On Monday August 22, 2022, a large crowd of more than two hundred and fifty gathered for a Community Meeting sponsored by the Blowing Rock Civic Association at the Blowing Rock Country Club.
The large group of enthusiastic residents was treated to a fascinating presentation of videos about the colorful history of Blowing Rock written and narrated by Blowing Rock native and gifted historian Dr. Barry Buxton. The videos are based on Dr. Buxton’s popular book of Blowing Rock history titled “A Village Tapestry”. The videos were produced as a joint effort by the Blowing Rock Civic Association and the Blowing Rock Historical Society.
Blowing Rock Civic Association Chair Jean Kitchin welcomed everyone and introduced Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers who complimented the two sponsoring organizations for their dedication to the community.
Blowing Rock Historical Society President Tom O’Brien, who was then introduced by Kitchin, said this special effort to focus on the interesting history of the truly unique mountain village of Blowing Rock will be of great benefit to current and future residents and visitors to the town.
Kitchin then introduced Dr. Buxton who told the audience about his experience in growing up in Blowing Rock when it was a much smaller seasonal town of quiet winters and busy summers. Buxton paid tribute to Paul Broyhill and the Broyhill Family for their contributions to the first and now second publishings of “A Village Tapestry”.
Buxton noted that copies of his book would be available for purchase and his personal signature after the program with all proceeds going to the Blowing Rock Historical Society. The books at the meeting were all sold quickly.
Buxton said that it was a real pleasure to work with Tom O’Brien especially in choosing historic pictures of Blowing Rock for use in the videos. Buxton said that if public reception of the current videos is good he hopes to produce a second series of historic videos that he will title “The Queens of Blowing Rock” to focus on the lives and community contributions of great ladies of Blowing Rock.
The videos then proceeded to enthrall the audience for the next hour as Buxton spun intriguing tales of notable people who did amazing things in Blowing Rock. One was an imaginative developer from Charlotte who created the beautiful Mayview section of Blowing Rock and one of America’s greatest resort hotels The Mayview Manor in the 1920’s. Others included a flamboyant family of the 1920’s who built an incredibly expensive version of a European castle in Blowing Rock, hosted elegant parties, and high stakes poker games and who went broke in the Great Depression. The castle is still a beautiful Blowing Rock residence. There were other stories of a great tourist promoter who founded the state’s first and still successful tourist attraction and of the nation’s oldest continuous horse show and the many stimulating people it has brought to Blowing Rock. Other video attention was focused on the quaint downtown and the splendid Chetola Resort onetime home of “The Coca Cola Bottling King of the Carolinas”.
Blowing Rock Civic Association will have an announcement soon on availability of these historic videos to the public.