The November 2019 Issue

In North Carolina, smoke imbues everything — from our pulled pork to our mountain lore to our tobacco legacy — with complexity and deep memories. After all, where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be a gathering of family and friends, hungry for stories and a taste of home.

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In North Carolina, smoke imbues everything — from our pulled pork to our mountain lore to our tobacco legacy — with complexity and deep memories. After all, where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be a gathering of family and friends, hungry for stories and a taste of home.


From Elizabeth Hudson: A View From the Table

by Elizabeth Hudson

Our editor in chief reflects on how Thanksgiving dinner has changed over the years.

Quiz: Stuck on ’Cue

by Alan Hodge

In North Carolina, our love affair with pork is undeniable and everlasting.


We Live Here

Downtown: Graham

by Jodi Helmer

Bursts of color on city walls, in shop windows, and on restaurant tables are transforming downtown into a vibrant center for the community.

Daddy Pete Farms in Stony Point

by Susan Stafford Kelly

A Century Farm in Alexander County capitalized on an underappreciated and often-overlooked product already sitting in the cow pastures.

High Country Hospitality at Grandfather Vineyard & Winery

by Chloe Klingstedt

On the banks of the Watauga River, a mountain winery turns customers into friends.

Always in Fashion: The Front Porch in Eden

by Susan Stafford Kelly

At The Front Porch, locals gather in a historic downtown building that has long been the go-to source for news and nostalgia — and now, new clothes, too.

All Aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

by Drew Perry

Toot toot! When the steam whistle sounds and the railcars start click-clacking down the tracks, a different side of the Great Smoky Mountains comes into view.


4 Potato Recipes to Celebrate the Season

by Lynn Wells

What can’t a potato do? Smashed, stewed, or scalloped: We’ll take a spud at every meal.

Baker’s Kitchen is Home to Delicious Breakfasts — and Butter Syrup

by Susan Stafford Kelly

Baker’s Kitchen has weathered storms — literal and metaphorical — to keep its community in baked goods and breakfast foods (with a side of butter syrup).

Season of Smoke

The Science Behind the “Smoke” of the Great Smoky Mountains

by Mark Essig

That soft blue haze — the namesake smoke of the Great Smoky Mountains — is a quirk of nature that was once severely threatened by man-made pollutants. Now, the vistas are opening up again.

The Pipes of Sparta: Dr. Grabow

by Leigh Ann Henion

While most North Carolina communities were manufacturing textiles, a small town in Alleghany County became famous for its finely crafted pipes.

The Land of Rainbow Trout

by Mark Essig

Farmed in the clear waters of Haywood County — and sublime when smoked — these mountain beauties are a favorite of the best chefs across the Southeast.

A Smoker Named Jezebel at Southern Smoke

by Sheri Castle

The line is out the door at Southern Smoke, a tiny carryout barbecue joint in Garland with a big following. Their secret is knowing how to tend both fire and family at the same time.

Smoke Soothes When Harvesting Honey from the Hive

by Eleanor Spicer Rice

There’s smoke filling the spaces among trees, in backyards, between homes. It tumbles over the eaves of big buildings. No need for alarm, not here. The smoke is for our honeybees.

A Tobacco Town Transformed: Winston-Salem

by Robin Sutton Anders

R.J. Reynolds’s old tobacco campus is now a center for innovation.

A Tobacco Town Transformed: Wilson

by Susan Stafford Kelly

A former tobacco salesman watches over the evolution of his family’s old marketplace into a modern living complex.

A Tobacco Town Transformed: Durham

by Katey Rich

A mural artist re-creates the hustle and bustle of the local bright leaf trade on the wall of an old tobacco auction warehouse.

Prescribed Burns Bring New Life

by Ryan Stancil

When our maritime forests become choked with brush, native ecosystems are put in danger. To clear the way for fresh growth, prescribed burn crews set carefully controlled blazes, giving nature a little nudge.

When the Smoke Cleared: Growing Up in a Tobacco Town

by Debbie Moose

Bittersweet memories of growing up in a tobacco town reveal the complicated relationship between a community’s main industry and the families who paid dearly for it.


A Thanksgiving Table Preserves a Family Legacy

by Chloe Klingstedt

Zach Heath wanted to preserve his late grandfather’s rural work ethic inside his own modern suburban home. So he took some wood from the old family farm and had it transformed into a beautiful gift for which his family can be truly grateful.

Our Sweetest Symbol: Moravian Cookies

by Kathleen Purvis

When Greensboro fourth graders decided to launch a “state cookie” campaign, they got a lesson in civics, as well as patience. It turns out, nothing about Moravian cookies is easy — except, of course, eating them.

Autumn’s Best Adventure: Cherohala Skyway

by Katie Saintsing

We found the season’s sweet spot — a series of them, actually, along a remote byway in far-western Graham County. The Cherohala Skyway dips and rises, curves and coasts past waterfalls, hiking trails, and mountain views that (almost) never end.

The 1950s: The Art of the Impossible

by Philip Gerard

North Carolina’s investment in a public art collection opens minds, enriches the lives of citizens, and creates a home for the state’s cultural aspirations.

Fireside Feast

by T. Edward Nickens

Good food tastes better in the great outdoors — especially if you’ve hiked or paddled for it. The best part? Gathering ’round the campfire with family and friends till long after the skillet’s empty.


Carolina Calendar: November 2019

by Our State Staff

From barbecue festivals to holiday celebrations, your curated monthly guide to events across North Carolina.

Space Seeds: Moon Trees in Western North Carolina

by Jeremy Markovich

Back in 1971, astronaut and former U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper Stuart Roosa carried more than 400 seeds into space with him on Apollo 14. Two of those seeds found a new home in North Carolina.