Blacksburg, South Carolina
June 26, 2005
The focal point of the park is the 1899 Flat Top Manor (a.k.a. Moses Cone Manor), which today houses the Southern Highlands Craft Guild's Parkway Craft Center. The craft center offers a wide variety of items for purchase, ranging from baskets to pottery to books about the region. Artisans often perform their craft here at the site. The day we were there, they had a guy making wooden chairs and a lady weaving wool sweaters, hats, and scarves.
We were very impressed by the architecture of the house itself. The white columns and gables give it a very elegant look, much unlike anything you'd expect to have seen in the early 20th-century Appalachian highlands. The front porch has several rocking chairs and provides a breathtaking view of a pristine lake in the valley below.
We asked one of the employees about the chandelier just inside the front entrance. She said that it was actually a gasolier, powered by gas, since the house was built before electricity. I found this to be quite innovative. We were also impressed by the Tiffany stained-glass windows.
Other historic sites in the park include a family cemetery, carriage barn, and apple barn. Interpretive talks, craft demonstrations, and house tours are given on weekends during the summer.
The Craft Center is open daily from 9am to 5pm. For more information about it, visit www.southernhighlandguild.org. The park itself is open from daylight to dark. You may get more information on Moses Cone Park at www.nps.gov/conepric.htm.
From journal View From the Top