Posted on Leave a comment

A Guide to the Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail

Are you a fan of artisan cheese or specialty foods? Are you a traveler seeking an out of the ordinary travel itinerary? Are you in western North Carolina and looking for a fun way to spend a weekend? Do you prefer to shop local and support local, small business? Do you enjoy finding that perfect birthday or holiday gift that the recipient will never expect? If you answered yes to any of these questions or the ideas sound appealing, I strongly recommend a tour through the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail!

This unique grouping of artisan cheese makers came together in 2012 with the stated goal “To promote production and sale of WNC artisan cheese, facilitate consumer education, and encourage tourism to the region to benefit our members.” While we didn’t get to every stop on the trail, having visited several of these incredible artisans, I can highly recommend following the trail. The cheeses are varied and delicious and the cheese makers are friendly and passionate about what they do.

Many of the cheese makers listed below focus on goats milk in making their cheeses. A lot of people do not like goat cheese. Food & Wine magazine has put together a listing of common misconceptions and mistakes people make about goat cheese. I encourage you to read this brief article. 

Th WNCCT volunteer organization does a tremendous job promoting their members and each year hosts the annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festivala gathering  that draws more than thirty cheese and artisan food producers to a beautiful location, providing businesses and customers a chance to mingle, renew acquaintances, and seek out the finest in artisan cheese. Check the website linked above for future events.

So, without further ado, lets take a look at the WNC Cheese Trail. Below, you will find a map of the trail. I will follow along the numbered trail below providing you information on the name, address, website, and crucial information on each stop. You won’t be able to get to all of these in a day but this can help you plan out a trip and make the most of your time.

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail by Location

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail
Map is courtesy Western North Carolina Cheese Trail

 

1. Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery                                                                                                                            327 Flat Rock Road
Fairview, NC 28711

Using locally produced raw cow milk, BRMC produces a range of cave aged cheeses including blue, asiago, cheddar, pepper jack, and more. Victor, the owner, is known not just for his cheese making skill but also his glassblowing abilities. You can find Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery cheeses at local tailgate markets and in many restaurants.

 

English Farmstead Cheese
English Farmstead Cheese

2. English Farmstead                                                                           19456 US 221 North                                                                         Marion, NC 28752

From our family cows to your table. Their Facebook page seems the best way to get information.  I recommend calling or emailing for additional information, including hours. It looks like tours may be available but I wasn’t able to find a lot of detail.

 

 

 

Pierre Cheese Market

3. Heritage Homestead Dairy                                                                                                                               960 Roy Goodman Road                                                                                                                                   Crumpler, North Carolina 28617

Since 1994 owners Carol and Lon Coulter have been raising several varieties of goats in order to produce their delicious cheeses that are found at local markets and retail establishments. Goats are milked eight months out of the year and bred in March and April, allowing for sustainable production. According to their website products range from chevre to feta to pimento. Other products include fudge , caramels, and pestos. Use their contact form to arrange for direct purchase.

4. Looking Glass Creamery                                                                                                                                    115 Harmon Dairy Lane                                                                                                                                     Columbus, North Carolina 28722

Their mission, “We want to operate a diverse farm and share it with our guests to provide experience, enjoyment and education about farming and food production. We will make great cheese, preserves and cider within a full circle system that works in harmony with the land, people, and animals. Our farm will be financially sound, environmentally responsible, and agriculturally thriving.”

Read a brief history of their production on their website. Follow them on their Facebook page for all the latest.

 

Rogue Creamery Hopyard Cheddar – $15.79

By adding organic, Northwest-grown hop blossoms to their cheddar as they stir the curds, Rogue Creamery created a floral, herbal cheese with subtle, pleasant bitterness and a buttery finish.

 

 

Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain, NC.
Round Mountain Creamery Store

5. Round Mountain Creamery                                                                 2203 Old Fort Road                                                                           Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711

Round Mountain Creamery began in 2002 by Linda Seligman and five goats. Today it is a thriving 28 acre goat dairy and farmstead. It was named the first Grade A certified goat dairy in North Carolina. The farm produces nine varieties of soft cheese in sweet, savory, and spicy combinations. Their cheeses are available at numerous local markets and at their own farm store. Tours of the farm are available and must be booked in advance. One hour walking tours cost $15 per person.  See the website for details on booking this unique experience.

