By Tim Gardner
One of the best books published in many years—if not ever—about the county seat town of Avery County is Jimmie Daniels’ new release: The Story of Newland-From the Old Fields of Toe to the Highest County Seat East of The Rockies.
Daniels wrote the book in collaboration with the Avery County Historical Museum as part of its latest Avery County Heritage Volume. First copies of the book were sold at a book signing and reception held at the museum on November 9th.
Daniels is considered by many as one of the premier historians for the Town of Newland. She has written or co-written other books, but she took on, perhaps, her most ambitious work with this book-writing effort.
Daniels offered the following comments about her new book: “When I started gathering information for this book, I wanted to share some of the first history of Newland from the time it was chosen as the County Seat on August 1, 1911 and through the 1950-1960 period. For some stories we had to go outside those years. I offer thanks to Avery County Register of Deeds Renee Dellinger for helping me find that information. The book also includes a copy of the deed showing the people who donated the land for Newland which was shared with me by Shane Heymore. It is my goal to gather and share as much of our history as I possibly can and leave it for future generations. I love my hometown of the past 60-plus years. As I have said many times, Newland is not Heaven, but it will do until the Good Lord calls me home.”
Daniels came to Newland as a young girl when her parents serving as jailers moved the family to live in the county’s old jail, which currently houses the Avery Museum. After Jimmie’s marriage to Lynn Daniels, the couple became an integral part in “the story of Newland.” Through Jimmie’s many stories and extensive research, she has shared her preservation of the history of the area with friends far and near who have in turn trusted Jimmie with family photos and recollections of times past.
Her love for the town is reflected throughout the book. There is a multitude of reminiscing about various topics, happenings and her fellow-Newland personalities. Like all accomplished historians, Jimmie doesn’t just recite facts, she interprets and analyzes the past, giving a history of the town and its people that is like life itself, lived day-by-day, and is rich, complex and inspiring.
The Story of Newland—From the Old Fields of Toe to the Highest County Seat East of The Rockies is a fascinating read and a must-have book for any Newland native, resident, anyone else with ties to the town or someone who just simply enjoys a good book.
The book is 100 pages in length and includes many pictures. Its design was aptly done by Aaron Banks. The book costs $24.58 (including tax) and can be obtained in person at the Avery County Museum, located at 1829 Schulz Circle in Newland, or on the museum’s web site (averycountyhistorymuseum.com). For mail orders, phone the Avery Museum at (828) 733-7111for prices. Daniels can also be scheduled for book signings by also calling the museum.