"He who will address you today is no stranger," began Malcolm P. Calhoun in his introduction of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to the Montreat congregation. "You have known him, perhaps from afar, but for many years. You know that he shares our concerns, when he moves among men, preaching that you cannot serve God and hate men."

Tuesday History: Martin Luther King’s historic Montreat speech, part I

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we bring you our regularly scheduled Tuesday History post, one day early. On Aug. 21, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed an audience of nearly 3,000 people in Montreat Conference Center’s Anderson Auditorium. King, the keynote speaker for the Presbyterian Church’s annual Christian Action Conference, […]

ROCK STARS: For 70 years, the Mineral Research Laboratory in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood has worked with mining companies around the world to come up with efficient ways to harvest and process minerals, as well as educate the public on North Carolina’s mineral resources. Utilizing its unique pilot plant (above), the lab has the capability to provide data on the cost and scale of operations for companies to use in commercial enterprises. Photo by Max Hunt

Minerals Research Lab cooks up cutting-edge solutions

For 70 years, the Minerals Research Laboratory on Coxe Avenue has collaborated with mining companies and educational institutions to develop more efficient processes for extracting the state’s mineral resources as well as ways to reuse potentially harmful byproducts.

STRANGE MEDICINE: In 1918, "Doctor" John Brinkley implanted goat testes into the first of many patients who sought treatment for impotence.

Tuesday History: John Brinkley, the goat gland king

The John R. Brinkley historic marker in Jackson County, N.C. reads: “Medical maverick, radio and advertising pioneer, candidate for governor of Kansas. Boyhood home stood across the river.” While “medical maverick” touches on Brinkley’s unorthodox role within the world of medicine, it doesn’t address the duplicity of his practice — namely, a scam that involved the implantation […]

WILLING SUBMISSION TO GOD: Local Muslims gather every Friday for fellowship, a short sermon and salah (pictured here), the act of wor- ship that combines physical, mental and spiritual elements — reciting verses and praying along with different postures. Photo by Able Allen

Diverse Muslim community finds common ground in Asheville

“You could say I was hungry for the truth without even realizing I was searching for it,” says Western North Carolina native Joseph (Yusuf) Gantt, “and that led to a journey of maybe 10 or 15 years in which I finally recognized Islam. It satisfied my hunger.” Two of Gantt’s family members, his mother and […]

ASHEVILLE POLICE: J.L. Ballenger stands on the left. He was ordered to accompany the bloodhound on the night of the Will Harris murders. Capt. John Page stands in the middle. Page was shot in the right arm on the night of the Will Harris murders, but survived. Also featured in this photo is E. M. Lyda.

Tuesday History: Police chief reflects on Will Harris murders, 66 years afterwards

On March 27, 1972, former Asheville Chief of Police (1905-1907), Silas G. Bernard, sent a 10-page letter to local attorney John C. Cheeseborough recounting the events of the night of the Will Harris murders, and the subsequent manhunt. Bernard was 96 years old when he composed the letter. Below are excerpts from Bernard’s written recollection. For those interested […]

NEW PLANS, NEW CONCERNS: Members of the Swannanoa community met with Community Advisory Group members, federal and state environmental officials Thurday, Dec. 1 to discuss future plans for the Chemtronics Superfund site. Photo by Max Hunt

For the record: EPA reviews 2016 Record of Decision, presence of new contaminan­ts at Chemtronic­s site

Swannanoa residents met with members of the Community Advisory Group, federal and state environmental protection officials Thursday evening to review the 2016 Record of Decision for the Chemtronics Superfund site. The EPA also revealed the presence of a new contamination detection on the property.

KILLED BY A DESPERADO: Ben Addison was the third victim in the Will Harris murders. He was shot dead on Eagle Street, as Harris made his way to present day Pack Square.

Tuesday History: The unclaimed body of Will Harris, part IV

We continue our examination of the aftermath of the killing of Will Harris, as reported on Nov. 17, 1906 in The Asheville Gazette News. This installment builds on our previous three posts depicting the events leading up to and ensuing from Harris’ actions. For last week’s post, click here. The material for this article was made available through the courtesy […]

OPEN FOR EXPLORATION: Staff and board members of the Asheville Museum of Science, TDA officials and residents gathered Friday morning for the soft opening of AMOS' new location in downtown Asheville. The museum was also presented with a $400,000 Tourism Product Development Fund grant. Photo by Max Hunt

Asheville Museum of Science celebrates new location with soft-opening reception

The Asheville Museum of Science held a soft opening from 10 a.m. until noon at its new location in the Wells Fargo building at 43 Patton Avenue. In addition to the opening reception, an official ceremony was held to celebrate a $400,000 grant awarded to the museum from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.

GLIMPSE OF THE PAST: In anticipation of North Carolina’s centennial exhibit on the state’s involvement in World War I, which opens next April, the Department of Cultural and Natural Resource’s Western Office in Asheville is currently hosting an exhibit on WNC’s local heroes and experiences during the “Great War.” Photo by Max Hunt

In the trenches: Research explores WNC’s role in World War I

Though the battles were fought half a world away, WWI had a profound and lasting impact on Western North Carolina. As the state gears up for a big centennial retrospective on North Carolina’s involvement in the Great War, local researchers have worked to bring WNC residents’ stories and experiences to contemporary audiences.

THE OLD AND THE NEW: A farmer stands beside a a touring car of teens.

Tuesday History: Politics and Asheville’s first automobile

Local politics and automobiles are the focus of this week’s excerpt from Edwin Bedford Jeffress’ 1950 Asheville Citizen article, titled “Jeffress, Former Newspaperman Here, Describes Asheville of 1908-1911.” Click here for last week’s look at the local newspaper industry. Thanks as always to the Pack Memorial Library’s Special Collections, North Carolina Room for its assistance.  Thanks to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial […]

MURDER & MYSTERY IN THE MOUNTAINS: From Pack Square to Riverside Cemetery, Asheville's history is full of untimely deaths, mysterious murders and unexplained phenomena, which local organizations, paranormal investigators and tour companies alike utilize to explore the city's dark past. Photo by Max Hunt

Horror in the highlands: Asheville’s ghostly legends provide a glimpse into city’s past

Like any good Southern city, Asheville’s history is steeped in the gothic and the paranormal. While the facts and claims behind these legends vary from story to story (and storyteller), Asheville’s “ghosts” play an often unheralded role in capturing and preserving the city’s past.