 

6. Spinning Spider Creamery                                                                                                                             4717 East Fork Road                                                                                                                                             Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Begun in 1999 as a goat dairy in response to cow milk allergies, Spinning Spider Creamery is a family farm with roots in 4-H and homeschooling their three sons.  The family mission is to maintain a lifestyle that incorporates the cycles of the seasons with their love of our animals, their craft of cheese making and their family unity.  The entire family participates in the operation of the creamery.  The end result is a variety of handcrafted artisan cheeses brought to their fullest complexity of flavors through care and attention to detail in an old world style.

Their cheeses are available at farmers markets, local specialty stores and limited hours by appointment at the farm.  At this time they offer no tours and limit on farm sales to appointment only. You may also keep up with them on their Facebook page.

7. Yellow Branch Cheese and Pottery

Appears to be closed. Website is deactivated and social media have not been updated.

8. Blue Goat Dairy

Vail, NC 28168

They treat their goats with homeopathic remedies and herbs to keep them healthy. The goats are fed with all-natural local hay that is not treated with sprays or other harmful chemicals. After the milk comes from the goats, they pasteurize it and make it into all the different flavors immediately. The sooner the milk is used, the fresher the cheese is. Their goat cheese is so smooth and creamy that even folks who say “I don’t like goat cheese” are delighted by the tastiness!

You may follow them on their Facebook page.

Chevoo on Crackers with Truffle SlicesChoose CHEVOO for all your mail order gourmet goat cheese product. Click the link or the photo to learn more about their products and to place your order.  All CHEVOO Marinated Goat Cheeses start with the highest quality goat cheese, hand-blended with herbs, spices, chilis, honey, or pollens and then pair them with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil blend that has been infused for 8 weeks with crushed botanicals. CHEVOO was founded in 2015 by Aussie expats Gerard & Susan Tuck. When they moved to the US they were inspired to create a new and unique range of Marinated Goat Cheeses that American foodies would love.

Recommended Farm Stops Along the Cheese Trail

9. Addison Farms Vineyard

10. French Broad Creamery

11. Hickory Nut Gap Farm

12. Linville Falls Winery

13. Marked Tree Vineyard

14. FernCrest Winery

15. Plēb Urban Winery

16. Ripshin Goat Dairy

Pierre Cheese Market

To Learn More or Become a Member of the WNC Cheese Trail

Are you super interested in the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail? If so, they invite you to become a member at one of the various levels, from cheese fan to principal member (this is the place for you if you are WNC cheese maker).

You can also follow the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail on Social Media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, or TWITTER.

  This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

Culture

 Culture is the ultimate publication for those who love cheese. This magazine is devoted to delivering the most innovative, eye-opening stories about the world’s many cheeses and cheese makers. Within each issue, you can travel to gorgeous cheese regions, meet passionate makers and mongers, discover one-of-a-kind recipes, and even learn how to make your own cheeses. Each issue is a resource for readers of any background. Click the link or the image to subscribe!

Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Historical Association Call for Submisssions Snell Prize in European History

Call for Submissions:

SNELL PRIZE IN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 2022

European History Section, Southern Historical Association

The John L. Snell Memorial Prize is named for Professor John L. Snell (1923-1972) who was a distinguished scholar and diplomatic historian and a founder of the European History Section.  A bomber pilot during World War II, he taught at Tulane University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his Ph.D. in 1950.

The Snell Prize is given annually to the graduate student who submits the best seminar research paper in European history, written within the past year.  “European” is defined as encompassing the entire continent, including Russia, from pre-history to the present.

The Prize winner will be honored at the annual lunch meeting of the Section in conjunction with the Southern Historical Association meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, in November 2023.  The award carries a stipend of $100.  The Snell Award winner also receives one complimentary year of student membership in the European History Section of the Southern Historical Association.

The competition is open to graduate students of any member of the Section or of a program at a Southern college or university.

eCampus.com

All papers must meet the following criteria:

  1. Students may submit only one paper.
  2. Only papers written during the academic year immediately preceding the granting of the award, including summer 2023, are acceptable.
  3. The content of the paper must focus on European history (“European” is defined as encompassing the entire continent, including Russia, from pre-history to the present).
  4. A letter of endorsement from the supervising faculty member or adviser must accompany the submission. The letter should confirm that paper was written during the academic year immediately preceding the granting of the award, including summer 2023.
  5. The competition is open only to seminar papers, the length of which shall not exceed 50 pages, including footnotes or endnotes (the bibliography does not count toward this limit).
  6. While seminar papers may be related to prospective theses or dissertations, they may not be edited-down versions of completed theses or dissertations.
  7. Manuscripts must be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced with 1-inch margins on all sides, and include a bibliography and the customary documentation.

