ITEM LIST - FOLDER #05 - 1990'S
Note: Items are listed in original order as received from the donor.
Box Folder Item Description Thumbnail
1 05 woo05_0001 Newspaper article: Mitchell News-Journal, People, feature article, "Living Treasure, Master craftsman carrys [sic] on a family tradition," by Michael Joslin, News-Journal staff.  January 31, 1996.  Article celebrates the naming of Arval Woody as a "Living Treasure" of North Carolina. Woody was notified by the Institute for Human Potential at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington that he was to be the 1995 "Living Treasure." [19original copies and one photocopy] woo05_0001.jpg (298130 bytes)
    woo05_0002 Letter and photographs: From Jane K. Payne, Baldwin, Georgia, April 29, 1993.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Woody,

Enclosed is a picture of my little girl with her chair that she dearly loves.

woo5_0002.jpg (158027 bytes)
    woo05_0003 Photocopy of newspaper clipping: The Denver Post, Sunday May 26, 1991. :Craftmaking skills alive in the Carolinas," discusses the Woody shop and other craft destinations in North and South Carolina. Also appeared in the Washington Post. [3 photocopies of article]. woo5_0003.jpg (309990 bytes)
    woo05_0004 Magazine article: The State, January 1993. "Tar Heel Profile, by Bob Conway. 'A Family Tradition: As chairmakers, North Carolina mountaineers Max and Arval Woody have lived up to their name over the years." Features the work of Arval Woody at Spruce Pine and his relative, Max Woody at Pleasant Gardens, near Marion, NC. Max Woody's great grandfather was Arthur Woody, who was Arval's grandfather. The article notes that both have an international clientele. Max Woody describes the influences on his craft and the Woody tradition of working in wood.  [original and 1 copy] woo5_0004.jpg (289730 bytes)
    woo05_0005 Newspaper clipping: Times Journal, July 31, 1996. "Welcome to the 40th Annual Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair. Article includes remarks about the Woody brothers and a picture of Arval and Walter with their chairs seated on the square at one of the early Mt. Mitchell Craft Fairs. woo5_0005.jpg (300681 bytes)
    woo05_0006 Newspaper clipping: Asheville Citizen-Times [?], K1, n.d. "Crafts: The hills are alive with artistry," discusses multiple craft sites in the western North Carolina region, including the Woody's Chair Shop. Other craft enterprises discussed are Riverwood Pewter Shop in Dillsboro, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Penland School of Crafts, Jan Peiser, potter, the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild's Folk Art Center, and Ralph Gates.  broom maker. woo5_0006.jpg (394360 bytes)
    woo05_0007 Newspaper clipping: Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sunday Reader Section, D, Sunday July 6, 1997. "Made in North Carolina: A proliferation of craft studios and outlets has pumped millions of dollars into the mountain economy," by John Harmon, Staff writer. Pictures craftsmen in their workshops and includes Arval Woody, Jon Ellenbogen,  and others. Also discussion of the Handmade in America program which promotes regional arts and crafts and Penland School of Crafts that supports a lively arts campus near Spruce Pine. The article cites an Appalachian State University economic report that suggests that the economy of the western part of the state is dependent on craft as an economic contribution. woo5_0007.jpg (481507 bytes)
    woo05_0008 Single typewritten sheet with a description of Woody's Chair Shop and its history. Repeats earlier history in part. Author is most likely Arval Woody. No signature, or date on the item. woo5_0008.jpg (309039 bytes)
    woo05_0009 Single typed sheet: "All Over the Mountain," by Kelly Thomas, Director of Retail Operation, Sevierville, TN. The letter of introduction describes the operation of the Southern Highland Craft Guild Shop,and his appointment as the head of Retail Operations. He describes his duties and invites Guild members to contact him. woo5_0009.jpg (304725 bytes)
    woo05_0010 Newspaper clipping: Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday November 3, 1996. "Southern arts and crafts show goes on the road," by Catherine Agrella, Special to the Citizen-Times.  Discusses the opening of the 'Southern Arts and Crafts 1890-1940 ' exhibition that opened at the Mint Museum and the some 125 objects in the exhibit from the Asheville area. The traveling exhibit was also shown at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia, and later at the Birmingham Museum of Art. woo5_0010.jpg (198869 bytes)
    woo05_0011 Newspaper clipping: Mitchell News-Journal, May 22, 1996. "Log cabin mirrors the spirit of Penland School," by Jennifer Reed. A discussion of the Mignon Dunn cabin near Penland School in Mitchell County. Association with Woody's Chair Shop is unclear. woo5_0011.jpg (372958 bytes)
    woo05_0012 Newspaper clipping: Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., Friday June 13, 1997. "LMC professor's production to air on public TV Saturday afternoon," by LMC News Bureau. Article discusses the film made by Dr. Ted R. Ledford, of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC, of four Appalachian Craftspeople that includes Arval Woody.  The other artists included in the film are Bea and Mike Hensley, wrought iron artists, and Luther Thomas, a traditional folk artist from Micaville. woo5_0012.jpg (300697 bytes)
    woo05_0013 Newspaper clipping: The Atlanta Journal/The Atlanta Constitution, n.d.. "Cashing in on history of handiwork; OUtside artists encouraged traditional skills in the mountains; now many live there," by John Harmon, Staff Writer. An analytical report on area craft in western North Carolina. Artists and centers mentioned are the Folk Art Center, the New Morning Gallery, and Handmade in America, John C. Campbell Folk School, and others. Woody's Chair Shop and specific craftsmen are not covered extensively. woo5_0013.jpg (316445 bytes)
    woo05_0014 Newspaper clipping: New York Times, Sunday, October 17, 1993. "An Appalachian Trail for Carolina Crafts Seekers," by Suzanne Carmichael (Author of The Traveler's Guide to American Crafts, E.P. Dutton) An excellent overview of regional craft. Woody's Chair Shop is mentioned along with other craft in the Spruce Pine area. Also published in Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution, Denver Post and the Orlando, Florida, Sentinel [?], according to note written on second photocopy. woo5_0014.jpg (336651 bytes)
    woo05_0015 Newspaper clipping:  Johnson City Press, Monday, January 13, 1992. Picture of Jim Marcus working in the Woody Chair Shop. Image accompanies article on page 3 of the paper. A photographic essay on the Chair Shop. Letter from James P. Craig, MD, Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Elizabethton, TN, Jan 20, 1991 [?], reads:

