Highlands NC Things To Do

Vacation Along the Highlands Heritage Trail

Plan a Walk Through Time in This Charming Western North Carolina Town

With more than 60 structures in and around Highlands listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its easy to see that this is a place as rich in history as it is in beauty.

Founded in 1875 by Kansas developers, Samuel Truman Kelsey and Clinton Carter Hutchinson Highlands did not live up to original expectations. Legend has it the two men drew lines on a map from Chicago to Savannah and from New Orleans to New York, in the hopes that the area where the lines intersected would become a commercial crossroads and major trading center in the South. What the two did not realize was the rough terrain soaring to over 4,000 feet above sea level was impassable for early steam engines and intimidating for heavily loaded mule- and horse-drawn carriages. Awe-struck by the beauty of the region, the two purchased 839 acres and their dream evolved to the development of a health and summer resort which quickly grew in popularity with wealthy planters from coastal South Carolina and Atlanta as they sought to escape the oppressive heat of the lower elevations during the summer months.

Committed to preserving their colorful past, The Highlands Historical Society in conjunction with the Highlands Chamber of Commerce have detailed a walking tour of the area much of which is located in the historic downtown district. They have dubbed the tour The Highlands Heritage Trail and they invite you to plan a walk through time during your next visit to this charming Western North Carolina town.

The Highlands Heritage Trail:

1.Partridge-Rice Home (circa 1883) This 1-story frame house with multi-gable roof was the original home of Highlands miller William Partridge and wife Eliza. The family of town butcher Luke Rice also lived in this house from 1909-68. Today, it is home to the Highlands Chamber of Commerce.

2.Boynton-Norton Home (circa 1881) This 2-story multi-gabled frame residence was built by Capt. Charles Boynton. It was converted to a boarding house, called the Crisp House in 1924. It continued to serve as a boarding house for the next 7 decades before becoming the Main Street Inn in 1998.

3.Hick's Building (circa 1927) Orignally built to house Jim Hick's barber shop, this building was also home to the first restaurant in town, Elinor Cleaveland's Highlands Grille.

4.Rice and Thompson Building (circa 1928) Home to Irvin Rices Meat Market and Grocery, brother Luke ran his butchery in the rear. In the late 20s, hamburger at Rices Meat Market sold for 10 a pound and a round steak could be purchased for a quarter. It has also served as a tea room, a hat and dress shop, and a caf and drug store. Current resident, Wit's End has sold ladies' and children's clothing here since 1940.

5.Potts Livery Stable and Grocery (circa 1902, 1926) In the early 1900s, Billy Potts was well-known for his fast horses and fast deliveries. Frank and Roy Potts later established Potts Brothers grocery in its place, which served Highlands for the next 30 years.

6.Cleaveland's Grocery site (circa 1885, 1920) This gabled grocery was built by Highlands pioneer W. B. Cleaveland. It later became a general store that thrived for over 30 years. Today it houses Ann Jacob Gallery.

7.Bascom-Marett Store site (circa 1883) One of the earliest businesses in Highlands was the hardware store, built by H. M. Bascom that lasted over 40 years. George Marett took over in 1925 under the name Highlands Hardware for 13 more years. Marett expanded the building to include a 2-story plain square-frame grocery. In 1940, the original building was moved on logs across 4th Street, and in 1956 Marett's building was moved to 3rd Street both represented on the Highlands Heritage Trail.

8.First School site (circa 1878) Built of white pine planks, the first Highlands School served the town for 40 years where the Town Hall exists today. Its bell still rings in the millennium clock tower above. The single story building housed the famed Highlands Academy and the beginning of today's Hudson Library.

9.Second School site (circa 1918) Where the ABC store now stands, the brown-shingle two-story building that served as the second Highlands School stood for over 30. It was known as the Town Clock School on Knowledge Hill.

10.House-Trapier-Wright (Prince) House (circa 1877) The oldest existing house in Highlands is a frame house with multi-gable roof built by Arthur House near his sawmill. It was bought by Frank Wright in 1913 and became known as the Prince house, when Frank's sister Lizzie married a Prince. It has housed the Highlands Historical Society since 2000.

11.Old Hudson Library building (circa 1915) Designed by the director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Huger Elliott and built by local contractor Walter Reese, the library served the people of Highlands for almost 70 years. Gertrude and Dolly Harbison were its librarians for 50 of those years. Seven years after a new Hudson Library had been constructed, the old Hudson Library building was moved to join the Historic Village to house the Highlands Historical Museum and Archives in 2002.

