Saturday, August 29, 2020

September - October 2020

July 4 Fireworks on Display over Gerton

On the night of July 4, we had about a hundred people pull off the road, stop by, get out of their cars to enjoy Gerton's show of fireworks. No UHNGCC-sponsored activity this year, but that didn't stop our neighbors from continuing to put on the kind of show we have come to enjoy so much on America's birthday! Thanks to all who provided this display.

Gifts to Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach

UHNGCC continues to support the Outreach in Lake Lure. We were featured in their July 2020 Newsletter.
Here is what they had to say about us:
       Did you know that Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Center (UHNGCC), located in Gerton, began the tradition of holding a monthly community dinner in 1958? Attendees have enjoyed a delicious meal while getting to know new neighbors. A huge supporter of Outreach, UHNGCC drops off food every two weeks, and since March, has provided 2,429 pounds of products. We are so thankful for this wonderful organization! 

Yes, over a ton of giving...but we don't stop there. We gave another 313 pounds at the end of July and then 320 pounds on August 17 plus six checks for a total of $475 for support of school supplies, the food pantry, and to help with utilities for those in need during these pandemic days. From January to June, Outreach has helped an average of 408 people each month.

Outreach earns most of their annual income to support their building and their needs from fundraisers, particularly the arts and crafts festival held twice each year--on Memorial day weekend and again in October. This year, both have had to be cancelled. 

Please bring your gifts of supplies to the Post Office and someone from the board will pick up and deliver to Outreach. Together, we make a difference for those in need.

President's Note

As our Community closes out the summer of 2020 and enters into another season, I wanted to say Thank You for your continued support of the UHNGCC and the few projects we have focused on during this year. We have done a tremendous job of supporting our neighbors at the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach, kept up with our Highway Pick up commitments, worked to support the 2020 Census and continued work on a Gerton History Project.

The Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach continues to need our help with food donations, school supplies and funds for assistance with utilities for our local families in need. We are collecting donations at the Post Office and delivering supplies to the Outreach on a regular basis – Thank You for your continued support! We will be sponsoring our next Highway pickup in early September; please join us to support a clean community and hopefully meet some new neighbors. Several members of our Board of Directors are continuing to work on a Gerton History project that we look forward to sharing with the overall community sometime in 2021. You may be contacted by one of our members about contributing some type of pictures, documents or information about the history of this wonderful place we call home. If you feel you have something about the History of Gerton that you would like to share,  please feel free to reach out to us at and we will be happy to work with you.

On a final note there are two big opportunities to make sure you are counted and to support Gerton. The first is making sure you have completed your Census form; our compliance makes sure that our Community receives all available funds for a safe and thriving community. Please visit for a full explanation of the importance of the census and how your participation makes a difference in our region. The second opportunity is about Voting, please make sure you registered to vote, know all of the options for voting and exercise your right to be counted.

I wish each of you a safe and happy Fall and look forward to meeting together again as a community once we have this Pandemic under control.


Stan Mobley

End of Summer Litter Sweep: Friday, September 11, 10 a.m.

A Highway Litter Pick-up is scheduled for Friday, September 11 at 10 a.m.
Volunteers will meet at the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Center, 4730 Gerton Hwy, Gerton.
Volunteers should wear good walking shoes.  The Community Center has a small supply of gloves available so volunteers may want to bring their own gloves to ensure they have a pair to use.
Orange safety vests and trash bags will be provided.
Physical distancing will be in place in accordance with the Covid-19 guidelines.

Look forward to seeing you there,
Mike Hamlin, Chair

What Is the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories.

The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail—between March 12-20. Look for information below if you have not received your documents or if you need assistance completing the forms.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community, because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.

You can find all necessary details on how to complete your Census Forms on their website or you can utilize a phone option at 1-844-330-2020 to participate in the Census.

The Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Club is working to support efforts so all of our Neighbors and Community Members are accurately counted. If you or someone you know needs some type of assistance with their Census Documents an e-mail can be sent to and help will be provided. 

We have seen a good number of bears in Gerton this season. Here is one taking a leisurely stroll at 6:30 a.m. toward someone's morning trash!

In two summer days, we had over five inches of rain. Here you can see Gerton in the midst of that rain. 

Black Swallowtail and resin bees pay a visit to purple petunias and mini bi-color petunias, a newer hybrid, in the yard of Chuck Mallory and Jim Peine.

