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LOCAL BRIEFS: Historic photos, library friends, Artscape kids contest

Terry Ruscin will present a slide show on his new book of early Henderson County images at the Historic Courthouse on Sept. 15. Terry Ruscin will present a slide show on his new book of early Henderson County images at the Historic Courthouse on Sept. 15.

Ruscin’s new book 
highlights county history


Terry Ruscin will present a slide show on his new book of early Henderson County images at the Historic Courthouse at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

Have you heard of the Dry Hill School? Honeymoon Cottage? The House of Seven Gables? The Poorhouse? The Smellin’ Machine? Happy Hollow? Dausuel School? The book includes them, plus aerial overviews, bygone hotels and inns, houses of worship, schoolhouses, post offices, train depots, fire departments, general stores, mills, moonshiners, fires and the earliest buildings on Hendersonville’s Main Street.
“Images of America: Henderson County” showcases snapshots from the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century in all sectors of the county. The book samples the many businesses, institutions, and personalities that helped shape the character of Henderson County. One chapter, “Movers & Shapers,” pays homage to the county’s early merchants, authors and historians, educators, businessmen and businesswomen and people of color.
Ruscin gleaned the photos from attics and fragile family albums, shoe boxes, private collections and also collected photographs from the archives of the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society and the Baker Barber Collection. Where historic sites remained intact, Ruscin made supplemental photographs to illustrate the text.
Following the slide presentation, Ruscin will sign books in the community room. The event is hosted by the Henderson County Heritage Museum. For more information, call (828) 694-1619.


Video describes work of library's friends

The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Henderson County Public Library guides the work of 100 volunteers and raises about $100,000 a year for the library and its services.

For more than half a century, the Friends of the Henderson County Public Library has purchased materials, sponsored programs and contributed in many other ways to the library system. The Friends raise about $100,000 a year — a remarkable achievement for an all-volunteer organization.
Now a new video sheds light on the many ways the organization enhances the programs and services that the library offers.
Richard Labunski, a Flat Rock resident and retired journalism professor, produced the nine-minute video as a gift to the Friends. The video explains that many of the programs and materials that the Friends offer would not otherwise be available to the library’s patrons and the public.
The video comes at an important time for the Friends. They have just created a new website and are asking people to visit the site to learn more about the organization.
The Friends are best-known for their twice-a-year book sales held in their building at 1940 Spartanburg Highway. This fall’s book sale will be Sept. 7-9, Sept. 14-15, and Sept. 22.
But the Friends do more than sell books. They purchase books; audio books; DVDs and CDs; book carts and furnishings; and computers, tablets and E-readers. They support literacy programs, the summer reading program, children’s programs, and book clubs at the library’s branches. In addition, they provide funding for musical performances and presentations on a variety of subjects.
The Friends believe they have an important role to play in improving the lives of county residents.
“Our volunteers know that a community is better off when people are literate — in the broad sense of that term — which includes not only reading but also computer literacy and other skills that improve the lives of those who live in Henderson County,” said Bill Ramsey, president of the Friends. “We are hoping the new video and website will encourage people to join the Friends and volunteer.”
The Friends began in 1956 with 32 members. Today it has more than 1,000 members and 100 volunteers. The board works closely with the library staff so the money it raises supports the most important priorities. You can see the video and learn more about the Friends at

Master Gardener program
 accepting applications

Henderson County’s Extension Office is accepting applications for its 2019 Master Gardener Volunteer program through Nov. 10. Applications are available online at or at the Extension Office, 100 Jackson Park Road. Candidates can also request an emailed form by calling 828-697-4891 or emailing The training fee is $135, and class size is limited. 
The program’s educational component includes a required 12-week class typically offered on Wednesday mornings from mid-January through early April. Topics include general botany; soils and fertilizers; annuals, perennials and woody ornamentals; trees; and plant diseases. 
Students also give 40 hours of volunteer service for the remainder of their first year. Once certified as a Master Gardener, each must volunteer 25 hours per year on approved projects and continue their horticulture education through occasional part-day classes.

