Your guide to cultural, natural and historic attractions in Henderson County
ARTS AND EDUCATION
The Arts Council of Henderson County: The Arts Council serves the public through exhibitions, classes, lectures, workshops and educational programs. Notable past exhibits include Ansel Adams photographs, Salvador Dali lithographs and Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers as well as Picasso: 25 Years of Edition Ceramics. The Arts Council is open Tuesday-Friday 1pm-5pm, Saturday 1pm-4pm and is located on the second floor of the Skyland Hotel building on the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue in downtown Hendersonville. For details call 828-693-8504 or go to www.acofhc.org.
The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design: The Center is a center of the University of North Carolina. The Center supports research in the area of craft and design, and curates exhibitions for a small gallery space and the sculpture and public art on the property's one-mile Rudnick Nature Trail. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 1pm-5pm. Located on the UNCA Kellogg Center at 1181 Broyles Road, Hendersonville. For details call 828-890-2050 or go to www.craftcreativitydesign.org.
DuPont State Forest: The 10,000-plus-acres forest is situated in the Little River valley area of Henderson and Transylvania counties. It includes numerous waterfalls and 80 miles of trails and roads. It is a popular area for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Hunting and fishing are allowed, with valid permits and licenses. For details call 828-877-6527 or go to www.dupontforest.com.
Holmes Educational State Forest: The forest, located 8 1/2 miles from downtown Hendersonville, offers a series of well-marked trails, accented by exhibits and displays depicting the ecology of a managed forest. Picnic sites with tables and a spacious picnic shelter (with grills) are available. The forest is open Tuesday-Sunday from mid-March to late November. For details call 828-692-0100 or go to www.ncesf.org/HESF/home.htm. 1299 Crab Creek Road, Hendersonville.
Pisgah National Forest: The 500,000-plus-acres forest lies in parts of 12 counties in Western North Carolina. Within Henderson County, the North Mills River Recreational Area (just 13 miles from Downtown Hendersonville) offers picnic sites, campsites, river fishing & tubing. For details call 828-877-3265 or go to www.pisgahforest.com/public-lands/pisgahnationalforest.
Carl Sandburg Home: Poet Carl Sandburg spent the final 22 years of his life at his estate, Connemara, in Flat Rock. The Sandburg Home, sited across a 264-acre working farm, was built in 1838 and now houses his collection of 10,000 books, notes and papers. The grounds offer several hiking trails and a functional goat barn, where Mrs. Sandburg raised her prize-winning goats. The home, a National Historic Site, offers daily tours (closed on Christmas). Admission is charged for guided tours of the home. Access to the trails, grounds, barns and public areas are free of charge. The Park is open from 9am-5 pm, 7 days a week. 81 Carl Sandburg Lane (located off Little River Road.), Flat Rock. For details call 828-693-4178 or go to www.nps.gov/carl.
Hendersonville City Hall: City Hall, built in 1928, contains many artifacts and historic items, including a large statue of three Presidents from North Carolina — General Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk and Andrew Johnson. Hendersonville’s statue is the ceramic model used for making the molds to cast the bronze statue on display at Capital Square in Raleigh. City Hall is located at 145 5th Avenue East. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8am - 5pm. For details call 828-697-3000 or go to www.cityofhendersonville.org.
Henderson County Curb Market: In continuous operation since 1924, the Curb Market requires all sellers to be residents of Henderson County and all items sold at the market must be either hand-made or locally grown. The sellers are 3rd and 4th generation vendors offering a variety of goods such as crafts, baked goods, jellies, plants, flowers, toys, and produce. The Curb Market’s hours are 8am-2pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from April-December, and 8am-1pm Saturday, January-March. The Curb Market is located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Church Street. 221 N. Church Street, Hendersonville. For details call 828-692-8012 or go to www.curbmarket.com.
Hendersonville Depot: In the year 2000, the North Carolina Historical Society registered the Depot as Historical Landmark. The depot is actually Hendersonville’s second (the city outgrew the first). The renovated structure, just off Seventh Avenue, currently houses the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club. The model railroad runs over 600 feet of track and more than 100 track switches. The Depot is open year round, Saturday 10am-2pm. The Depot is located on Maple Street off of 7th Avenue East. For additional information call 828-698-5465 or 828-890-8246 go to www.avmrc.com.
Historic Courthouse: Richard Sharp Smith, the supervising architect at the Biltmore House, drew the design for the Henderson County Courthouse. Standing since 1905, the Courthouse has undergone several renovations. The latest, finished in 2005, allows the courthouse to house county offices, including commissioners' offices and meeting rooms, and the Henderson County Heritage Museum. Corner of First and Main Street, Hendersonville.
Historic Johnson Farm: The Farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a hands-on museum, a living example of a typical mountain farm from the nineteenth century. Originally the home of a wealthy tobacco farmer, the farmhouse was handmade from bricks that were fired on site from French Broad River mud. Over the years many outbuildings were constructed, including a tool shed/blacksmith shop, barn, boarding house, and a cottage. Open Tuesday-Friday 9am-2:30pm, guided tours are offered at 10:30am and 1:30pm. The farm is located on Hwy. 191 North, across from Rugby Middle School. For details call 828-891-6585 or go to www.historicjohnsonfarm.org. Admission charged.