Dear Mr. Woody,

Enclosed is the January 13 issue of the Johnson City Press that includes the article about your shop. I hope you enjoy it.

My daughter loves the music box I bought from you. When I am in the area with my family, we will stop in again.

Sincerely, James Craig

woo5_0015.jpg (222736 bytes)
    woo05_0016 Newspaper clipping: Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday Feb. 11, 1996.  People section. "A living treasure...,"describes the award that came to Arval Woody and the full page article in the Mitchell News-Journal, January 31, 1996. woo5_0016.jpg (155879 bytes)woo5_0016x.jpg (202850 bytes)
    woo05_0017 Magazine article: Blue Ridge Mountian Almanac Edition. Letters to the editor: from Alice Kenimer, Baldwin, Ga. who writes about the Woody's work. woo5_0017.jpg (367541 bytes)
    woo05_0018 Letter; From Nora Woody to Handmade in America, Asheville, NC. October 2, 1995. Letter takes issue with the misrepresentation of the address for Woody's Chair Shop as a Pleasant Gardens location, recently found in Circle of Mountain Tour, a publication which Nora Woody believes to be produced by Handmade in America. She draws a distinction between the J.M. Woody Furniture Shop and the Woody's Chair Shop and asks that future publication of the Circle of Mountain Tour carry the correct address. [2 copies] woo5_0018.jpg (190645 bytes)
    woo05_0019 Photocopy of newspaper article with attached note: "Dear Arval, I think this is the article you want. I hope so. Hope all is well up there. Take care & tell Nora hello." Article is from The Atlanta Journal/The Atlanta Costitution, n.d., "Annual craft fair a highland fling: Can traditional and newer crafts coexist? by John Harmon, Staff Writer. Discusses the contentious debate of the sponsors of the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands regarding the future of Appalachian art and how to preserve the region's unique cultural heritage. Marketing and sales considerations are at the heart of the debate. The mix of traditional and contemporary craft found at the Folk Art Center is arguably one source of  conflict for those debating the issues. The Guild membership, according to the article doubled since 1980 to some 700 and revenues from craft sales in Asheville, Blowing Rock, and Gatlinburg, TN in 1994 were in excess of $2.5 million. woo5_0019.jpg (420986 bytes)
    woo05_0020 Application Form for Oldest Family-Owned Business in Mitchell County.

