Have you ever visited a restaurant and devoured such savory treats that you just had to meet the chef in hopes of stealing some of his secrets? Well, here is your chance!
Throughout August, Ken Naron, Master Chef at The Bowery, one of Main Street’s newest restaurants, will be hosting cooking classes at the Historic Cowee School, just a short drive from Franklin.
During the classes, you will get to learn some of the south’s greatest recipes handcrafted by Chef Ken Naron of The Bowery. Chef Ken will be firing up the kitchen every Tuesday evening during the month of August to serve up some delicious flavors from the Great Smoky Mountains to the swamps of Louisiana, all while using locally grown foods from the Cowee Farmers Market.
Chef Ken and his sous chef will be working individually with class participants to learn how to create each weekly recipe with food ingredients from the Cowee Farmers Market NC. Each week you will go with Chef Ken through the market, picking out the food ingredients you will need to create a southern classic. After you browse through the market for your meal supplies, you will then return to the Cowee School kitchen, where the real fun begins.
Once you finish your southern style meal, Chef Ken and his sous chef will then have you sit down and present to you your creation. Every student will receive a copy of each week’s recipe to be able to recreate the treats for their families and friends.
Cost for the class is $70 per class (includes all food) (Students are encouraged to sign up the week before each class: Example- 7/28 for 8/4 class) or you may purchase all 4 classes for $250 (includes all food for each class). For info about the series, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was written by Dave Linn with Bringing It 2 Life Productions. Dave works to promote local events in and around the Franklin area.
Franklin Folk Festival 2014
Heritage means a lot to the people of Franklin, as it should. Although it’s somewhat cliché to say, it’s also undoubtedly true that you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. That’s largely why the annual Franklin Folk Festival is so important to our community.
The Town of Franklin annually celebrates the past, a history inundated with rich Appalachian culture, with this wonderful festival that helps to keep traditions alive. On Saturday, July 19, the town hosted the 11th Annual Franklin Folk Festival, an event that had plenty to offer everyone.
Civil War Re-enactors, quilting, wood carving, an antique car show, youth heritage contest, and basket making are just a small list of activities folks were able to see. Mountain Bluegrass Jam Sessions were also featured, and if you happen to play, bring your instrument with you next year and strum along.
Franklin and Western North Carolina has changed substantially since the town was incorporated in the 19th century, but one thing remains constant – and that is our heritage. Make sure to attend our 12th Annual Festival next year www.FranklinFolkFestival.com. Here’s what people experienced this past weekend:
- 100+ Heritage Demonstrations/Exhibits
See Appalachian Artisans in action as they offer living demonstrations of their craft passed down from generation to generation.
- Antique Car Show
Always a popular attraction of the Franklin Folk Festival featuring dozens of antique rides.
- Civil War Re-enactors
Encamped off Main Street on Phillips Street, the reenactors demonstrate life from the Civil War era including live artillery fire and skirmishes.
- Live Heritage Entertainment
Hear the sound of Authentic Appalachian music throughout the day at the Gazebo Stage, Church in the Wildwood, and Town Hall Jam Tent.
- Heritage Alive Youth Talent Show
3:00 p.m. at the Gazebo Stage. For more information contact Heather Gordon at (828) 586-4009.
- Quilt Show & Indoor Exhibits
See a Special Exhibit of the Cabarrus Quilt, Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, and others at Tartan Hall of First Presbyterian Church and more exhibits in the Fellowship Hall of Franklin First Baptist Church.
- Authentic Appalachian Crafts
Returning this year is Crafter’s Lane On Main offering you the opportunity to take a piece of authentic Appalachian Arts & Crafts back home.
- Bluegrass Jam Sessions
Hear local talent or play along, so be sure to bring an instrument if you play. In addition to the Main Street Jammin’ Tent, sessions will be located at the Fire Department Area/Macon Bank parking lot, Life’s Bounty Bakery & Café, Paradise Music Store, Outdoor 76 and the Rathskellar Coffee Haus.
- Children’s Heritage Activities
100 Years ago there were no XBoxes. Your young ones can participate in free heritage activities and learn how kids of yesteryear passed the time.
- Author Autographings
(Books Unlimited on Main Street)
Various Authors including Bob Plott with Nannie – 11:00 AM Touching the Face of History: the Story of the Plott Hound, NC’s State Dog. This project is made possible by a grant from the NC Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.
