Blowing Rock’s BIG and BUSY weekend is upon us!

Blowing Rock’s BIG and BUSY weekend is upon us!
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By David Rogers. July 26, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC – If Blowing Rock has a bigger weekend than this…

The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is already underway, St. Mary of the Hills’ Tour of Homes is most of the day on Friday, and it is all capped off by among the year’s most treasured cultural event, Symphony by the Lake, at Chetola Mountain Resort Friday evening.  But don’t forget Artists in Residence running the entire weekend at Edgewood Cottage.

PHOTOS: All photographic images from previous events by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Artists In Residence @ Edgewood Cottage

Famed artist Elliot Daingerfield once used Edgewood Cottage as his studio.  Blowing Rock Historical Society spearheaded the preservation and renovation of the cottage, and now each summer invites a juried group of selected artists from the region to exhibit their work for a week at a time beginning in June. While previous year’s exhibits have ended in June, this year the committee extended the series through October 30th.

This week’s featured artists include Jane Campbell and Dan Smith.  Campbell takes animal fiber, simple tools, soap and water and turns them into magical garments and art objects without spinning, weaving or cutting.

A professor of art and the humanities, for over 50 years Smith has crafted a wide body of work using many different subjects, styles, sizes and material.

Artists in Residence at Edgewood Cottage is free to the public. For collectors, some of the artists’ work is available for purchase.

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show

Well-defined muscles rippling under shiny black, brown, red, grey and white coats, great beasts of burden flying through the air with the greatest of ease over colorful hurdles…The riders astride these powerful mounts ranging from mere tots to winsome princesses or regal queens and kings of equestrian sport and competition. It seems as if there is nothing more royal in Blowing Rock than when the Charity Horse Show is in town.

It is impossible for the local business owner to overlook the fact that the Horse Show has an estimated $7 million-plus in economic impact on the High Country, with most of that in Blowing Rock amongst the various lodging establishments, restaurants, and shops. Two-thirds of the Horse Show impact will occur this week and next for the consecutive weeks of the Hunter-Jumper segment. More than 500 horses will be in town, with owners, riders, trainers and family members in tow.

Horse show participants pay entry fees, stall fees, feed fees, and ferrier fees at the Horse Show. The Rotary Club of Blowing Rock annually raises close to $30,000 from selling advertising and collecting money at the gate, 100% of which is redistributed in the community as grants to other non-profit agencies and college scholarships to deserving high school graduates.

Like in any athletic competition, the adversaries may be friends outside of the ring, but enter the arena and it is not just about the prize or trophy, but about bettering individual performances. In this case, both horse and rider are evaluated and judged.

Over the years, we have met some interesting people at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, but more than anything we treasure the spectacle of the entertainment it brings who venture to the L.M. Tate Horse Show Grounds. Horses are the stuff of fairy tales, of folklore, and central to heroic conquests of years gone by. Children read of them in books, but how often do they have an opportunity to see them up close and personal? To walk among them? To see them leap over the impossible?

Tour of Homes

Letting hundreds of strangers into a private home is a big commitment for the homeowner, but every year since 1958 the folks at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church seem to outdo themselves with the annual Tour of Homes in Blowing Rock.

This year’s featured homes are all historic, event chair Loy McGill told Blowing Rock News, “…providing a glimpse into old Blowing Rock treasures.  A sampling:

  • All in the family? Owl’s Roost is a 1932 home that remains in nearly original condition. It was built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s son-in-law, David Milton for the latter’s mother. It is thought that Milton’s brother-in-law, Wallace Harrison, was the architect. He has ties to the design of the Metropolitan Opera House, the United Nations Building, and Rockefeller Center in NYC. The house was later in the Cone family (yes, THAT Cone family), but was purchased in 1970 by current owners Nan and Edgar Lawton. This gem is at the end of Hidden Water Lane in Blowing Rock.
  • Nearing the century mark.  Merlin Glen features what are described as “mystical views of Johns River Gorge,” down on Laurel Park Rd. Jim Fort has spent many of his 90+ summers at the house. The structure was expanded in the 1990s to accommodate a growing family that included children and grandchildren. “Jim recalls that although the house was originally wired for electricity, kerosene lamps were used until electricity became available on the mountain. Water was initially provided by a waterwheel located near a spring below the house…”
  • Historic beacon. Tuckaway was built in 1924 by James W. Cannon, Jr. and more recently the home of the late Bud Shaw. It is hidden among the rhododendron along Wonderland Trail, but accessed from Meadow Lane. McGill explains, “It has been beautifully restored and updated by new owners Tracy Woody and Gene Ostrow with the help of local interior designer Suzanne Wilson. Great pains were endured to preserve the architectural integrity…The original 1924 dining table, antique bedroom chests, an historic grandfather clock and a variety of antique tables give this historic house a sense of place…The gardens were originally modeled by Mrs. Shaw after the Monet garden in Giverny, France…”
  • No Mayview madness here.  William Alexander, also known as the developer who built Mayview Manor and effectively created what we no today as the Mayview neighborhood, built Far Horizons in 1924. It was home to Anne Cannon Reynolds Tate Forsyth (now that’s a mouthful of historic NC lineage) for 50 years before being passed on to her son Zach Tate. It features spectacular views of Johns River Gorge, Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, Hawksbill — and on a clear day it is aid to provide glimpses of Charlotte and Mt. Mitchell. After a small furnace fire in 2014, a major renovation was initiated under the supervision of High Country interior designer Dianne Davant. “It’s a new house, but with the charm of an old estate on a grand landscaped lot.”
  • Post-war comfort. Dating all the way back to its construction in 1887, Maymont, the Main Street home of Sylvia and Cullie Tarleton, is rich in history. It was originally built by S.F. Harper, then sold in 1902 to Confederate Army General Matt W. Ransom, who before the Civil War served in the NC State Legislature and as NC Attorney General. After being granted a post-war pardon by President Andrew Johnson, he went on to serve in the U.S. Senate and as Ambassador to Mexico. The house was purchased by the Tarletons in 1996 from General Ransom’s descendants and underwent much needed renovations, including some additions.

At the recent America In Bloom reception, McGill told the audience that originally the tour price was $3. Today it is $30 (in advance), so the price of admission hasn’t quite kept up with inflation. Nonetheless, McGill says, “For 60 years we have opened doors and raised money for worthwhile programs. Since 1958, we have given over a  million dollars to various charities. Countless individuals have benefited from the generosity of the women and men who have made this event possible.

Symphony By The Lake

Always a big crowd…

This year’s theme is “Colors of the Mountains,” so it is a good bet that Blowing Rock will be in full bloom.  Conducted by maestro Cornelia Laemmli Orth, a native of Switzerland, the 60-year old Symphony of the Mountains will again perform for an audience that is projected to approach 5,000 surrounding the banks and slopes of the lake at Chetola Mountain Resort.  The orchestra’s programme this year features much anticipated selections, ranging from The Sound of Music, Moonglow, Foggy Mountain and A Touch of Jazz, among many others, including a patriotic finale of American Patrol March, Armed Forces Salute, William Tell Overture and the symphony’s traditional closer, John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever — accompanied by fireworks.



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