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Ashe County NC Lost Province

<h1>North Carolina&rsquo;s Lost Province | Ashe County</h1> <p>Up until the dawn of the 20th century there were many corners of North Carolina that remained relatively inaccessible for travelers and trade.</p> <p>&nbsp;Roads, railways, and other major forms of transportation were extremely limited due to the rugged nature of the Blue Ridge Mountains rising sharply in the western part of our beautiful state.</p> <p>&nbsp;The Blue Ridge Mountains at times rise more than 2000 feet over the valley below &ndash; posing a formidable obstacle to those who may wish to venture westward from the Piedmont region.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>The Horton Turnpike&nbsp;&nbsp;</h2> <p>In the late 19th century, there was a push by some local citizens and Ashe County&rsquo;s government to create a road leading from Jefferson into Wilkesboro.&nbsp;</p> <p>Colonel Nathan Horton, a particularly impassioned Ashe County citizen, personally funded a large portion of the &ldquo;Horton Turnpike&rdquo; which was to connect Wilkesboro to Jefferson and continue to the Tennessee border.</p> <p>In those days, tolls were commonly charged for road use due to the large costs incurred from road construction through the mountains.&nbsp;</p> <p>Travelers were typically charged 50 cents for a 4-wheel carriage, 10 cents for each passenger on horse, 5 cents for each foot passenger, 2.5 cents per cattle head, and 1 cent for every hog or sheep.&nbsp;Due to steep terrain and trouble securing laborers, the &ldquo;Horton Turnpike&rdquo; was never completed.</p> <h2>Ashe County Known as Lost Province</h2> <p>&nbsp;In 1887, Ashe County instead turned its attention to completing a road leading to Marion, Virginia &ndash; the closest railroad connection at the time.&nbsp;The road to Marion resulted in increased trade with Virginia and less commerce with the rest of North Carolina, thus unofficially designating Ashe County as North Carolina&rsquo;s &ldquo;Lost Province.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the early 20th century, some route changes were made to original Horton Turnpike: grades were made manageable, bridges were built, and some sand/clay surfaces were added to replace the original dirt.&nbsp;</p> <p>These updates were funded through a joint effort from the State and private subscriptions from the citizens of Ashe and Wilkes Counties.&nbsp;The new road, known as the Jefferson Turnpike, was a major improvement over prior passageways leading through the mountains and provided a dependable - albeit temporary - connection to the rest of the North Carolina.</p> <p>Unfortunately, an infamous rainy period in 1916 caused flooding across western North Carolina. Most of&nbsp;the Jefferson Turnpike was permanently washed away in 1916 and roads temporarily deteriorated to back to 19th century conditions.&nbsp;</p> <h2>North Carolina establishes the State Highway System</h2> <p>It was not until North Carolina&rsquo;s General Assembly established the state highway system in 1921 that Highway 16 was constructed.&nbsp;Highway 16 is currently used today and provides a reliable passageway from Wilkesboro into Ashe County.&nbsp;Highways 421, 221, 88, and 163 also provide easy transportation throughout the area to present day.</p> <p>As of current, US Highway 221 is being upgraded &ndash; designed to be the safest road of its kind upon completion later this year.&nbsp;A modern, four-lane divided highway will replace the original two-lane road leading from Deep Gap to West Jefferson.&nbsp;When completed, Ashe County will become even more accessible and easy to find for those visiting our scenic mountain province.</p> <p>Although the region is now well-connected to the rest of the state, some still endearingly refer to Ashe County as North Carolina&rsquo;s &ldquo;Lost Province.&rdquo;&nbsp;Our beautiful corner of the state has an untouched feel compared to other regions, tucked away in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sources:</p> <p>&nbsp;Arthur Lloyd Fletcher, 2006.&nbsp;Ashe County, A History, a new edition.&nbsp;Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies, 14.</p> <p><a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180205000720/http:/www.appalachianhistory.net/2016/08/lost-provinces.html" target="_blank">https://web.archive.org/web/20180205000720/http://www.appalachianhistory.net/2016/08/lost-provinces.html</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

River House Inn and Restaurant

<h1>Visit River House Inn and Restaurant</h1> <p>There are many reasons to visit the River House Inn and Restaurant in Ashe County. Whether you are there for dinner, relaxing for the day, or staying for the weekend, the River House Inn will be a wonderful experience.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Find a rocking chair, sit back on the porch, and enjoy watching the New River&rsquo;s tranquil waters make their way downstream. After time well-spent at the River House Inn and Restaurant, you will feel refreshed and look&nbsp;forward to returning.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Along with the many events held throughout the year, the River House holds two major events during the summer.</p> <p>A Wine Tasting held at the beginning of summer and the Blues Fest held just as the first hint of color appears on the trees.&nbsp; Both evens bring people from near and far to enjoy a day well spent on the banks of the New River.&nbsp;</p> <p>The River House Inn is also a perfect destination for business meetings or conferences as well as wedding venues.&nbsp;</p> <p>The River House Inn and Restaurant is on the New River in&nbsp;the quaint communities of Grassy Creek and Crumpler in northern Ashe County, a short drive from West Jefferson and Boone.</p> <h2>River House Inn&rsquo;s History</h2> <p>Part of what makes the River House Inn so special is its unique history. Some of the buildings on the property date back to early 1870&rsquo;s.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1824, Meredith Ballou first built a home on the river-front property, having received a land grant of 10,000 acres. One of Meredith&rsquo;s descendants built the first version of the River House in 1870. The property stayed within the Ballou family until deeded to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980.&nbsp;</p> <p>UNC Chapel Hill put the house on the market &ndash; the estate had a couple different owners in the 1980s and used as a horse farm until 1988.</p> <p>Gayle Winston, a Grassy Creek native, bought the remaining acreage in 1988, renovated the main house and adjacent buildings to create the River House Inn and Restaurant that still stands today.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Ashe County Farmers Market in West Jefferson

