Many people say it takes a village to raise a child, [and] that’s how I remember the Shiloh community when I was growing up: a village,” says liaison for the Shiloh Community Association Norma Baynes. “Many people walked from their jobs in Biltmore Forest. At night the people would turn the porch lights on to help people get to their homes or destination. Everyone looked out for each other.”
The Shiloh community was established before 1870. Originally located where the Biltmore Estate is today, the community was moved in the 1880s to its current location between Hendersonville and Sweeten Creek roads in south Asheville. Shiloh is the last intact historical African-American community in Asheville.
Baynes has witnessed a lot of changes to the neighborhood since her childhood, but it still retains its strong sense of community. In 2000, the community came together to form the nonprofit Shiloh Community Association. One of the many projects the association is involved in is the Shiloh Community Garden. Through a partnership with Bountiful Cities Project, the association hosts garden work days. The produce from the garden is available to all Shiloh residents.
On June 21, Shiloh residents celebrated a newly constructed pavilion, which will serve as a gathering place for community interactions. The Shiloh Community Association meets on the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Linwood Crump Shiloh Recreation Complex. Info: 277-9654.