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Our State: Celebrating North Carolina October 2020

Through compelling narrative stories and jaw-dropping photography, Our State magazine celebrates everything that makes our state great! Each month, we reflect the beauty of North Carolina, tell the stories of its amazing people and its remarkable history, and suggest wonderful places to visit. We are unabashedly in love with the Tar Heel State, and every page is designed to be an inspiring tribute to where we live.

United States
Mann Media
$2.64(Incl. tax)
$26.54(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
family trees

Here I was in the front yard of the house at near-dark, plucking leaves from low-hanging branches and shoving them by the fistful into a canvas tote to bring inside and dump out across the dining room table. Don’t wait ’til the last minute to start this project, the teacher had admonished, and yet that’s exactly what I’d done, putting off my seventh-grade science assignment, a leaf identification project, until, well, now, a few days before it was due. We were required to collect leaves from a dozen or so trees around Randolph County over the course of a month and mount them in a threering binder. Identify each leaf by its common name, scientific name, whether it came from a deciduous or a coniferous tree, and give a description of…

2 min
the highway to our hearts

1 The Blue Ridge Parkway winds for 469 miles through western North Carolina and Virginia. Construction of the parkway began near Cumberland Knob on September 11 during which year of the Great Depression? ੦ A. 1915 ੦ B. 1920 ੦ C. 1935 2 The parkway runs from U.S. Highway 250 in Rockfish Gap, Virginia, and ends at U.S. Highway 441 near Cherokee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in which county? ੦ A. Jackson ੦ B. Swain ੦ C. Buncombe 3 Construction of the parkway involved private contractors and workers employed by the federal government. Which group of parkway builders, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, went by the acronym CCC? ੦ A. Civilian Conservation Corps ੦ B. Carolina Construction Corp. ੦ C. Carolina Civilian Contractors 4 Along the parkway, there are 26 tunnels, the longest of which is the…

2 min

porches THAT rock I ENJOYED THE AUGUST STORY about rocking chairs across North Carolina (“Best Seat in the House,” page 90). Those were some mighty fine places you highlighted! One of my favorite places to enjoy a rocking chair is the front porch of Eureka Hall in Black Mountain, where the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly is located. It is one of the most incredible places to sit awhile, take in the scenic views, and catch up in conversation with friends — especially at FCA Camp. I couldn’t help but think of this majestic place while reading your article and looking at the beautiful pictures. Scott Williams KILL DEVIL HILLS Spiritual Places I LOVED THE “Seeking Peace in Sacred Spaces” article by Scott Huler (August, page 102). In 1930, Wallace Wade hired my father, Herschel Caldwell,…

1 min
view from here

The Mountains Are Calling… GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN The vibrant fall colors and dramatic rock faces of Grandfather Mountain might be a little less stunning today if it weren’t for the careful consideration that went into creating the Linn Cove Viaduct. Construction of the 1,243-foot stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway was delayed for 20 years as engineers sought a way to protect Grandfather’s fragile habitat, rather than cutting into the mountainside or creating massive fills for the road. The wait was worth it: Elevated above the face of the mountain, the viaduct is supported by seven concrete pillars — the only places where construction occurred on the ground. Trees were only cut directly below the road, and exposed rock was covered to prevent stains from building materials. The completed viaduct opened in 1987,…

4 min

Dennis Matelski still remembers the first time a retired couple from Vermont came into Something Special Gift Shop. As co-owner with his wife, Tina (right) — and an unofficial tourism representative — Dennis offered them suggestions for things to see and do in Burnsville. Among his favorites: hiking at Mount Mitchell, the Toe River Arts gallery, and the Yancey Theatre, a 1939 single-screen movie house downtown that still shows first-run films. His passion for Burnsville was so contagious that the Vermont couple “fell in love with Main Street and Burnsville and ended up moving here,” Dennis says. “They still come into the store every time they come downtown, and they bring their visitors here, too.” Shop Something Special Gift Shop. A Main Street staple for 35 years, the Matelskis’ shop stocks items ranging…

3 min
an heirloom to share

FOR HOURS BEFORE it lands on a plate, wedged inside a biscuit baked with fresh scallions, the pork belly roasts low and slow, infused with traditional char siu flavors — spices usually used in Asian barbecue — until it reaches tender, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Heirloom Brewshop’s owners, Chuan Tsay and Anna Phommavong, added the entrée to the menu earlier this year, a few months into a global pandemic. A risky move for a restaurateur? Maybe. But the pork belly biscuit sold out every day during its first week on the menu. The biscuit, like every dish at Heirloom, is a product of thoughtful craftsmanship. Like a woodworker carving a block of oak into a sculpture, Tsay and Phommavong carefully shape their menu into a tasteful reflection of who they are. “As chefs,…