The Blowing Rock Historical Society
Preserving Our Historical Culture and Charm
Historical Marker Program
Over 40 Historical Markers can be found around Blowing Rock. Each site has a story that contributes to Blowing Rock's historic culture and charm.
To identify and recognize buildings and sites within the community of Blowing Rock that are significant because they are structures of historic importance, examples of a particular architectural style, and/or simply deserving distinction by their design or a relationship with the Town’s legacy.
Program Mission Statement
The Blowing Rock Marker Program will assist in educating the public about the rich history of Blowing Rock, provide atmosphere to our downtown and add distinction to individual homes, commercial buildings and sites of significance.
The Town of Blowing Rock endorsed the program in 2008 and the first plaques were presented in 2009. The program has eligibility guidelines for building recognition and a uniform marker design. The red oval markers identify the year of initial construction, original owner or builder, and key elements of the property’s significance.
The Historical Marker Program is a joint effort of the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum and the Blowing Rock Historical Society. The marker committee has identified over 125 properties in the downtown area alone that are at least 50 years old.
For a map of Blowing Rock Historical Marker sites, click here.
Click here to be taken to the CLIO walking tour of some of our downtown historic sites.
Historical Marker Sites
Come Back Soon To See:
Photos of sites
Additional site descriptions
Following is a list of Historical Marker sites in order of the year awarded.
Boyden Cottage ca. 1860
A private residence built for the Boyden Family. Donald Boyden owned and managed The Blowing Rock Hotel. The hotel and cottage share similar victorian design and details. The private residence can be found between The Green Park Inn and the town of Blowing Rock.
Schenck House ca. 1886
Owned by one of Blowing Rock’s first seasonal cottagers after the Civil War, Confederate Major Henry F. Schenck, Jr. The Schencks were pioneer textile manufacturers from Cleveland County, NC. The Cottage can be found at the corner of Pine and Main Street.
Mt. Bethel Reformed Church ca. 1886
Church congregation organized in 1882 by Rev. John Ingle. Grave of Revolutionary Soldier, Ed Sullivan is located in the cemetery. Sullivan brought his own tombstone when he immigrated to Blowing Rock in the 1790’s. The Church and cemetery can be found at 100 Rankin Road.
Martin House ca. 1870
The Martin House is one of the oldest building remaining in Blowing Rock, having been built, most believe, in 1870. The property was acquired in 1891 by a developer from Lenoir, Harry C. Martin (and his wife Ida Clark Martin) when he was Blowing Rock’s second mayor (1890-92). The Martin House, then known as "Martin Cottage," was soon turned into a popular boarding house. It was among the early boarding houses accommodating the rapid growth of seasonal visitors to Blowing Rock.
The Blowing Rock ca. 2 Million years ago
This 250 million year old cliff formation is North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction. Located at 4,000 feet above sea level, The Blowing Rock is the town’s names-sake. The phenomenon is so called because the rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the northwest wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the void. The Blowing Rock can be found at 432 The Rock Road.
Edgewood Cottage ca. 1890
Home and studio of Elliott Daingerfield, a highly respected and recognized Southern American painter. After studying at the National Academy of Design in New York, Daingerfield married and started summering in Blowing Rock in 1886, later designing and building Edgewood Cottage. The Cottage can be found at 115 Ginny Stevens Ln.
Chetola / Earl Estes Farm & Way Station / Snyder House ca. 1900
The 100-acre resort was purchased by Lot Estes in 1846 for five dollars. In 1892 W.W. Stringfellow transformed the original boarding house into a grand manor and named it “Chetola,” which means “haven of rest” in Cherokee. J. Luther Snyder, the “Coca-Cola King of the Carolinas,” purchased the estate in 1926. The Chetola Resort and Lakefront can be found at 185 Chetola Lake Drive.
Blowing Rock Bank ca. 1904
Founded in 1907, the Blowing Rock Bank helped usher in the new century. Among its founders are the town’s first mayor, Joseph B. Clarke and Mayor George Sudderth who resigned his mayorial office to supervise construction of this building.
LM Tate Show Grounds ca. 1928
Site of the annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show which began in 1923 and is the oldest, continuous, outdoor horse show in America. originally hosted in Green Hill, this present location is the site of the former Donald Ross designed Mayview Golf Course. The Grounds can be found at 1500 Laurel Lane.
Green Park Cottage ca. 1910
Originally built as a rental cottage for the Green Park Hotel, the structure was beautifully restored in 2008. The headwaters of the Yadkin River neighbor the cottage as does the route of the Lenoir – Blowing Rock Turnpike which became NC Highway 321 in 1921. The Cottage can be found at 9239 Valley Boulevard.
