Hike with a Historian –
Explore History Where it Happened
Sometimes the best way to learn is to see and experience the places we discuss. Partnering with local historians and researchers, AMoH frequently leads outdoor hikes (and occasional paddles) to and along historic places and routes within western North Carolina. These range from easy, 2-mile walks to strenuous 6+ mile hikes. These programs include forests, cemeteries, forgotten roads, high peaks, storied rivers and more! We often follow our book or lecture events with these outdoor excursions, giving guests and members opportunities to explore subjects in multiple ways. We hope to see you at these outings!
Prices vary for these events (paddles may cost more) with AMoH members receiving discounted rates. No-cost community funded tickets are also available thanks to donations.
See our event calendar for more specifics and registration links.
What To Expect:
- Outings are led by a guest historian/speaker or the AMoH public programs director.
- Participants are asked to fill out a liability waiver and provide emergency contact information.
- Outings sometimes require cooperative shuttling in vehicles.
- We love pets, but not all events allow for them.
- Occasionally parking arrangements and dates change due to weather or other factors. We stay in contact with registrants and notify them of any changes prior to the event.
Hikes With a Historian: Ray Mica Mine
September 20, 2023
On this early fall day, we were grateful to have Dr. William Miller (UNCA emeritus professor of environmental studies) lead us on a short hike to the former Ray mica mine near Burnsville. Many of the deep pits and tailings from the mica extraction are visible, as are countless specimens of the transparent mineral scattered all throughout the area. We learned about the ancient geologic forces which shaped this section of the Appalachians millions of years ago and the social history of mining in the area in much more recent times. We hope you’ll join us for more hikes and outings in our Hikes With a Historian series in 2024!
Hikes With a Historian – Cemetery Series: Quaker Meadows Cemetery and Frankie Silver Grave
Sep 13, 2023
The final event in our 2023 Cemetery Series explored some of the most politically influential/connected families in the foothills during the last decades of the 18th century as well as one of the most famous murder trials in WNC history. We were guided through the Quaker Meadows Cemetery (started by the McDowell family) by a docent from Historic Burke Foundation. We then travelled several miles from Morganton to see the supposed grave of Frances “Frankie” Silver, hanged for murder in 1833. A big thanks to all who attended this and other events in our series!
Hikes With a Historian – Cemetery Series: Ashworth Cemetery and Sherrill’s Inn
Sep 6, 2023
The second event in our 2023 Cemetery Series explored the early push of settlers into and over the Blue Ridge right after the American Revolutionary War and new treaties with the Cherokees. We looked at the arrival of African-descended enslaved people into the region, land speculation and continued migration, the early road and stagecoach network, and also the legends of healing women or mountain witches, putting some names to those bigger patterns.
We were also lucky on this tour to have several descendants, community members, and stewards of the land join us and share some of their own oral history passed down to them. Oral history like this is invaluable to understanding places and people which/whom were not typically documented.
Ellicott’s Rock Hike
March 18, 2023
On this chilly late-winter day, we explored the history of the tri-state border region and the 35th parallel. Contested by the Cherokee and settlers, and later the states of NC, SC, and GA, the “orphan strip” and Walton County were a brief but fascinating part of WNC history. We made our way to the Chattooga River to search for the boundary-defining survey markers that finally put to rest the tensions and defined this area as part of North Carolina. Of course, we also had to discuss the Chattooga’s connection to a pervasive regional stereotype as the filming location for the film Deliverance.