Western North Carolina – Bored at home during the coronavirus lockdown? Instead of flipping through channels or reading the same magazine from March, it is a great time to learn about the history of your community. Thousands of articles, videos, and photos weave the tales of the people and places that comprise North Carolina’s rich biography at www.ncpedia.org.
Land of the Sky
Learn about the author who coined the Asheville region’s nickname, “Land of the Sky.” The regional slogan was adopted from the title of Frances Christine Fisher Tiernan’s novel. “Land of the Sky” details the activities of summer travelers in Western North Carolina in the 19th century. Tiernan released the novel in 1876 under the pen name Christian Reid. Born in Salisbury, Tiernan would vacation in the summers to the mountains of North Carolina. Her prolific nickname for the Asheville area has eclipsed her legacy as a writer— today artists and tourists trek to Asheville to glimpse the natural grandeur of the “Land of the Sky.”
Fit for a president
The Biltmore Estate’s Vanderbilt family funded a co-educational school, beginning in 1905, to train working-class children on craft and clothing production. Twenty boys and girls attended “Biltmore Industries.” Edith Vanderbilt was particularly interested in establishing a weaving project, and by 1909 Biltmore homespun had become the most popular sale item of Biltmore Industries.
Spun clothing was popular with several presidential families. Suits of “Hoover Gray” were made for President Herbert Hoover and First Lady Grace Coolidge chose a red homespun for her wardrobe, later coined “Coolidge Red.” Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt’s clothes were even made of Biltmore homespun.
The Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but you can learn more about the history of Biltmore Industries by visiting www.ncpedia.org
Thousands of contributors, librarians, and historians have chronicled the history of the state of North Carolina. Step into the past and immerse yourself in the history of your community. Stories of Buncombe and Henderson Counties as well as the rest of the state are available to read at www.ncpedia.org