In its beginning, Asheville was located at the crossroads of trade routes and deer paths…and it was called Morristown. In 1797, it was renamed Asheville by North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe. At one time, this city located in the broad Swannanoa Valley was the third largest city in the state; right behind Raleigh and Wilmington.
In the late 1800s and early 20th century, Asheville became known as a health resort. Folks flocked to the mountains to enjoy the fresh air and the fine accommodations of the Grove Park Inn and the Battery Park Hotel and to engage in outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, and picnicking.
You might not know, but the Asheville area is the root source of a word commonly used to denote "nonsense." In 1820, Representative Felix Walker was addressing the House of Representatives on the topic of Missouri statehood. His intent was to engage in a long address, not necessarily related to the issue at hand, with the goal of being quoted in the newspaper, so he could be noted as performing his job. His long, dull, and drawn out speech was referred to as…just a lot of "bunkum," in reference to his home county of Buncombe.
Wandering down Biltmore Avenue from Pack Square, one of the oldest parts of the city, you’ll happen upon the Mast General Store. Located in the old Fain’s Department Store building, the mercantile is filled with most everything you need for life…and that’s no bunk!
Celebrating our Mother on Earth Day 2021
Earth Day 2021 marks the 51st observance of this day set aside to reflect upon our home planet. April 22 was originally selected as the date to invite student participation. It was a day between spring break and final exams when young people could come together to learn more about their, OUR, impact in our “living room.”Read More
The Last Days of Winter Hiking
The winter months are not just for curling up with a good book in front a crackling fire. They are great for hitting the trails. Your favorite trails will show you new views. It’s a great time to discover new trails, too, when there aren’t as many hikers out and about. Here are a few of our favorite winter hiking spots that make us say, “Don’t hibernate, getting outside in the winter is great!”Read More
Mast Stores are Open for Business
“The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” You may be acquainted with this quote that is widely – and inaccurately - attributed to Mark Twain. Apparently, it is also being used in reference to some locations of the Mast Store. Well, we are here to report that the rumors of our closing and going out of business are, indeed, greatly exaggerated.Read More
It took a while to find just the right building in Asheville. When we identified 15 Biltmore Avenue as our new home, so many people shared their fond memories of Fain's Department Store. It was a thrift store featuring clothing for men, women, and children, along with linens, housewares, and gifts. Today, as you walk in the front door, you'll see a memory prompt for many.Read more