Autumn Chase

Autumn Chase is an excellent project just minutes from the Mast General Store and literally steps from the Watauga River. This highly visited area of Valle Crucis provides easy access to Boone, Banner Elk, Grandfather Mountain, area ski resorts, and some of the best fishing and hiking that the High Country offers. It sees a wonderful rental market both in the summer and winter and is a destination for many mountain goers looking for the winter snow or to escape the summer heat.

This project offers all paved roads, mature hardwoods, large acreage estate lots, and wonderful High Country mountain views. Only 8 lots are available starting at only $29,900!

Call Today to get your private viewing of this exclusive property!

1-800-455-1981 ext 6805

Area Information

The community has grown in recent years, as the valley’s scenic beauty and majestic quality continuously mesmerizes residents and draws visitors from throughout the world. Located in Watauga County, near Boone and only a few hours from the hustle and bustle of bigger cities, day and weekend getaways are possible, but most eventually return for a much longer stay.

Valle Crucis is North Carolina’s first rural historic district and the entire community is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nationally recognized historic buildings are abound in Valle Crucis, with many like The Baird House (1790), The Mast Farm Inn (1812), the Old Episcopal Mission (1842) and the Mast General Store (1883), restored to their initial splendor and still serving the area today.

The rustic countryside provides ample opportunities for recreational activities. Both residents and visitors alike can be found enjoying the amenities at the riverfront community park, with multiple children’s playgrounds, athletic fields, picnic areas, and a walking/running trail around its border. Other outdoor enthusiasts can be found hiking from the sacred ground of the old Episcopal Mission, now the Valle Crucis Conference Center, up trails to Crab Orchard Falls or along other seemingly limitless trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Riding horses through old farm fields in the valley and fishing for trout from the banks of the streams and Watauga River also provide an enjoyable glimpse at the days of old. Regardless of the choice of activity, unquestionably the best way to recap the day’s events is from a rocking chair placed outside in the crisp mountain air, with views of spectacular foliage and the quaint valley.

The Mast General Store was built, at least the first of its many rooms, in 1882 by Henry Taylor and opened in 1883. Henry had run a much smaller store across the road for many years previous to the building of the new structure. In 1897 half interest in the store was sold to W. W. Mast, a member of a pioneer family that settled in the valley. The store was known as the Taylor and Mast General Store up until 1913 when the remaining half of the enterprise was purchased by W. W.

mast_history2For the next 60 years, the store was owned and managed by the Mast Family. During that time, W. W. and his family tried to carry all of the items their neighbors might need – from plows to cloth and “Cradles to Caskets,” which led to the popular saying, “If you can’t buy it here, you don’t need it.” Credit was extended to all who needed it and payments were often made in trade (a chicken for a sack of flour, and so on). If you wander back in the store, you can see the chicken hatch door in the floor. “In the floor?” you may ask. “That seems like an awfully funny place to put a chicken coop.” As the story goes, a couple of young boys took a chicken to the Farthing Store, a competing general store just two tenths of a mile down the road, and traded with them for merchandise. Their chicken was duly weighed and put out back in the chicken coop. When the storekeeper wasn’t watching, they took their just-bartered chicken back and brought it to the Mast Store to trade it again. Therefore, the hatch at the Mast Store was put beneath the floor and secured from the outside to prevent those individuals who wanted to get more than they bargained for.

In addition to being the community gathering place, the store also served many other needs over the years. It provided an office for Dr. Perry – one of Watauga County’s first doctors. It was a place for wildcrafters to bring their roots and herbs in exchange for store credit. And in the aftermath of the ’40 Flood, it provided a site for mourners to gather to honor the memory of their lost loved ones.

mast_history3Operation of the store was passed from W. W. to his son Howard, who continued to run the business in the long-established manner of providing for the needs of the community. Howard passed it along to his son, “H.”
The store was sold by the Mast Family in 1973 to a doctor in Atlanta and a professor at Appalachian State University. Around about that same time, the site was named to the National Register of Historic Places as one of the finest remaining examples of an old country general store.