One copy must be sent to all of the following three judges by 1 August 2023:

Dr. Lee Farrow                                          Dr. Margaret Peacock                       Dr. Suzanne Farmer

LFarrow@aum.edu                                   mepeacock@ua.edu                         Farmer07@nsuok.edu

The John L. Snell Papers may be found at the University of North Carolina, Wilson Special Collections Library.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 


Charlotte Magazine – $19.95
Charlotte magazine is filled with timely, well-written features to help readers satisfy their lifestyle driven needs. Readers rely on Charlotte magazine for information to enhance their modern lifestyles while getting the best of what this North Carolina city has to offer.

Print Magazine Shipping Info
Please allow 5-6 weeks for weekly titles, and 8-10 weeks for monthly, bimonthly and quarterly titles to ship from the publisher.

Renewal Restrictions
Per the publisher, please allow a minimum of 90 days to same name and/or delivery address for renewals

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Charles George: Korean War Native American Medal of Honor Recipient

Charles George Monument

Tsali “Charles” George was born August 23, 1932 in Cherokee, North Carolina as a member of
the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Tribe. Charlie, as he was known, attended the Indian School
on the Qualla Boundary of Western North Carolina and spent much of his early life near the
Oconaluftee River.

Charles George
Charles George
Image Courtesy North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

At age 18, with the Korean War in full force, Charlie joined the United States Army in  Whittier, North Carolina, attaining the rank of Private First Class. He served in Company C of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.

In November 1952, PFC George gave his life in order to protect that of fellow soldiers, Armando Ruiz and Marion Santo, who along with George were helping lead an assault to try to capture a prisoner for interrogation, just north of Seoul during the Battle of Songnae-dong. Having succeeded in their mission George, Ruiz, and Santo were ordered to provide cover as the Company retired.

The Chinese were continuing to fight and a grenade landed near the three young men. George pushed Santo away before falling on the live grenade in order to prevent injury and possible death to others. Despite his life threatening injuries George did not utter a sound. To do so would have betrayed their location to the Chinese.

Ruiz and Santo bravely carried the dying George to the nearest aid station but the wounds were too severe and the heroic young Cherokee passed. Both Armando Ruiz and Marion Santo survived the war, returning to the States and leading as normal a life as possible having witnessed the ultimate horror of war.

While in Cherokee County, be sure to make your way over to Murphy. While there you don’t want to miss the Hunter Pyramid. 

Headstone for Charles George
Charles George headstone at Yellow Hill Veterans Cemetery. Image courtesy Findagrave.

The body of Charles George was returned to Cherokee County where he was interred in Yellow Hill Cemetery. You may view an online memorial to PFC George here.

PFC George’s heroics were recognized quickly and in March 1954, George’s parents were invited to Washington D.C. in order to receive the Medal of Honor being awarded posthumously  to their son. In the following years, Charlies father, Jacob, was known to carry the Medal with him, keeping this piece of his son close to him at all times.

 

 

In recent years, further honors have been bestowed upon the memory of PFC Charlie George.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville, NC was renamed the Charles
George Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2017 after approval by both the
United States House of Representatives and the Senate.

The bridge crossing the Oconaluftee River in the Yellowhill Community was dedicated as the
Charles George Bridge on January 23, 2014.

Charles George Monument
The Charles George Monument located in the Cherokee Veterans Park. An identical monument sits at the VA Center named in his honor.

On September 24, 2016, a life-sized statue of George, sculpted by artists James Spratt, was unveiled at the Charles George VA Medical Center. Center Director Cynthia Breyfogle stated, “The legacy of Charles George was, and still is, an inspiration and influence beyond his local community. His courage and example join those of other brave men and women, past and present, who have answered the call when their country needed them.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Spratt did not live to see the unveiling. He passed away the day of the unveiling while under hospice care. Warren Dupree of the American Legion Post 143 said a few words on behalf of Spratt, “…he wanted to thank the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Charles George Memorial Project Committee for their kindness in helping him make his dream come true.”

