baked pastries and event cakes. 500 Hazelwood Ave.

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WAYNESVILLE PHARMACY – 477 HAZELWOOD AVE
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HAZELWOOD GUN & TACTICAL – 495 HAZELWOOD AVE.

Plott Hound – State dog. Prized for big game hunting skills. Breed refined in 1800s by Henry Plott & family. Their home 2 mi. SW.

Essay:  In the mid to late 1800s, people from as far away as Georgia would travel to Haywood County to get puppies from the Plott family. They would arrive with sacks on the backs of their mules or horses to carry home the prized hunting dogs. The Plotts bred hard-working, tenacious, and loyal dogs that would hunt bears and wild boars with boundless courage

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SR 1173 (Plott Creek Road) at US 23 – in front of school

Waynesville, NC – Gateway to the Smokies

The Town of Waynesville was founded in 1810 by Colonel Robert Love. He donated land for the courthouse, jail, and public square, and named the town after his former commander in the war, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The Town of Waynesville was incorporated in 1871. In July 1995, the towns of Hazelwood and Waynesville merged into one community.

Waynesville calls itself the “Gateway to the Smokies”.

Waynesville is a tourist town.  This charming town has several blocks of galleries, restaurants and shops.  We had a good time walking around and since it is so close to Maggie Valley & The Cataloochee elk, we will be back.

Cedar Hill Studio – the art of Gretchen Clasby – 196 N. Main St.

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CEDAR HILL STUDIO

Burl Wood Art Gallery – furniture, lamps –  184 N. Main Street

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Mountain Quilts – “For Everything Quilted”  176 N Main St

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MOUNTAIN QUILTS

Chocolate Bear – truffles, chocolate covered raisins, shooters, etc.  170 N Main St

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CHOCOLATE BEAR

John Laughter Jewelry – in business 40 years, locally owned, 146 N. Main St.

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Sunburst Market – It started as Sunburst Trout Farm and evolved into the market. They have local and non-local products.  142 N. Main St.

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SUNBURST MARKET

Burr Studio – Gallery of Original Art and Craft – 136 N. Main St.

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BURR GALLERY

High Country – clothes, purses and accessories – 121 N. Main St.

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HIGH COUNTRY

Affairs of the Heart – jewelry, gifts, home decor, handmade candles, handmade glassware., 120 N. Main St

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AFFAIRS OF THE HEART

Christmas is Everyday – cottages, ornaments, tree accessories, etc. Rock building built in 1904. – 113 N. Main St.

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CHRISTMAS IS EVERYDAY

Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery – Offering wholesome, tasty dog treats and decorated biscuits they also have cat treats.  102 N. Main St.

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SMOKY MOUNTAIN DOG BAKERY

Twigs & Leaves Gallery – “where art dances with nature”, gallery features nature-related at and fine crafts of over 145 artists.  98 N. Main St.

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TWIGS & LEAVES

Cheddar Box – mountain gourmet food, home décor, etc.  90 N. Main

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CHEDDAR BOX

Gallery 86 – The Haywood County Arts Council’s public gallery, Gallery 86, features rotating works by local, regional and national artists. 86 N. Main St.

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Olde Brick House – primitives, flowers, candles, etc.  66 N. Main St.

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OLDE BRICK HOUSE

Mast General Store – several locations, offers a variety of goods. 63 N. Main St

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T Pennington Gallery – Teresa Pennington is a self-taught colored pencil artist.  She renders the scenery, landmarks, flora and fauna of Western North Carolina, with an emphasis on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 15 N. Main St.

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Blue Owl Gallery & Studio – nature inspired art – 11 N. Main St.

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KITCHEN STORE & BLUE OWL GALLERY

Steeplechase English Toffee – Small batches made by hand in copper kettles. I like this toffee.  235 Pigeon St.

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STEEPLECHASE TOFFEE

Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, in the historic Shelton House –The front section was built about 1878, with a later two-story rear wing. Stephen Shelton fought in the Civil War & served as sheriff for three terms. A son, Will, served as an Indian Agent. The museum has Will Shelton’s authentic Navajo rugs, and hand-crafted native American pieces.  Nice tour of the house, tour guide was very knowledgeable.  .49 Shelton St.

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SHELTON HOUSE & MUSEUM
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PLAQUE AT MUSEUM

Spindale, NC – Small Town with a Big Heart

Spindale is a town in Rutherford County.  Spindale to Rutherfordton is 2 miles, Spindale to Forest City is 4 miles.  Spindale calls the road through town W. Main St., Forest City calls the road E. Main St.