Maymont ca. 1887
Built by Samuel Finley Harper of Lenoir, the house was purchased by Confederate General Matt W. Ransom in 1902. Ransom served as Attorney General for North Carolina, a U.S. Senator and Ambassador to Mexico. The architecture is indicative of the gothic revival movement of the Victorian era. The house is now a private residence, and can be found at 1786 Main Street.
St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church ca. 1921
The cornerstone was laid in 1918 and the church building was financed by a contribution from W.W. Stringfellow. Noted American artist, Elliott Daingerfield, painted and donated his work, “Madonna of the Hills,” for which the church is named. The Church can be found at 140 Chestnut Drive.
Springhaven Inn ca. 1889
This structure was built to serve as a toll house inn for the Lenoir – Blowing Rock Turnpike. Stagecoaches dropped passengers at the Inn while fresh horses were exchanged. The building was relocated to its present site in the early 1900’s. The Inn can be found at 116 Globe Road.
Blowing Rock Memorial Park ca. 1939
This public park was originally the site of the Watauga Hotel which was built in 1884 by J.G. Finley as the first hotel in Blowing Rock. Later known as the Watauga Inn, the building was destroyed by fire in the early 1900’s and again in 1926. The Town of Blowing Rock purchased the property in 1939. The park can be located at 1036 Main Street.
Rumple Presbyterian Church ca. 1912
Replacing a small frame church that was dedicated in 1886, the present sanctuary building was constructed over a seven year period with chestnut timbers and local stone. Four historic stained glass windows honor past ministers including Reverend Dr. Jethro Rumple, the church’s namesake. The church can be found at 1218 Main Street.
Green Park Inn ca. 1891
Serving as the heart of the Green Park community, this grand hotel offered the best of amenities including a post office, bowling alley, casino and shooting gallery. Historic guests included U.S. Presidents Coolidge and Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Mitchell and Annie Oakley. The Inn can be found at 9239 Valley Boulevard.
Watauga Hotel Cottage ca. 1888
Originally constructed as one of several cottages located on the Watauga Hotel property, the building contained two small rental units. This structure is the last remaining example of the group of cottages. Acquired in 1939 by the Town, the hotel property was transformed into a public park. The cottage can be found at 1084 Main Street and the hotel has transformed into the Blowing Rock City Park.
Mayview Manor ca. 1922
Developed by Walter L. Alexander, the hotel was the centerpiece of the Mayview Park development. The chestnut barked structure contained 138 rooms and was built on the edge of John’s River Gorge. The Manor was a symbol of sophistication for many years. The hotel closed in 1966 and was demolished in 1978. The location of the hotel can be found at 200 Mayview Manor Court.
Inn at Ragged Gardens ca. 1896
Originally constructed as a summer home, the property was operating as a boarding house as early as 1900. The home’s exterior consists of American chestnut bark siding and Grandfather Mountain granite. The original 11-acre estate included a livery stable, servants’ quarters and two other residences. The Inn can be found at 203 Sunset Drive.
Methodist Church of Blowing Rock ca. 1901
Built of native timber and stone, the church is the oldest religious structure on Main Street. The original 24 pews, each 11-feet long, are still in use. The exact dimensions of the structure were selected to achieve optimal, interior acoustics. Stained glass windows were added in 1963 and 1991. The Church can be found at 1314 Main Street.
Town Hall and Chamber of Commerce ca. 1900
This small structure was originally built as the village’s first Town Hall and Chamber of Commerce. The property is one of the only wooden structures on Main Street to survive the 1923 fire that destroyed a large portion of the business district. The Chamber of Commerce can be found at 132 Park Avenue.
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum ca. 2011
Organized in 1999 in response to a gift of Elliott Daingerfield artwork, the museum promotes the visual arts, history and rich heritage of the mountains. All of the funds to build this structure were generously donated by local citizens. The museum can be found at 159 Ginny Stevens Ln.
Davant Residence ca. 1938
Built originally for Miss Mary Arrington of Rocky Mount, NC, this residence is the long time home of Dr. & Mrs. Charles Davant, Jr. In 1948, Mayor Grover Robbins, Sr. recruited “Doctor Charlie” to establish a much-needed medical practice in Blowing Rock. The home boasts interior walls of knotty pine and a fireplace of Grandfather Mountain granite. The private residence can be found at 242 Chestnut Drive.
