Tiny, charming Crossnore (population 200) in rural Avery County has an inspiring story and several unique things to see. For more than 100 years, the highly respected Crossnore School & Children's Home has provided foster care for children in crisis from North Carolina. The residential school is a non-profit with shopping and dining that supports education and holistic therapy for the 100 residents.
The Crossnore School Historic District is home beautiful buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Must stops are the Fine Arts Gallery and Crossnore Weavers (205 Johnson Lane, Crossnore). The gallery shop features creations from local and regional artists, sculptors, and fine craftspersons with proceeds supporting the Stepping Stones program that teaches independent living skills for high school students.
The Weaving Room was created in 1913 to keep alive the art of hand-weaving and to give economic opportunity to women. Crossnore Weavers continues to design and produce beautifully hand-woven clothing, table linens, household decor, and baby items that are sold to people throughout the world. It's a working museum with a fascinating slice of Southern Appalachian history. See exhibits, try your hand on an old loom, and buy a beautiful souvenir.
Across the street is the Sloop Chapel (pic at top of page), home of the Ben Long Fresco (pic above) Suffer the Little Children. Go inside to see the famous painting daily 8:30 AM until 5 PM. Find more frescoes in western North Carolina.
The Blair Fraley Thrift Store (100 DAR Drive, Crossnore) is the largest resale shop in the region. Benefiting the Crossnore School & Children's Home, find all sorts of treasures. It's open Monday-Saturday 10 AM-5 PM.
Miracle Grounds Coffee Shop & Cafe (8 Fountain Circle) offers breakfast and lunch daily, with coffee, specialty drinks, ice cream, and desserts from Buttersong Baking Company. As a vocational classroom, students work here to earn high school credit as they learn how to run a business. Open Monday-Saturday.
The Crossnore Presbyterian Church, known as the "The Miracle in the Hills" was completed in 1925 with two hundred loads of rocks hauled by horse and wagon from the banks of the Linville River.
Linville River Mercantile and Bakery (5650 Linville Falls Hwy, Crossnore) is a must stop along US 221 near Linville Falls with eclectic gift items and homemade baked goods.
US 221 is a scenic drive with historic barns, scenic farms and Linville Falls Winery (9557 Linville Falls Hwy, Newland).
A Little More History
Drs. Eustace and Mary Martin Sloop founded The Crossnore School in 1913 after moving to the area and seeing the lack of educational facilities and the high number of child brides becoming mothers too soon without an education. Their worked hard to get support and funding, starting with a one-room school house. Today, the school has 20 buildings. Dr. Sloop achieved nationwide attention in 1951 when she was named America’s Mother of the Year. In 1953, she published her popular autobiography, “Miracle in the Hills,” written in collaboration with Legette Blythe. In January 2017, The Crossnore School and The Children's Home (located in Winston-Salem, NC) merged to form Crossnore School & Children's Home. This merger occurred in order to expand services for children and families across western North Carolina.