BLOWING ROCK — Five Blowing Rock sites were selected to receive historic markers on March 10 during the town’s 129th birthday celebration.
The Yonahlossee Theater, Storie’s Soda Shop, Tweetsie, the American Legion Building and the home of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Carter will receive the red and gold markers, as announced by the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and the Blowing Rock Historical Society.
- Yonahlossee Theater was open from June 1939 to 1979 during the summer months. Now home to Hanna’s Oriental Rugs and Gifts, Thamena Hanna accepted the marker to be put on the building.
- Storie’s Soda Shop, a cornerstone of Sunset Drive and Main Street for many year, the shop was known as Coman’s to many locals. Richard Trexler accepted the marker on behalf of property owner Bob Laverne.
- Tweetsie Railroad — North Carolina’s first theme park — has been hosting families since 1957, featuring its famous No. 12 locomotive. Owners Cathy and Chris Robbins accepted the marker.
- The American Legion Building, built in 1959 and renovated in 2015, has bene home to American Legion Post 256 and to commemorate the veterans of Blowing Rock and serve the community. Mayor Charles Sellers and Mayor Pro-Tem and Post Commander Albert Yount accepted the award on behalf of the town, which owns the building.
- The home of Dr. Charles Carter and his wife Mary Nelson — one of Blowing Rock’s oldest remaining intact houses — was honored. Built in 1885, the structure was home to Dr. Carter, the first registered medical physician in Blowing Rock. Mary Carter taught the towns’ first Sunday school on the lawn and started the Mission House Lend-A-Hand Library. Current owners Morgan and Jack Horner received the marker.
Marcia Quinn of the Blowing Rock Historical Society noted that the late Virginia “Ginny” Stevens was the visionary and driving force behind the Historical Marker Program, which started in 2008.
“There are several structures within the community of Blowing Rock that are important elements of the town’s built environment; examples of a particular architectural style; may be of historic importance or simply deserving distinction by their design,” Quinn said. “These structures, and the town as a whole, will benefit greatly from such a program that educates tourists and citizens alike.”
Quinn said that Stevens’ vision was for a walking tour of the history of Blowing Rock, which the program helps to accomplish.
Categories for the marker program include commercial buildings, private residences, commercia/hotels, sites, new construction/renovations, churches, schools, municipal buildings, historic properties, public art and “other properties and/or items of significance deemed appropriate by the Blowing Rock Marker Committee.” Quinn noted that all physical churches in Blowing Rock have received markers already.
As of Tuesday, 38 markers have been awarded in Blowing Rock during the last decade. Quinn said going forward, the program will indentify “one or two” recipients each year.