Church of the Epiphany ca. 1948
Built on land donated by Lorena & R.H. Gore of Fort Lauderdale, FL, this structure is the first Catholic church in Watauga County. The Franciscan Fathers from Lenoir collected funds for its construction. Originally designed for seasonal use, the building has a native stone exterior and pine interior walls. The building can be found at 163 Galax Lane.
Blowing Rock Ice House ca. 1930
Built for the purpose of storing ice harvested from nearby Chetola Lake, this building is constructed of Grandfather Mountain granite. This property has served many uses to include an automobile service station, electrical repair shop and the offices of the local newspaper. In the 1930’s, townspeople could purchase 100 pounds of ice for 10 cents. The Ice House can be found at 140 Maple Street.
Sonny’s Grill ca. 1955
Established in 1955 by Sonny Klutz, the beloved Sonny’s Grill was located on this site. The small concrete block building was the social epicenter for Blowing Rock for both locals and tourists alike for 54 years. The grill was famous for its ham biscuits and served as the inspiration for the Main Street Grill in Jan Karon’s Mitford novels. The grill, now closed, can be found at 1119 Main Street.
First Baptist Church ca. 1924
The church was organized July 11, 1903 with twelve charter members. The church was replaced in 1923-24 by this building to accommodate a growing congregation. The octagonal plan places the pews and pulpit in the center with gabled Sunday School rooms on three sides. This building was retired in 1968 upon completion of a new church on Sunset Drive.Blowing Rock First Baptist Church is located at 350 Sunset Dr.
Winkler Service Station ca. 1920
Owner Joe Winkler employed stonemasons Marshall Foster and John Knight to construct this building as an Esso gas station. The shed-roofed frame addition originally served as a car wash. In later years the building served as a residence and as the Blowing Rock Bus Station. The building is also commonly known as the Lentz Building. Today, it is the Exxon Mobil Gas Station located at the corner of Main Street and Park Ave.
Green Park - Norwood Golf Course ca. 1915
David J. Craig, L.P. Henkel, C.V. Henkel and Rufus L. Patterson provided 365 acres that adjoined the grand Green Park Hotel and carved a nine-hole golf course out of the Appalachian forest. In 1922 the course was expanded to a full eighteen holes. The Blowing Rock Country Club became affiliated with the course in 1950 and purchased it in 1973. The Blowing Rock Country Club still owns the course today and can be found at 200 Country Club Dr.
Gibbons Residence (site of the Blowing Rock Hotel) ca. 2005
William & Joellyn Gibbons commissioned Architect Jeffrey Harbinson to design this Adirondack style home on the former site of The Blowing Rock Hotel. The hotel was opened in 1889 to accommodate Blowing Rock’s growing resort community. The home is recognized for its rugged finish, outstanding craftsmanship and use of native materials. The home has since been sold to the Warrens and the private residence can be found on the corner of Chestnut Drive and Main Street.
Creekside ca. 1928
Private Residence. 221 Wallingford.The stone house at 221 Wallingford has changed ownership within the last couple of years. According to local David Hardwood states,"[this home] is significant because it is very rare, in the Tudor style of architecture and it is built with greenstone, which is a type of granite. I’m not sure where greenstone is quarried around here, but it is just an absolutely beautiful house and different and rare as far as residences go in Blowing Rock."
Blowing Rock Negro Community Church ca. 1949
First Independent Baptist ChurchBlowing Rock Negro Community Church, which still stands on Possum Hollow Rd., but in 1982 became the First Independent Baptist Church. It was originally built in 1949, and the funds to build it actually came from a community fund drive. It was Blowing Rock’s first African American church.
R.S. Reinhardt Building ca. 1924
Next to Mellow Mushroom on Main St. where Main St. Gallery is located.The R.S. Reinhardt Building was actually built by Lynn Lawrence’s grandfather, Everett Greeley Pitts. It was built for a Lenoir businessman, Mr. Reinhardt. The significance of this building is that it was Blowing Rock’s first post office. If you are looking at Mellow Mushroom today, it is the two-story building on the left, on Main Street. It was originally a one-story building, built in 1924. It remained the post office until 1944. It was about that time they added a second floor, which provided 10 lodging rooms for the Parkway Hotel. The lodging rooms were upstairs, while the hotel dining room and coffee shop were downstairs, on the first floor.About three feet up from the sidewalk on the front of the building, there is a USGS marker that identifies the official elevation of Blowing Rock as around 3400 feet.
