Orchard at Altapass Saved by Carson Family

Master storyteller Bill Carson tells how his family saved a century-old apple orchard from development and turned it into a heritage attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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The town of Highlands was supposed to become a hub of commerce in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, had its founders had their way.  In 1875, two developers in Kansas drew two lines--one between New York and New Orleans, the other from Chicago to Savannah.  Where the lines crossed, they believed would become a crossroads of trade. 

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Black Mountain

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Black Mountain

Black Mountain, originally called "Grey Eagle," was a tiny agrarian village in the Blue Ridge Mountains until the coming of the railroad in 1879, an event that changed the face of the community forever. 

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Read more about Saluda


First a mere crossroads for traders and drovers after the Civil War, then a thriving railroad town and refuge for summer visitors wishing to escape the heat of hotter climes, Saluda has evolved into today's modern community that includes more than a dozen resident artists and galleries.

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Mrs. Sandburg's Goats

The farm was also home to Mrs. Sandburg's champion dairy goats. Today, three breeds of goats are still raised on site and park rangers and volunteers are on hand at to provide information about the dairy goat operation.

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Moses Cone--Denim King & Conservationist

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, near Blowing Rock, North Carolina on the Blue Ridge Parkway, preserves the country estate of Moses Cone, a prosperous textile entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist of the Gilded Age. Its centerpiece is Flat Top Manor, a gleaming white 20-room, 13,000 square foot mansion built in 1901 in the grand Colonial Revival style.

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Mountain Farm--Lavender and Baby Goats

Today, traditional crops continue to be cultivated along with many newer introductions.

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Heritage Garden at North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the finest public gardens in the Southern Appalachians. Arboretum exhibits emphasize connections between local culture and the landscape and its gentle trails are popular for woodland walks.

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