Edenton Fraser's Ridge NC Historic Sites Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross The Homecoming Uncategorized

About the Big House…

January 18, 2020

guest post by Susan H. Jackson

Well, Outlander friends, we’re less than a month away from the end of Droughtlander–yay! All of the press releases, photos, interviews and sneak peeks have me even more impatient for the beginning of season five! From what I’ve seen, saying it looks like it’s going to be exciting is an understatement! I’ve tried to fill my time with re-watches, re-reads and reading about the history associated with the upcoming season. While the subject I’ve written about for this blog post isn’t historically significant–well, it is to a point–it was something that is important to our favorite show and questions about historical accuracy.

Photo by David A. Stewart on Instagram

A few months back, social media lit up when one of the Outlander crew shared a last-day-of-filming-Outlander-season-five photo.  Most of the cast and crew posed with smiling faces on the set of Fraser’s Ridge, with the Big House in the background. Opinions emerged, and some looked at that gorgeous two-story structure, and said “It’s just like I imagined it would be,” while others said, “No way–how could they build a house like that in such a remote area? Where did that come up with that paint color?!” Jon Gary Steele did share that the paint color was historically accurate, and the house, too, for that matter.

Whether it’s just as you imagined or not, I feel like our assumptions about mountain living are that it’s poor, dirty, and houses were unpainted and without adornment. We almost automatically think that a house such as the structure on set wouldn’t be sitting on a mountain ridge in the wild backcountry of Colonial North Carolina. Granted, the 18th century certainly lacked the construction technology we have today, but, just like today, if someone is well-off financially, they could afford all that modern life offered. There are several homes from the time period of the Fraser’s North Carolina that are still standing, and I’m going to share a bit of history about each one with you! (Disclaimer: I am not an architectural historian by any means–heck, I’m not even a historian, period! I love houses, and I especially love Colonial homes. I don’t claim to know all of the technical stuff, but hope you can enjoy reading my ramblings about these great finds in North Carolina!)

The town of Edenton boasts several homes of original architecture from Colonial times, including the Lane House, the oldest house in North Carolina, the Cupola House, and the 1767 Courthouse.

The two houses of interest that would’ve been standing in the Frasers’ time are the Lane House, and the Cupola House. Now, the Lane House is not a big fancy place, but it is important to North Carolina. The Lane House was discovered to have been built around 1719, making it the oldest house in the state! Recently, new owners were having it renovated for renting. A carpenter saw some of the wood under the layers of modern materials, and alerted the owners. Experts were called in, and after performing dendrochronological research, they estimated the age of the structure. (More about the discovery of this architecural treasure from NC Department of Natural Resources.)

The Cupola House, also located in Edenton, was built in 1758 for Robert Carteret, Earl of Granville, one of the Lords Proprietors. This gorgeous structure is a testament to building a house that is anything but a log structure in a remote area. A home in the northeast coastal region of North Carolina would have had to be built of local materials, as the swamps and large bodies of water surrounding the area would have made transport of imported materials difficult and very expensive. (Many census records show that “shinglemaker” was not an uncommon occupation, so if they were making shingles for homes, they were making pretty much everything else, too!) The house began to decline, even though one family owned it for 141 years, but thanks to the efforts of local citizens who organized the Cupola House Association, the house is refurbished and ready for visitors to come and tour the gardens and home. More recent discoveries about the original siding and other architectural details about the cupola can be read at the Cupola House Association website.

EDIT: I discovered these images of the Georgian woodwork from the Cupola House at the Brooklyn Museum website. In financial need, one of the family members sold the woodwork to the Museum in 1918. It is still on display.

Another house in the northeastern part of the state in Perquimans County is the Newbold-White House, the oldest brick house in the state, built by Quaker Abraham Sanders about 1730. I cannot be sure if bricks were made on-site, but I have a feeling that they were, as John Lawson noted in his expeditions that the coastal area had perfect brick-making materials. The house has been restored to its original appearance, and can be toured during the months of April-October.

