Joe Frank McKee knows what Dillsboro is capable of. “It’s a fighting town,” he said. “There are more craftsmen involved here these days, which means if you’re making your product and selling your product, you have more of a reason to fight.”
Co-owner of Tree House Pottery on Front Street in downtown Dillsboro, McKee and his business partner, Travis Berning, have spent the last 11 years setting down roots and investing in what has become a premier pottery establishment in Southern Appalachia. And as the town itself celebrates its 125th birthday on Sept. 6, many businesses within the community are reflecting on a storied past, an uncertain present, and a hopeful future.
The Jarrett House has stood in Dillsboro since 1884. Since before Dillsboro was Dillsboro.
The town of Dillsboro, established in 1889, was named after William Allen Dills, a Confederate veteran who was born nearby. The town is located on the site of Dills’ farm.
Prior to the town’s establishment, the area was beginning to grow due to the railroad and tourism. Around the turn of the century the town boasted more than 700 residents.
Dillsboro’s relationship with Western Carolina University began in 2009, after the economic downturn and as the town struggled to regroup.
Dillsboro sits at the crossroads of U.S. 441 and N.C. 23. Nestled between the past and future, it is a town that continues to evolve.
“I think it’s just a classic, old American town. Laid-back,” said Jim Hartbarger, sitting in the parlor of the Jarrett House.
A charming and delightful village, Dillsboro is home to a community of artists, unique retailers and great restaurants.
Dillsboro will soon be graced with a large mural depicting the cultural heritage of the village, its key landmarks and its natural setting.
Amy Ammons Garza has always looked out for her little sister, Doreyl Ammons Cain.
“Make sure you mention when the mural will be unveiled,” Garza said. “She’s always forgetting things.”
“I am not,” Cain countered with a laugh. “Ever since we were kids, she’s made sure everything I needed is taken care of.”
The Appalachian Women’s Museum finally has a home to call its own.
Dillsboro town council members agreed Monday to lease a section of the historic Monteith farmstead to the organization, whose members have sought a brick and mortar place to honor the feats of Appalachian women.
The news of stalled talks between the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Jackson County was met with mixed feelings in the little village of Dillsboro, which once served as the hub for the bustling scenic railroad.