Montreat Minute 02/23/24

Water Bill Error

We are very sorry, but an error was made on water bills that were mailed this week for the period of January 9 through February 14. When you receive it, you will note that there are no fees for your MSD Treatment Fee or Sewer Line Maintenance Fee. Those two line items, illustrated below, will be missing from your bill, as will be the charges.

As a result, your bill is likely lower than normal given similar water consumption. Both fees will be added to your next bill, which will arrive in March. The Sewer Line Maintenance Fee is a flat $14.62 per month while the MSD Treatment Fee is variable, based on your water consumption.

We regret the error and are working on procedures to prevent it from happening again. Should you have questions, please call Town staff at 828-669-8002, ext. 1 or write to [email protected].

HIghtowers “Bag It” to Keep Montreat Beautiful

We all know how beautiful Montreat is. A large part of the reason is the natural beauty God created here. Then of course there is Public Works employee, Michael Harrison, who can be seen cleaning leaves and branches from the roadsides, trimming trees, and generally picking up around Town. But have you noticed another important effort in keeping Montreat clean and beautiful? Allan and Lolly Hightower make it a daily task to pick up litter around town.

They have known and loved Montreat for many years, moving here full time into Lolly’s mother’s home on Texas Road in 1999. When retirement occurred and COVID struck, they began their daily walks around Montreat. That is when they noticed much litter on the roadsides. Their immediate reaction was, “We’re tired of seeing this trash. Why doesn’t someone pick it up?” That is when they realized they could do it.

They bought two grabber sticks at the hardware store, armed themselves with plastic grocery bags, and headed out. For four years, they have picked up trash approximately five days per week. One day they will be around the college campus, and the next down by the gate–  never the same route. Lolly commented that in their one hour walks, “We fill between two and four grocery bags, depending on the time of year and where we walk.” Why do they do it? “We love Montreat, and we want to keep it beautiful,” they both said.

Many thanks to the HIghtowers for their simple but very effective service to our Town. It is definitely something everyone can be a part of.

Did You Know?

Ed. Note: Nancy Midgette, the esteemed author of “Did You Know?” is busy preparing a new collection of articles for this series. In the meantime, we are running one that appeared on December 3, 2021.

Rev. John Collins, Secretary and Treasurer of the International Christian Workers Association of New Haven, Connecticut, wanted to establish in the South a place similar to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, a location for Christian conferences that was also residential and could serve as a health resort.  Weston Gales, an active Southern evangelist, sought to establish in the Appalachian Mountains a conference center that would offer summer programs similar to those at the Moody Seminary in Northfield, Massachusetts, which had been founded in 1882.  The two men learned of one another and, according to Charles Rowland (a member of the original Montreat Managing Committee), they each wrote a letter to the other that passed in the mail. 

Collins came to western North Carolina and engaged John A. Porter, an attorney, to help him locate a suitable tract of land and form a legal entity.  On March 2, 1897, the state of North Carolina granted a charter to the Mountain Retreat Association to establish a community “for the encouragement of Christian work” that would include an assembly grounds for conferences, private homes with the necessary services, and a health resort.  Approximately two miles from the Black Mountain rail station they found 4500 acres, which was purchased from the Champlain family in June 1897 for approximately eight dollars an acre.  The land was originally settled by the Kelly family. Anderson Kelly continued to tend to the farm until the sale to the Mountain Retreat Association. 

Among the members of the original Managing Committee were John Collins and Weston R. Gales – their visions had coalesced.  Want to know more? Stay tuned to Montreat Minute for more on Weston Gales’ tenure as General Manager.  Also, visit the Presbyterian Heritage Center and read Charles Rowland’s pamphlet, “Genesis of 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].

Updates and Reminders

  • The Montreat Tree Board will meet on Tuesday, February 27th at 9:30am in the Town Hall Community Room. The meeting will be live streamed. CLICK HERE for streaming instructions. The Public is invited.
  • Do you want a copy of the 2024 Montreat Community Calendar that appeared in last week’s Montreat Minute? Contact Angie Murphy at 828/669-8002 or email her at [email protected] 
  • 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 Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!