The House in the Horseshoe, Sanford, NC. Photo from Facebook

In the Piedmont region of the Old North State, you can find the House in the Horseshoe near Sanford. The house was built by Phillip Alston (a Whig Colonel), in 1772. It was the site of a fight in 1781 between the Tories and Alston’s soldiers. Note the two porches are open underneath, and at one time, it’s very likely that none of the crawlspace was closed in, as it provided shelter for the roaming farm animals people kept for food during that time. You can find more about the architectural details, including a remodel done by a subsequent owner at the NC Historic Site webpage.

Fort Defiance, Ferguson, NC photo from fortdefiancenc.org

As we get in the Highlands of North Carolina, in Ferguson (not far from the venue of Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming), you can visit the home of William Lenoir, Fort Defiance. Lenoir fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain, and when he found the old fort abandoned, he bought the property and finished the house in 1792. According to the Fort Defiance website, there were five outbuildings located on around the house, as well, to serve the family’s needs for food storage and cooking.

Once again, I am far from being an architecture history expert, but after reading a bit about different Colonial homes that are still with us today here in North Carolina, I see that it is totally possible for the Frasers to build such a large “fancy” house in the rugged Highlands of North Carolina. The materials for posts, floors, walls and siding were all there in the forests. If you’ve ever watched The Woodwright’s Shop on PBS and seen Roy Underhill use all of those non-electric woodworking tools, you can imagine the back-breaking work involved for anyone building a structure during that time period. Materials for a chimney where most likely stones that lay anywhere and everywhere, found while clearing land, considering their location. Like the Newbold-White House, however, bricks could have been made as well, but I feel like most chimneys in the mountainous regions were made of stacked stone.

It’s funny what takes up our time during Droughtlander. Any little thing someone from the television series shares just grabs our attention–well, mine, anyway–and I find myself falling down the rabbit hole of history, or searching other fan sites or in the pages of my Outlandish Companion, hungry to learn more until season five begins and the yearning is over! I do enjoy houses, and have especially enjoyed learning more about some of these old homes that have such great historical meaning, and that they’re right here in my home state. Thank you for indulging me and one of my nerdy interests!

For more architectual information, (that I found pretty fascinating), download the pdf of the book Colonial Houses (written by John V. Alcott in 1963) from the NC Department of Cultural and Natural Resources. It describes every style of Colonial home, from the smallest one-room structure to the grand homes of wealthy landowners.

What’s getting you through Droughtlander? One thing that has me looking past the end of season 5 is Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, taking place October 8-11 in Ferguson, NC! The historical reenactment groups, the interesting workshops and activities, and not to mention the fine entertainment that is scheduled to be there this year give me something to look forward to this Fall. Oh–by the way, there will be some bonus guests this year–stars from the television series:  Annette Badland (Mrs. Fitzgibbons), Gary Lewis, (Colum McKenzie), and Graham McTavish (Dougal McKenzie)! Please check out the webpage for more information, and consider investing in this experience of 18th century mountain life, and the history of the Fraser’s North Carolina. You won’t regret it!

Season 5 The Homecoming

Season 5, Happy Hour With Harmony & Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2020 Ticket Information

January 9, 2020

Hello From The Ridge!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have started a Happy 2020. It’s always such a busy time of year and I had to put my blog, and most everything else, on hold until after the first of the year! I’m living pretty much full-time now in Ashe County, North Carolina, which is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of “Fraser’s Ridge”.  I don’t care what season it is in these North Carolina mountains, it is simply beautiful. During the winter, the mountains are dark and you can see the ridges and hollows so much clearer. The profiles are distinct. It makes me think of what Jacosta told Jamie. When I’m out and about, I look at these mountains in winter and think this must be the way it looks in Scotland.

Season 5 And The Battle of Alamance

Well, I love that picture!!! Are you ready for Season 5?!?! After seeing the trailer and the promo picture above, I can hardly wait! It looks epic! 

As the season unfolds, you’ll see that much of Season 5’s story revolves around the Battle of Alamance which took place in Alamance County, North Carolina, on May 16, 1771.  Diana visited the Battleground in April of last year and you can too!  

