If Mission Health doesn’t strike a deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina by October, the health system may be pushing more Western North Carolina employers to sign up for its own health care plan — Healthy State — to keep their employees inside the Mission network.

I kept glancing over at the signs.

Strolling the long and busy corridors of the Folkmoot Friendship Center (Waynesville) this past Sunday evening, I couldn’t help looking at the signs posted on the walls next to the doors. “Argentina.” “Israel.” “Russia.” “India.” “Taiwan.” All of these foreign countries, these ambassadors from every corner of the world, each with their own set of social and economic issues, many mirroring our own.

The Folkmoot Friendship Center on Virginia Avenue in Hazelwood is central to the festival’s operation.

The 34th annual Folkmoot International Festival will return to Waynesville this weekend for 10 days worth of folk dance performances across the region. This year’s lineup features 10 performance groups from around the world coming to Western North Carolina to share their culture through music and dance. 

Sign ups for 2017 municipal elections close at noon Friday, July 21. The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 7, with early voting running Oct. 19 to Nov. 4 and absentee ballot requests open Oct. 6-31.

Those who read this column regularly are aware of my interest in the early descriptive literature of Western North Carolina. Whenever possible, I like to collect copies — first editions or reprints — of these often rare books. And I like to share some of the descriptions via this column from time to time.

The towns of WNC

Western North Carolina is a region of small, vibrant downtowns. Each has its own personality and history, so take the time to get out of your car and meander, sit on a bench, and just enjoy your time in these unique places.

WNC museums

WNC Museums Although the rich history and culture of Western North Carolina is alive and thriving through the hands of our local artisans and performers, there are also numerous museums here preserving and perpetuating the heritage of Southern Appalachia. These buildings each pay homage to the crafts, sounds, and deeply held traditions of these ancient mountains and its people.

• American Museum of The House Cat

Over 5,000 items dedicated to entire history of the house cat, here and abroad. 4704 U.S. 441 South, Sylva.

828.421.0275 or 828.506.1236 • www.facebook.com/americanmuseumofthehousecat

• Andrews Art Museum

Exhibits and galleries featuring local and regional artists. Corner of Chestnut and Third streets, Andrews.

828.360.5071 • www.andrewsvalleyarts.com

• Canton Area Historical Museum

Displays focusing on the cultural history of Canton and Haywood County. 36 Park Street, Canton.

828.646.3412 • www.cantonnc.com

• Cherokee County Historical Museum

Artifacts and exhibits showcasing the Cherokee Indians, local history and artisans.

87 Peachtree Street, Murphy.

828.837.6792 • www.cherokeecounty-nc.gov

• Clay County Historical & Arts Council Museum

Displays exhibiting the history, art and people of the area. 21 Davis Loop, Hayesville.

828.389.6814 • www.clayhistoryarts.org

• Franklin Gem & Mineral Museum

Extensive exhibits on the region’s gems and minerals. 25 Phillips Street, Franklin

828.369.7831 • www.fgmm.org

• Glenville Historical Museum

Showcasing the history and culture of Glenville and greater Western North Carolina with exhibits and displays. 4735 N.C. 107 North, Glenville.


• Graham County Museum of Prehistoric Relics

A collection of prehistoric artifacts from North, South and Central America. 3204 Fontana Road, Fontana Dam.

828.479.3677 • www.thehikeinn.com

• Highlands Museum & Historical Village

Several restored buildings, with historical exhibits in the museum. 524 North 4th Street, Highlands.

828.787.1050 • www.highlandshistory.com

• Junaluska Memorial & Museum

Displays dedicated to preserving Cherokee Indian history and culture. 1 Junaluska Drive, Robbinsville.


• Macon County Historical Society & Museum

Antiques and artifacts showcasing the history of Macon and Western North Carolina. 36 West Main Street, Franklin.

828.524.9758 • www.maconnchistorical.org

• Mountain Farm Museum

Collection of historical log buildings and artifacts. 150 U.S. 441 North, Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

423.436.1200 • www.nps.gov/grsm

• Mountain Heritage Center

Extensive displays of Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachian history. 150 H.F. Robinson Building, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee.

828.227.7129 • www.wcu.edu

• Museum of American Cut & Engraved Glass

Presenting one of the finest collections of its kind in the world. 472 Chestnut Street, Highlands.

828.526.3415 • www.ashevilleguidebook.com

• Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Large exhibits showcasing the extensive and intricate tribe history. 589 Tsali Boulevard, Cherokee.

828.497.3481 • www.cherokeemuseum.org

• Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts

Unique works from some of the state’s most acclaimed artisans. 49 Shelton Street, Waynesville.

828.452.1551 • www.sheltonhouse.org

• Ruby City Gems Museum

Thousands of gem and mineral specimens on display. 131 East Main Street, Franklin.

828.524.3967 • www.rubycity.com

• Scottish Tartans Museum

Exhibit on Scottish history and culture abroad and in Western North Carolina. 86 East Main Street, Franklin.

828.524.7472 • www.scottishtartans.org

• Wheels Through Time Museum

Rare and extensive collection of vintage motorcycles and classic automobiles. 62 Vintage Lane, Maggie Valley.

828.926.6266 • www.wheelsthroughtime.com

• World Methodist Museum

Artifacts and memorabilia celebrating founder John Wesley and the worldwide religion. 575 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Junaluska.

828.456.9432 • www.worldmethodistcouncil.org

While a draft forest management plan is still nearly a year away, a group of recently released documents gives a glimpse into how the U.S. Forest Service might ultimately manage the 1.2 million acres in the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest over the next 20 years.

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