Hendersonville, North Carolina

Day 1729

     Hendersonville is the County Seat of Henderson County, located in the southern mountains of western North Carolina, about an hour from our campsite

    Before Revolutionary War soldier William Mills “discovered” the area in the late 1780s it was the hunting grounds for the Cherokee Indians. Mills received one of the first land grants in the western Blue Ridge Mountains and settled the land.

     Henderson County’s first source of revenue was agriculture. Settlers grew corn, wheat, rye, potatoes and cabbage. Not only did William Mills settle the area, he also planted hundreds of apple trees each year, which inspired his neighbors to do the same. Henderson County now leads the state in apple production and is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

     Henderson County was officially created in 1838 and named for Leonard Henderson, chief justice of the State Supreme Court who died in 1833. The town of Hendersonville received its charter in 1847 with a population of several hundred people.

     The Henderson County Heritage Museum is housed in six rooms of the renovated Henderson County Courthouse.

     Because of the China Virus, and this being a government building, we had to knock at the locked door to gain admittance. We were given a private tour of the museum by Barbara Green. She spend her entire life in Hendersonville and gave us her insight to the things we saw.

     As expected, the museum housed a host of ancient items.

     Most of the buildings in this area have the original facade, with plaques describing the original building. Unfortunately, modern business obliterated the view with modernization, such as this restaurant, which used to be a garage.

     The food was excellent.

     However, two items maintained their original integrity. The Mast General Store and the McClintock clock.

     In 1883 Henry Taylor opened a small General Store. In 1897, W.W. Mast purchased a half interest in the store and was named the “Taylor and Mast General Store”. In 1913, Mast purchased the remaining half of Taylor’s interest, and the business became known as the Mast General Store. There are six Mast General Stores in North Carolina. This Hendersonville store opened in August 1995.

     The O.B McClintock Company made large clocks for banks from 1917-1949. On March 11, 1927, this clock was placed into operation by the Citizens National Bank.

     Made of bronze, it features copper hoods as the top and bottom and art glass dial faces. Originally, the clock was driven by a mechanical-electric clock inside the building which sent a 24 volt signal to the outside clock to activate the 4 faces and another signal to set off the Westminster Chimes inside the clock. By 1993, many components were beyond repair and the system was updated with an electric timer system. Twenty years later, in 2013, the clock was completely renovated. The new system will automatically adjust the clock faces for power failures and daylight saving time. While standing here, the clock chimed the half hour.

     We next went to Oakdale Cemetery, just outside Hendersonville to look for the Angel. 

     To best understand this, please read my blog for Day 1376, our stroll through Asheville.

     Author Thomas Wolfe’s first novel was “Look Homeward, Angel”.  In the book, there are constant references to an angel statue carved from Italian marble. This is the angel, Margaret E. Johnson, born 1832 died 1905. Thomas Wolfe’s father, W.O. Wolfe, sold the statue to the Johnson family to mark the family plot in Oakdale Cemetery.

 

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