Name of Business: Woody's Chair Shop
Address:  110 Dale Road, Spruce Pine, NC  28777
Phone: 704/765-9277
Present Owner(s): Arval J. Woody - Nora N. Woody
Type of Business: Handcrafted ladderback chairs, other wood items

# of Location/Where: One -- above address.
History of Business From Startup to Present: Where/When/Founder(s), etc.

We do not know where and when the first WOODY'S began making furniture and other wood products. The five generations we know about lived in Mitchell Co. The first that was personally known was Arval's grandfather, Arthur Woody. He was born in 1856 and died in 1952, a month shy of his 97th birthday. He was still making an occasional chair when he was 95. We know his father, Henry Woody, and grandfather Wyatte Woody were makers of chairs, wagons, and general farm- and household furniture. None of these three generations had a formal business - they were simply known as being wood­workers; mainly ladderback chairs. We do know that Arthur shipped chairs to many parts of the country. His son, Charlie Woody, worked with his father until his death in 1943. Another son, Martin Woody, worked with his father to learn the trade, then was with the builders of the railway through this area with a particular expertise of building trestles and tunnels. He then operated his own wood shop, with a strong preference for making chairs, until well into his 80's. 

The present shop was built in 1946 by brothers Arval and Walter Woody. Each had been in service in WWII, and were considering career choices. Arval was teaching agriculture to a veteran's group under the GI bill. Walter was training under the Gl bill for a profession in mechanics. They built the building that is the site of today's WOODY'S CHAIR SHOP. Arval operated a general store and service station, while continuing to teach. Both brotherss then decided they wanted to try chair making. They started on very small scale with a roped off corner of the store as a showroom, working at building chairs part time and continuing their other jobs. Very gradually the chair-making became their sole business. The general store and service station were gradually phased out as they began to get enough business to support themselves through the woodworking.

Walter Woody retired as of January 1,1980. Arval's vife, Nora, purchased his partnership interest.

Arval Woody and Nora Woody now operate the business as a partnership.

The present shop is the only one that can be documented as to the date it was begun. The ancestor's just made their chairs and other wood pieces, and became known for this work, as 'did a majority of other business people during these years.

woo5_0020.jpg (319170 bytes)
Certificate of LIFE MEMBERSHIP in the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild in recognition of interest in and dedicated service to the Guild and its purposes. From James M. Gentry, Director, and Freida M. Terrell, President, 1990.

Has an attached letter from Becky Orr, Administrator, Southern Highland Craft Guild, that reads:

Dear Mr. Woody:

I'm enclosing a duplicate copy of your SHHG membership certificate. It took me a while to get both Mr. Gray and Freida Terrell together to get signatures.

If this is not the correct certificate (I wasn't sure if you had lost your "life" membership certificate or your original membership certificate), please let me know and I will do it again.

Hope you had a good show. Also hope you are feeling well. I guess you have completed your treatments by now. Please know thaqt I am thinking about you and pray for your continued improved health.

My very best regards to Nora!

Sincerely, Becky

Enclosure: Certificate.

woo5_0021.jpg (299716 bytes)

woo5_0021a.jpg (136875 bytes)

    woo05_0022 Certificate: IN APPRECIATION For outstanding service to the community through Grassy Creek Fire & Rescue, Mitchell County recognizes, Arval Woody, Presented this 28th day of August, 1994. From Chairman Board of Commissioners and Emergency Management Coordinator. [Names are illegible] woo05_0022.jpg (430001 bytes)
    woo05_0023 Proof sheet for article in The High Country. "Traditional Furniture," Arval J. Woody. Promotional material.  
    woo05_0024 Newspaper clipping: Mitchell News-Journal February 12, 1997., Section B. "Four Appalachian Craftspeople. Ted Ledford produces documentary highlighting the lives of area craftsmen," by Michael Joslin, News-Journal Features. Features background information on Arval Woody, Bea and Mike Hensley, and Luther Thomas. Discusses the making of the video for the Appalachian Consortium. [2 copies]  
    woo05_0025 Correspondence regarding the Woody family genealogy. From Margaret Heinek, New Carlisle, IN. October 14, 1991 to Arval Woody.

