Greetings From Montreat: 52 Weeks, 52 Communities

Nestled in a cove in the eastern end of Buncombe County lies the tiny town of Montreat. The town has only been officially incorporated since 1967, but the community has been around much longer.

Montreat began in the late 19th century as an annual Presbyterian camp meeting, and by 1905, congregants had established the Montreat Conference Center or the Mountain Retreat Association (where Mon-treat gets its name). In 1916, Montreat College was established. The college, town, and conference center are three separate entities that share the community and work together to preserve its natural beauty and maintain the facilities. Though separate, they are inextricably linked.

Throughout the years, Montreat has become a summer destination for not only religious retreats, but outdoor enthusiasts as well. There are dozens of different postcards depicting various points of interest in Montreat, and in today’s edition of 52 Weeks, 52 Communities we’re going to take the opportunity to take a gander!

Enjoy this album of vintage Montreat views!

Anderson Auditorium, one of the primary gathering places on the assembly grounds. Named for Rev. George Anderson. AA578.
A night time view of Montreat, showing the Anderson Auditorium and Lake Susan. AA580.
Lake Susan and the Assembly Inn. AA589.
Many of the homes in Montreat began as tents on large pallets that families would return to year after year. Over the years, they’ve grown and earned names, like this home, Hickory Lodge. AA601.
The Foreign Missions Building, AA603.
Facilities in Montreat catered to people visiting for religious retreats. The Presbyterian Bookstore building is still operating as part of the conference center today. AB788.
Montreat College was originally a women’s only institution. However, today both male and female students attend this small private college. AC090.
Both the conference center and the college have dormitories. AC347.

Montreat sits at the base of Greybeard Mountain and there are many hiking trails to enjoy. AC348.


We love sharing our collections and stories with you! We especially like when they get a good workout from researchers, the curious, and even the stray interior designer or stylist! Our images and collections are as much yours as they are the library’s. That’s what public libraries are all about!

Come on in and take a look. You never know what you might find!

As a reminder, this post is a part of our 52 Weeks, 52 Communities Series. In this series, we are covering a different Buncombe County community each week. Do you have materials related to Montreat or some other Buncombe County community you’d like to let us know about? Do you, your parents or grandparents have a good story to tell? We want to hear from you! The North Carolina Room is Buncombe County’s Public Archive, we want to help preserve and make accessible the history and culture of Asheville and Buncombe County for all its residents.

This post was authored by Katherine Calhoun Cutshall, a librarian working in the North Carolina Room at Pack Memorial Library.

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