Projects Timeline


  • Collected seven paintings/drawings/photographs of historic sites/data of Bethel (Burton Cathey House, Colonel Joseph Cathey House, Colonel Joseph Cathey Mill, Calvin Filmore Christopher patent drawings, Inman Chapel, J.B. Rigdon General Store, and Osborne Boundary Oak). Photographer, John Rolland, produced high-resolution saleable prints of the ten art pieces.
  • The Keeper awarded Francis Mill the National Register of Historic Places designation as a result of a BRCO grant and BRCO oversight.
  • NCDOT restored Truss Bridge #79, NC’s oldest metal truss bridge, after a series of BRCO/NCDOT/community residents’ meetings that encouraged salvation and restoration of the historic structure.
  • Supplied supporting documentation to Cheryl Inman Haney’s submittal for a state historic marker for Sunburst Village. The state historic marker program installed the signage near Lake Logan.
  • Interfaced with individuals, arborists, and Haywood Community College to conduct an evaluation/aerial inspection/pruning of the historic Osborne Boundary Oak tree
  • Installed the third local historic marker at Lenoir’s Creek Farm (1807), Haywood County’s oldest continuing farm with the county’s longest continuing herd of cattle (mid-1850s)
  • Conducted an educational project on Bethel history for Bethel Middle School’s eighth graders
  • Presented a program about BRCO’s historic and rural preservation projects at a meeting of the Haywood County Historical & Genealogical Society
  • Designed/hung/dedicated the Pigeon Valley Quilt Block based on historic names associated with Bethel. BRCO’s block is #40 on the Haywood County Quilt Trail


  • Western Carolina University awarded BRCO’s Rural Preservation and Historic Preservation Committees the prestigious Mountain Heritage Award for the group’s dedication to preserving and interpreting Southern Appalachian culture and history.
  • Initiated the Pigeon Valley Award for Historic Preservation as a yearly recognition of individuals in Bethel who have contributed to the safeguarding of local history - BRCO granted Charles Cathey with the first award.
  • Supervised an Eagle Scout project by Joey Rolland to clear the area and build a bridge to the Pigeon Gap Watering Hole atop Waynesville Mountain
  • BRCO’s ten art prints were featured at Haywood County Arts Council’s Studio 86 during the studio’s Appalachian Heritage Month. This display featured our prints at the Art after Dark event, Appalachian Lifestyles Festival, and the month-long Mountain-Made series. In addition, the Arts Council featured our slide-show featuring historic sites and people.
  • Catch the Spirit of Appalachia conducted two interviews with the Historic Preservation Committee chair about BRCO’s historic and rural preservation programs. The interviews are in Western Carolina University’s archival collection.


  • BRCO submitted research about the agricultural, Cherokee, and natural heritage of Bethel to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) for heritage evaluation.
  • Collected/reproduced three art prints of historic sites in Bethel from the Henson, Sorrells, and Lackey families (Pingree Plott House, Bethel School in the 1920s, and the Blaylock House)
  • Collaborated with the Haywood County Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Committee to conduct a cemetery tour of graves of Civil War veterans during the “Last Shot Commemoration"
  • Produced a Cold Mountain Scenic Tour brochure for distribution
  • Awarded Norman Long the Pigeon Valley Award for his restoration of the historic Chinquapin Grove School
  • Filmed segments for the Sunburst DVD


  • The NC Society of Historians awarded Walking in the Footsteps of Those who Came Before Us DVD, Historic Preservation Committee members, and the videographer with the Paul Green Multi-Media Award.
  • Selected three artists to render paintings of historic sites in Bethel: Bethel Presbyterian Church exterior by Nick De Paolo, Bethel Presbyterian Church interior by Gary Woollard, and Lenoir’s Creek Farm by Janice Swanger
  • Installed the second local historic marker at the 1885 Bethel Presbyterian Church, the mother Presbyterian Church in Haywood County that was formed in 1834