The community of Marshall hugs the banks of the French Broad River, a short distance north of Asheville, and is the county seat for Madison County.
Named for U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, the community has an iconic building in the impressive Madison County Courthouse, designed and built by the famed architect Richard Sharp Smith in 1906.
From Drovers’ Road to Railroad
Once Marshall was a thriving mountain town–it was on the “drovers’ road” used by farmers moving livestock to southern markets. Later the railroad brought industry and prosperity to this small mountain community. But when newer highways by-passed Marshall, the town went into economic decline.
A Hub of Creativity
Marshall has always been a hub of creativity, especially of traditional arts and mountain music, and today, Marshall’s economy is supported by a resurgence of these traditions which have flourished and grown.
Every Thursday night, locals and visitors alike enjoy the music jam at the local coffee shop, Zuma’s, and dancing at the Depot on Friday nights. The old Marshall High School, built on an island in the midst of the French Broad River, was going to be torn down because it flooded so often. But artist and entrepreneur Rob Pulleyn bought it, saved it, and turned it into the Marshall High School Studios, now home to many working artists.
The Madison County Arts Council, headquartered in Marshall, sponsors many musical and arts events throughout the year.
River rafting, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and hiking appeal to the outdoor visitors, while shopping in specialty galleries and watching artists at work are fun for those who appreciate excellent art in the making.
Festivals & Events
French Broad Fridays–Second Fridays of summer months, special musical performances on the island.
Farmers Tailgate Market
Sunday afternoons on the island, April through October.