Montreat Minute 7/7/23

Town Council Meeting July 13 at 7:00pm

The Montreat Town Council will meet for its monthly meeting next Thursday, July 13th, at 7:00pm in the Town Hall. The agenda includes a Public Hearing on the Town Comprehensive Plan. For a copy of the agenda, including the Comprehensive Plan, CLICK HERE. The meeting will be live streamed and recorded. For information about streaming the meeting, CLICK HERE. The Public Forum will begin at 6:30pm. All are invited to attend and participate.

Al Whitesides Kicks Off Adult Summer Club Program on Wednesday, July 12th

The Montreat Adult Summer Club is honored to host Buncombe County Commissioner

Al Whitesides for the first Summer Club get-together for 2023. Al will share memories and perspectives for a lifetime of leadership to the African American community and beyond.

Wednesday’s program will be held in Upper Anderson Auditorium beginning at 2:30pm. Refreshments and fellowship time will follow the program. Plan on joining your neighbors to welcome Commissioner Whitesides to Montreat.

Cottagers Annual Meeting July 22nd

The annual meeting of the Montreat Cottagers Association is scheduled for Saturday, July 22nd, at 10:00am in Upper Anderson Auditorium. If you have not already paid your $25 annual dues, payments (cash or check) will be collected.

Representatives from Montreat Conference Center, Montreat College, the Town of Montreat, and the Presbyterian Heritage Center will give informational updates about their institutions. There will also be an “Information Fair” including representatives from multiple groups in the valley. Plan to allow time to check this out and to catch up with your neighboring cottagers.

PHC Ice Cream Social Also on July 22nd

“You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!” Here’s the scoop! Come to an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social at the Presbyterian Heritage Center on Saturday, July 22nd, from 2:00 to 4:00pm. Come for a sweet and delicious summer treat. All ages are welcome! Much of the ice cream and all of the fun will be homemade. It will be a great opportunity to visit with old Montreat friends and meet new ones. Take this opportunity to check out the current exhibits in the PHC. Discover all the PHC has to offer, including the Mt. Mitchell railroad replica. The ice cream and the fun are free! See you at the PHC!

Did You Know?

Stunt Day 1912

Ed. Note: The Presbyterian Heritage Center’s Nancy Midgette, author of Did You Know?, is taking the summer off. We are reprising several interesting, summer stories.

Montreat was always intended to have a lake.  The earliest map of the area indicates a “proposed lake” essentially where Lake Susan is now and called Montreat Lake.  The first dam was a wooden structure that leaked more often than not. Nonetheless the lake attracted many swimmers and hosted Stunt Day each summer.  The photo above is from Stunt Day 1912. 

Some people in Montreat were not pleased with the bathing attire they were seeing.  In August 1914 the Managing Committee voted that bathing suits “must have sleeves extending at least half way from the shoulder to the elbow, and skirts or pants extending below the knees.  Any person or persons violating this ordinance shall be fined from ($1.00) dollar to five ($5.00) dollars and cost of the action.”  Evidently this fine did not have the desired effect because five years later, in August 1919, the Managing Committee again addressed the issue by voting to “condemn the use of immodest suits by males and females.”  The committee did not define “immodest” but asked that people “provide themselves with bathing suits such as are prescribed in the ordinances and rules of Montreat.” 

Compliance continued to be a problem. On August 21, 1921 Stunt Day, a resolution was read to the public indicating that people violating the swimsuit regulations would not be allowed to use the lake.  That didn’t work either. Finally, in July 1925 the Board of Directors referred the matter to the Women’s Civil Club, asking that the women ”talk this matter up and see if they cannot induce bathers to wear costumes which will conceal more of the person than those now worn . . .”  President Anderson was to report back to the Board at the next meeting. That report seems not to have been made.

Perhaps it was time to give up on such matters, since less than a year later the Board repealed an ordinance on the books since 1915 banning the sale of cola drinks in Montreat. Life was changing in Montreat!

Thanks to the Presbyterian Heritage Center, especially Nancy Midgette, for this glimpse from the past. Stop by the PHC for additional Montreat history and so much more. Have an idea for a future “Did You Know?”? Let Nancy know at [email protected].

Questions or Comments?

Do you have Town-related questions or comments to offer? If so, please send them to Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!