During the course of the season, look for blog articles from us exploring the real history and characters of the Battle of Alamance. Diana did a great job of depicting the circumstances leading up to the battle, the battle itself and the aftermath in The Fiery Cross so we will be delving further into the real characters and history come February! 

Happy Hour With Harmony Returns

If you’ve been around for awhile, you probably know that during season 4, Harmony Tersanschi, one of my talented admins, did a round of FB Live videos called “Happy Hour with Harmony”. If you’re new to the group, she worked her way through the cocktail recipes in the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook & came up with Mocktail versions as well each Saturday evening, live on the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Page. Well, it’s that time again and Harmony will be doing things a little differently during Season 5 seeing that the next cookbook won’t be out in time for the new season. This time she’s asking you to send her your cocktail requests. She’ll make & taste, come up with a Mocktail alternative, and maybe review an appetizer or two from the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook. Harmony loved hanging out & chatting with every one each Saturday evening, and she can’t wait to do it again! Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite or not so favorite (if you want to get a good laugh) cocktail recipes, so Harmony can start making her list. Last year, during Season 4, we gathered around our various devices to watch Happy Hour with Harmony before the new episode came on. We’re looking forward to Harmony’s return to the “small” screen on February 16! Leave her a comment below with your cocktail suggestion!

Fraser's Ridge Homecoming 2020
There's No Place Like Home

We are deep into the final stages of planning for Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2020 and this year our theme is “There’s No Place Like Home”. If you’ve ever been to the NC mountains, you’ll know that no truer words could be spoken about Jamie & Claire’s home on The Ridge.

We are excited to announce that tickets for Homecoming 2020 will go on sale at 6:00 PM EST on January 13, 2020.  I am so looking forward to meeting some of you in October!

In case you don’t know, Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming is a celebration of the history of Jamie & Claire’s North Carolina backcountry wilderness. The Homecoming is Outlander inspired but history focused making it a truly unique event for the history-loving Outlander fan. Drawing from the places the Frasers lived and visited, the events that shaped their lives and the people who crossed their paths, the Homecoming takes us back in time via workshops, living history, music, performances, food, drink and so much more. Combine that with a fun dose of Outlander and you have the perfect combination. 

And as if it could get any better, for the first time, we will be welcoming home to The Ridge some very special cast members from the TV series….the MacKenzies of Castle Leoch! Mrs. Fitz, Colum MacKenzie & Dougal MacKenzie will be joining us this coming October!

We are thrilled to be able to share North Carolina’s 18th-century history with our special guests!!

Please click HERE to see ALL the amazing things we have lined up for this wonderful weekend…and we’re not done yet! By clicking on that link, you will also find all the current information on ticket price, deposit, what the ticket price includes plus information on installment payments optionsTickets are limited to 200 attendees!

Homecoming Venue & Lodging Options

Our venue for The Homecoming is the beautiful Leatherwood Mountains Resort in historic Ferguson, North Carolina. Within the ten mile radius of where The Ridge is likely located, you will feel as though you have truly stepped back in time when you arrive at Leatherwood. Relax in a luxury vacation home hidden in the trees in Leatherwood’s Blue Ridge Mountains and wilderness horse country. If you are the more the rustic type, Leatherwood offers camping options on site. Either way, you will know you have come home to The Ridge. 

Because of the popularity of the Homecoming, most cabins at Leatherwood have already been rented.  So, we have some alternative options if you are unable to reserve a cabin because of unavailabilty or because of financial restrictions.  Check these alternative lodging options below:

  • Other Local Accommodations. In addition, The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Wilkesboro (30 minutes from our venue) have also blocked off rooms for us and you can get a special rate by contacting either of the hotels directly. Just be sure to mention that you are coming for the Outlander event at Leatherwood.
  • Cabin or Hotel Room Sharing.  Many life-long friendships have been forged by folks who shared their cabins with complete strangers while at the Homecoming the last two years. Besides, in the Outlander community, are there really any strangers?  If you’re interested in sharing a cabin or a hotel room with others, please complete the form at this link. We will do our best to connect you with other folks who are wanting to share.  
  • You might also consider looking at VRBO’s and AirBNB’s in Ferguson, North Carolina.
  • NOTE: If you rent outside of Leatherwood, please check with the owner for the distance from your rental to Leatherwood and keep in mind that you need to at least double the amount of time you think it would take to drive to and from. The roads are extremely narrow and curvy – it is the Ridge, you know! Which bring me to this point…Ubers and Lyfts are unavailable in the area!