12.Bug Hill (circa 1908-18) Dr. Mary Lapham, a pioneer of the Swiss cure of tuberculosis, established a Sanatorium in Highlands, known locally as Bug Hill. Many TB patients, who came to Highlands to die, lived instead long productive lives because of Dr. Lapham's prescription of fresh mountain air and sunshine. After the Sanatorium was destroyed by fire in 1918, its 60 open-air cottages were removed. The Highlands Recreation Park now occupies the site, and one Bug Hill Cottage has been preserved by the Highlands Historical Society.

13.Anderson-Sullivan Home site (circa 1906) A reputedly beautiful Scottish Mansion made entirely of native wood, it was built by the famed creator of puffed wheat and puffed rice, Alexander Anderson. Sadly, the home was torn down in 1973.

14.Zoellner's Garage (circa 1878) Originally serving as Monroe Skinner's blacksmith shop, this building became Carl Zoellners Esso Station and Garage in the late 1930s. The building also served the town as Highlands Laundry for almost 40 years.

15.Dr. O'Farrell's Drug Store (circa 1882) Home to Highlands' 1st newspaper Blue Ridge Enterprise, the building also housed Dr. Henry O'Farrell's pharmacy where legend says R. J. Reynolds first demonstrated how to roll a cigarette for the townsfolk.

16.Highlands House-Highlands Inn (circa 1880) Built by Joseph Halleck as a 3-story frame hotel with 2-story front porch, Highlands House was later given to John Jay and Mary Chapin Smith as a wedding gift in 1886. It was renamed Highlands Inn in 1925, and is now listed on the National Register.

17.Grey Cottage (circa 1883) Built before Mary Chapin married John Jay Smith, this wooden-shingled frame Victorian home with decorative bargeboards in gables served them both well for 60 years. A student of botany and accomplished poet, Mary was well-known for her beautiful garden and devotion to the growth of the Hudson Library. Her husband s sawmills supplied most of the wood used to build houses in Highlands before 1920.

18.Episcopal Church of the Incarnation (circa 1896) This 1-story frame Victorian structure with high-pitched roof and circular patterned wooden-shingled belfry was the 3rd church building in Highlands. Its earliest priest earned an annual salary of $100. Today, the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation is on the National Register of Historic Places.

19.Hutchinson-Frost-Hall-Farnsworth Home (circa 1878) This lovely Victorian home with multi-gable rof and wrap-around porch was first envisioned by Arthur Hutchinson, co-founder of Highlands. It was completed in 1880 by Dr. Charles Frost, Highlands' 1st long-term resident physician. It was later owned by theHall and Farnsworth families.

20.Reinke Home (circa 1934) This charming log cabin was built as a model of the famed Joe Webb style of construction. It was originally owned by Edwin Reinke, 1st director of the Highlands Biological Station

21.Kelsey-Harbison-Harris Home site (circa 1875) The two-story home which once stood here was the first house in Highlands. It was built for $350 by Samuel Kelsey, co-founder of the town. It was consumed by fire in 1976, and all that remains is its handsome chimney at the rear of The Falls on Main.

22.Kelsey Memorial In 1929, the Highlands Improvement Society created a memorial at the intersection of Church and 5th Streets to one of the founders of the town, Samuel Kelsey. It stands near the beginning of the 5-mile Kelsey Trail which leads to Whiteside Mountain.

23.First Presbyterian Church (circa 1885) This lovely 1-story frame structure with jerkinhead gable roof, steeple, and belfry represents the second church building in Highlands. It appears today on the National Register.

Highlands, North Carolina Aerial View24.Central House (circa 1878) This 2-story frame hotel with gable roof, shed dormer, and 2-tier front porch was one of Highlands' earliest boarding houses. It is listed on the National Register.

25.Rock Store (circa 1889) This long, low granite structure was built by Highlands pioneer James Rideout to serve as a general merchandise store. In 1934-35 it served as the first floor of the new 3-story Edwards Inn, designed by Linton Young and built by Wilton Cobb.

26.Post Office-Telephone Exchange (circa 1923) Legend has it that Nellie Cleaveland rang a large bell atop a high pole to announce to the people of Highlands that the mail had arrived. Beginning in 1936, Dorothy and Caroline Hall and later Manila Reese serviced all telephone calls into or out of Highlands, and were rumored to holler to individuals down the street to come answer the phone.

27.Davis House-Lee's Inn site (circa 1889) Built by H. M. Bascom, the 3-story frame hotel with 2-tier wrap-around porch and gable roof originally known as Davis House was considered one of the most elegant inns in the Southeast. A severe loss to Highlands, it burned in 1982 and was replaced in 1998 by Kelsey and Hutchinson Lodge.

