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Pewter Plate
The Wilton Company

Online price: $80.00
Members pay $73.00

The Legend of Highlands, North Carolina

This commemorative pewter plate was commissioned in 1975 to honor the town's centennial and again in 2000 to celebrate the reactivation of the Highlands Historical Society. Embossed on it are a rifle, a log cabin, and the legend of the town's founding, as follows:

"One beautiful winter morning in Kansas, a Mr. Samuel Truman Kelsey and a Mr. Clinton Carter "C. C." Hutchinson took a map in hand and drew a line from New York to New Orleans. Then they passed another between Chicago and Savannah. These lines, they predicted, would be the great trade routes of the future and where they crossed would someday be a great population center. The lines intersected at what is now Highlands. "We will go forth and found that town," they said, and they did. In 1875 they believed that Highlands would become one of the great attractions of the world."


2nd ed., Hardcover
800 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9710130-3-2
Pub: Faraway Publishing
Pub. date: 2001, 2nd ed. 2004

Online price: $35.00
Members pay $31.50

Heart of the Blue Ridge: Highlands, North Carolina
Randolph P. Shaffner

This is a history of the origin and growth of a town with a Northern climate set high in the South. It embodies a collection of matchless characters and personalities and their stories that have given the town and its history remarkable color and enduring interest.
"Packed with archival photographs, this well-written narrative chronicles the development of Highlands and evokes the town's charm. With the author's exhaustive attention to all details, from the smallest to the largest, the book will undoubtedly become the definitive history of Highlands, N.C." -Walter T. Evans, N.C. Historical Review

Recipient of the Society of North Carolina Historians History Book Award, 2002, and the American Association of State and Local History Annual Award, 2005

Historic Tales of Highlands

1st ed., Paperback
160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4671-4945-7
Pub: History Press
Pub. date: 2021

Members pay $21.00

Historic Tales of Highlands: Looking Backward
Helen Hill Norris

Helen Hill Norris wrote a weekly column for the Highlander during the 1960s called "Looking Backward." She drew on her childhood and the tales her elders would tell around the fireplace about a bygone frontier world of covered wagons, gold miners, traveling peddlers, and headstrong shopkeepers. 
"The line between history and folklore is sometimes blurred, but Helen's claim to truth is that this is how the stories were told to her in the vernacular of the mountain folks, whose creative and colorful tropes adorned their language like bright stars in the firmament. Good stories of this type are timeless in the annals of well-written literature." -Randolph P. Shaffner, Highlands Historical Society Archivist Emeritus


161 pages
ISBN: None
Pub. date: 1994, 2000

Online price: $13.00
Members pay $12.00

The Mountain at the End of the Trail: A History of Whiteside Mountain
Robert Zahner

This is the story of one man's lifelong relationship with Whiteside Mountain. Located on the southern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, its sheer granitic cliffs towering two thousand feet above the Chattanooga River valley, Whiteside is one of the most remarkable mountains in all of eastern North America. This is the poignant history of the men and women who have loved the mountain and others who exploited it.
"A memorial to the mountain almost as beautiful as the mountain itself . . . and eminently readable." - Randolph Shaffner, Highlands, N.C.

Helen and Charlie

100 pages
ISBN: None
Pub. date: 2021

Online price: $16.00
Members pay $14.50

Charlie and Helen: Chronicles of Love, Heroism, and Persistence
Maxie W. Duke

A compilation of memories, interviews, and recollections related to Charles Nicholas Wright (1873-1927) and Helen Cabe Wright Wilson (1892-1959) of Highlands, N.C., by their youngest daughter Maxie W. Duke.
"Reminiscences like these are so valuable, not just for the descendants but for anyone who has an interest in Highlands history, culture, customs, characters, and personalities." - Randolph Shaffner, Highlands, N.C.


ISBN: None
Pub. date: 2006

Online price: $10.00
Members pay $9.00

DVD: A Brief History of Highlands

Randolph P. Shaffner and Katie Brugger

This is a visual history of the origin and growth of Highlands from before 1875 until 2006. Narrated by Randolph Shaffner and produced by Katie Brugger of Time Capsule Video, it features 64 photographs with appropriate music and a five-minute history. In 2007 this DVD won the North Carolina Society of Historians' prestigious Paul Green Multimedia Award.