Get Your Tickets Here!

So, Sassenach, are you ready to go home? Click the button below to purchase your tickets. If you click it before 1/13 at 6PM, you won’t see any tickets to purchase yet BUT it will give you the opportunity to read through and review the important preliminary information. That way you’ll be ready to purchase when the time comes. 

I look forward to meeting many of you and welcoming you “home” in October! It’s going to be the BEST Homecoming yet!!

Homecoming Questions?

Click this link and complete the form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Best Wishes For A Happy New Year!

In closing, I’d like to wish each one of you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for subscribing to the blog and taking time out of your day to read it. As I said earlier, you can expect more blog articles as Season 5 gets started. Only 38 days to go!!  Which begs the question… what are you most looking forward to in Season 5?   Put it in the comments below!

Your Forever Outlander Friend,


Outlander North Carolina

The North Carolina Fraser Fir & A Very Fraser Giveaway!
Five Winners!
Ends December 15, 2019!

December 11, 2019

This post was previously published in December, 2017 BUT the giveaway is brand new!


On a mountain somewhere in western North Carolina stands a tree. This tree is surrounded by others and like humans, some are a little taller, some a bit shorter, some a litter fatter and others a bit slimmer – but all have the same fragrant, blue-green needles and natural pyramid shape.

This tree began it’s life about 12 years ago as a seedling and at the ripe age of 4 was transplanted along with its kindred on the side of the mountain.

During the eight years (more or less) there, it has enjoyed beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, winter snows, spring rains, cool summer days and nights, and fall colors which would, if it were human, have taken its breath away.

Nearly 100 times each year, its owner has visited, inspected, and lovingly groomed it. And once a year, a swarm of ladybugs was released on it to eat the aphids which love to feast on it’s beauty and thus destroy it. Now, at approximately twelve years old, the tree stands 8 feet tall (it’s kindred at this age are anywhere from 6 to 10 feet tall).

The tree stands proud, sturdy and tall…and ready, at last, to fulfill its purpose for which it was planted 12 years ago. Yes, it is the year, that special year, when it will be chosen from among all the other trees by a family who will cut it and take it to its final home.  Some of it’s kindred will be cut by the farmer who owns them to be sent down the mountain to places near and far where their beauty will be displayed in a Christmas tree lot, there to wait patiently for a home. Once chosen, the tree will be adorned with glorious lights and decorations. Families and friends will gather ‘round it, beautifully wrapped gifts will be placed under it and there, in its final resting place, it will make glad the hearts of children and adults alike. This tree, America’s favorite Christmas tree and the state tree of North Carolina, is the Fraser Fir.

Choose & Cut – Ashe County. Poles are used to measure the trees which are sold by the foot.

Folks waiting in line to pick up their Frasers. Ashe County Choose & Cut.

Our grandson has picked out his own Fraser fir. He loves Frasers too!

My husband, grandson and me surrounded by Fraser firs.

Baled and stacked. Ready for the trip down the mountain!


Loaded! Next stop is a Christmas tree lot near you! Usually no more than 600 to 800 trees can be loaded on a full-size tractor trailer.

Fraser firs headed down the mountain.