28.Islington House-King's Inn site (circa 1883) An expansion of Monroe Skinner 1878 home, this 3-story frame hotel with hip roof and 2-story wrap-around porch was named Islington House by owner Margaretta Ravenel. It thrived for 30 years as a very popular inn, but stood abandoned for a dozen years before Bob King revived it as King's Inn from 1925 until it burned in 1994.

29.Pierson Inn site (circa 1899) On the former site of pioneer builder Joseph Halleck's home, Jeremiah and Emma Pierson constructed a 3-story frame building with 2-tier porches called the Pierson Inn. Flanked by two 2-story cottages, known as Piermont and Lakemont, the Inn also featured one of Highlands' earliest golf links surrounding a lake near today's Highlands School. The Inn closed in 1958 and was finally demolished in 1993. Only the two cottages remain.

30.Satulah Mountain District A number of homes in the Satulah Mountain District qualified for recognition on the National Register. Dr. Theodore Lamb was the 1st summer resident on Satulah in 1892. Other prominent Highlands residents, like John Elliott, Mary Lapham, H. M. Bascom, Robert Eskrigge, Minnie Warren, Henry Sloan, Alice Lyons, and Marie Huger, erected homes here between 1900 and 1925.

31.Kibbee-Hines Cottage (circa 1878) Highlands' first resident physician, Dr. George Kibbee, built his 1-story wooden shingled front-gabled home for his family here the very same year that he died of yellow fever. It was destroyed by fire in 2006 and replaced by Satulah Village Townhouses.

32.Selleck-Hill-McCall Home (circa 1879) This 2-story, wooden shingled home with salt box gable roof was built by Highlands pioneer Eben Selleck . Owned by the family of Lilia McCall since the early 1930s and known as The Rabbit Hole, its lawn played host to the elephants of the circus that visited Highlands in 1938.

33.Anderson Dime and Drug stores (circa 1924) Charlie Anderson established a dime and drug store that served Highlands for almost 60 years. The rebuilt drugstore now serves as Mirror Lake Antiques.

34.Highlands Bank-Gem Shop (circa 1923) When the 1st Highlands Bank failed in 1933 due to the Depression, the Bank of Franklin took over. Jackson County Bank bought the site back in 1936 and subsequently served Highlands for the next 20 years. In 1956, Archie and Hazel Jellen opened the first gem store in Macon County here, which still specializes in locally mined emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

35.Bill's Soda Shop (circa 1883) Originally constructed as Martin's Meat Market and subsequently serving as a drugstore, post office, phone company, and town hall, this corner store served as a popular meeting place in town and became famous as Bill's Soda Shop, where folks enjoyed cherry sodas and the occasional ammonia coke until the shop closed in 1972.

36.Dimick's Cheap Cash Store site (circa 1878) One of Highlands' earliest businesses, Annie Dimick's Cheap Cash Store, sold general merchandise and specialized in good Rio coffee.

37.William B. Cleaveland Home (circa 1888) This 1-story multi-gabled family home with wrap-around porch was built by Highlands pioneer William B. Cleaveland across the street from his grocery store.

38.Arthur Homesite and Park (circa 1879) One of Western North Carolinas first historians, John P. Arthur built his Highlands home surrounded by a meadow and fronted with a white picket fence. By the mid 1920s it became a park shaded by large maples and fronted with 6 benches installed by the ladies of the Improvement Society. The Boy Scouts built a cabin here in 1939.

39.T. Baxter White House (circa 1875) This front-gabled "white house" built by Highlands' 1st settler, T. Baxter White, served as the town's 1st post office and country store in addition to his home.

40.Highlands Methodist Church (circa 1909) Designed by renowned architect Upton C. Ewing, this 1-story cut stone structure with a classical revival style portico and tall steeple-belfry was the second home of the Methodists in Highlands and served to reunite the Southern and Northern Methodists from their separate churches in town following the Civil War. It was here that the Methodists hosted Sunday afternoon services for the African-Americans, who served summer families in the town and performed popular gospel concerts as fund-raising benefits for the church and the hospital.

41.Masonic Hall (circa 1893) Designed "to take good men and make better people out of them", the Masonic Lodge of Highlands was first established in 1890 and moved into its new hall in 1893. Dr. Elbert Gilbert, the town's 1st resident dentist, practiced here during the mid 1920s, and the building also housed Town Hall from the early 1930s to 1950.

42.Root's Gift Shop and Tea Room site (circa 1926) Beginnin in 1931, Annie Root operated a very popular gift shop and tea room here for 30 years. During the late 1920s, her husband Joseph installed the waterworks for the town, engineered the Highlands Country Club golf course, and surveyed many properties of the town.

