Here’s a great nugget for your next local #TBT trivia night.Joara, or Fort San Juan, a.k.a., the first European settlement in the interior of the present-day US,was right here in NC – just down the road in Morganton(about an hour from Asheville).
The spot, which is also referred to as The Berry Site(in recognition of the Berry family, who owns the land), was initially an Indigenous settlement and became the base of operations for Captain Juan Pardo, a Spanish explorer, in 1567 (see his travel route here). That early date means it predates both Roanoke(by 20 years) + Jamestown(by 40 years).
Today, teams of archaeologists + students – many from Warren Wilson College – work at the site, which is also a field school, to uncover artifacts + data about the settlement and its rich history. The public can also visit the site through camps, public lab nights, dig days + other educational opportunities for kids and adults hosted by the nonprofit Exploring Joara Foundation (EJF). Note: In-person programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19.
Here’s what to know about Joara –
• The Indigenous town was settled between 1400-1600 C.E.(Common Era). The area had been a home for Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Joara was one of the largest Native American towns in the region during its time. • Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto was the first European to visit the site, in 1540. • Juan Pardo visited in 1567 – when he would establish Fort San Juan as a colonial outpost. He and his army arrived at the colonial capital of La Florida, Santa Elena (on what is now Parris Island in SC) in 1566 with the intention of claiming the interior of southeastern North America for Spain. The goal? To establish colonial settlements on a route that would link Santa Elena with Zacatecas, in present-day Mexico – the site of silver mines.
Find out more about the settlement – including when it was settled + why it was destroyed the following year – by clicking the button below. ⬇️
Take the quiz by clicking the button above, or check The Wrap to find out if your hunch is right.
Weather ○ 80º | Mostly sunny | 10% chance of rain ○ Rainfall from Hurricane Delta is expected to hit the WNC region this weekend(Oct. 10-11). Over three inches of rain could fall due to the Gulf Coast storm, so don’t forget your umbrella on any weekend excursions. ☔ (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Closed ○ After opening this Feb., right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., Room to Dance(175 Biltmore Ave.) has announced their closure. The downtown dance venue was designed for older adults and featured classic music from all eras + themed nights. 🕺
Civic ○ The City-County Vance Monument Task Force is holding a public community engagement session today from 4:30-6 p.m. to continue the discussion of the removal or repurposing of the Vance Monument. View last meeting’s minutes + today’s agenda for the latest updates. 🎤 ○ Are you or a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility + planning to vote? Absentee by-mail voting makes up the largest part of these voters + some special rules apply. Check them out here. 🗳️ (BPR News)
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Serviceshere. As of Wednesday afternoon, 3,407 cases and 88 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. ○ The Asheville Downtown Association has announced that the annual Asheville Holiday Parade event has been cancelledthis Nov. due to the COVID-19 pandemic + concerns for overall health + safety. In accordance with Phase 3 reopening guidelines, where outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, the parade, which draws over 20,000 people on average, isn’t possible to hold safely. 🎄 ○ Oakley Elementary recently identified a COVID-19 cluster among five staff members with positive confirmed cases. At this time, no other staff or students have been identified as close contacts to the cluster. The school is being cleaned + disinfected. 🏫 (WYFF4)
Dish ○ HomeGrown West(219 Amboy Rd.) is rebranding, and will open in a few weeks with a new moniker, HomeGround, and a fresh concept – a deli + espresso bar in partnership with Proving Grounds Coffee Bar. Think breakfast platters, deli faves like Reubens + Cuban sandos (and the crowd-pleasing HomeGrown chicken sandwich) + more, along with fresh juices + smoothies. No changes are planned for the original HomeGrown (271 Merrimon Ave.). 🥙
Number ○ $35 million. The amount of aid from the federal coronavirus relief funds that will be used to support NC programs that provide in-person child care. The grants will offset financial strain + ensure childcare facilities’ ability to meet health + safety guidelines. 💸 (WLOS)
The early season college basketball tournament(or multi-team event/MTE) will be played from Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville, when eight teams will square off to vie for the Wayne Duke Trophy. The Texas Longhorns + the Davidson Wildcats will kick things off first. Bonus: Both the Wildcats and theUNC Chapel Hill Tar Heels will be playing in their home state. Check out all the teams playing and the lineup here. There’s still no word on whether in-person attendance will be allowed. 🏀
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Show ○ Lawn Concert: Random Animals| Thurs., Oct. 8 | 6:30 p.m. | ISIS Music Hall + Kitchen, 743 Haywood Road | $15 | Grab food + drink on the ISIS patio while listening to the Asheville-based indie-soul quintet. Reservations highly recommended. 🎶
ForFamilies ○ Haunted Trail| Opens Thurs., Oct. 8, then various dates | Sweet Peak Tour 6:30 p.m., Haunted Trail 7-9 p.m. | Adventure Center of Asheville, 85 Expo Dr. | Prices Vary |A family-friendly (recommended for ages 3-12) outdoor haunt with live actors, spooky sounds + props. The Aerial Glow Trail will also be available for those four + older. Social distancing + masks required. 🎃
PlanAhead ○ Claying Around: Family Halloween Workshop| Fri., Oct. 9 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. or 7-8 p.m. | Black Mountain Center of the Arts, 225 W State St, Black Mountain | $75+ | Make a spooky ghost or grinning jack-o-lantern. Rates include all supplies + firing. 🏺 ○ Bikes + Beers | Sat., Oct. 10 | 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | Highland Brewing Company, 12 Old Charlotte Hwy. | Starting at $50 | Sign up for the 15, 30 or five-mile rides + get swag, two pints + a free raffle ticket. 🚲 ○ Fall Foliage Public Hike| Sun., Oct. 11 | 1 p.m. | Bearwallow Mountain Trail | $49 🍂 ○ Outdoor Cardio Dance Class| Sun., Oct. 11 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Rabbit Rabbit, 75 Coxe Ave. | $10 | Dance your cares away with this socially distant outdoor fitness class and bid adieu to instructor Lisa Zahiya before she moves to NYC. In case of rain, a makeup class will be offered a week later. 💃
Find more of this week’s local events in our October PlanAhead.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
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Answered: D. Although Spanish explorers had mapped both coasts of North America, Hernando de Soto + others believed that the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains were part of the same mountain range – not grasping the immense distance of an overland route between Santa Elena and Zacatecas, in present-day Mexico.
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