Sunday, May 31, 2015

Keeping Old Towns Interesting

Sunday Morning Musings on Keeping Old Towns Interesting

I was a fan of Sunday Morning when North Carolinian Charles Kuralt moderated the show. I thought he was the best! But Charles Osgood has done well as his successor. I never miss it.

Today, May 31, was one of the best shows. By Design was the theme of the show and what a variety of stories on design. Savannah and Charleston were highlighted with stories about the differences and similarities of the design of these two cities. Coming from a town that destroyed many of the old buildings I knew growing up, I was delighted to hear that Charleston demands that new buildings be designed to fit with the historic architecture of the city. Of course there is controversy among those who want to build glass and metal business places and those who have the vision of the future of Charleston in mind.

We are still a fairly young country compared with most of the civilized countries of Europe. I love the look of their cities with their history told in the beauty of buildings, churches and cathedrals created hundreds, even thousands of years ago.

I saw recently an old building in my hometown, a place where I went to school when I was in fifth and sixth grade, had been left to fall into rack and ruin, and now it is too costly to restore to its original state. It will be bulldozed. That has been the norm in that town.

I support our citizens in Hayesville who volunteer to maintain our historic courthouse in the center of town on the square. The CCCRA works to acquire grants and raise funds in hope of one day making the building the centerpiece it once was and should be again. With funds the group hopes to make the upstairs, the original court room, into a community room. I feel our writing community and many other organizations will use that for events.

Downstairs the plan calls for retail stores and an information center for the area. I see this lovely old building drawing many people to this little town where people can learn about Cherokee history and life in the Appalachians as it was in the 19th century. 

We have a museum that tells these stories. It is located in the Old Jail building right off the square. An area that explains our Cherokee history has been created outside the museum. A walk down to the river takes the visitor to an Indian Mound.

On weekends during the summer, Hayesville, NC holds events with mountain music, food and handmade crafts. Next weekend we will have a huge group of antique cars surrounding the old courthouse as people come from far away to exhibit their special automobiles.

The Festival on the Square will fill the town on July 10, 11, 12. Our Netwest group will have a booth at this festival. The Clay County Progress published an article this week on what the future looks like for Hayesville.

Simple things could be done by store owners now to entice vacationers to come downtown during the week. I think something as simple as hanging baskets of ferns and flowers at the entrances of stores, shops and restaurants will make the casual visitor stop and see what is here. I know I am drawn to a town that looks cheerful and welcoming.

Quick Container Combo

 Big, big pots of brightly colored flowers at the doorway draw my eye to a shop. The sound of mountain music coming from inside catches the ear and the eye of a visitor. Clean tables and chairs outside a coffee shop or restaurant with a spot of color in the center begs me to stop in and check out the place. Joe’s Coffee House has created a welcoming atmosphere. Coffee with the Poets meets at Joe's.

Readers, what do you think? If you are a tourist and you drive into a mountain town, what would entice you to stop and walk around the square, check out the shops, stop and get an ice cream or have lunch? 

8 comments: said...

Thank you for stopping by at my blog Roughwighting. Your post is lovely. Yes, I believe that as a visitor to a new town, beautiful hanging flowers and window boxes, cafes and small charming stores entice someone to stop in and stay. Lovely post.

Deanna Klingel said...

I hope to have time to wander about Hayesville this summer. I love old towns that maintain their integrity. The town I grew up in is a sad reminder of what happens when no one cares. I've been to some great old towns where it seems the grandchildren take pride in what was once grand. Other places, it's obvious grandma is on her own.

DJan said...

I agree with all the things you suggest, and I am also drawn to cheerful flowers and outside seating. The only thing that I don't like is having cars go by too closely to outside seating. I like to rummage around in antique shops, too. :-)

Joan Ellen Gage said...

I think bright colored paint looks beckoning, along with lots of plants & flowers.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Thank you, roughwighting, for leaving a comment today. I recently discovered your blog and I enjoy reading it. Thanks for telling us what you makes you stop and shop in a small town.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Deanna, I look forward to your visit to Hayesville in July. I hope you will see all that we have here and come back often.
Deanna will be at the Festival on the Square in July so come by and meet her and take home one of her fabulous books.

Glenda C. Beall said...

DJan, we have an antique shop that is filled with good finds. Molly and Me is such fun to wander around in and we have a large craft shop with many choices of hand made items.

Thanks for your comment on this subject.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Joan, thanks for your suggestions of bright colored paint to catch the eye of visitors to a town. We could use more of that in Hayesville, I think.
And we all want to see colorful flowers.