History of Highlands
The unique mountain town of Highlands, N.C.,
with its rich history, wonderful climate and enviable way of life, is
located in rugged Western North Carolina.
Highlands stands tall in the high country. The town's
average altitude is 4,118 feet, making ti one of the highest incorporated
municipalities east of the Mississippi River. Surrounding mountains
reach heights of more than 5,000 feet.
Highlands sits atop the Highlands Plateau-a large
float mountaintop- and can be reached by automobile traveling scenic,
Before the town was settled, the plateau land was
owned by the Dobson Family of Horse Cove. The land was purchased by
Samuel T. Kelsey and Clinton C. Hutchinson in March 1875. In 1876, Kelsey
and Hutchinson sent flyers out to other states advertising the climate
and altitude of the new town. By 1883, Highlands had grown to 300 residents,
and it was incorporated.
Since the early 1900's, Highlands has been a popular
summer resort. Summers are cool here, usually in the 70's. Many people
come to Highlands from across the South in the summer to enjoy the cool
climate and laid-back atmosphere, and relax from the fast pace of city
Highlands also is a "renewal" point for
professional people and executives in high-powered positions, who have
second homes here.
The township's winter population is about 2,000.
During the summer, though, the number swells to more than 20,000 folks.
In the magic of summer, Highlands offers entertainment
for everyone. The Highlands Playhouse stages four professional productions
in its hilltop theatre. The Highlands Chamber Music Festival conducts
a month-long festival which is critically acclaimed as one of the best.
The Highlands Institute of American Religious Thought
sponsors seminars that probe our relationships with each other, and
with our spiritual and temporal ideals.
The Bascom-Louise Gallery inside the Hudson Library
showcases outstanding regional artists in showings.
The Nature Center, Botanical Gardens, and museum
offers lectures and courses on animals and plants that inhabit the plateau
and on outdoor life here.
Then there are other arts and crafts showings,
outdoor art shows and flower and garden exhibits.
Click here to see the 'local'
page for points of interest.