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Save the date:  October 12, 2019  Bethel Half Marathon and 5K Race

BRCO News and Events


Possum on a Whale Musical CD available for purchase.  Click here to order from our on-line catalog.


New Art Prints available for purchase.  Check out our Art Prints Page for three new prints:

Truss Bridge#79- BRCO's Historic Preservation Committee commissioned artist Gary Woolard to produce an acrylic painting of North Carolina's oldest metal truss bridge which is located in Bethel on Lake Logan Road.  

Pingree Priestly and Charity Haseltine Osborne Plott House (Historic with People)  This early 1900s portrait of the family in a front-yard setting was donated to BRCO by Bill and Carolyn Nettles, caretakers of the James Henry and Flora Kinsland Plott House where the painting was located.  James Henry was the son of Pingree and Charity Plott.  

Osborne Farm - Donated by Robert Cathey and Bill Holbrook, this mid-19th century photograph of the Osborne Farm on Highway #110 reveals a portrait of one of Haywood County's most prominent dairy farms.

The WNC Communities Organization  held it 69th Honors Award Ceremony on November 3, 2018 at the Biltmore's Double Tree Hilton Hotel.  Out of more than sixty organizations throughout western North Carolina, BRCO was one of only three to win the "Community of Disctinction" award--the most prestigious that is given out.  

Susan and John Baxley recognized for the 10 years of service as BRCO's treasurer and secretary.  


At the November 13, 2018 general meeting BRCO President Carroll Jones presented a certificate of appreciation and a Lenoir's Creek Farm art print to Susan and John Baxley.  Susan has served as secretary and John has served as treasurer of the organization for the past 10 years.  

All general meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pot luck supper, followed by a program and business meeting.


January 8

March 12

May 14

July 9

September 10

Novemberr 12

2019 Meeting Dates

BRCO Releases Sunburst and Other Logging Operations in the Bethel & Cold Mountain Region DVD

Bethel Rural Community Organization (BRCO) is releasing its five-year-in-the-making Sunburst and Other Logging Operations in the Bethel & Cold Mountain Region DVD on December 12. Copies are available at Blue Ridge Books, through the BRCO website at www.bethelrural.org, or by calling 828-648-3226. Douglas Chambers (dougchambers.net) is the videographer/editor. Evelyn Coltman is the producer and Craig S. Messer is the narrator. Sponsors include the following: Carol Litchfield, Evergreen Packaging, Blue Rooster Southern Grill, Lake Logan Conference Center, Peak Dentistry, Nancy Armstrong/Jim Lynn, Evelyn and Richard Coltman, and Maria and Carroll Jones. The production is dedicated to the memory of Horace M. Green. Sunburst was one of the largest and most significant logging villages in the region during the early 20th Century with ties to the founding of Champion Paper and Fiber Company, now Evergreen Packaging. The historic village was situated in the area where Lake Logan exists today. The Sunburst documentary consists of four parts: Origins of Sunburst, Life in Sunburst, Logging Lifestyle and The End of Sunburst, and Sunburst’s Legacy. The DVD also includes segments on logging before and after Sunburst as well as special features. Collecting historical data about the iconic logging industry that carved pathways through the early 20th Century Western North Carolina mountains as well as detailing current wood products operations, BRCO has created an impressive documentary worthy of attention by historians and scholars while also being of interest to the anyone interested in local history. Twenty participants, including two with life experience connections to Sunburst, appear on the DVD: Lorna Ashe, Phyllis Barnett, Wayne Carson, Rose Earnest, Horace M. Green, Zac Guy, Cheryl Haney, Danny Heatherly, Harold Heatherly, Carroll Jones, Gerald Ledford, Mike McLean, Susan Merrill, Ann Melton, Lewis Oats, Jr., Bruce Pace, Pat Powell, Sam Powell, Mark Rogers, and Maude Rogers. Musical group Possum on A Whale provides 14 songs for the video. Wide-ranging oral and documented historical accounts include topics such as business and social life in the village and logging camps, the Biltmore Forestry School, the association with Inman Chapel, African American involvement, train and rail history relating to the village and logging operation, as well as the Champion connection to the story. In addition, Zac Guy with Appalachian Antique Hardwoods details his family history with the wood products industry. Harold Heatherly, Carroll Jones, Pat, and Sam Powell take the viewer to the East Fork of the Pigeon River, the Lenoir’s Creek Farm, and the heights of Cold Mountain to discuss the Lenoir and Powell family logging operations. Danny Heatherly details how his family connection with the Powell family hardwood lumber business led to his own current innovative wood-product company in Bethel: BarkClad. BRCO is recognized for its affinity for collecting history as well as for the professionalism of its documentation. The NC Society of Historians has presented BRCO’s Historic Preservation Committee with three state history awards for its Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Books 1-6 by Evelyn Coltman, Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us DVD, and From New College to Springdale DVD. In addition, the Historic Preservation Committee developed the Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour CD as well as The Sunburst Sessions CD by Possum on a Whale. The CDs and DVDs are all produced by Douglas Chambers Productions and are available through BRCO’s website.

DVD Available for purchase on our website by December 12.