Where We Live and Work

Tucked under rocky cliffs along the bank of the French Broad River, the small town (pop 852) of Marshall, North Carolina, “a mile long, a street wide, sky high and hell deep,” is redolent of its long history, first as a frontier stock stand along the drover's road to Asheville, then a confusing and sometimes violent arena in which were played out the divided loyalties of the Civil War, later the prosperous mercantile center for logging and mining activities in a large, rural, isolated county during the early and mid 20th century, and finally, when those activities largely ended, a declining town with a declining population.

But, now buoyed by an influx of artists and craftspersons drawn to its breathtaking natural beauty, cheaper rents and long history of mountain craft and traditional music, Marshall is experiencing a slow but gathering revival. A coffee shop, now the unofficial center of community life, a restaurant & bar, a craft gallery, a natural food grocery and a bookstore, among others, jostle for attention along historic Main Street.

This small town down the river from Asheville, and the mountainous countryside enveloping it, is becoming one of the most interesting places in the South to live and work, especially for those who appreciate the proximity of isolated beauty only a few minutes away from the urban energy of Asheville.

It has been said that if Asheville is the Paris of the South, then Marshall is the south of France of the South—an inexact comparison that nonetheless feels about right. The links below, when fully fleshed out, will attempt to provide a map to this intricate mix of old and new, young and old, pious and impious, all busy about the task of creating something new -- a painting, a pot, a business, a life. If this is you, come join us -- you'll be number 853.

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