Montreat Minute 12/01/23

Burn Ban Lifted

With fire weather conditions improving, Buncombe County and Montreat’s open burning ban has been lifted.

“While drought conditions have not changed, the forecasted weather pattern will not be favorable for fire spread and development,” says Buncombe County Fire Marshal Kevin Tipton. The local forecast is calling for a pattern of receiving moisture, humidity levels not below 50%, and calm or very light winds. Tipton advises residents to be overly cautious while burning and stresses that all fires must be constantly attended until completely out or extinguished. 

It is always a good idea to keep your home as fireproof as possible by cleaning up around your house to make a defensible space from wildfire through activities such as mowing the lawn, removing debris from the roof and gutters, clearing a five-foot perimeter around your home free of flammable materials, as well as limbing trees and shrubs. As you clean up your property, remember to report your hours to Nancy Midgette for the Town’s Firewise certification. Contact Nancy at [email protected].

Landcare and Flat Creek Crossing Need Your Partnership

Did you know Flat Creek is inaccessible to strollers, wheelchairs and generally to people with disabilities? The Montreat Landcare Committee wants to make Flat Creek accessible to everyone. Landcare’s plans for the new Flat Creek Crossing Accessible Trail include removing a broken concrete roadbed and replacing it with an ADA compliant flat, smooth, permeable trail. Other features in the plan include a wildflower grotto, educational signs, a drop off zone, and accessible picnic area.

Landcare hopes to open the new trail in the summer of 2025. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help build the Flat Creek Crossing Accessible Trail – from yourself, your family, your church or foundation. Gift pledges can be spread over 3 years (2023, 2024 and 2025). To make a pledge, CLICK HERE. Please make checks payable to the Town of Montreat with Flat Creek Crossing on the memo line and mail them to: Montreat Landcare Committee, P.O. Box 423, Montreat, NC 28757 For more about Flat Creek Crossing Accessible Trail and other Landcare projects, CLICK HERE.  

Christmas Social Season Begins with PHC Christmas Tea December 6th

The Presbyterian Heritage Center has extended a warm, open invitation to all for their annual Christmas Tea on Wednesday, December 6th, from 2:30pm to 5:00pm. The drop-in event is a time of fellowship and snacks, and the PHC’s way of saying “thank you” to the Montreat community

Post Office Christmas Party Returns

A decades old Montreat tradition is being revived after a Covid pause—the annual Montreat Post Office Christmas Party. Drop by and say hello to friends and neighbors, offer a thank you to Nova Effler for her service, and meet the new Postmaster, Jordan Henry.

The event will be held on Tuesday,  December 19, 2023, from 10:30am to 12:30pm. A sign up sheet for “Sweets and MonTREATSs” is available adjacent to the bulletin board. As a special feature, post your name in the “BOX” at the party for a chance to win a 16“x 20” canvas print of the Montreat Post Office by Joe Standaert.  

Did You Know?

Ed. Note: Education has been a prime focus at Montreat since shortly after its founding. This article is the second of a three-part series entitled ”Education – A vital component of Montreat’s mission” For the first article, CLICK HERE

In 1913 Dr. Robert Anderson, President of the Mountain Retreat Association, first proposed that Montreat establish a post-secondary school, noting that Montreat Hotel and other facilities were seldom used in the winter. By 1915 the General Assembly agreed, indicating that it would support a school to prepare teachers. Several months earlier, Mary Miles Jordan had approached Dr. Anderson asking for permission to open a small boarding school for girls. Not knowing what the response of the General Assembly would be, he shared her request with the Executive Committee. On March 17, 1915, the committee granted her permission to use Andelk Lodge* for her school, which she named Wildewood.

She also received permission to use MRA athletic grounds and equipment. Jordan advertised the school widely, not only in local newspapers but in publications such as The Outlook and Harper’s Bazaar. The initial catalog stated that Wildewood was “free from the artificial appeal of a modern city, [where] life may be lived in naturalness and sweetness, true values and fine ideals molded into cultured minds and splendid characters.” Essentially, it was a finishing school, offering courses that included English, History, Bible, and French; Physical Training and Household Arts; and Music and Art. If students wanted to attend college, the brochure promised that “courses will be arranged to meet the entrance requirements of the college selected by the pupil.”

Jordan was the Principal of the school and her mother, Mrs. George Marshall (Nancy Caroline) Jordan was the House Mother.  The most well-known faculty members were Mr. and Mrs. Crosby Adams, who had moved to Montreat following successful careers in Chicago and were in charge of the Music Department. 

Wildewood never attracted more than a handful of students, and when Montreat Normal School opened in 1916 Jordan decided to close Wildewood at the conclusion of the 1916-1917 academic year.

Graduation 1917; Mary Jordan is on the left

*Andelk Lodge had been a hunting lodge belonging to John Huyler, an early financier of Montreat. Upon Huyler’s death, Anderson and William Belk purchased the property, named it “Andelk,” and donated it to Montreat.  It contained large rooms for dining and other gatherings as well as small bedrooms. After its use as Wildewood School, it next became the central building for Camp Montreat, which opened in 1924. Camp Montreat closed in 1967 and the building, in considerable disrepair, was soon demolished.

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

  • The Montreat College Christmas Concert is being held tomorrow, Saturday, December 2nd, at 7:30pm in Anderson Auditorium. Everyone is invited to attend this free event.
  • The Montreat Landcare Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 6th, at 9:00am in the Town Hall Community Room. The meeting will be live streamed, and the public is invited to attend. For streaming instructions and a copy of the agenda, CLICK HERE.
  • 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!