The History of The Fraser Fir

The Fraser fir is named for the Scottish botanist, John Fraser, who explored the North Carolina mountains in the late 18th century.  An excerpt from an article by Marcus B. Simpson in The American National Biography states the following,

“Fraser, John (1750 – 26 April 1811) was born in Tomnacross near Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire, Scotland, the son of Donald Fraser, a farmer and grounds officer of the Jacobite leader Simon Fraser, thirteenth* Lord Lovat. John Fraser’s mother was probably one Mary McLean of Cragganmore, Inverness-shire. Nothing is known of his childhood and education. In the 1770s, Fraser moved to London and established himself as a draper and hosier in Paradise Row, Chelsea, where he married Francis Shaw in 1778. The Frasers had two sons, John (baptized 1780), who accompanied his father on two collecting trips to North America, and James Thomas (baptized 1782), who helped manage the family’s botanical nursery in England in the 1800s….”.

John Fraser (1750 – 1811)

Abies frasieri (Fraser Fir), named for John Fraser, is native to the southeastern Appalachian Mountains.

John Fraser discovered the Fraser fir while on a foraging expedition in North Carolina with the French botanist, André Michaux, in 1787. The story has it that after being together for so long, Michaux tired of Fraser’s incessant talking. When Michaux’s horse wandered off one night, he encouraged Fraser to continue on without him while he looked for the horse – an excuse to get away from Fraser (or to get Fraser away from him). That was Michaux’s biggest mistake because it was while John Fraser was foraging on his own that he discovered the fir, Abies fraseri (or Fraser fir).

It makes sense to me that America’s favorite Christmas tree was discovered in North Carolina, the home of Fraser’s Ridge, by a Fraser. The tree that stands on the mountainside, proud, tall and strong, bringing beauty, love and joy to so many, could only be a Fraser!  So, this Christmas, as you stand around your own Fraser fir singing Christmas carols, sipping eggnog or wassail, opening gifts, telling stories of Christmases past or just simply enjoying the beauty of this most wondrous tree, remember the name it carries is the same name that holds a special place in the heart of all Outlander fans – Fraser!  Je Suis Prest!  It is ready!  Merry Christmas to you all!!!

(Keep reading for more Fraser fir facts plus a “A Very Fraser Giveaway”!)

My Fraser – Before Picture!

My Fraser – After Picture.  Our Elf, Max, is hanging out at the top! He likes Frasers too! Well, who doesn’t?!?!

Fraser Fir Facts:

  • The Fraser fir is native to North Carolina and only grows naturally in the Southern Appalachians.
  • The Fraser fir can be successfully grown on land elevations exceeding 3000 feet above sea level making the mountains of North Carolina a perfect location.
  • On average, it takes 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 foot Fraser fir Christmas tree.
  • The Fraser fir can reach a maximum height of 80 feet.
  • Over 50 million Fraser firs are grown in North Carolina on 25,000 acres for use as Christmas trees, and the Fraser fir represents over 90% of all the trees grown in North Carolina as Christmas trees.
  • The North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is the most popular Christmas tree in North America and is shipped into every state in the U.S. as well as the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Japan and other points all over the world.
  • Ashe County, North Carolina, is the largest Christmas tree producing county in the United States, with over 12,000 acres in production resulting in over 25 million trees.
  • Christmas trees in Ashe County provide enough daily oxygen for 216,000 people.
  • Cut trees are harvested in 3-6 weeks starting the first week of November. Trees are cut, carried from the field, baled by machine, hauled to a loading yard or storage area, and sorted by size.
  • In 2017, the high demand for Choose and Cut Fraser firs exceeded the supply in Ashe County alone with many farms having to close earlier than anticipated.

***A Very Fraser Giveaway***

In honor of the Fraser Fir, I am giving away not one but FIVE “Fraser’s Ridge NC” hand-etched glass ornaments. These ornaments are made of American, fine quality ⅛” thick glass. Ornaments are 3.5” in diameter with smooth edges. Each ornament is hand prepped, sandblasted, cleaned, quality checked and lovingly done for ONC by North Carolina etch glass artist, David Krafcik.

Ready to enter the Giveaway? Well, then, just see below!  May the Merriest Sassenachs win!!!! And thank you for reading the blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules: No purchase necessary to win. Open to individual legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are the older of 18 years of age or the legal age of majority in their state of residence. One entry per person. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 15, at 6:00 PM EST. Five (5) winners from all entrants will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter and those persons will be notified via email. Watch your inbox since the winner will have 48 hours to respond. For more information, please see the Terms and Conditions on the Giveaway site.