Recipient of the Society of North Carolina Historians Multimedia Award, 2007


ISBN: None
Pub. date: 2014

Online price: $10.00
Members pay $9.00

DVD: A Botanical History of the Highlands Plateau: In the Footsteps of the Ancients

Randolph P. Shaffner and Time Capsule Video

This DVD was created to accompany a fascinating exhibit by the Land Stewards of the Highlands Plateau that is on display at the Highlands Historical Museum in North Carolina. It begins with the creation of the Appalachian mountains and features the Cherokee view of the world, the life of early settlers, and the arrival of early botanists on the Plateau. The video attempts to compress 300 million years into 7 minutes for those who haven't the time to read all the information in the exhibit.

Recipient of the Society of North Carolina Historians Multimedia Award, 2015


125 pages
ISBN: None
Pub. date: 1972

Online price: $10.00
Members pay $9.00

From the Hills of Home

Frances Baumgarner Lombard

In this charming book a native descendant of some of the earliest pioneers of Western North Carolina recounts her childhood memories of life in Whiteside Cove during the early 20th century. These simple little stories were woven from a heart of love about the mountains and the people who lived within the realm of their shelter. Some of the information was gathered from the few remaining "ole timers." Also included are stories about the Grimshawes and the World's Smallest Post Office.


256 pages
ISBN: 0964007835
Pub: The Hudson Library
Pub. date: 1994

Online price: $14.00
Members pay $12.60

Good Reading Material, Mostly Bound and New:The Hudson Library, 1884-1994

Randolph P. Shaffner

This book, illustrated with 35 photographs, narrates the history of one of the oldest public libraries in North Carolina. It focuses on the community leaders who founded and sustained the library and on the changing literary taste of its patrons through the years. The old library building now houses the Highlands Historical Museum and Archives.

"The original and delightful addition to Shaffner's history is his skillful interweaving of local and world events. The small community is not isolated from the larger world."
Wilma Dykeman, Asheville, N.C.

“I know of nothing else quite like this. Into the history of a town library, Ran Shaffner has woven in stories of the town and its growth, as well as many of its people and all manner of evidence of books—books, good, great, famous, not-so-famous books. I think book lovers of all types will love the memories it evokes.” - John Ehle, Winston-Salem, N.C.


128 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7385-5403-7
Pub: Arcadia Publishing
Pub. date: 2008

Online price: $23.50
Members pay $21.00

Highlands (Images of America)

Randolph P. Shaffner

This little book, in Arcadia's Images of America series, focuses on the 55 years before and after the founding of the village of Highlands, North Carolina, that is to say, from 1820 to 1930. Every effort was made to provide a representative cross-sampling of the extraordinary variety of people who contributed to the early history of the town and its surroundings.

Many of the 265 black and white photographs were supplied by generous families of the town and the surrounding area as well as relatives and descendants from across the U.S. The accompanying historical texts were distilled from oral interviews and family scrapbooks, photo albums, memoirs, diaries, documents, deeds, histories, genealogies, and letters. The author hopes this volume encourages the rediscovery and sharing of forgotten photographs in family closets, attics, and basements throughout the Highlands plateau. In 2009 the North Carolina Society of Historians gave this book its History Book Award.

Recipient of the Society of North Carolina Historians History Book Award, 2009


128 pages
ISBN: 978-146711653-X
Pub: Arcadia Publishing
Pub. date: 2018

Online price: $23.50
Members pay $21.00

Cherokee (Images of America)

M. Anna Feriello

The 21st-century town of Cherokee sparkles with modern architecture, a bustling shopping district, and numerous tourist attractions. Beneath its progressive exterior is an ancient homeland where Cherokee people once lived in villages that occupied parts of eight modern states.

The Cherokee who now live in western North Carolina are descended from those who did not travel the "Trail of Tears" but remain on a portion of their original homeland. Today, the Eastern Band of Cherokee is a sovereign nation. The tribe works to preserve its language and culture through the promotion of heritage destinations. Sited at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee is home to the Oconaluftee Indian Village, Unto These Hills, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, and Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

"Old photographs, like this one, are important as they capture the fading presence of old buildings and the changing personality of a community's cultural landscape.Smoky Mountain News


2nd ed., Paperback
75 pages
ISBN: None
Pub. date: 2005

Online price: $5.00

History and Cuisine of Highlands Inn

Helen Major, Pat Benton, and Sabrina Hawkins

This is a reissue of an indispensable collection of recipes featured by Highlands' first hotel, listed on the National Register as built in 1880. It was published in 2005 to celebrate 125 years of hospitality service at Highlands Inn and includes narrative 'Memories of Highlands Inn,' as well as old photographs and 'Timeless Tastes' recipes concocted primarily by Helen Major during the two decades that she established the Inn's reputation for serving the finest in family style meals. One of the specialties of her kitchen was her famous apple crisp, which she served daily.