16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival
“A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” in Franklin, NC
Saturday, August 20, 2022
About the Franklin Area Folk Festival
Come to the mountains of Western North Carolina and discover the Franklin Area Folk Festival! Our mission is to preserve and educate about the rich heritage of Franklin, NC and Macon County. The festival will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2022.
The 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” will be held from 10 am to 4 pm at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center. Nestled in Cowee West’s Mill Historic District at 51 Cowee School Drive in Franklin, NC, the Center is a unique showcase for demonstrating the everyday skills, crafts and music of our ancestors. And it is a FREE event!
What can you expect?
Celebrating all things Appalachian, this family-friendly festival features live heritage demonstrations, Appalachian crafts, SEBA (SouthEastern Bluegrass Association) jammin’ sessions that feature old-time mountain music and bluegrass, Civil War Re-enactors/Camp, kids’ activities, food, textiles& more! Artisans inside Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center will exhibit Macon County’s rich heritage by teaching us about pottery, textiles, painting, and local history. By linking our future to our past, the Franklin Area Folk Festival sponsors hands-on activities to allow visitors to experience what mountain life was like way back when. These folks learned at their parents’ knee woodcarving, moonshinin’, weaving and spinning, and all the many other heritage skills they’ll be demonstrating.
Some additional highlights include special quilts on display (like the famous Cabarras Quilt, The Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, the original World’s Largest Quilt), the village blacksmith, flint napping, woodworking / woodcarving, Border Collies’ demonstrations, old-time music and more. Performances of mountain music, gospel and bluegrass tunes exemplify a very important cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. In addition to performance stages inside and outside, we are partnering with SEBA and the Old Time Music group to provide jammin’ sessions. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in! Once known as the Quilting Capital of the World, displays from the Smoky Mountain Quilter’s Guild including kids’ make-it / take-it project and the Cowee Quilters will help showcase this important heritage. Also, Grandpa’s Woodshop will feature wooden toys with Mike Holden and bluebird houses with Paul Chew.
Come learn about the culture and folkways of our Southern Appalachian Mountains by engaging in one of the many living history experiences, a trademark of the Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage.”
This FREE event is co-sponsored annually by the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County and the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center with support from Cowee Community Development Organization, Rickman’s Store, The Scottish Tartan Museum, Macon County Historical Museum, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Blue Ridge Heritage Music Trail/SEBA and others. The festival is made possible by a grant from the Franklin/Nantahala Tourism Development Committee, the Tourism Development Authority of the Town of Franklin and the Macon County Arts Council along with funding from local businesses and individuals.
For more information call (828) 524-6564.
For more information visit Franklin Folk Festival
The widely praised American naturalist William Bartram was awestruck when he laid eyes on the mountains of Western North Carolina for the first time in the mid-1770s. Bartram explored present-day Franklin and the Great Smoky Mountains in 1775, becoming one of the first Americans to seriously explore the largely unknown geography and wildlife of the Smokies.
Traveling from Charleston, SC, Bartram spent several weeks in the Southern Appalachians. In doing so, the Quaker from Pennsylvania developed a deep fondness for the region, particularly the Cherokee people. Bartram spent much of his time in Cowee, a large Cherokee village in modern day Macon County.
Moving westward with the hopes of exploring more of WNC that year, Bartram suddenly stopped near Andrews, turned around and went back to Cowee. If you have seen what Franklin and the surrounding area has to offer in terms of natural beauty, it’s not hard to understand Bartram’s reasoning for making the abrupt U-turn in the spring of ’75.
One thing he most definitely saw and longed for after leaving was panoramic, breath-taking views of mountain waterfalls. Fortunately for us, this is something we can still see and fully appreciate today. Below is a list of noted waterfalls in the Franklin area and the surrounding region. Gear up and take the family out for a memorable outdoor excursion. Whether you’re visiting or have lived here your entire life, the waterfalls below are sure to offer views pleasing to anyone’s sight, regardless of your age or background.
Please don’t forget to take a device to capture what you see. Be safe and enjoy your picturesque moment!
Glen Falls – Travel 3 miles south on NC 106 from Highlands. Turn left on U.S. Forest Service Rd. and look for the “Glen Falls” marker. It’s a one-mile trail to the falls, a rather steep and rough incline.
Rufus Morgan Falls – Take U.S. 64 for 3 miles before turning right upon seeing the Wayah Bald directional sign. Take first left onto Wayah Road and drive about 6.5 miles before turning left at F.S. Road 388. The falls is 2.2 miles on the right.