<h1>Visit the Farmers Market in West Jefferson</h1> <p>There are many reasons to shop local at the Ashe County Farmers Market.&nbsp; Choosing our local farmers market means stimulating the economy of northwestern North Carolina.&nbsp; It also means fresher food as food is gown locally instead of transported hundreds &ndash; sometimes even thousands of miles.&nbsp;</p> <p>When you shop at the Ashe County Farmers Market you will find fresh vegetables, there is seasonal produce, local honey, free-range eggs, maple syrup, jams, and freshly baked breads and pastries.&nbsp; Local all-natural beef, chicken, pork, and lamb as well as (occasionally) fresh mountain trout are also available in a wide variety of cuts and sizes.&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to fruits, meats, and vegetables the Ashe County Farmers Market features the works from talented local artisans including hand-woven baskets, pottery, candles, quilts, and soaps.&nbsp; Fine wood crafts are also available for sale: one-of-kind cutting boards, bird houses, furniture, and boutique picture frames just to name a few.&nbsp;</p> <p>The market has a wide choice of nursery items, bedding plants and flowering arrangements ready for landscaping and outdoor gardens.&nbsp; During the Christmas season, the Farmers Market features Christmas trees, garland, handmade ornaments, and all types of greenery for the holiday season.</p> <h2>More than a Farmers Market</h2> <p>During the summer, the Farmers Market will sponsor different activities, such as a sheep-sheering Saturday, a day for Llamas, Alpacas, occasional live music and many more activities.</p> <p>Drop by 108 Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson on Saturday morning to restock your kitchen, prepare for your garden, and discover unique hand-crafted home goods. Visiting Ashe County Farmers Market on Saturday morning is a morning spent having fun and getting together with friends that you have not seen for ages.</p> <p>&nbsp;The Ashe County Farmers Market in West Jefferson shows off the best of our &ldquo;coolest corner&rdquo; of North Carolina.&nbsp; You are sure to find genuine southern hospitality and plenty of smiling faces.</p> <p>In-season hours for the Ashe County Farmers Market are 8AM-1PM every Saturday from May through October.</p> <h2>Please Note:</h2> <p>There have been some changes in the layout of the fresh air market due to Covid-19.&nbsp; To make it a safe shopping environment, there will be only one entrance and one exit.&nbsp; The entrance to the market will be on the WJ Hardware side.&nbsp; At the entrance, you will have a hand washing station.&nbsp; The exit will be on the side to the First Baptist Church.&nbsp; The vendors will be there wearing their gloves and masks and will help you bag your products.&nbsp; The management of the Farmers Market asks your help in social distancing of at least 6 feet from those inside the market and suggests wearing a mask and gloves.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

New River State Park

<h1>New River State Park</h1> <p>Designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1976, the New River is one of the most popular waterways in North Carolina&#39;s mountains. New River State Park affords residents of Ashe County and its visitors a convenient opportunity to enjoy the New River&#39;s waters as they carve their way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some popular activities within the state park include camping (both primitive and with RV hookups), hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. There is even a public swimming beach at Elk Shoals if you would rather relax in the sun on a warm afternoon. There are two options for accessing the New River within the state park: one along US Highway 221 and the other at Wagoner Road.</p> <p>Multiple outdoor outfitters are also available in the area to help with watercraft rentals and shuttles - supporting single day excursions or multiday adventures. For those who wish to reserve a picnic shelter, please visit<a href="https://www.NCparks.gov"> <em>NCParks.gov</em></a> or call 877-722-6762.</p> <p>Pack up your fishing rods and camping gear for the weekend, or simply pack a picnic to appreciate a relaxing afternoon at New River State Park. You are sure to enjoy your time spent along the New River&#39;s scenic waters.</p> <h2>More on the New River - Ashe County</h2> <p>The New River&#39;s northern headwaters are on the upper slopes of Elk Knob in Watauga County, while the South Fork of the New River begins around Thunder Hill Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock. The North and South Forks of the New River join just downstream from Weavers Ford in Ashe County - a notable confluence before the waters continue their serpentine northward journey. The New River makes its way north into Virginia and West Virginia where it eventually joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River. Just upstream from the confluence of the New and Gauley Rivers, the New River cuts its way through the West Virginia mountains to form the New River Gorge. This rugged stretch of water attracts white water rafting and kayaking enthusiasts as the water tumbles through remote mountain terrain. The New River also passes 876 feet beneath the Gorge Bridge - one of the highest arc bridges in the world.</p> <p>The New River, ironically named, is the second oldest river in the world - only predated by the Nile River in Africa. Some scientists believe the New River&rsquo;s waters to outdate the Appalachian Mountains themselves, potentially having carved through the region&#39;s geography before the mountains uplifted from the earth&#39;s crust. Today, many across Appalachia enjoy the New River&#39;s waters for recreation or depend on the river as a source of life.</p> <p>Here at Ashe High Country Realty, we believe the New River is one of Ashe County&#39;s many hidden gems. There are many <a href="https://www.ashecountyrealestate.com/categories/homes-by-the-river-nc" target="_self"><em>riverfront properties</em> </a>for sale with a pristine view of the New River or one of its many tributaries.</p> <p>&nbsp;Come spend a day in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina to see for yourself!</p>

