John Preston Arthur, local historian and author, wrote this elegant description of Valle Crucis in his "History of Watauga County" in 1915: "There is, perhaps, more interest in this place and its romantic history than in any other in Watauga County. …There is a dreamy spell which hangs over this little valley…" And he was right!
The small community of Valle Crucis is North Carolina’s first rural historic district and is where you’ll find the Original Mast General Store and the Mast Store Annex. Still the center of the community, the Original Mast Store houses the Post Office and offers up a 5¢ cup of coffee. Traversing its creaking floorboards, you’ll find country gourmet foods, cast iron cookware, speckleware, old-fashioned toys, footwear for all walks of life, hardware, and even a pair of galluses, if you need them.
Make sure to wander back to what was once used as a potato grading room and a feed room to find the Mast Store Knife Shop. Opened in June, 2016, this shop within a store features 500 different knives - fixed blade and folders, culinary and tactical. You'll even find axes, machetes, and more. The staff members are well educated and ready to help you make the right decision for your needs and use.
Take a short walk right around the corner to our sister store Rivercross Made in USA. These hills provide inspiration to artists that are native to the area as well as those who move here. A number of the artists featured in this handmade destination live within a rock's throw of the front door, while others call the state and the southeast home. Rivercross is kid-friendly!
Just 2/10 mile down the road is the Mast Store Annex. Constructed as a competing general store in 1909, these two general stores served a thriving community.
Today’s Annex has an eclectic collection of clothing, outdoor gear to hit the trail, and a collection of candy that would make any dentist happy.
When the weather is warmer, wander back toward Dutch Creek for an ice cream cone. Serving popular flavors like Moose Tracks, Cookie Dough, and Cappuccino Crunch, it's a great way to cool off. All tips at Dutch Creek Ice Cream are donated to the Valle Crucis Community Park.
Planting by the Moon and by the Signs
Whether or not you believe that your destiny is governed by the stars, you probably know which astrological sign you were born under, right? Astrology is just an amusement to most of us these days, but to our ancestors, natural astrology was important in predicting seasonal events and weather. Well-informed planters used the position of the sun, moon and the constellations to manage their livestock and crops.Read More
Not Goodbye, but So Long to Waynesville's General Manager
In a time when careers are measured in single-digit years, it’s truly something to celebrate when a manager of a retail store started on Day One and is leaving 27 years later. Days spent folding hundreds of sweaters are transcending to days gazing at high peaks in Montana and other places across the globe. No matter where Melanee ends up, it’s going to be just another day in paradise.Read More
Let's Ask Francine: What Was Happening in Valle Crucis in the 1800s?
Our Almost Monthly E-mail correspondent gets many questions over the course of the year. Many are answered with a quick e-mail back to the inquirer, but sometimes there are questions that might be of interest to more than one individual. That was the case this week when Francine was asked about what was going on in Valle Crucis in the 1800s. Let’s see …Read More