October 14, 1991
Woody Chair Shop

Spruce Pine, NC

Dear Mr. Woody:

It was nice talking to you about the Woody family and getting me in touch with the Woodys in Bakersville. We visited with Bruce Woody, and I gave him some of my research with the understanding he will share with me when he can find time to write. I would like to have some information from you as to some of your family. You said your ancestor was Arthur Woody and I need the names of his children and if you know their names, the names of his wife. Charlie Woody's birth and deaths dates, his wife's name, and their children. Any dates, names, etc. will really help in my research.

I am enclosing a chart on the first Wyatt Woody who was born abt 1774 in VA to Henry Woody and Susan Martin. Henry and Susannah were married in Goochland, VA 13 Jan 1761. They are buried in Franklin Co. VA. Henry died 7 Dec 1807 at the age of about 72 yr. Susan died in 1835, but I do not know when she was born.

Wyatt married Mary Emily ROBERTSQN/ROBERSON daughter of John. Robertson. John Roberson brought his sons to NC in the late 1780s and one son, George, went back to VA to get his "child hood sweetheart", Judith Woody and settled in the Burke Co area. George and Judith are buried at Double Island in Yancey Co. Another Woody man, Martin, also married a daughter of John, Susannah Roberson. She and Martin stayed in VA. There was another Woody brother, Henry who married Judith Webb, who I know nothing about, but would like to find out about. Where did he go? The Woodys in Orange Co., NC was not your family, but I do not know where they came from or when. They may have come from a Mass, family.

I am descended from Judith Woody and George Roberson through Judith Roberspn and Rev. Thomas Wilson of Rebel's Creek, Mitchell Co. My Mother was grand-daughter of William Willis (Uncle Will) and Lucinda Wilson. Her mother was a Totley.

I am going to try to attend the Woody Reunion in June 1992. Bruce Woody asked me to try to attend and if possible to bring some written information. That is why I would like to have information from you.

Sincerely, ...

woo05_0025.jpg (290347 bytes)
    woo05_0026 Original program for THE NORTH CAROLINA AWARDS, 1998. Fine Arts Award presented to Robert W. Gray, friend of Arval Woody, in recognition of his work as director of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville and for his work in the creation of the Folk Art Center in Asheville.  The North Carolina Awards were instituted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1961 to recognize the "notable accomplishments by North Carolina citizens in the fields of scholarship, research, the fine arts and public leadership." It is the highest honor the state can bestow. Gray was one of the strongest advocates for the Crafts Movement and was instrumental in the promotion of the traditional forms of craft as well as the evolving forms of craft. Gray retired and stepped down from his position as Director of the Guild in 1981. woo05_0026.jpg (233727 bytes)

woo5_0027.jpg (279767 bytes)