Spindale motto: Small Town with a Big Heart

The two small blocks of buildings are not together on W. Main St.  The buildings face the Thermal Belt Rail-Trail.  From Forest City traveling on W. Main Street the first block of 10 buildings are empty except for two businesses, Cardio Zone and Giles Insurance, you can tell which ones they are because the town put a banner/flag & pots of plants at the curb.

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Thermal Belt Rail-Trail – this well-maintained route runs 8 miles from Spindale north to Gilkey, passing through the small towns of Rutherfordton and Ruth. The trail is paved.

Isothermal Community College is in Spindale it is a two-year community college and is named after its location in the thermal belt.

The following businesses are at the second block of buildings on W. Main.

Spindale Drug Company – has been serving Spindale and surrounding areas since 1925 – 109 W. Main St.

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Spindazzle – unique gifts, home goods, and current fashion.  111 W. Main St.

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SPINDAZZLE

Vassey & Hemphill Jewelers – in business for 70 years. 119 W. Main St.

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Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria – The building was built in the 1920’s.  There are old photographs on the walls of the area. 123 W. Main St.

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B Sharp Music – musical instrument store, they also give lessons.  129 W. Main St.

Fat Tracy’s – barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, and a Friday Rib Night – 135 W. Main

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American Dairy Goat Assn. – organization started in 1904, have over two million goats registered.  161 W. Main St.

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Lakeside Mills – has been producing stone ground corn meal products since 1736. The King family purchased the mill in 1929, they still own the mill, the fifth generation of King’s run the mill now.  398 W. Main St.

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Travelers Rest, SC – Still A Place to Rest from Traveling

The name “Travelers Rest” came from travelers who would stop in town before and after traveling over the mountains in Western North Carolina. Travelers Rest is in Greenville County.

Travelers Rest (The locals call it “TR” for short.)

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GETTING READY TO RAIN – TANDEM ON THE END,  BEE SUPPLIES, COPPERHEAD DISTILLERY AND SALON
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MUCH OF THE WALKING/BIKING PATH IS LANDSCAPED

Laodicea Langston (born 14 May 1766), also known by the name Dicey, was a Patriot.  Her acts of bravery during the period have led to her being regarded as a “heroine” of the war. A children’s book “Rebel with a Cause: The Daring Adventure of Dicey Langston, Girl Spy of the American Revolution” tells the tales of Dicey. A marker has been placed at the site of Dicey’s home on Tigerville Road.  Coordinates– N 34 58 923 W 082 24 213

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Dicey Memorial

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The History Museum of Travelers Rest building was constructed at 8 S. Main Street in 1926 by W.H. Vest, originally operating as a grocery store. In 2010, T.L. Baldree, a local realtor, donated the building to the Historical Society on the condition that it be relocated. The building is now at 3 Edwards St.

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Sunrift Adventures – the store is in a historic cotton gin.  They rent equipment for canoeing, climbing, etc. – 1 Center Street

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Tandem Creperie & Coffeehouse – liked the blueberry crepes. 2 S. Main St.

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Café at Williams Hardware – The back deck overlooks the walking & bike trail and garden.  We enjoyed the breakfast and after the walk. 13 S. Main St.

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CAFE AT WILLIAMS HARDWARE – NEXT DOOR ICE CREAM SHOP

Copperhead Mountain Distillery – gives tours & tastings of their moonshine – 14 S. Main

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Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom – 26 S. Main

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SWAMP RABBIT BREWERY
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SWAMP RABBIT BREWERY

Whistle Stop Restaurant – serves lunch & dinner.  109 S. Main St

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WHISTLE STOP RESTAURANT

Gowensville, SC – Campbell Covered Bridge

Gowensville is in Greenville County.  There is no town, just a few buildings and homes.  Highway 11 runs through the area.

 Campbell’s Covered Bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in South Carolina.

This bridge, built in 1909, is the last extant covered bridge in S.C. Built by Charles Irwin Willis (1878-1966), it was named for Alexander Lafayette Campbell (1836-1920), who owned and operated a grist mill here for many years. Measuring 35 feet long and 12 feet wide, it is an excellent example of a four-span Howe truss, featuring diagonal timbers and vertical iron rods

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Gowensville Community Center – plaque on building says: rebuilt in 1922 – 14186 Highway 11

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PLAQUE ON COMMUNITY CENTER

Hyders Peach Country – family owned – 32 different varieties of peaches.  131891 Hwy 11

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Forest City, NC – A Lovely Small Town

Forest City is in Rutherford County.  Originally called Burnt Chimney from 1877-1887, changed to Forest City in 1887.

