Cabins & Castles: The History & Architecture of Buncombe County, North Carolina
Cabins & Castles was first published in 1981, a joint effort of the Historic Resources Commission and the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. The book became enormously popular with natives, tourists, historians, and preservationists as a primary source of knowledge about this richly historic mountain county.Cabins & Castles contains two major sections: a historical overview and the specific record of individual properties built in this area, primarily those constructed prior to 1930. Historical sketches of Buncombe County and Asheville, written by John Ager and Talmage Powell, are followed by Douglas Swaim's essay on local architectural history. Numerous historical photographs illustrate these essays and provide context for the individual properties featured in the second section.Abundant photographs by Mary Jo Brezny accompany many of the specific architectural entries and complement Swaim's informative and well-documented notes for each listed property. Rapid development in the urban and rural areas of Buncombe County makes this record timely and valuable. Cabins & Castles is still sought after — and with this reprinting, a regional classic is revived.
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Superb illustrated record of the important buildings and related features located in Buncombe County, as of about 1980, when a Dept of the Interior-funded cultural resources survey was completed by the county and the state of NC. The book is organized by governmental divisions: cities and townships. Townships were more important in the old days, as they were then the usual geographic designations in a largely unincorporated region. (In this day of GPS's they are ever more irrelevant.)
The original edition of the book has been long out of print and virtually unobtainable. This 2008 reprint, complete with many uncorrected errors!--such as the map for Big Ivy-- gives worthy access to important historical information about Buncombe County's built environment.