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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Spruce Pine in McDowell County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Sounds From the Mountains

Blue Ridge Parkway

 
 
Sounds From the Mountains Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, October 4, 2021
1. Sounds From the Mountains Marker
Inscription.  The hills and valleys before you may seem quiet, rounded with age and blanketed with thick forests. But if you listen closely between the distant sounds of a train whistle, you may hear the sounds of fiddles, banjos and strings bands that still ring throughout the Blue Ridge region.

Here at the Orchard at Altapass, a rich music heritage comes to life from spring through fall when local residents gather to celebrate, play, and share the music of the mountains, a style that is unique and truly American. Today's "mountain music" evolved over time, a blend of styles that arrived in the region with immigrant settlers. The fiddle came from Europe, the banjo from Africa.

Those who dwelt in isolated rural communities found harmony when they gathered on front porches and in churches to sing, play instruments, dance and enjoy fellowship.

This tradition is alive today and can be enjoyed on festival stages, in town squares, and in places like the Orchard, where you can hear the lively strains of old-time, bluegrass, ballad singing, blues and sacred music that continue to fill the air.

[photo captions]
• A fiddler
Marker detail: Swannanoa String Band, ca. 1894 image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Swannanoa Valley Museum
2. Marker detail: Swannanoa String Band, ca. 1894
Fiddles, banjos and guitars have long been the backbone of the music played in the North Carolina mountains and foothills.
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plays at Shindig on the Green in Asheville, NC.
• Visitors to the historic Orchard at Altapass, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoy the traditional music of the Blue Ridge region.

The North Carolina mountains and foothills were designated the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in recognition of their natural beauty and living traditions of music, craft, agriculture, and Cherokee culture. This location is part of a regional trail of distinctive heritage sites. Ask for information at area visitor centers.
More information online at: www.blueridgeheritage.com

 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Blue Ridge Parkway series list.
 
Location. 35° 52.474′ N, 82° 1.544′ W. Marker is near Spruce Pine, North Carolina, in McDowell County. Marker is on Blue Ridge Parkway (at milepost 328.6), 1.2 miles south of Altapass Highway, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located at the Loops Overlook pull-out. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spruce Pine NC 28777, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Loops (a few steps from this marker); First Mountain Parkway
Sounds From the Mountains Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, October 4, 2021
3. Sounds From the Mountains Marker
(overlooking historic Orchard at Altapass, below)
(approx. 1.1 miles away); Apple Tree (approx. 2 miles away); Gillespie Gap (approx. 2 miles away); "The Blackwater Men Had Come Over the Mountain" (approx. 2 miles away); Spruce Pine Mining District (approx. 2 miles away); Cathey's Fort (approx. 5.3 miles away); Penland School (approx. 6.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spruce Pine.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Historic Orchard at Altapass. Welcome to the Orchard at Altapass, one of the most visited locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Orchard is a non-profit organization, and for over a quarter-century, we have diligently worked to "save the good stuff"—the regional traditions, culture, and the land on which all was built. (Submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Experience the Culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is the regional steward of living Appalachian traditions in North Carolina. We honor our elders and invite new generations to explore music, craft, foodways, the outdoors, and the native wisdom that all have
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their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. (Submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Dec. 7, 2021