The Blue Ridge Parkway

<p>The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic two-lane highway that follows the crest of the Appalachian Mountains from southwestern North Carolina to central Virginia. Part of the greater Appalachian Mountain range, the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains were uplifted from the Earth&rsquo;s crust over one-billion years ago. These rugged mountains were once sparsely inhabited and rarely visited for recreation. Today, thanks in-part to the Blue Ridge Parkway, millions are able to enjoy the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains every year &ndash; relishing long-range vistas from the comfort of their own vehicles or stopping to explore countless hiking trails that adjoin this picturesque mountain byway. Whether it&rsquo;s the vibrant pink Rhododendron bloom in June or the blazing fall colors that blanket the mountains every fall, each winding curve along the Blue Ridge Parkway unveils a unique Appalachian display that will take your breath away.</p> <p>Residents of Ashe County and the surrounding area are blessed to have one of the most scenic roads in the world right in their backyard. Twenty of the Parkway&rsquo;s 469 miles either border or pass directly through Ashe County, and area residents are a short drive from some of the most renowned sections of the entire road. The Mountains to the Sea Trail, an epic footpath that traverses North Carolina, parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway though Ashe County. Julian Price Park, Grandfather Mountain, E.B. Jeffress Park, Moses Cone Manor, and Doughton Park are a few additional nearby options that are sure to inspire a sense of awe and appreciation for the majestic Appalachian Mountains and their rich history.</p> <p>In the years of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) group in Virginia as they worked to complete Skyline Drive through the recently established Shenandoah National Park. Around one year before Roosevelt&rsquo;s visit, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was also founded in the mountains of western North Carolina. With the automobile becoming an increasingly common mode of transportation, visitors flocked from broader areas to visit both scenic parks &ndash; perhaps turning to nature to escape the day-to-day stresses that affected nearly everyone who lived through the 1930s. Roosevelt aptly envisioned a scenic highway to connect these two iconic national parks.</p> <p>Not only was the Parkway a unique idea to connect two national parks, but also a means to put thousands of Americans back to work. Skilled engineers, architects, landscape architects, private contractors, and many more with a willingness to work suffered from widespread unemployment &ndash; their valuable skills left unused. Families, especially in rural Appalachia, were particularly hard-hit. Thus, for more reasons than one, the idea for our cherished &ldquo;Appalachian Scenic Highway&rdquo; (later to be renamed Blue Ridge Parkway) was formed.</p> <p>Once obtaining support from US Congress, Roosevelt&rsquo;s administration was able to determine necessary details to begin construction. Right-of-ways were to be purchased by states and then transferred to the National Park Service, creating a single, narrow national park spanning hundreds of miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At times, the right-of-way for the road is as narrow at 200 feet. In the early days of planning the route for the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Tennessee clashed over competing proposed routes: one through northeastern Tennessee, and the other through northwestern North Carolina. North Carolina&rsquo;s congressman Bob Doughton is credited with ensuring NC&rsquo;s route was chosen, giving Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, and Alleghany Counties the Parkway we all enjoy today.</p> <p>Construction began near North Carolina&rsquo;s Cumberland Knob in September 1935, and ground was formally broken in Virginia a few months later. Progress was slow. Weather, rugged terrain, reluctant landowners, and a lack of reliable mapping made the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway a challenging endeavor. Minimizing the impact to the fragile habitats along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains was always a priority. There were 26 tunnels and hundreds of miles of narrow bench cuts constructed through high mountain passes. All but one particularly rugged section along Grandfather Mountain&rsquo;s southeastern slopes were finally completed by 1966. The Linn Cove Viaduct, a short drive on the Parkway from Ashe County, was not opened until 1987. &ldquo;The Viaduct,&rdquo; as it is known by locals, is a modern engineering marvel &ndash; quite literally a highway in the sky built next to Grandfather Mountain to preserve its natural beauty.</p> <p>The Blue Ridge Parkway, and the splendor of the Appalachian Mountains in northwestern North Carolina, make Ashe County an enticing place to call home. Many of our properties are within a few miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Come visit our special corner of North Carolina or <a href="/categories/blue-ridge-mountain-real-estate">check out the listings</a> on our website to learn why Ashe County is the perfect place for your new mountain escape.</p>

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