By David Rogers. March 11, 2019. BLOWING ROCK, NC — An enthusiastic, even boisterous group-sing of “Happy Birthday” rang through Town Hall on Monday, as an estimated 60 residents, business owners, Chamber of Commerce members, and government officials celebrated 130 years of Blowing Rock’s incorporation.
Along with an ample supply of birthday cake and punch, the celebration was highlighted by the Blowing Rock Historical Society’s annual presentation of new historical markers to recognize noteworthy properties within the Town limits.
Two iconic houses became the 41st and 42nd markers to be handed out by the Historical Society to the designated properties.
First was what is known as Craig’s Cottage or Knitters Rest, currently owned by Dr. Bunky and Tina Davant. The marker is inscribed, “Craig’s Cottage was built (ca. 1890) by D.J. Craig, the original owner of the Green Park Hotel.The foundation and five fireplaces are built of Grandfather Mountain stone. Chestnut bark siding was later replaced with cedar siding. German style architectural details enhance the roof peaks. The second owners, William and Marion Nebel, owners of a Charlotte hosiery mill, name it “Knitters Rest.”
The second marker was presented to what is now the headquarters office of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. It was built circa 1903 and is dubbed, “the Miller/Robbins House.” The inscription reads, “Cicero Miller, owner of Miller General Mercantile, built the house. Later, in 1919, it became the home of Mayor and civic leader Grover C. Robbins, Sr. and wife Lena, daughter of Cicero and Minnie Miller. Additions were made in 1931, 1941, and 1948. The house has clear and wormy chestnut paneling and two fireplaces of Grandfather Mountain granite with chestnut mantels.”
In addition to a representative of the current Miller/Robbins House owner, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce CEO Charles Hardin, descendants of Grover Robbins, Sr. were on hand, including Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Robbins, Peggy Sellers, and Ruth Robbins Botzis.
Blowing Rock’s incorporation was in March 1889. The historical markers program was launched in 2008 by the Historical Society with the encouragement of the late Ginny Stevens. Marcia Quinn, who chairs the Markers Committee for the Historical Society, presided over the markers’ respective presentations. She told the group in attendance that this year’s markers bring the total to 42 since the program started in 2008, but that there have already been 105 potential sites identified, with more being added every year.