On November 11, 2016, an identical sculpture to the one located at the VA Center was unveiled in a moving ceremony at the refurbished Cherokee Veterans Park.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian opened an exhibit in George’s honor on Memorial Day, May 28, 2018. The impressive displays included a bronze bust of George, the flag that draped his coffin, his numerous military medals including his Medal of Honor, and a copy of the text of his Medal of Honor citation. You may read this citation below.

Citation:

Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and
outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night
of 30 November 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and
capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the
group was subjected to intense mortar and machine-gun fire and suffered several casualties.
Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into
the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were
ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and two comrades remained to
cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a
grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to one comrade, pushed the other
soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself
upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this
display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his
companions. The two soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he
succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George’s indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and
willing self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the
military service.

Sources:

https://asheville.va.gov/
https://www.cmohs.org/recipients/charles-george                                                                  https://www.ncdcr.gov/blog/2014/11/30/cherokee-charles-george-korean-war-medal-of-honor-recipient   https://www.theonefeather.com

To learn more about the Medal of Honor I recommend Medal of Honor, Revised & Updated Third Edition: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty  

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the Cherokee Indian Nation I recommend Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation.

 

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

Great Smoky Mountains area trip ideas
Are you visiting the Great Smoky Mountains area? Click THIS LINK or the image above for great ticket and tour opportunities.
Posted on Leave a comment

The Mysterious Hunter Pyramid of Murphy, North Carolina

Road trips can bring you to the most interesting locations at times. That can certainly be said for the
town of Murphy, located in Cherokee County, North Carolina. Murphy sits near the far western end of
North Carolina where the Hiawassee and Valley rivers meet. The town is approximately 350 miles from
Raleigh. Cherokee County is home to just under 29,000 residents according to Census estimates.

The Hunter Pyramid in Murphy, North Carolina

Sometime around 1930 Hitchcock Coit (also seen in some references as Colt) erected a 25-foot-tall pyramid in honor of her grandfather, A.R.S. Hunter. A.R.S. Hunter is said to have been the first white settler in the area. He served as the first postmaster in Murphy, operated a ferry system, and created a trading post allowing Cherokees to trade with local soldiers.

Inscribed on the pyramid are the names of three individuals many locals claim are buried there. Historians question whether there are any burials on site with most believing there are none on site.

 

The inscriptions read:

Sacred to the Memory
Archibald Russell Spence Hunter
Born February 24, 1783
Died June 23, 1844

Sacred to the Memory
Elizabeth Wyche Lucas Hunter
Died January 1843
Aged 59 Years

Sacred to the Memory
Elizabeth Wyche Hunter
Daughter of
George Russell Hunter
Died July 26, 1868
Aged 25 Years

The pyramid is on private property and when we visited, there was a locked gate on the property. The pyramid is located on 5th Avenue. You are able to see and photograph the pyramid at a distance without trespassing.

If you visit Cherokee, North Carolina, don’t miss out on visiting Veterans Park, where you can see a monument to Medal of Honor recipient Charles George. You can learn more about George and his heroics in my BLOG POST.  

 

To learn more about Murphy, North Carolina please visit the city website

To plan a visit to Cherokee County, North Carolina I recommend starting with Visit Cherokee County.

Murphy's Chophouse
Murphy’s Chophouse in Murphy, North Carolina

Here you can learn about places to visit, find lodging, discover great places to eat and view a calendar of events. The outdoor dining at Murphy’s Chophouse was fantastic and for a good drink I recommend Hoppy Trout Brewing Company

Hoppy Trout Logo
The Hoppy Trout Brewing Company logo
Image Courtesy The Hoppy Trout Brewing Company

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

 

 


Charlotte Magazine – $19.95

Charlotte magazine is filled with timely, well-written features to help readers satisfy their lifestyle driven needs. Readers rely on Charlotte magazine for information to enhance their modern lifestyles while getting the best of what this North Carolina city has to offer.

Print Magazine Shipping Info
Please allow 5-6 weeks for weekly titles, and 8-10 weeks for monthly, bimonthly and quarterly titles to ship from the publisher.

Renewal Restrictions
Per the publisher, please allow a minimum of 90 days to same name and/or delivery address for renewals