Guided History Walks Resume, each Sunday in Oct.

After an August-September pause, Guided History Walks resume this fall … 

Guided History Walks in Hendersonville Offered in October – on Main Street, in Oakdale Cemetery, throughout the 7th Avenue Historic Depot District, and, new this year – Murals, Mosaic, and Ghost Signs tour.   

(HENDERSONVILLE, NC, Sept. 15, 2022) – Hendersonville Guided History Walks offers informative strolls in several historic areas of town during October:  along Main Street (Sundays, October 2 and October 30, 10 a.m.); in Oakdale Cemetery (Sunday, October 9, 10 a.m.); in the 7th Avenue Historic Depot District (Sunday, October 16, 10 a.m.); and – new this year – Murals, Mosaic, and Ghost Signs tour around downtown ((Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.)  Cost for each tour is $10 per person 10 years and older.  Children under 10 are free with a paid adult.  Space is limited and reservations are requested.  Contact history walk leader Mary Jo Padgett at maryjo@maryjopadgett.com or via the website at www.maryjopadgett.com to make a reservation.  Private tours for groups can be arranged anytime.  To see the entire schedule for 2022 visit the website and click on Guided Walks.

History on Main Street 

On Sundays, October 2 and October 30, experience Historic Main Street with tour guide Mary Jo Padgett by stepping back in time to answer such questions as -- who donated the land where the new town would be built, what is the age of the oldest block of buildings, what was on the third floor (and in the basement) of the old City Hall, who was the town named for, where was the Opera House, and learn about bordellos, shoot-outs, trolley lines, and stories of life in the old days on Chinquapin Hill.  The walk will start at 10 a.m. at the front steps of City Hall, corner of Fifth Avenue E. and King St.

Oakdale Cemetery Stories and Historic Monuments

            On Sunday, October 9, join a guided tour of Historic Oakdale Cemetery, Hendersonville’s municipal cemetery, to hear stories of the town’s early days through its quirky, colorful citizens.  The famous Italian marble monument which inspired the title of Thomas Wolfe’s novel Look Homeward, Angel is in Oakdale, along with both marked and unmarked graves of historic figures.  The heritage of the local African-American community is told in the historic Black section of the cemetery, while the designated Jewish cemetery reveals how the town grew to embrace ethnic and religious groups through the years.  How and why the cemetery was created, names of those who helped build the town and where they were laid to rest, where the Sunshine Lady is buried, and more questions will be answered.  The walk will begin at 10 a.m. in the cemetery.

7th Avenue/Historic Depot District – The Rise of Tourism

            On Sunday, October 16, meander through the historic part of town encircling the Train Depot on Seventh Avenue East.  When the first steam locomotive arrived in Hendersonville on July 4, 1879, crammed with tourists and visitors from the low country of South Carolina, it was the beginning of an exciting era of big-band music, dancing, numerous inns and hotels, much real estate trading, and huge agricultural growth.  Money was made and lost, famous musicians and sports figures came calling, delicious food was enjoyed at every inn and boarding house … Hendersonville was in its hey-day from that moment until the financial crash of 1929. This neighborhood boasted many businesses run by Black and white owners. The walk will start at 10 a.m. at the front steps of City Hall, corner of Fifth Avenue E. and King St.

Murals, Mosaic, and Ghost Signs

            On Sunday October 23, at 10 a.m., the walk begins in front of the Historic Courthouse on Main St. Exploring along the side and back streets of downtown, including a stroll to 7th Avenue and back along Main St., we’ll learn the stories behind more than 6 murals, including some very new ones, a mosaic made with 250,000 small pieces of glass, and numerous ghost signs barely hiding in plain sight on old buildings.   

 “Locals and visitors alike can celebrate and share the interesting history and architecture of Hendersonville,” Padgett said,  “For example, learn how the rich natural resources here – the local clay for brick, the hand-hewn foundation rock from local quarries, and, in fact, the heritage carried from the earlier Cherokee lifestyle – have contributed to our lives today.”

Padgett served on Hendersonville City Council for eight years, is a journalist and public relations consultant, is co-founder and former executive director of ECO, was associate editor at The Mother Earth News magazine, and conducts programs and guided tours in Paris, France, on the American Revolution.  Her parents spent their honeymoon in the Skyland Hotel on Main Street.  She grew up on a farm in Rutherford County, and has lived in a 100-year-old house in downtown Hendersonville for 40 years.

To make reservations or get more information, email maryjo@maryjopadgett.com.  Visit www.maryjopadgett.com and click on Guided Walks for a complete 2022 schedule. 

Hear stories about famous people, destructive fires, and more about this historic small-town gem in the mountains during Hendersonville Guided History Walks, every Sunday morning in October at 10 a.m.