Incredible New Collections for the North Carolina Room

We’ve been so busy processing special collections, we haven’t been very good at letting you know what is new in the North Carolina Room. Donations are the life-blood of our collection, and we are so appreciative to our donors and to those who help push collections our way.

And the variety of these new collections is thrilling. Here are a few highlights.

The Eliada Orphanage Oral Interview Collection. Donor, Cliff Davids.

The collection contains 23 recordings of interviews taken by Cliff Davids of people who had lived at Eliada Orphanage. Cliff was the director of the Eliada Oral History Project that existed from 1999-2012. Three photograph albums 1930s-1950s that were owned by Christine Tilley Sellers (one of the people Cliff interviewed) are also part of the collection. Below is a page from one of the albums. Rev. Lucius Compton, founder of Eliada is on top right. Top left is the dining room. Lower right is Elizabeth and Arthur Jeffrey.

The collection also contains copies of the Eliada newsletter, “The New Testament Christian: A Messenger from the Eliada Orphanage & Faith Cottage Rescue Work in the Southern Mountains, 1909-1957.” MS368.

The Patton/Parker Family Collection. Donor, Jim Siemens

You may recall reading in the Asheville Citizen-Times on March 30, 2016: “The Patton-Parker House has stood at Charlotte and Chestnut streets since 1868, home to seven generations of one of Asheville’s leading families. Little did attorney Jim Siemens know that when he bought the landmark last fall, the house still held secrets from 100 years ago.” It turns out that an electrician was running wire to a back room and when he took out some drywall he ran into another wall of plaster and lath. Behind that was a hidden compartment next to a chimney. It was material the library’s dear friend Mary Parker never knew was there.

The collection of papers includes articles of agreements, bank statements, book lists, correspondence, deeds, legal notices, notes, receipts and summons. Most of the material ranges from the 1830s to the 1890s. MS360

The Connie Bostic Digital Paintings Collection. Donor, Connie Bostic

This collection was created by Erin Dickey, a dual degree candidate (MA Art History/MS Information Science, 2018) at UNC-Chapel Hill. She worked as a Fellow in the “Learning from Artists’ Archives” program (2015-2017), and while focusing on digital asset management, especially working with artist’s of the South, Erin conducted a studio archiving project with Asheville, NC area painter Connie Bostic. The collection consists of identifying 652 items, with thumbnail photos of the artwork, and other paper material pertaining to Connie’s artwork.


Connie Bostic, a native of Rutherford County moved to Asheville from Shelby, NC, in 1970. At that time she reviewed horse shows for local newspapers, showed whippets, invested in, and operated a popular bar, Craig’s and later, the Asheville Music Hall. And she raised five children. She had taken a two-year liberal arts degree from Gardner-Webb, and in Asheville, received a BA in Art from U.N.C.A. and also took art courses locally and then received her Master of Arts Degree in studio art from Western Carolina University. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Around 1988, Connie joined with WCU to administer an art gallery in the building she owned at 37 Biltmore Avenue, called The World Gallery, with Connie investing a lot of time in it as well. After The World closed, she and her husband George, opened the Zone One Contemporary gallery in 1991. Zone One closed January 1, 2001. For many years Connie has served on the board of Directors of the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center. MS233.005

The Cissy Dendy Family Collection. Donor, Cissy Dendy.

Cissy Dendy was the daughter of John “Brooks” and Marjorie McClain Dendy and she grew up in Asheville at 45 Madison Avenue. Her father became fascinated with golf while he worked as a caddie at the Asheville Country Club,becoming Black golf champion in the 1930s. Cissy came to us during the North Asheville History Project and loaned us many photographs from her family photo albums to scan.

Brooks and Marge Dendy’s wedding picture. They are seated front right.


Brooks Dendy walking down Haywood Street at current location of Wells Fargo.
Unknown occasion or location. Does anyone recognize it?


John Hayes & WRES Radio Station/Hillcrest/ Hillcrest Enrichment Program sponsored by the Asheville Housing Authority.


John Hayes is the former head of the Asheville NAACP chapter and former director of the Hillcrest Enrichment Program

Hillcrest High-Steppin’ Marquette & Drum Corps celebrated their 25th appearance at Asheville’s Christmas Parade in 2001; John Hayes is group’s leader. In 2012 the group celebrated their 30th.



Montford Park Players and Hazel Robinson.

This collection documents the Montford Park Players–1997-2015. It contains minutes, placards and photographs.

Montford Park Players production of a Shakespearean Play, 1988-1992.

Montford Park Players celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011 and it was still under the direction of Hazel Robinson, then age 85.


Other new collections of note:

Bob Brunk oral interviews with four neighbors and residents of Sugar Creek in North Buncombe, circa 1978. Donor, Robert Brunk. MS133

Tench and Sarah Potter Coxe Family Collection and coverage of their son’s life, Frank Coxe.  Donor, Joe Fioccola. MS353

The Tench Charles Coxe (son of Col. Frank Coxe) home, Klondyke, that he and his new bride, Sarah “Sallie” Fotterall Potter Coxe, built in 1898 at #475 Montford Avenue. It was razed in 1970.

Asheville Needle Exchange Collection. Donor, Michael Harney. MS370

Michael Harney has been working to promote public health with the Needle Exchange Program (NEPA) of Asheville since 1994. It is currently housed at WNCAP. NEPA distributes about 2,000 new needles every month–mostly, but not always, in exchange for an equal number of used ones. The collection contains media articles about the program, and documents Harney’s work in outreach, as well as various publications that published “What the Rubber Man Wrote” by Michael Harney.

Post by Zoe Rhine, Librarian North Carolina Room

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