192 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59629-791-3
Pub: History Press
Pub. date: 2009

Online price: $24.00
Members pay $22.00

Remembering Highlands: From Pioneer Village to Mountain Retreat

Isabel and Tony Chambers

Join sixth generation Highlands native Isabel Hall Chambers and her husband, Overton Chambers, as they share charming tales of old Highlands, from lazy summer days playing "town ball" to ice skating and celebrating Christmas. Woven into this collection of articles from The Laurel magazine are true stories of some of the area’s grand old homes, its traditions, and an array of interesting residents and visitors through the years, as told by fathers and grandfathers, old postcards, letters, deeds, and even tombstones.


96 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9710130-4-9
Pub. Faraway Publishing
Pub. date: 2009

Online price: $50.00
Members pay $45.00

First Creation: 100 Years of Land Conservation

Randolph P. Shaffner and the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

This lovely coffee-table book was produced by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust to celebrate the centennial of its first land purchase in 1909. The book is a photographic essay, by a number of photographers, of landscapes, flora, fauna, and viewscapes of the Highlands-Cashiers plateau that have been preserved for the perpetual enjoyment and benefit of the public. Proceeds from the sale of this book help support the mission and goals of the Land Trust.

Recipient of the Society of North Carolina Historians History Book Award, 2016.


87 pages
ISBN: None
Pub. date: 1981

Online price: $10.00
Members pay $9.00

Happy Highways

Edith Inglesby

The Happy Highways is a dream book. Its author, a native of Savannah, Georgia, looks back through rose-colored mists on her summers in Highlands, North Carolina, before the First World War, summers filled with fragrant meadows and serious attention to horses. In those halcyon days, the sheer inaccessibility and splendid isolation of Highlands was supreme, especially for people from Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans who made Highlands their second home. The author's elegant style evokes nostalgia, envy, and a thrill of discovery. The book is illustrated by Laura Peck.


56 pages
ISBN: None
Pub. date: 1975

Online price: $10.00
Members pay $9.00

Courage at Fool's Rock

Bill Marett

A true tale of an incredible rescue at Whiteside Mountain from the top of the highest cliffs east of the Rockies. Filled with suspense, this book concerns the bravery of Charlie Wright and Will Dillard when their friend Gus Baty lost his balance on Fool's Rock in 1911 and fell to a point 1,800 feet above the floor of Whiteside Cove, where a single rhododendron bush halted his plunge to certain death. The text is accompanied by photographs and illustrations that make clear the terrifying ordeal faced by Baty's rescurers.


217 pages
ISBN: 0972497943
Pub. date: 2003

Online price: $16.00
Members pay $15.00

Life & Times of a Mountaineer

Coleman M. Reese

More than a memoir—although it covers the Great Depression mountain-style, World War II from the trenches, and post-war growth in Florida—this books sings with the spirit of life in America as it was lived from the 1920s until the end of the 20th century. It sparkles with mischievous humor, honest common sense, human compassion, and old-fashioned values, ranging from frog gigging as a child to caddying for golf-legend Bobby Jones to the landing in Normandy to work for the postal service. It reads like a homespun diary.


262 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59486-120-8
Pub. date: 2005

Online price: $25.00
Members pay $22.00

The Slam: Bobby Jones and the Price of Glory

Curt Sampson

This is the best, most honest book yet about a complicated, conflicted athelete in the midst of his greatest achievement, the capture of golf's four major tournaments, Britain's and America's amateur and open championships in 1930. Jones was among the last of his kind in big-time sports, a gentleman-amateur. In 2004, to better comprehend the stress Jones felt the year he conquered the world, former pro Curt Sampson played each of the courses Jones played, using period clubs with wooden shafts while wearing a white shirt and tie.