Artscape contest under way

The ArtScape Banner Adventure Contest is now under way downtown.
New game-cards now available at Henderson County Visitors Center, 201 S. Main St., explain how children and young people can earn a chance at monthly prizes by answering questions along the route of the ArtScape art banner exhibit in downtown Hendersonville and in the Historic Seventh Avenue District.
The game-card questions direct kids to 10 of the banners. Designed by Natalie Bennett, one of the artists in this year’s ArtScape exhibit, the game creates a fun adventure in downtown Hendersonville and exposes kids to this popular and varied outdoor art exhibit. The completed card can be turned in at the Visitor Center or mailed or emailed to the address on the card. A drawing of the winning cards will be held at the end of each month.
ArtScape 2018 is an outdoor exhibit of art on banners featuring the work of 50 local artists. The objective of ArtScape, a yearly juried exhibit of multi-media artwork by Henderson County artists, is to create an outdoor gallery experience making Hendersonville an exciting and unique art destination. For more information visit

IAM gives free haircuts for school kids Saturday

Interfaith Assistance Ministry is offering a free Back-to-School Haircut Clinic on Saturday for children ages 4 to 18 who participate in the free or reduced lunch program or who receive assistance from a local nonprofit.
Eligible students also include those who receive services from IAM, the Salvation Army, the Free Clinics, Blue Ridge Community Health Services, Safelight, Children & Family Resource Center, Hendersonville Boys & Girls Club, the Hendersonville Rescue Mission and Henderson County’s Department of Social Services. The Haircut Clinic and Yard Sale event will take place in IAM’s parking lot on Aug. 25, the Saturday before school, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hair stylists and barbers from local salons, Blue Ridge Community College’s Cosmetology Department, Great Clips and others are volunteering their time to help children whose parents cannot afford a haircut.
“We are so excited to offer this new service to help our Henderson County neighbors in need get their children ready for school,” said Elizabeth Willson Moss, IAM’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to all of the hair stylists who are donating their time and talents and to all of our volunteers who have stepped up to help that day to help. To make the event fun, one of our community partners, United Federal Credit Union, is providing free snow cones, popcorn and cotton candy.”
IAM also will continue to give out free backpacks and school clothes to children whose parents complete a short interview process that day, Moss said. Since June 1, IAM has provided 252 children with school supplies; 237 of those have received backpacks. In 2017, IAM provided 503 children with backpacks filled with school supplies.
“Each year we help families who only need our help once a year with school supplies,” Moss said. “School supply lists and backpacks can quickly exceed $100 and we don’t want struggling families to have to choose between buying groceries, paying the rent or keeping the lights on. Thankfully, donations from our generous community allow us to provide this service.”
When school supplies became available for the traditional school schedule, IAM assisted 88 children and adults on one day last week — a record number. Proceeds from the yard sale will be used to purchase children’s clothing and shoes.
IAM is always in need of donated food, clothing, shoes, personal hygiene items, linens, pet food and donations. More than 60 percent of the residents IAM helps only need assistance one time. Send donations to IAM, P.O. Box 2562, Hendersonville, N.C., 28793.



Camp for All BBQ 
Ball is set for Sept. 30

Rock climbing, paddling, campfires and s’mores. Live music and Hubba Hubba Smokehouse. What more could your family dream of?
Camplify will host the 11th annual Camp for All Barbeque Ball on Sunday, Sept. 30, at Camp Ton-a-Wandah to support camp-based and experiential learning programs for more than 200 local students each year.
Activities begin at 2:30 and include archery, crafts, paddling/canoeing, fishing (bring your own pole), climbing wall, live music, and a silent auction. Dinner is catered by Hubba Hubba Smokehouse. Adult beverages are included in ticket purchase. Tickets are $75 per individual, $100 per couple and $125 for a family of four.
Camplify uses a series of camp-based and experiential learning programs to teach kids-in-need the life skills required to become the leaders of tomorrow. Unlike other groups, Camplify is dedicated to a child's character. We offer a nine year commitment of leadership programs anchored by camp beginning in the 4th grade. Since 1994, the program has impacted more than 3,000 lives.
Tickets to the BBQ Ball are available online or at the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce. For more information or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit or call the Camplify office at 828.697.2000.