Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

orulz

Marshall

Recommended Posts

pics_2005image1.jpg

This interesting little town in Madison County in a steep valley on the French Broad river is quite the time warp. You might remember it from the movie My Fellow Americans - the main characters stopped and rented a car in Marshall.

If you ever find yourself in Asheville with some time to kill, I highly recommend driving up along the river on NC251 into town. Aside from just enjoying the scenery and the time warp along the way, You could do a number of things in Marshall:

Observe the architecture of the historic courthouse

Co shopping at Penland & Sons, an old timey department store

Look at antiques. I'm sure there are some antique stores in Marshall. Every small town has antiques.

Grab some coffee and a sandwich at Zuma

Walk across the bridge to Blannahassett Island, future park and former site of the town's elementary school until two years ago (the buildings, built in 1926, are still there.)

Kill some time watching trains roll by

And in the evening, try some Contra Dancing at the old restored depot. It's a lot more fun than you might think.

Or, if you get bored, you could just go for a hike!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I only rode in there one quite a number of years ago. Very nice it is.

Would Blannahassett Island be that place in the lower section of the pic? It would definitely make great use for a park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would Blannahassett Island be that place in the lower section of the pic? It would definitely make great use for a park.
Yeah, that's the island. Due to the river's propensity for flooding, I think the town plans on razing the three buildings on the island (constructed in 1926, I think) to turn it into a park.

I'm not sure if the buildings are still used as schools, but here is a PDF that includes the park proposal, and here is an article from the county's only newspaper about preserving them for reuse as a town hall.

Check out this page and this page for more pictures of Marshall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that's the island. Due to the river's propensity for flooding, I think the town plans on razing the three buildings on the island (constructed in 1926, I think) to turn it into a park.

not that you intentionally implicated the town in this :) ,

but i just wanted to take the opportunity to say just about no one in this town wants to raze the buildings on the island;

as a matter of fact there is a complicated struggle between the town and the county right now over the fate of those buildings, and of the island itself. the town alderman have made a resolution to support efforts to save the buildings, and they have asked the county to at least gift the town with the 1/2 of the island that the county owns if the county seals the demo deal. the town board's sentiment is shared generally by the citizens (town population: 851)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK; thanks for the clarification. So it's the county owns the island (which makes sense since they run the schools) and wants to demolish the historic buildings?

So, why is the county so intent on demolishing the buildings? I assume it has to do with the flooding problem. If the demolition goes through, what does the county intend to do with the island after that? Turn it into a park? Sell it for redevelopment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ever heard of Contra Dancing? Like it?

If so, head up to the Marshall Depot on a Friday night some time. It's a very informal gathering. They were still doing it a couple years ago though, and it was a blast. Not entirely sure if that's still going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dont get on here often but i thought id update.

private citizens/developers have raised the $650,000 needed to buy out the county for the historical high school (state had given county this amount to destroy the school) and county is reportedly in negotiations to give the money back to the state and deed over the high school. so the answer is, they were in a big hurry because that is a lot of money.

lots of little renovations going on inside those nice buildings. the depot still has old time music and the like on friday nights, usually more clogging than contra going on. town coffee shop, zuma, had a write up in the asheville paper a few days ago.

zuma story

dont know how long that link will last.

marshall's accessibility to asheville, river, mountains, and it's rural character + bohemian newbie-ness = land and buildings are already overpriced. county and town are struggling with growth issues right now in a huge way. unprepared governing boards + good old boy network = upset citizens.

hopefully towns like this and mars hill, hot springs, will start to promote density et al. (absurd as some may find it, urbanism comes in all shapes and sizes) to help ease the county's development pressures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stumbled across this new mixed use development in downtown marshall:

Drovers Rest.

It is a two-story building with apartments on top and retail on the bottom floor.

photos_13.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Marshall news. Looks like the old school on the island is getting turned into artists' studios, called Marshall High Studios.

Wonder what became of the other buildings on the island - there were at least two: the cafeteria and the gym.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
More Marshall news. Looks like the old school on the island is getting turned into artists' studios, called Marshall High Studios.

Wonder what became of the other buildings on the island - there were at least two: the cafeteria and the gym.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to figure out whether the mills that stood across the river from downtown Marshall are still standing.

102377pr.jpg

They are the Marshall Milling Company grist mill (left) and the Capitola Manufacturing Company cotton mill(right).

I'm pretty sure the cotton mill is still there, but it seems the grist mill may not be. Sometime in the early 80s, they did some upgrades on to the Capitola Dam just upstream from downtown. I think they were converting it to hydroelectric power. At any rate, I found a drawing of their plans indicating they planned to demolish the grist mill. But then I've also seen some documents indicating they at least surveyed the buildings for induction into some list of historic sites. If they did tear down the old grist mill, it would be a shame, since it's such a distinctive and unusual structure for a mill. A historical survey cites it as the only known example of Second Empire architecture in Western NC.

More photos of the grist mill are here, and the text of the architectural survey is here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The grist mill with the Second Empire roofline was demolished--probably as a result of the dam work you described. The Capitola mill to its right is still there. The buildings were documented for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS - that's the source of your photo and info) -- a great program run by the National Park Service, with materials housed at the Library of Congress. (I've heard that HABS is the last of FDR's "alphabet agencies" still in operation.) Capitola is not listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Madison County Courthouse, downtown Marshall, and the Marhshall School on the island... but it could be if the owner was so inclined. Looks like the late great economic boom/rehabilitation craze didn't make it to Capitola, but hopefully someone will find a new use for it one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.