Montreat Minute 09/08/23

Town Council Meeting September 14 at 7:00pm

The Montreat Town Council will meet for its monthly meeting next Thursday, September 14th, at 7:00pm in the Town Hall Community Room. The agenda includes a Public Hearing on the Town Comprehensive Plan and adoption of the 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.

Bears Are Still Around- Be Careful

Bears are still roaming around Montreat in what seems to be record numbers. Cubs, born this year as well as yearlings, are still with their mothers, creating an elevated sense of concern. What should you do since we share the same space? BearWise, the national program of which Montreat is a part, has excellent tips on how to deal with bears. CLICK HERE to read about dealing with bears while walking, hiking or camping.

Montreaters have come up with their own ways of dealing with bears. Here are several ideas that may work for you:

  • Carry a Bear Horn- an extremely loud bear airhorn that startles bears (and you too!). It can be purchased through Amazon.
  • Carry bear spray. The pepper spray shoots 15-25 feet and comes with a holster to carry on your belt. It is available at Ace Hardware.
  • Use mothballs. Bears don’t like the smell of mothballs. Several Montreaters place mothballs in net bags in their trash containers to “dissuade” bears from tearing into the trash. Mothballs are available at hardware stores.
  • Spray/pour pine-based products near areas where bears frequent. Bears dislike the strong scent of pine-based products like Pine-Sol cleaner and pine oil. But avoid using anything with a fresh, lemony or fruity smell. Spray it on posts, walls, floors or pour it into a box of kitty litter and place near the area bears get into.
  • Use an “Unwelcome Mat”. These are electrified mats that deter bears from getting into doors or windows. Go on-line to read about the mats and the size you will need for the most effective deterrent.

Do you have any techniques you have found effective? Send them to us at [email protected] and we will share them in a future Montreat Minute.

Get Ready for Made in Montreat, October 15

Made in Montreat, the highly anticipated craft show and sale, is returning to the Moore Center on Saturday, October 14th, from 9:00am to 2:30pm. Beth Casper, coordinator of this year’s event, said the show will feature 20 artisans, all from Montreat.

This is the fourth Made in Montreat, which made its debut in Frank and Mitzi Cooper’s garage in 2018, then moved to the lower level of the Moore Center to accommodate more participants. Artisans will be offering a wide variety of items, including soaps, stained glass, jewelry, wood items, art, pottery and more.

Did You Know?

Dr. J. R. Howerton served as the president of Montreat for only one year, 1906-1907, but his impact began much earlier and is still present today. Born in LaFayette, Kentucky, in 1861, he attended Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee, (now Rhodes College in Memphis) and Columbia Theological Seminary. He served churches in Corpus Christi, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1896 he accepted the pastorate of First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. He was soon introduced to Montreat, which had been founded in 1897, and first preached here during the summer of 1900. He often spent summer vacations in the cool mountains and came to know John Huyler, the New York candy manufacturer who had funded much of the Montreat venture.

By 1905, Montreat was in a precarious financial position. Huyler owned most of the property due to the conference center’s indebtedness to him. Howerton believed that such a retreat center was just what the Presbyterian Church (PCUS) needed. The Synod of North Carolina listened favorably to his argument and formed a committee to purchase the property. The General Assembly agreed to support the venture. Huyler’s price: $50,000. Where would the church get such a sum of money? Howerton proposed that Montreat sell five hundred shares of stock at $100/share, with each shareholder receiving a lot. With all shares sold, Howerton paid Huyler $25,000 immediately, with a $25,000 balance still due. Howerton then used the remaining funds for much needed improvements. In 1907, the charter of the Mountain Retreat Association was amended to reflect its new purpose under PCUS ownership. A few years later Huyler forgave the remaining indebtedness of $25,000. Howerton, meanwhile, having secured Montreat for the PCUS, accepted the position of Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Washington and Lee University, where he remained until his death in 1924. Of course, Howerton Hall on the Montreat College campus, is named after him.

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].

Updates and Reminders

  • Do you receive your own copy of the Montreat Minute or know someone who doesn’t? Sign up for the Sunshine List to receive the Montreat Minute and stay “in the know” about the Town’s happenings. CLICK HERE to sign up for the list!

Questions or Comments?

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

Have a great weekend!