43.Helen's Barn (circa 1935) A large board and batten frame building constructed in 1932 on land purchased by Charlie Wright with the proceeds from his Carnegie Gold Medal, became the site of Helens Barn providing popular mountain music and dance hall for the residents of Highlands. Originally located on the corner of Main and 1st, it was rebuilt where it stands today after its destruction by fire in 1935. Helen Wright Wilson and her children treated Highlanders to over 50 years of square dancing and it is rumored that many a courtship began at Helen's Barn.

44.Salt Rock It was here that Joseph Dobson once grazed his sheep and cattle on the land grant he purchased at 10 cents an acre in 1844. Salt was often used by herdsmen to calm their stock, and the rock that still stands at the southwest corner of Wright Square helped prevent the salt from soaking into the ground. It is also believed that the Cherokee Indians are said to have used this site for camping.

45.Old log Law House site (circa unknown) Before the town of Highlands existed, a single-room log Law House served as a place where the county sheriff collected taxes, elections took place, and circuit riders preached the Gospel. This became the site of Highlands' 1st non-denominational Sunday School in 1876, before becoming Sumner Clark's tool shed in the mid-1880s.

46.Dobson-Stewart-Memminger-Raoul Home (circa 1879) William Dobson son of settler Joseph Dobson sold 839 acres to Kelsey and Hutchinson for $2 an acre for what would later become the town of Highlands. It is here that he built his home with the help of Cherokee laborers, who were thought to bring luck. They carved the talismanic arrows that support the eaves and point toward the home. The home was later owned by Henry Stewart, a New York Times columnist and one of the most prolific agricultural writers in America, and Gustavus Memminger, a leading figure in the world of phosphate mining. The Raoul family ran it and the adjacent Laurel Lodge as an Inn and Tea Room during the depression. In 1978 a furniture store moved in and built the large brick addition.

47.Methodist-Baptist Church (circa 1885, 1940) The Northern Methodists were the first denomination to build their own sanctuary in Highlands in 1885. They sold the 1-story front-gabled structure with a small rose window to the Baptists in 1904, and built a new church with their Southern counterparts nearer the center of town. In 1940, the Baptists rebuilt the sanctuary on a cruciform plan with cross gable roof and stone veneer.

48.Hunt-Esty Cottage site (circa 1883) This a 1-story cottage with front gable roof and wrap-around porch, including belvedere-like corner treatments was built by Judge Dana Hunt as a second home. Known as White Oak House, it was regrettably torn down in 2001.

To learn more about Highlands history, visit the Highlands Historical Society online. Much of the historic data included in this blog was provided by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

April 2011 Plateau Pursuits

Events CalendarWith the arrival of April comes the return of our much-anticipated seasonal friends to the mountains of Western North Carolina the daffodils, tulips, trillium, dogwoods, azaleas, and so much more. The early spring breezes carry the heavenly floral fragrance as they stir the surface on our lovely mountain lakes and streams, giving the sense of an awakening conveying that something special is about to happen. In a dance it has performed for centuries, the valley floor takes on the appearance of a sea of green once more and the sky above is a thick blanket of azure and white. As the temperatures start to rise, so does the level of excitement. During this month, in this very year a number of entirely new families will come to discover our unique corner of the world for the very first time. Some of them will add us to their list of favorite seasonal haunts, while others will find themselves so captivated by the area they will choose to lay down roots here, just as countless families before them have done for nearly two centuries. Whether they are drawn to the breathtaking sunsets over Lakes Glenville and Toxaway, the community spirit and world-class amenities of Sapphire Valley, or the history and Appalachian charm of Highlands and Cashiers there is something to treasure about every nook and cranny of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. We invite you to join us up on the mountain this Spring and discover exactly what it is that will call YOU back here, year after year

April 1 Happy April Fools Day from your friends at Silver Creek Real Estate Group!

April 1The Inn at Half Mile Farm plays host to a special April Fools Day Wine Dinner with the talented Chef Todd Ginsberg. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will begin at 6:00 pm, with dinner to follow at 7:00 pm. Each tantalizing course will be perfectly paired with an exquisite wine. Cost is $120 per person. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information please call 800-946-6822

April 1-May 24Each Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 pm, The Bascom will host a workshop titled Ceramics - Beginner and Beyond" which is an introduction to hand building and wheel throwing techniques for beginners and an opportunity for intermediates to refine and develop their skills further. Tuition is $350 for members and $375 for non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

April 2-30Each Saturday in April, Headwaters Outfitters will take guests on a very special journey their Signs of Spring Guided Canoe Trip on the French Broad River. This peaceful eight-mile guided canoe trip will take about four hours to complete. You, your friends or family, paddle downstream through perhaps the most beautiful section of the entire river. Join one of our experienced river guides and encounter the beauty and tranquility of this ancient river as it springs to life with the melodic chatter of wildlife and the colorful burst of new foliage. The cost is $55 per person. To reserve a spot, call Headwaters at (828) 877-3106.