Coneflowers and black-eyed Susans accent the weeping pines, lambs ear, and copper grass in the front yard of Chuck and Jim. 

August Board Meeting

Full house at the August 18 UHNGCC Board Meeting. One-to-a-table: Jean Bradley, Chuck Mallory, Jim Earnhardt, Stan Mobley (standing). Not shown Margaret Whitt, and Sylvia Sane, taking picture.
We may not be gathering for shared meals, but the business of the club continues. 

In the back area of the serving room, just outside the library, Jim Earnhardt and Stan Mobley have been busy replacing the shelving that was taken down some years ago from the dining area. The shelves once held our various awards and certificates. The shelves will once again hold these awards. The Five Calico cats (junior and senior) will be displayed in their present resting place. This is the start, finally, of our Gerton History Wall. By the time it is safe to gather again, the long-awaited History Wall will have been started and our collective past will be a story to note. We will also welcome what others would like to share. The History Wall will always be a work-in-progress.

New Trail Parking Lot

Heading into Asheville, just before the Welcome to Gerton sign, turn left and you will find yourself in the new parking lot. At the end of the lot is a large wooden sign that will explain the expansion of the new trails that have been completed. Yes, it does look as if--sing it with me--they paved paradise to put in a parking lot! 

New Business Coming to Gerton:
Bearwallow Provision Company
by Nick Haigler, Marketing Manager

The Store is located on the right side of 74A coming from Bat Cave into Gerton.

We’re excited to announce the opening of Bearwallow Provision Company this fall in Gerton, NC! This will be a spot for tourists and locals alike, providing a spot to stop for drinks, snacks, and gear after hitting the trails.

Bear Pro Co. was brought to life by Erik Julian, a local to the area who is also a volunteer at the Gerton Fire Department. With so many hiking trails, fishing holes, and rock climbs around the Hickory Nut Gorge, we knew this would be the perfect opportunity to bring something new into the area.

We’re looking to open in early September stocked up with local goods and will be adding more and more gear to help continue your adventure. Eventually we’ll look to grow into a taproom and event space – we’re pumped for what we’ll be able to provide in the community.

Come in and see us! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @BearProCo to stay up to date on everything going on. We’re located at 4612 Gerton Hwy, Gerton, NC 28735, We can’t wait to meet you all! 

Kate Loughran, plant ecologist and volunteer coordinator and Erik Julian, store owner.

Morning Coffee? Right here in Gerton at Studio 74

Sheila Padgett, Owner

The first six weeks has been a fun time to introduce the coffee counter at Studio 74 here in Gerton. I am also happy to see locals and tourists as well as board members stop by too! My hours have been limited to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and in time I will be open through the week to accommodate the community.

My line of coffee is called Gerton Grounds with a variety of four:   Bearwallow Blend, Hickory Nut, Sunrise Espresso and Falls Branch Decaf. In addition to having drip coffee,  I will be offering frappes, cappuccinos, lattes and espresso drinks by Labor Day weekend.  

Happy customer enjoys a cup of coffee!

The honey I carry is local to Lake Lure and I am the only one with availability. It is called Lat 35 because Lake Lure is on the 35th latitude and the sourwood is special because the bees have just 3 weeks to gather from the sourwood blooms. It is delicious and free samples are available. 
Stop by for a sample soon.

Need a Present? How about Hamlin Ceramics

How about gifting a handmade pottery vase to a friend, family member, or loved one.   Each unique piece will brighten any room with its natural looking glaze surface inspired by lichens and moss and barnacles.  Vases are all functional and will hold water for any fresh flowers picked from your mountain residence.
All are available from full-time potter and Gerton resident, Mike Hamlin.
Pieces can be purchased from his website at  Once purchased, they can be delivered to your home in Gerton or you can pick it up at his house and studio.

ECHO of the GORGE is published six times (bi-monthly) a year by the UHNGCC. News notes and photos may be sent to -- Information is always welcome. Photos for this issue:
Sylvia Sane, Sheila Padgett, Mike Hamlin, Nick Haigler, Chuck Mallory.
UHNGCC Officers for 2020: Stan Mobley, President; Jim Earnhardt, Vice President; Karen Owensby, Secretary; Sylvia Sane, Treasurer: Board - Chuck Mallory, Jean Bradley, Margaret Whitt

PO Box 222, Gerton, NC  28735