*The reference to the 13th Lord of Lovat in the excerpt of the article by Marcus B. Simpson above appears to be a typographical error as it was the 11th Lord of Lovat (The Fox) who was the Jacobite leader. The 13th Lord of Lovat was not born until 1828 which would have been after the death of botanist, John Fraser. 

Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina The Homecoming Uncategorized

Memories of Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, Part 3: The Homecoming Quilt

November 10, 2019
Dawn Woo tells us of her weekend at the Homecoming, and likens the event to the color blocks on a quilt. Be warned: you might get the warm fuzzies after reading this!

While driving back into the foothills of western North Carolina towards Ferguson, I noticed nature acknowledging the changing seasons with trees of red and gold, much like a patchwork quilt. I can almost imagine this would be much like the picture Jamie and Claire would have seen as they and others made their way to Mount Helicon in October of 1770 for The Gathering seen in The Fiery Cross. The “family” that accompanied Jamie and Claire to Mount Helicon was also much like a patchwork quilt. Some were blood family. Some were adopted family. Some were old friends, and some were simply new friends brought into their clan on the ridge by faith and trust.

As I got nearer my destination, I began to feel a great sense of coming home–a connection to these mountains as I passed the Brushy Mountains that were once home to my ancestors in the mid-to-late 1700s. You see, much like Jamie and Claire and their patchwork quilt family at Mount Helicon, I have anxiously awaited the patchwork quilt family of Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming that Beth Pittman and her team have brought together since October 2018. I’d like to share with you just a few of the patches in the quilt of Homecoming 2019 that have been faithfully and lovingly sewn together.

Kerry Masarik would be an earthy, natural, and warm multi-colored piece of fabric in our quilt. This gifted woman taught several classes: medicinal plants, basket weaving and drop-spinning. Once again, I had to take a walk to look at plants under her tutelage since I have not been able to stop looking at the ground since last year! She opened a whole new world to the wonders of plants and their benefits. I also chose to try to learn to spin wool with a drop spindle under Kerry’s careful eye and engaging personality. We were taught a method called “between the knees” drop spinning that allowed us to get a feel for drafting out the fibers of the wool. By the end of the class, we all had a sizeable amount of yard wound around our spindle.

Now that I had learned to spin my yarn, I needed to learn how to “clickit like Jamie.” Wanda Noble, the fresh and harmonious-colored patch in our quilt, armed a class of beginning knitters with circular knitting needles and yarn. Much to our amazement and Wanda’s gentle encouragement, she had us casting on in the first few minutes of class!

Imagine the colors of the trees, the sky, rocks stained with burning reds and blues, and you will find the next patch in our quilt: Joe Candillo, our Native American educator and craftsman. After a short ride in the cool, misty weather conditions up the mountain in a hay-filled trailer, we met our majestically clad educator. Joe took us on an exploratory hike and showed us the way he was taught to respect and appreciate what nature had to offer. Joe gave us another reason to pay attention when we wander outside.

By this time, we needed some very practical and sensible patches in our quilt, and Jane Pyatt, aka The Backcountry Peddler, was the one who taught us how to dress “sensibly” for 18th-century backcountry living. Layer by layer, Jane explained why and how each article of clothing was worn. By the end of the hour, a volunteer from the class was dressed and ready for work on their North Carolina mountain settlement.

Chris Grimes’ presentation of an 18th-century physician was the patch in our quilt that is majestic and full-toned. The hour was tightly woven with all sorts of 18th-century medical practices, medicines and tinctures, and surgical/medical instruments and their uses. Healthcare in the 18th century was not for the faint of heart!

What colors do you think of when you think of music? Our quilt would have quite a few of these patches-some soothing and some quite animated. With mountains as a backdrop, the sounds of bagpipes, banjos, guitars, mandolins, fiddles, and even a harp filled our souls. While music filled our souls, the loving hands of the Thankful Goat and Snowbird Mountain Coffee filled our hungry bellies. Food is a language that brings people together. I can only imagine that this patch in the quilt would look unified and complement the patches around it.