Big Laurel Falls – Travel west for 9 miles on U.S. 64 and turn left on Wallace Gap Road and drive about 1.5 miles. Turn right on F.S. Road 67 (toward Standing Indian Campground) and go 7 miles. The trail runs along an old railroad grade. Once you pass over the bridge, it splits; right ends at Big Laurel Falls.
Looking Glass Falls – Take 276 from Brevard. Falls is about 4 miles north of Ranger Station. Parking area is marked and it’s only a short walk to the falls.
Mooney Falls – See directions to Big Laurel Falls; continue for .7 mile past Big Laurel Falls trailhead. Take the short trail that descends to Mooney Falls.
Tom’s Branch Falls – See directions to Indian Creek Falls. It’s located about a quarter-mile from Deep Creek Campground.
Indian Creek Falls – From Bryson City, take “Deep Creek Rd.” north 3 miles until you get to Deep Creek Campground in the GSMNP. It’s a one-mile, easy hike to the falls.
Rainbow Falls – From Cashiers, take U.S. 64 to N.C. 281 South. The trail to the falls is 2 miles from the intersection.
Sliding Rock – Take 276 North from Brevard; the falls is 7 miles north of the Ranger Station.
Cullasaja Falls – Visible from U.S. 64, 11 miles east from Franklin and 9 miles west from Highlands. The trail to the falls is a half-mile trek through steep, rough terrain.
Bridal Veil Falls – Located 2.5 miles west of Highlands on U.S. 64.
Whitewater Falls – From Cashiers, take U.S. 64 east 10 miles to “Whitewater Road.” Falls are located 10 miles south on the road, near the NC-SC state line. The falls can also be reached from N.C. 107, south of Cashiers.
Courthouse Falls – Take U.S. 64 East to N.C. 215 North; travel 10 miles and take a right on Courthouse Creek Road. The trailhead is well marked.
Toxaway Falls – The falls can be viewed as you cross the Toxaway River on U.S. 64 East near Rosman.
Dry Falls – Located about 3.5 miles west of Highlands near U.S. 64.
Juneywhank Falls – See directions to Indian Creek Falls; Juneywhank is one-quarter mile downstream from Indian Creek.
The aforementioned waterfalls are by no means the only few in Franklin and the surrounding region to gaze upon. Notably, a nice little falls is located on Section 4 of the Bartram Trail, near the Wallace Branch Trailhead; a few miles west from downtown Franklin. It’s an excellent opportunity to hike and take in a great view, much like Bartram did a few centuries before.
For more information about the sites or other locations, please contact the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 828-524-3161 or toll free at 1-866-372-5546.
Gem Mining in Franklin, North Carolina
Franklin, North Carolina is renowned as the “Gem Capital of the World” for good reason. Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Sota ventured through the area in the 16th century, searching for gold and other treasures. That exploration established a tradition in Franklin, which morphed into gem mining in the late 19th century. During that time several companies constructed mines to discover and capitalize on the source of Franklin’s ruby and sapphire explosion in the 1870s. Ever since, folks have traveled to Franklin in search of precious gems, and quite possibly, a chance at finding the next big one. That person could be you!
Franklin and the surrounding area have various gem mines for families and individuals to choose from. Although Mother Nature seems to have bypassed spring altogether this year, the weather of late is perfect for those looking to continue the gem mining tradition in a beautiful part of Southern Appalachia. Just don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
Below is a list of mines in the Franklin area. Contact them for operating hours and rates. Good luck and enjoy!
Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine
Located in the Cowee Valley at 41 Cherokee Mine Road off Ruby Mine Road
Rocky Face Mine
Located three miles North of Franklin at 268 Sanderstown Road
Rose Creek Mine
Located five miles North of Franklin on Highway 28 at 115 Terrace Ridge Drive
Gold City Gem Mine
Located about seven miles North of Franklin off Highway 441 at 9410 Sylva Road
Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine
Located about five miles from Franklin, at the foot of Cowee Mountain at 6771 Sylva Road
Jackson Hole Gem Mine
Located near Cullasaja Falls between Highlands and Franklin on Highway 28 and US 64
Located at 385 Sheffield Farms Road
Mason’s Ruby & Sapphire Mine
Located in Burningtown off Route 28 North
Old Cardinal Gem Mine
Located at 72 Rockhaven Drive
Mason Mountain Mine & Cowee Gift Shop
Located at 5313 Bryson City Road