Black Mountain is a pedestrian-friendly small town, often called the "front porch of Western North Carolina." Perfect for a day trip of shopping and dining, the town has used many of the original buildings from the twenties and earlier to house shops, inns, museums and restaurants. Nancy Mason and Jerry Pope have put together a delightful Walking Tour of Black Mountain, illustrating the history of many of the buildings with Pope's colorful watercolor representations. Using facts from the Historic Register records, glimpses of life shortly after the turn of the 20th century are shown through photographs and illustrations, while tales from oral histories of local residents are woven throughout the book. The tour can start or end at any point along the way, but ideally begins at Lake Tomahawk, then winds through the historic section of downtown and out to Franklin Terry's "In-the-Oaks" estate. \ \
The book will appeal to long time residents, visitors, and those who have recently made this area their home. It provides a great impetus for family activity, opening up multi-generational conversations about a time when icemen delivered to homes, pinboys reset the bowling alleys and summer visitors came for the cool and healthy mountain air. Allow about two hours for the full two mile tour or about an hour for the shorter one mile historic downtown section.