April 8-10Inn at Half Mile Farm plays host to an Artist Retreat with special guest Mary Ann Edens for a weekend of creativity and camaraderie. The event will begin Friday afternoon at 5:30 pm for wine & hors d'oeuvres and supper, with an opportunity for artists to get acquainted with each other and meet Ms. Edens. Saturday includes a workshop from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and with lunch. Sunday morning, artists will gather at 8:30 am to present their artwork and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast. Cost is $175.00 per person. Space is limited and advanced reservations are required. Call 800-946-6822 for more information.

April 9The Bascom hosts an opening reception from 5 to 7 pm for The American Still Life. A competition which will include a combination of works by contemporary American artists selected by our juror and historical still life examples borrowed from museums. Still life derives from the Dutch word stilleven, coined in the 17th century when paintings of objects enjoyed immense popularity throughout Europe. This exhibition explores the historical precedent and the evolution of the practice in the work of portraying inanimate objects, and presents some of the innovative ways artists today are exploring this traditional genre. Admission is free. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

April 10Join Fly Fishing Guide Mac Marett of Headwaters Outfitters for a free fly-tying clinic in Rosman from 2 to 5 pm. Mac will demonstrate how to tie his very own foam-bodied yellow jacket imitation, The Bee, and Whitewater Golden Stone both irresistible to trout in local streams. Bring your own vise and tie along with Mac - or just come, drink some freshly brewed Brown Bean coffee and watch. All materials necessary to tie these patterns will be available for sale in pre-proportioned packets. To register, please call (828) 877-3106.

April 13-May 18 On Wednesdays from 4 to 5:30 pm The Bascom will host a workshop geared toward children aged 8-12 called Clay for Youth. Taught by Pat Taylor, students will have a variety of creative experiences and learn lots of clay techniques from coiling, building with slabs, pinching and sculpting. Everyone will get the chance to use the potter's wheel, see their pieces get bisque fired and glazed, and have an assortment of work to be proud of when they are finished. Tuition is $95 for members and $120 for non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

April 13-14Headwaters Outfitters invites you to join them on a Chattooga River Canoe Camping Adventure! They will be paddling on Section I & II of this magnificent river which is perfect for introducing (or reacquainting) paddlers to the river. This part of the Chattooga is not as heavily used by the local whitewater outfitters that focus more on the adrenaline rush of Sections III and IV but still offers just as stunning scenery as other sections. For more information on how to take part in this wonderful wild and scenic retreat, call 828-877-3106.

April 14-17Escape to the Old Edwards Inn for the Comfort Living Re-Balance Retreat facilitated by interior designer Christine Eisner of Comfort Living by Christine. This back to basics approach to a more balanced lifestyle will provide you with the tools to lead a more meaningful life by transforming your surroundings. Christine will help you translate your inner priorities to enrich your home or work environment. Join her for this 3-day full immersion retreat featuring workshops, hands-on activities, nature walks, spa treatments, and a collection of lovely chef-prepared meals. For more information please call 828-526-8008.

April 22-23The Bascom hosts "Relief Printmaking" - a workshop taught by Nancy Darrell from 10 am to 4 pm. Learn the simple skill of relief printmaking using linoleum. Students will create relief prints from found objects and quickly advance to cutting linoleum blocks. Small prints will be printed on paper for greeting cards. Larger prints will be explored using an intaglio press and other printing options. Tuition is $145 for members and $170 for non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

April 22-23The Bascom hosts "Play in the Clay" a Youth Art Program taught from 10 am to 1 pm to beginners and intermediate young potters ages 10-16. Instruction will cover basic techniques, coil and pinch pots. Lunch is included. Class size is limited, pre-registration is required. $50 fora two-day workshop. To register or for more information, visit www.thebascom.org or call 828.526.4949, ext. 100.

April 23-24The Old Edwards Inn & Spa welcomes guests for a very special Easter weekend. Saturdays activities include Easter egg decorating and bonnet making, and Sunday features Easter brunch in Madisons Restaurant from 11:30 am to 3 pm for $45 per person. Be on the lookout for a visit from the Easter Bunny from 1 pm to 2 pm, and gather on the Lodge Lawn at 1:30 pm for a classic Easter egg hunt. A professional photographer will be on-site for family portraits and Old Edwards Easter egg baskets for the kids with special add-ins available at Oakleaf Flower and Garden. Easter weekend spa specials include mini manicures or pedicures for little girls at The Spa for $25 and 20% off services when booking 2 or more services per person (Valid April 22 to 24, 2011 based on availability. Not valid with any other discounts or specials. Discount must be confirmed at the time of scheduling to ensure that the discount applies. Gratuities based on regular prices of services.) For more information or to book reservations for this fun annual event, call 828-526-8008.