Rainey Service Station ca. 1936
Current location of the Mellow MushroomVisitors to Mellow Mushroom may often wonder why there is “this garage thing” out front. This is because it was originally a service station. Where you dine in the restaurant now, there were three service bays.It was constructed with cut stone from Grandfather Mountain. It was built in 1936, which if you know the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Parkway was being built around that time. The architecture of the Rainey Service Station mimics some of the architecture being built along the Parkway.
Randall Memorial Building ca. 1907
Currently the Village Cafe.The Randall Memorial Building today is home to the popular Village Cafe. The plaque says it was built in 1909, but the current owner Annie Whatley shared that information she received upon purchase of the structure is that it was remodeled in 1909, so the building may be even older. Although it was the Town’s first library, it was originally built for the Episcopal parish as a training center and workshop. The church sold the building in 1936. The same year they built the little one-story building off to the side, which is believed to be a Boy Scouts facility.Ms. Whatley offered that between the time the church sold it and when she and her husband took ownership, there were a number of other uses, owners and tenants.
Yonahlossee Theater (Hanna Rug Building)
Build of Grandfather Mountain Granite, the movie house opened in June of 1939 and continued to provide first-run movies to the community, during the summer months only, until 1979. The theater once hosted the world premier of the movie, "Spawn of the North" starring George Raft and Dorothy Lamour. The property is located at 1123 Main St., and is currently part of Hanna's Oriental Rugs and Gifts.
Coman’s Drug Store/Stories Soda Shop (Sunset and Main St)
For many years Coman Storie's Soda Shop was the corner store of this two story structure with three storefronts. Following the fire of 1923 the wooden building was reconstructed of brick and had distinctive textured glass transoms. The soda shop was a popular gathering spot for townspeople, especially the young. To locals it was fondly known simply as Cohan's. The building is located at 1077 Main St.
Tweetsie ca. 1957
The signature attraction of North Carolina's first theme park is steam locomotive No. 12, built in 1917 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. It was built for the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad. From 1918 to 1940, the narrow-gauge engine ran between Johnson City, TN and Boone, NC. Locomotive No. 12 and three train cars were purchased by Blowing Rock Native, Grover C. Robbins, Jr., who opened Tweetsie Railroad in 1957.
American Legion Building (Wallingford)
Information Coming (Located at 333 Wallingford St.)
Dr. Charles Carter Home ca. 1885 (Horner’s – Laurel Drive)
One of Blowing Rock's oldest remaining intact houses, the Victorian I-plan with a two-tier porch and an adjacent cottage was built by local craftsmen using native materials of chestnut, pine and Grandfather Mountain stone. Dr. Carter, the Town's first registered physician, was one of the three original Commissioners when the village was chartered in 1889. His wife, Mary Nelson Carter started the Mission House Lend-a-hand library in the cottage and taught the first Sunday school on the lawn at the house. The property is located at 131 Laurel Drive.
Craig Cottage/Knitter's Rest ca. 1890
Craig Cottage was built by D.J. Craig, the original owner of the Green Park Hotel. The foundation and five fireplaces are built of Grandfather Mountain stone. Chestnut bark siding was later replaced with cedar siding. German-style architectural details enhance the roof peaks. The second owners, William and Marion Nebel, owners of a Charlotte hosiery mill named it "Knitter's Rest".
Miller/Robbins House ca. 1903
Located at what is currently the Blowing Rock Chamber of CommerceCicero Miller, owner of Miller General Mercantile, built the house. Later, in 1919, it became the home of mayor and civic leader Grover C. Robbins, Sr. and wife Lena, daughter of Cicero and Minnie Miller. Additions were made in 1931, 1941 and 1948. The house has clear and wormy chestnut paneling and two fireplaces of Grandfather Mountain granite with chestnut mantles. An inventor, champion of business promotion and tourism, Mr. Robbins founded and served as the first President of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. He established the Blowing Rock attraction and his children followed him as promoters of area tourism. They established tourist attractions and other developments. Some of the third generation are stewards of Blowing Rock attractions and Tweetsie Railroad.
Blowing Rock High School Auditorium (WPA Building) and Gym
In 1935, as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal Agency and attempts to employ people during the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), worked in Western North Carolina school’s, doing a variety of different tasks. The WPA began their projects in Blowing Rock in 1937 with the construction of a new playground for the school. In 1939, the WPA began construction on a new gymnasium and auditorium for the Blowing Rock School. The tall one-story building was made out of brick to match the existing buildings of the school. In 1965 a movement to consolidate all of Watauga counties high schools passed, making Blowing Rock students commute to Watauga High School located in neighboring town Boone.