LeCeur De Highlands

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, winding roads.

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 life.

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.