In November of 1977, the doors were closed presumably just for the winter season with hopes of reopening in April of 1978. However, plans did not pan out. Many residents of Valle Crucis banded together in an effort to save the old store and Exxon even helped with the drive to preserve the landmark.

mast_history4John and Faye Cooper purchased the Mast Store and reopened it in June of 1980. Since that time the store had regained its reputation as “the store that had everything.” The Valle Crucis Post Office reopened in October of 1980, thus giving the valley back its identity.

Oh, by the way, there is an interesting story about the post office. It was said that the post office changed locations – from the Farthing Store (staunch Republicans) to the Mast Store (dyed-in-the-wool Democrats) – depending upon what political party was in power. How would you like to get up in the morning after an election and not know just exactly where to go get your mail?

Recent History

Coopers03The operation has expanded in much that same manner as when W. W. Mast was operating the establishment (several Mast General Stores were located in the area and operated by brothers and other family members). The Annex was opened in 1982; the Old Boone Mercantile was opened in 1988; the Little Red Schoolhouse was opened in 1989; the Waynesville store was opened in 1991; the Hendersonville location was opened in August 1995, a store in Asheville joined the Mast Store family in 1999; the first location outside of North Carolina is located on Main Street in Greenville, SC and opened in March 2003. In August of 2006, Mast Store Knoxville, the first in Tennessee, opened on Gay Street. The newest “old” location in Columbia, SC, is set to open in 2011.

Your Complete Guide to the Ultimate Part of the Parkway

The most popular unit of America’s national park system—the Blue Ridge Parkway—commemorated 75 years in 2010. And in 2012, the famous Linn Cove Viaduct above opened 25 years ago this fall, on September 11th.

There’s no better—or more accessible—place to celebrate the Parkway’s awesome autumn scenery, history, and culture than in the Boone,NC area. This is your complete guide to the Boone area portion of the Parkway, the pivot point of America’s most scenic road.

The Parkway was “born” in the NC High Country at Cumberland Knob in 1935 and it was completed here at Grandfather Mountain in 1987.

Boone area Parkway landmarks range from Mount Mitchell, highest peak in the East, to dozens of spectacular waterfalls, among them Crabtree Falls, Linville Falls, and the Cascades.

There’s easy Interstate highway access to the 178-mile NC High Country stretch of the Parkway—between I-77 to the north, (where the new Blue Ridge Music Center offers entertainment and cultural insight), and I-40/I-26 on the south near Asheville (where the Parkway’s main visitor center just opened).

Just have a weekend? Major highways lead directly to the Boone,NC area.

Along the way, there’s culture at the Folk Art Center, Parkway Craft Center, Northwest Trading Post, and natural history at the Museum of NC Minerals. Choose from for Parkway Campgrounds (including the largest), six picnic areas (and countless tables at overlooks), and a classic National Park Service inn at Bluffs Lodge. Long or short, a Parkway sojourn is a peak experience, a relaxing, 45-mph route that’s continually at the crest. Dozens of overlooks invite you to pull off for a view. Easy trails entice you back to nature. Electric autumn color, not to mention explosive spring blooms and cool summer days, are all Boone area hallmarks of the Blue Ridge Parkway experience.

The Town of Boone is a university town in Watauga County, atop the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and serves as the county seat and market town. Boone acquires its name from the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, who on several occasions camped at a site generally agreed to be within the present city limits.

The Town of Boone was incorporated in 1872 and its current population is 17,751. Boone has the highest elevation (3,300 feet) of any town of its size (over 10,000 population) east of the Mississippi River. During summer, high temperatures in Boone are typically 76°F or below, noticeably cooler than the lowland areas to the east and south. Summers are also considerably cooler than most parts of the Carolinas. Winters are colder with sleet and snowfall common.