Jump Off Rock: A ten-minute drive from Downtown Hendersonville, Jump Off Rock is a scenic overlook that provides a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. Jump Off also bears an Indian legend that over 300 years ago a young Cherokee woman received word that her betrothed chief had been killed in battle, so she climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off. Legend has it that on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the still-grieving lover. Jump Off is located about 5 miles from downtown at the end of Laurel Park Hwy in the Town of Laurel Park. The park is open daily, sunrise to sunset. No admission charge.
McClintock Chime Clock: Attached to the Old State Trust Co. building (now the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society), this 65-year old clock was restored by the WNC Chapter of the National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors. It is located on the corner of 4th and Main Street, Hendersonville.
St. John in the Wilderness:
The church, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, was built as a private chapel in 1833, on the grounds of prominent Flat Rock residents Charles and Susan Barings' home, Mountain Lodge. The church was deeded to the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina in 1936. Many well-known members of southern aristocracy have family plots in the churchyard, including Christopher Memminger, first secretary of the Confederate treasury; Rev. John Drayton, developer of the world-famous Magnolia Gardens of Charleston; and members of the families of three signers of the Declaration of Independence. The church and graveyard are open Tuesday-Sunday from 9am-4pm for visitation. The church is located on 1895 Greenville Hwy. (Hwy. 225 South), Flat Rock. For details call the church at 828-693-9783 or go to www.stjohnflatrock.org
Thomas Wolfe’s Angel: Thomas Wolfe’s first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, references a statue of an angel carved from Italian marble. His father, W.O. Wolfe, sold the now-famous statue to the Johnson family to mark the family plot in Oakdale Cemetery. A wrought iron fence protects the statue, an angel holding a lily in her left hand and extending her right hand upward. The cemetery is located on Hwy. 64 W., just a short distance from downtown. There is a historical marker located on the highway.
Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society: Using a reference library of over 2000 books on history and genealogy of North and South Carolina and other states, the Society assists historians, genealogists, enthusiasts and researchers. The Society houses a large collection on New England and Mayflower descendants, county census and estate records, maps, and numerous family histories. 400 North Main Street. The Society is open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, Saturday by appointment. For details call 828-693-1531 or go to www.hcghs.com.
Henderson County Heritage Museum: The Museum, housed in the Historic Henderson County Courthouse on Main Street, offers displays, artifacts, collections, archives, libraries, demonstrations, performances and other exhibitions relating to the culture, heritage and history of the founding settlement and development of Henderson County. Museum hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday 1pm – 5pm. For details call 828-694-1619 or visit www.hendersoncountymuseum.org.
Mineral & Lapidary Museum of Henderson County: The Museum exhibits English minerals, Indian artifacts, fossils, fluorescent minerals and gems from North Carolina plus a 260-pound amethyst geode from Uruguay and replicas of world famous diamonds. The Museum's specialty is the Geode (a rock cavity with internal crystal formations or concentric banding), which is cracked, displayed and sold. The Museum, located at 400 North Main Street, on the lower level of the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society building, offers free admission and is open Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission is free. For details call 828-698-1977 or go to www.mineralmuseum.org.
Mountain Farm & Home Museum: The museum exhibits antique farm equipment, antique steam engines, children's toys, paint grinders, looms, threshers, washing machines and a restored hand-pump gasoline dispenser. The Museum is located at 101 Brookside Camp Road, Hendersonville. Admission is free. Hours of operation vary. For details call 828-697-8846 or go to www.mfhmuseum.homestead.com.
Western North Carolina Air Museum: The Air Museum, the first in the state of North Carolina, features award winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes. The hours are April-October, Wednesday and Sunday from 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm. November-March, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm. There is no admission charge. The museum is located at the Hendersonville Airport, 1340 Gilbert Street, Hendersonville. For details call 828-698-2482 or go to www.wncairmuseum.com.
Flat Rock Playhouse: The Flat Rock Playhouse has presented hundreds of productions since Robroy Farquhar and his Company of Vagabond Players founded the theater in 1952. The State Theater of North Carolina since 1961, the Playhouse is also committed to teaching the performing arts. The YouTheatre program hosts over 600 students each year and instructs students ranging from kindergarten to high school seniors. Apprentice and Intern programs are designed to prepare college and post graduate students for a career in theater. The Playhouse is open from mid-May through mid-October, plus holiday productions, presenting matinees and evening performances Wednesday through Sunday. 2661 Greenville Hwy. (Hwy. 225 South), Flat Rock. For details call 828-693-0731 or 866-732-8008 or go to www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
Hendersonville Little Theatre: Though the theatre is non-profit and staffed solely by volunteers, the level of skill and talent is on par with many larger theater groups. Productions are ambitious: the 2009 season includes On Golden Pond, Neil Simon’s God’s Favorite, and The Lion in Winter. For details call 828-692-1082 or go to www.hendersonvillelittletheatre.org.
Whether you're new to Hendersonville or just planning a visit, here are our recommendations to help you make the most of your time in the area.
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains, the best selling guidebook to Asheville & Hendersonville, by Lee Pantas. This 475-page guide provides a comprehensive overview of the entire WNC area with plenty of info on Henderson County.Visit Henderson County Travel & Tourism at 201 South Main Street, Hendersonville. Pick up maps, brochures and local publications and get your questions about the area answered by the friendly volunteers at the desk. Visit their website at www.historichendersonville.org or call 800-828-4244 or 828-693-9708 for more information.