Asheville Archives: A tribute to Zoe Rhine

THAT'S A WRAP: After 25 years serving the community, local historian and librarian Zoe Rhine will retire at the end of 2019. Photo by Emma Grace Moon Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Today we celebrate history in the making: Zoe Rhine, special collections librarian at Pack Memorial Library’s North Carolina Room, will retire at the end of 2019, concluding a 25-year career serving Buncombe County residents through her historical research, programs and writing.

Along with her contributions to the community, Rhine’s insights and knowledge were crucial in helping this column get started. She has fielded many historical questions from this reporter.

In celebration of her career, Rhine’s friends and colleagues offer the following statements.

“Zoe let her love for Asheville history show every time she brought something out of the stacks for research,” says writer Nan Chase. “Her face lit up as though she had just unearthed buried treasure.”

“Her passion is taking history to the people with programs that draw hundreds to the Lord Auditorium,” notes researcher Joe Newman.

“Zoe is motivated to explore a sense of place to help all of us better understand who we are and where we are going in our communities in Asheville, in Buncombe County and in WNC,” says former Friends of the North Carolina Room board President Lynne Poirier-Wilson. “And she does it well.”

Finally, Louise Maret, chair of the Friends of the North Carolina Room, praises Rhine’s dedication in bringing to life the stories and contributions of “the unheard voices of our area’s history.” Maret adds, “Stepping out of the archives, she pursues the stories of our time, preserving them for the future.”

Thank you, Zoe, for all your hard work. We wish you a happy retirement!


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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2 thoughts on “Asheville Archives: A tribute to Zoe Rhine

  1. Curious

    A well deserved tribute to Zoe Rhine. Could Mr. Calder tell us about Ms. Rhine’s illustrious predecessor, Myra Champion?

  2. Ruben patterson

    It was a welcome surprise to find reference to my mom in your book she was ruth Chavis a member of the cabin kids I learned a few things feel free to contact me look forward to conversation about the cabin kids

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