Located off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone offers its residents and visitors a four-season playground for sports and outdoor activities. Boone is recognized by travel journalists as an “ultimate outdoor adventure destination” in the Southeast. It is also home to Appalachian State University, the Appalachian Regional Medical Center, scores of businesses, large and small as well as tourist attractions and a progressive school system consistently ranked for its excellence.

History of Blowing Rock

Before 1752, when Moravian Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg visited the Blowing Rock area, the windy cliffs of the area were home to the Cherokee and the Catawba Indian tribes, hostile to each other, and the basis for the story of “The “Blowing Rock”. Two star-crossed lovers, one from each tribe, were walking near The Rock when the reddening sky signaled to the brave that he must return to his tribal duty, and the maiden urged him to stay with her. His desperation in choosing between duty and love caused him to leap from the edge of the gorge toward the rocks below, while the maiden beseeched the Great Spirit to bring him back to her. The famous winds of the John’s River Gorge blew her lover back into her arms, and this legend about The Blowing Rock is still told today.

After the mid-eighteenth century, when the Scotch-Irish began to settle close to this area, the passes from southern Virginia into Kentucky attracted many colonists, farmers, hunters, and trappers who continued south to the mountains of North Carolina. The first family to settle in Blowing Rock were the Greenes who were established by the mid-1800’s on a site that would become the Green Park Hotel property. Other early settlers in Blowing Rock included the Hayes, Coffey, Bolick, Estes and Storie families. About this time, summer residents began to come up from Lenoir to enjoy the cool fresh air, magnificent mountain views and the wonders of nature.

As word traveled to other parts of the South about the merits of Blowing Rock, more visitors began to arrive, first camping out, and later taking rooms at boarding houses like the Hayes and Martin Houses on Main Street. When the space to accommodate guests proved too little, many homes turned into hotels, and the Watauga Hotel, built in 1884, added cottages in 1888; the Green Park Hotel opened in 1891 and was followed eight years later by the Blowing Rock Hotel. Walter Alexander touted the clean air and healthy environment of Blowing Rock, as he developed the Mayview area, opening the grand hotel, Mayview Manor in 1922.

Times had been tough during the Civil War, when many early settlers sought refuge from the great war between the North and South. Husbands sent their wives and children to the safest place they knew at the time, the mountains, while they left to fight for their beliefs. After the war many men joined the families who sheltered here, and made their permanent homes in the village. Shortly thereafter, on March 11, 1889, Blowing Rock was chartered and incorporated. “Uncle Joe Clarke” became the first mayor of this fledgling little mountain town with a permanent population just over 300 people.

High on the list of issues at a time when financial conditions were at a low ebb, was the tourist economy and meeting visitors’ needs for cleaner, better streets (dirt roads were the norm of the day) and the issue of farmers’ rights and the expense of fencing and feeding animals who had wandered the open range where food was readily available. Debated from 1893 until an ordinance for fencing in livestock was passed in 1896, this issue was reaffirmed in a township vote in 1900 and again in 1901. Blowing Rock’s economy would now be tourist-oriented and hotels, inns, and boarding houses could prosper. Activities and amenities for visitors reached the epitome of the finest offerings in lodging, food and entertainment for guests, and were enjoyed by many summer residents as well. Blowing Rock was becoming a destination community for those who fled from the heat down the mountain and as far away as Florida.

The introduction of the automobile and improved roads shortly after the turn of century further enhanced the journey to the “Crown of the Blue Ridge.” Blowing Rock’s growth encompasses 1500 full time residents and approximately 8000 summer residents. The village offers the best of small town living: cool climate, magnificent views, year-round outdoor activities, a safe environment, beautiful churches, an award winning school and the finest accommodations with superb restaurants and shopping. A major preservation effort has been in place for the past decade to protect the proud historic heritage of the village and maintain the community character that so enhances this little town.

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Call 800.455.1981, Ext: 6805





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