April 24 Happy Easter from the Silver Creek Family to Yours!

April 29-May 1Wine and Dine on the Mountain at the Old Edwards Inn & Spa! This sensational event kicks off the 2011 culinary season in Highlands, NC by pulling together a sizzling line-up of fine wines, superb food and fine art. Guests of all events will watch the wines come to life, as gifted artist Thomas Arvid paints LIVE for each occasion. Friday features a Spring Harvest Barn Dinner at The Farm at Old Edwards showcasing live entertainment and Whitehall Lane Winery and Vineyards. Cocktails are served at 6:30 pm, with dinner to follow at 7:00 pm for $95 per person. Saturday features the W.H. Smith Winery Dinner at Wolfgang's Restaurant. Cocktails are served at 7:00 pm with dinner to follow at 7:30 pm for $135 per person. Sunday features a Jazz, Wine, Art & Brunch from 11:30 am to 3 pm at Madisons Restaurant at Old Edwards, also showcasing Whitehall Lane Winery and Vineyards for just $55 per person. For more information, please call 828-526-8008.

April 29The Bascom hosts "Beginner Basket Weaving" taught be Barbara Chatham from 9 am to3 pm. During this workshop students will learn the basic basket weaves and make a square basket (8x 8x 4) utilizing reed. Students will also learn the history of basket weaving and the types of materials, weaves and tools utilized in weaving. Students will develop a knowledge of weaving as an art form using their creativity to make each item unique. Tuition is $85 for members and $110 for non-members and $30 materials kit. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

April 30The Bascom hosts Beginner or Intermediate Weaving" taught by Barbara Chatham from 9 am to 3 pm. In this workshop, beginning students will learn the basic basket weaves and make a square basket (8 x 8 x 4) utilizing reed. They will also learn the history of basket weaving and the types of materials, weaves and tools utilized in weaving. Students will develop a knowledge of weaving as an art form using their creativity to make each item unique. Intermediate students will use advanced weaves to make a basket with a Herringbone base, a woven handle, and use dyed rows of reed, using color of choice. Tuition is $85 for members and $110 for non-members and $30 beginner materials kit or $40 intermediate materials kit. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

May 2011 Plateau Pursuits

Events CalendarNot unlike the stuff of dreams, the month of May in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina is filled with a seemingly endless rolling sea of color as wildflowers blanket the valley floor under a canopy of towering green trees and blue skies adorned with fluffy white clouds. The fragrance of newly blooming Dogwoods and Mountain Laurel blend with the heavenly aroma from countless barbeque grills as they are carried away on a cool mountain breeze. The streets and sidewalks in the quaint towns and villages of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau are bustling once again as seasonal neighbors return and a fresh harvest of new families discover our little corner of the world for the very first time. If you listen carefully, you can hear the area beckon. The streams call out to the would-be fly fisherman, the golf courses call out to the aspiring pro golfer, the lakes call out to the avid boater, and the tree-lined hiking trails leading to mystical waterfalls call out to the nature lover. Life on the mountain is whatever you want it to be jam-packed full of adventure, slow-paced and peaceful, or something in between. To fill those in-between times, the friendly folks at Silver Creek Real Estate Group have compiled the following calendar of events for the month of May. In addition to the areas breathtaking natural splendor, world-class amenities and resorts, eclectic shopping and dining experiences, and our special brand of Southern Hospitality you might just find an occasion on our calendar that serves as a great excuse to draw you here. We know full well that once you visit, youre bound to find that something special that keeps you coming back!

May 1:Brunch at Madison's for Wine and Dine on the Mountain. For more information call 828-526-8008

May 3, 4 & 5:Highland Hiker hosts fly fishing casting lessons for ladies only, led by Joan Cabe. Limit of 5 per class. Call 828-526-5298 to reserve a spot. Highlands location.

May 3 & 5:Highland Hiker Shoe Store hosts a hike to Sunset Rock with Robert Keller at 5 p.m. For more information call 828-526-5298. Highlands location.

May 4:Highland Hiker Shoe Store hosts a 1 hour Yoga class with Certified Instructor Diane Levine at 9 a.m. Bring your own yoga mat. Limit of 8. Highlands location.