Forest City is a lovely small town.  The town has planters of flowers and trees down the center of Main Street and trees along the sidewalks.  The lights with the hanging baskets and the fountain in the center of Main street is charming.

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Dovetails & Rusty Nails – antiques and collectibles – 115 E. Main St.

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DOVETAILS AND RUSTY NAILS

Puzzle Creek Outdoor – outdoor gear & clothing – 121 E. Main St.

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Smith’s Drugs – established in 1920, pharmacy & fountain that serves breakfast & lunch – 139 E. Main St.

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Twisted Pear – home decor, his and her gifts, fashion accessories, jewelry, pieces from North Carolina artists and craftsman.  They also have 200 different craft beers including many from local brewers and wine. 184 E. Main St.

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TWISTED PEAR

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Bennett Classic Car Museum – started in 2007, the museum has 70 antique and classic cars & trucks.  241 Vance St.

The town has a classic car show in August with hundreds of cars, trucks and motorcycles.

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BENNETT CLASSIC CAR MUSEUM

Rutherford County Farm Museum – a lot of old farm equipment, the gentleman was very knowledgeable about the equipment.  240 Depot St

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RUTHERFORD FARM MUSEUM

Mayse Mfg. – Outdoor products- bird houses, feeders, outdoor furniture, storage buildings, gazebos, concrete statuary, fountains, planters, birdbaths, wind chimes, etc. – 2410 US Hwy 221 S. Forest City

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Hot Springs, NC – Where the French Broad River meets the Appalachian Trail

Hot Springs is a town in Madison County.  Two hundred acres of land including the springs were deeded in 1788, and a tavern was established.  The tavern grew into a popular hotel as people came for relief from their ailments.  James & John Patton bought the Springs in 1831 and built the Warm Springs Hotel.  In 1917, the hotel and grounds were leased to the US Government to be used as an internment camp.  That hotel burned in 1920, and another one was built – but not as large and opulent and it later burned as well. Today, the springs are privately owned as The Hot Springs Resort and Spa.

Hot Springs is a small town, with one block of buildings.  There is a lot of hiking trails and several river rafting companies to choose from.

Iron Horse Station – Inn, Store, Tavern and Restaurant the Iron Horse
has 3 storefronts. 24 S. Andrews Ave.

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IRON HORSE STATION

Moore General Store – hardware, propane, general merchandise.  N. Andrews Ave.

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MOORE GENERAL STORE

Ramsey’s This-n-That – ice cream, t-shirts, antiques, carhartt clothing, 25 N. Andrews Ave.

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VISITOR CENTER – 106 BRIDGE ST

Gentry Hardware – family owned and built in 1946, it features all original architecture and wooden floors. 124 Bridge St

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GENTRY HARDWARE

Bluff Mountain Outfitters – they specialize in helping Thru-hikers get the right gear to finish their trip on the AT. – 152 Bridge St.

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BLUFF MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS
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HAZELWOOD HOUSE & GIFT SHOP – 50 SPRING ST
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POLICE STATION & CITY HALL
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FRENCH BROAD RAFTING & ZIPLINES

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Canton, NC – Where the Mountains Kiss the Sky

In 1889, Canton was originally called Buford, then the name was changed to Vinson. In 1891, the name was changed to Pigeon Ford. Finally, the name was changed to Canton in 1893. The town was named for Canton, Ohio, the town supplied the steel for the bridge over the Pigeon River.

Canton’s motto: Where the mountains kiss the Sky

The paper plant sits in town and can be seen from all parts of the downtown.  It is big and ugly.  Most of the buildings need work, the murals on the buildings are faded.  I got the impression that the town tried to renovate the town with murals and a gazebo, but gave up. There are few buildings that is really nice.

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Canton was the site of Champion International Paper factory. The company decided to close in 1997, the employees of Champion purchased the plant and formed Blue Ridge Paper Company.  It has since been sold and it is now owned by Evergreen Packaging.

The day I was there the plant was belching out smoke from several orifices.

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Imperial Hotel – Built in 1911, it was originally a residence. 117 Main Street

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Imperial Hotel

Canton Area Historical Museum contains artifacts and photographs that depict the history of the towns of Canton, Bethel, and Cruso. Free admission 36 Park Street

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Colonial Theater – The Colonial Theater was built in 1932 and renovated in 1992 and 2006.  The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The building is used for plays, concerts and movies. 55 Park St.

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Riverview Farm & Garden – products for home, farm, garden and pet supplies. 23 Penland St.

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Old Pressley Sapphire Mine – walk to the site and bring down the rocks you would like to wash. Road to mine is a little rough. 240 Old Pressley Mine Rd.

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