History of French Broad River

Listen to Wilma Dykeman read the chapter, “Who killed the French Broad?” from her book “The French Broad.”

Listen to RiverLink Executive Director Karen Cragnolin (1986 – 2016) interviewed on WCQS

FRENCH BROAD RIVER DEFINES THE REGION

The Cherokee called the river “Long Man,” and its many tributaries the “Chattering Children.”    “Tahkeyostee,” or “Where They Race,” was how the Native Americans described the French Broad’s fast moving rapids.     The earliest settlers called it the French Broad because it was the broad river in the French territory.  Today it is known simply as the French Broad River.    The story of the French Broad River is the story of the American river in microcosm, full of paradise and paradox.

For the early travelers seeking to scale and settle the area the river’s low, flat lands provided the easiest access through the beautiful but steep Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.   Settlers came seeking new lands and new opportunities in the beautiful wilderness now known as Western North Carolina.  The mountains were majestic and the rivers were clean.   Life for the first settlers was dangerous and difficult, but the beauty of the land and the river made them want to stay.  Before long they were growing their crops, building their houses and starting their businesses along the banks of the French Broad.   The French Broad River was the preferred transportation option for the turkey, hog and other herders from Kentucky and Tennessee seeking to sell or ship their goods to the lucrative ports in South Carolina.  The Buncombe Turnpike along the French Broad provided the access to these markets that the herders needed.    As a result of the heavy traffic a series of Inns developed along the French Broad to house the traveling herdsmen.    It wasn’t long before farmers in the area started growing and selling crops to feed the hungry travelers and their livestock.

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History of French Broad River

Listen to Wilma Dykeman read the chapter, “Who killed the French Broad?” from her book “The French Broad.” Listen to[...]

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History of RiverLink

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink’s founder and executive director for 30 years, wrote this in 1995.  The following art[...]

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Staff

Garrett Artz Executive Director 828.252.8474 ext 16 garrett@riverlink.org Garrett is the Executive Director of RiverLink.  He is a native o[...]

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Board Members

  RIVERLINK, INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS JULY 1, 2016– JUNE 30, 2017   Executive Committee Esther Cartwright Chair, RiverLink Fred C[...]

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Directions

WAREHOUSE STUDIOS LOCATION OF RIVERLINK OFFICES 170 Lyman Street (828) 252-8474 View Larger MapI-26 from South Asheville……̷[...]

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Americorps

AmeriCorps Project Conserve Members Each year, RiverLink fills three AmeriCorps Project Conserve positions : Education Coordinator Outreac[...]

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Speakers Bureau

RiverLink staff and volunteers are available to speak to civic groups, schools, businesses, churches, neighborhoods, and other organizations[...]

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// Volunteers are our lifeblood. If you’re looking to volunteer in Asheville and the surrounding area while also enjoying the bea[...]

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Mar
8
Wed
10:00 am Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Mar 8 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Volunteer Information Session Morning @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]
5:30 pm Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Mar 8 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Volunteer Information Session Evening @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]
Mar
16
Thu
11:45 am RiverLink Bus Tour @ RiverFront Bus Tour
RiverLink Bus Tour @ RiverFront Bus Tour
Mar 16 @ 11:45 am – 2:30 pm
If you ever wondered about the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay development project – this is your opportunity to see and hear about the plans for the future. Available Seats: There is space for 12 participants on[...]
Apr
12
Wed
10:00 am Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Apr 12 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Volunteer Information Session Morning @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]
5:30 pm Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Apr 12 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Volunteer Information Session Evening @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]

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"The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world."

Blue Ridge Heritage National Heritage Area