May 4:The official kick-off of local artist Karen Weihs OPEN STUDIO Mondays at her Cashiers-based art studio on Laurel Knob Road. Karen invites artists to bring their easel, paints, lunch, and works in progress and she will supply the space, tables, set-ups, drinks, and mentoring! Just $25 per participant every Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., limit to 4 people each week. Dont miss this great opportunity to get your art groove on while sharing a passion with others to become better artists and inviting a few "extra sets of eyeballs" to see and critique one anothers work - a true life-line to progress. To learn more about contemporary oil painter Karen Weihs, visit her online at www.karenweihs.com. Please RSVP each week by e-mailing her at karen@weihs.com or calling 828/226-4024. Classes run through the remainder of 2011.

May 5:Happy Cinco de Mayo! Raise a frosty margarita glass at Highlands El Azteca Restaurant or dine on your favorite Mexican dishes at Chile Loco in Cashiers in celebration!

May 5:Meet at the Cashiers Highland hiker for a Leki Trekking Pole demonstration with Nathan Smith at 10 a.m. Try out the Leki Trekking Poles and learn how to use for hiking. Limit of 12 participants.

May 5:Meet at the Cashiers Highlands Hiker and take a walk with Debbie Adams using Leki Nordic Walking Poles at 5 p.m. Limit of 12 participants.

May 6:Highland Hiker hosts a Sunset Rock Hike Dogs welcome! Bring your dog (leashes required) and meet at the Highland Hiker in Highlands for a walk to Sunset Rock with Katie Cochran and Coal, then continue to the Dog Park to play. Hike begins at 5:15 p.m.

May 6-8:Mothers Day Sectional Bridge Tournament at the Highlands Civic Center; sponsored by the Highlands Duplicate Bridge Club. For more information, please call 828-526-3556.

May 6, 13, 20 & 27:Headwaters Outfitters hosts Discovery at Dusk - A Guided Canoe Trip. Slip your canoe paddle into the tranquil waters of the French Broad and ease your way down stream as the days light fades to dusk. The sounds and life of the river this time of day just can't be compared! You'll paddle 8 miles, approximately 4 hours downstream through what many claim as the most beautiful section of the French Broad River. Watch the different bird life glide through the air in hunt of their last meal of the day, be it an insect zipping through the wind or a fish splashing through the current around you. Catch a glimpse of the beavers tail as he escapes into dark recesses of the river in search of his burrows entrance. Every trip provides the opportunity for a wide array of wildlife observation around every bend. Reservations are required and are confirmed with a 50% deposit. The trip fee is $55.00 per person which includes; canoe, paddle, life jacket, transportation to & from the river, and river guide. For more information, call 828-877-3106 or visit www.headwatersoutfitters.com.

May 7 & 14:Headwaters Outfitters hosts their Signs of Spring a Guided Canoe Trip on the French Broad River - Spring is the perfect time to explore the beautiful scenery of the French Broad River, and what better mode of transportation than in a canoe? This peaceful eight-mile guided canoe trip will take about four hours to complete. You, your friends or family, paddle downstream through perhaps the most beautiful section of the entire river. Join one of our experienced river guides and encounter the beauty and tranquility of this ancient river as it springs to life with the melodic chatter of wildlife and the colorful burst of new foliage. The cost is $55 per person. To reserve a spot, call 828-877-3106 or visit www.headwatersoutfitters.com.

Saturdays in May:The Bascom in Highlands hosts "Bascom Community Knitters" from 10 a.m. noon. All skill levels are welcome to join the community of knitters and needle-workers who meet every Saturday from May - October on The Terrace at The Bascom. Free. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

May 7:Highland Hiker hosts an Interpretive Hike to Whiterock on the Bartram Trail with Tom Olson, 4.5 miles round trip. Meet at the Highland Hiker at 9:00 a.m. and bring your lunch, water, and rain jacket. Limit of 6 participants.

May 7:Highlands, NC Relay for Life Kickoff Rally event begins at 10 a.m. and will be hosted at the Highlands Community Building. Rally will feature delicious food and speakers from the community in honor of local cancer survivors, marking the kickoff of the 2011 Relay for Life season which will culminate in a very special overnight Relay event at Highlands Recreation Park on Friday, August 19.

May 8:Madison's Restaurant in Highlands host a very special Mother's Day Brunch from 11:30 a.m. 3 p.m. and the Wine Garden offers Mother's Day Lunch Selections from 11:30 a.m. 4 p.m. Guests can arrange to have flowers, champagne, cheese trays, beautiful handmade chocolate arrangements or other surprises waiting for that special woman in their life when they enter their room or suite. Madisons guests can have flowers from Oakleaf Flower and Garden or an Old Edwards Inn and Spa gift certificate delivered right to the table. And Acorns Boutique features a beautiful array of designer jewelry that can be purchased with the gift cardor presented as a surprise over dinner. Acorns features a 10% discount for all resort guests.

