Source of gorgeous woven goods across a century of American history
On the clackety-clack looms in this rock cottage, now a National Historic Site, community women have woven pieces that have found their way into havens, hotels, hospitals and hallowed homes, including the White House of Mamie Eisenhower. By buying a scarf or blanket, you are helping secure the future of a precious artistry along with the education of mountain children at the Crossnore School, founded in 1913 by Mary Martin Sloop.
A vibrant piece of Southern Appalachian history lives on today at the Crossnore Weavers and Gallery. This working museum, housed in what is commonly known as the “Weaving Room,” features a fine art gallery, weaving studio, exhibits, and a retail shop whose proceeds benefit The Crossnore School, a private, non-profit children’s home.
The recently renovated museum highlights the history of The Crossnore School’s weaving program from its beginnings in 1920. Exhibits include a timeline, history of the building, and weaving samples. Special displays celebrate “Women of the Weaving Room” and the Weaving Room’s central figures, Mrs. Newbern Johnson, known to all as “Aunt Newbie,” and Ossie Phillips, who managed the weaving program for over thirty years.
The museum shares space with the Weaving Room’s studio area. Here the looms come to life as actual weavers continue to practice the art of Appalachian hand-weaving. Visitors are welcome to try their hand at weaving on an old WPA loom, practically an exhibit all by itself.
The Weaving Room at Crossnore School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Just across the road is E. H. Sloop Chapel, built in 1956 by Mary Sloop for her husband, Dr. Eustace Sloop, which features one of the Ben Long Frescoes, Suffer the Little Children, which was completed in July, 2006.
For hours, exhibits and other news, visit the website.
Listen to a Living Traditions Moment about Crossnore Weaving