    woo05_0027 "The Savvy Shopper: The Insider's Guide to Shopping Around the World," Vol. 2, No.1. March 1991. Mentions Spruce Pine, NC and the shop of the Woodys. Brief guide by Andrea Gross. [2 photocopies of page] woo5_0027xx.jpg (321363 bytes)
    woo05_0028 Newspaper clipping:  "Guidebook sends N.C. tourists right to crafters' doors," by Margaret Mannix, U.S. News & World Report.  Clipping is attached to another newspaper clipping: The Charlotte Observer, May 18. 1997. "Book Guides tourists to N.C. crafters," continued from Artisans, [2G].Lists galleries and stores carrying Appalachian crafts. Article is reprinted from the 1997 edition of Great Vacation Drives (U.S. News & World Reports). woo5_0028xx.jpg (459013 bytes)
    woo05_0029 Newspaper clipping: Mitchell News-Journal, July 31, 1991.Toe River Traveler section."Woody's Chair Shop: A Part of Appalachian Culture," describes the shop and the process of creating chairs. Images shows a worker crafting a chair post. woo5_0029xx.jpg (286217 bytes)
    woo05_0030 Newspaper clipping: Mitchell News-Journal, September 25. 1991.Fall Festival of the Arts. Supplement to the Mitchell News-Journal. "Woody's Chair Shop: A Part of Appalachian Culture: Local crafters represent Appalachian culture," describes the shop and the process of creating chairs. Images shows a worker crafting a chair post. [article and image same as above] Complete 'Fall Festival of the Arts' section. Same as above
    woo05_0031 Newspaper clipping:  Mitchell News-Journal, Third Annual Fall Celebration of the Arts, September 22, 1993. "Woody's Chair Shop: Five generations of craftsmanship," by Kim Goris. A brief description of the business.Images- one of shop and apprentice and one of Arval and Nora seated in their chairs and in the shop. woo5_0031a.jpg (321132 bytes)
    woo05_0032 Newspaper clipping: Mitchell News-Journal, June 11, 1997. "Rhododendron festival craftsmen to appear on public television June 14th," is a report of the film completed by Dr. Ted Ledford for the Appalachian Consortium. It tells the story of Arval Woody, Bea and Mike Hensley, wrought iron artists, and Luther Thomas, a well-known folk artist..  
    woo05_0033 Newspaper clipping: Mitchell News-Journal, February 12, 1997. "Four Appalachian Craftspeople: Ted Ledford produces documentary highlighting the lives of area craftsmen," by Michael Joslin woo5_0033a.jpg (358299 bytes)
    no image Personal letter: August 21, 1991 from Woodys [?]. Addresses a long-standing debt that they request be paid. No image
    woo05_0034 Letter: From Gerald H. Shinn, Director of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Institute for Human Potential, May 9, 1995. Informs Arval Woody that he has been chosen as a North Carolina Living Treasure for 1995.

Dear Mr. Woody:

The selection council of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Institute for Human Potential is pleased to inform you that you have been chosen the North Carolina Living Treasure for 1995. Your devotion to your craft is an exemplary model for others to emulate. Public and media announcements will be made at a later date and will be coordinated by Mrs. Mary W. Cunningham, executive director of university relations.

We will look forward to you and your wife's arrival in Wilmington, Wednesday afternoon, October 25, 1995. Thursday is set aside for media and meeting students. If possible, could you bring with you some examples of your work? The press and the students would be most interested. Friday evening, October 27, 1995, at 6:00 pm., you will be honored with a banquet in the University Center. Invitation are to be mailed about three to four weks before the banquet. Please send me your list of those individuals you would like to receive an invitation.

Congratulations on your new honor. We are very proud to have you visitor campus and represent North Carolina as a living treasure.

With all best wishes,  Gerald H. Shinn, Director.

woo5_0034.jpg (204278 bytes)
    woo05_0035 Letter:  From Gregg Thompson, Representative, North Carolina General Assembly, February 1, 1993 to Arval Woody.

Dear Mr. Woody,

Congratulations on being featured in the January 1993 issue of The State magazine. It is great to see hometown folks recognized for their wonderful talents. I remember studying North Carolina history not too many years ago and reading about your chair shop. I believe we even took a tour of your shop.

Once again, congratulations and if I may be of assistance please feel free to call. Have a nice week.

Sincerely, Gregg Thompson, Representative

woo5_0035.jpg (183582 bytes)
    woo05_0036 "Here's How the Book and Your Craft Business is Being Publicized," from Peachtree Publishers.  Probably from the American Craft Museum in New York. Describes the activity surrounding the publication of HANDCRAFTED from Peachtree Publishers. [Refers to the book by Andrea Gross and Irv Green. Handcrafted in the Blue Ridge: Discovering the Crafts, Artisans, and Studios of Western North Carolina, Atlanta:  Peachtree Publishers, Ltd., 1997.  Book,  contains information on Woody's Chair Shop and other artisans in western North Carolina. woo5_0036.jpg (172376 bytes)

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