Dayton Duncan Presentation

In August 2014, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area hosted Dayton Duncan , author and co-producer with Ken Burns of The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Mr. Duncan's presentation underscored the importance of stewardship and preservation of America's special places, be they national parks, forests, or cultural treasures.

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Cradle of Forestry

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Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928, is the country’s longest running folk festival.  Mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves “along about sundown” the first weekend in August.


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86th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

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Francis Grist Mill

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Francis Grist Mill

The Francis Grist Mill, located just outside of Waynesville, NC on Highway 276 was built in 1887. Constructed by William Francis to serve the Francis Cove Community, the mill commonly produced ground wheat, corn and grits for local residents.

The water-powered mill stands beside a small creek that flows downhill. A mill pond, formed by damming the creek upstream and to the south of the mill, fed a partially elevated wooden flume that delivered water to turn the overshot waterwheel.

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Waynesville is the largest city west of Asheville. It is Haywood County's oldest town and the Haywood County seat, framed by mountain vistas, vast national forest lands and clear, rushing streams.  It is also where team square dancing originated in the 1930s.