My name is Ashley McGhee and this is a blog about my journey through COPLAC’s (Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges) Century America course that I am participating in for the Spring semester at my college, UNC-Asheville.
The Century America course will focus on the World War I years between 1914-1918 and what happened during this time period in the county and surrounding area of my college- Buncombe County in the city of Asheville in the area of Western North Carolina.
My Mother’s side of the family goes back for more than five generations here, so as a native of the area, and a voracious student of all things History, I am excited to begin this journey to see what I may uncover about this area during the Great War.
I’ve already made some progress in uncovering some information during this time frame and in this area. I have a book containing a pictorial history dating from the early 1900’s from Barnardsville, a town in the northern part of Buncombe County and where my Grandfather was born and raised.
My colleague and I have made a trip to our college’s special collections, and the Head of Special Collections, Gene Hyde, has given me a list of preliminary readings, including Asheville: A History by Nan K. Chase which I’ve checked out to read, and Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in Western NC by Richard Starnes.
We also have an idea on how we want to approach the information available from our area and how we would like to present it. So far the journey appears to be well started and I’m looking forward to continuing along the path!