May 9:Highlands Country Club hosts the 22nd Annual Rotary Club of Highlands Annual Golf Tournament an event that promises to be one of the highlights of the golf season in the mountains. A morning shotgun start, which includes lunch and on course beverages, will be followed by a awards ceremony. Registration for individual players is $150. Various combinations of individual and corporate sponsorships, individual hole sponsorships, and player/sponsor combinations are available. Applications for players, sponsors or both are available by calling 828-787-2778. Dont delay - the tournament will be an early sell out.

May 11-14:The Old Edwards Inn Farm is the site of Highlands First Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament in support of Fishing/Fellowship/Philanthropy. $500.00 secures a spot for a two-person team. This fee includes an invitation to the opening night reception at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn, three days of fishing (one native, one hatchery supported & one delayed harvest river), as well as an invitation to the closing night Winners' Reception featuring food, prizes & fellowship. All funds raised benefit the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund for Highlands School graduates.

May 12-14:The Bascom in Highlands hosts "Palette Knife/Still Life" an oil painting class taught by Donna Thomas from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The class is open to all levels and will address under toning a canvas in preparation for palette knife application of oil paint. Types of palette knife applications, color mixing with a limited palette, compositional considerations and the importance of value will all be discussed. Still life materials will include florals, objects and personal photographs. Tuition: $220 members/$245 non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

May 13:Zachary-Tolbert House Opening Event Guided tours of this beautifully preserved historic home museum and grounds in Cashiers resume on Fridays and Saturdays from May through October 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

May 13-14:The Bascom in Highlands hosts "Totem Building Workshop" a hand-building clay workshop taught by Barry Gregg from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. This 2 day workshop will concentrate on garden totem construction. All levels will learn the expressive potential of pinch, coil, and slab construction, however a basic knowledge of clay is recommended. Topics will include Finding Your Inspiration to create and personalize your work. This workshop will also include a one day glazing class (June 4). Attendees should realistically be able to construct 8-10 stackable pieces during the course of the workshop. Tuition: $170 members/$195 non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

May 17:The Cashiers Historical Society hosts Ramble to Cashiers Area Civil War Sites. For more information, please call 828.743.9002.

May 19-21:The Bascom in Highlands plays host to the Fifth annual Collective Spirits Wine and Food Fest. Wine lovers from all over the Southeast are cordially invited to stock their cellars, while indulging in private wine dinners, grand wine tastings featuring both value wines and rare bottles, a gala dinner, live and silent auctions, and a culinary sampling by local chefs. All proceeds support outreach and educational programs of The Bascom, a nonprofit center for the visual arts.

May 24:Join the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust at Cashiers Village Green at 7 p.m. for their family-friendly summer Village Nature Series Scales and Slime: Reptiles & Amphibians of the Highlands Plateau. Meet living local reptiles and amphibians then enjoy an old fashioned ice cream social. Discover what makes this region so special at this free educational community event - everyone is welcome to attend and no reservations are necessary. To learn more call (828) 526.1111 or email Julie.hitrust@earthlink.net.

May 26-27:The Bascom in Highlands hosts "Zentangle" a beautiful art form using pen, ink and repeating patterns taught by Joan Payton and Jeannie Mahood from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Using the finest archival materials and following a simple set of steps, participants will be able to achieve a relaxed state of focus by concentrating on drawing one line at a time. Zentangle is an enjoyable kinesthetic meditation intended to remove many of the barriers people have to making creativity and relaxation a part of their lives. Tuition: $170 members/$195 non-members/$10 materials fee. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

May 27-30:The High Hampton Inn & Country Club ushers in the unofficial start of the summer season with their Memorial Day House Party, a festive weekend that includes a Sunday evening BBQ picnic on the High Hampton lawn featuring a live band and mountain cloggers. For more information or to make reservations for this very special weekend, visit www.highhamptoninn.com or call 800.334.2551.

May 29-30:The Highlands will be hopping with the return of their Village Square Art & Craft Show an annual event that features some of the best regional talent around, displaying their wares including fine art, folk art, pottery, rustic furniture, baskets, jewelry, turned wood, and more. Event promises fun for the whole family and includes food, music, live demonstrations, and plenty of bathrooms and parking. The Show takes place in the Highlands Village Square and Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine and 5th Streets. For more info contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery & Framing (828) 787-2021.

May 30:Happy Memorial Day from your friends at Silver Creek Real Estate Group and NC Living Magazine!