Oh, friends, our quilt is far from being finished here! This is only a small section, for it takes many hands and many patches to lovingly complete a patchwork quilt. Many more wonderful patches fit into this quilt because there are many more wonderful people sewn into the fabric of Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming–our quilt would cover the mountain! Most importantly, this quilt is framed by the patches that are each of you. It’s the friendships that have been brought together by Beth and her team that bind this quilt–memories stitched with love.

Thank you so very much, Dawn, for capturing the warmth that most of us left the mountain with–we can’t say enough how happy we are you spent the weekend with us! A special thank you goes to our many attendees who have allowed us to use their photos for blog posts and other social media, as well as our photographer, Brooke Horn. That’s the best thing about the Homecoming—working together to make it great!

If you find yourself wanting to be a part of one of our quilt blocks, stay tuned! Tentative dates for ticket sales for Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2020 are set for February 2020, and their price will be announced in upcoming weeks. Until then, fill your Droughtlander days with re-reading the Outlander book series, stream the show, or check out our blog archives for more reading!

Outlander North Carolina

Memories of Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, Part 2

November 2, 2019

Part 2 of our great weekend for Return to the Ridge at Leatherwood Mountain Resort–two more attendees share what impressed them the most over the long weekend. Enjoy!

Lane Moore, along with so many others who witnessed Robert K. Rambo’s portrayal of Attakullakulla, Peace Chief of the Cherokee Nation, felt transported back in time:

“I was spellbound. I had gone from enjoying a scotch egg, a cup of coffee and some light conversation with newfound friends to being captivated in a matter of moments. Standing before us in all his glory was the great Peace Chief of the Cherokee, Attakullakulla. Without even needing to close my eyes I was taken back to another time, another culture, another sense of being. The place was the same to be sure, for we all were in the land of his people. We were all instantly aware that we were guests, his guests.

Robert Rambo’s stunning portrayal of Attakullakulla is just one of the unforgettable moments I had while at the Homecoming this year. To have been in such an immersive yet comfortable setting was a blessing and I cannot thank everyone involved enough for the experience.”

Harmony Tersanschi is one of the organizers, but even after “working,” she came away with a sense of family:

Thursday morning: a picturesque sunrise crept over the mountaintop. There was a blanket of fresh dew on the ground, a slight chill in the air, birds chirping, the horses grazing. I could’ve stayed there all day enjoying the sights & sounds. Alas, duty called and our admin team was excited and ready to get the day going! Okay, okay, we might’ve been rubbing our eyes, yawning, and slinging back the coffee, but we were all still super excited! The next few hours we spent finishing up the remaining decorations & readying the Hendrix Cabin for Registration.  Stephanie Bryant and I were manning the Fraser’s Ridge photo booth, so we, of course, had to take a test shot with Jamie & Claire while we anxiously awaited the first attendees to arrive.

The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind of pictures, props, (“I’m only here for the whisky”, and “To bed or to sleep” being some of the favorite word clouds), new-but-familiar faces, moonshine tasting from Copper Barrel Distillery, bagpipes played by Bruce Wright, the Overmountain Men, treasure hunting, fresh roasted North Carolina peanuts from Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts, and tons of smiles. I’m not sure what I was originally expecting, but this surpassed any hope I might’ve had about what that day was going to be like. I’ve never quite experienced being surrounded by a ton of people I’ve never actually met, yet having this sense of being with long-time friends and family. With each new hug and “I’m so happy to finally meet you,” it became apparent that this weekend was going to be like one big ol’ family reunion & I was thrilled to be a part of it!

Rather than talk about each day separately, I’m going to break it down into my different experiences throughout the weekend. Anyone who knows me, knows that the way to my heart is on a plate, preferably filled with yummy fattening food, so I’m starting where it counts……the food! Thursday night was filled with wings, fries, meatballs, chips, veggies and dip, signature Outlander themed cocktails from the bar, and a plethora of desserts and treats. All eaten outside on the picnic tables, with string lights overhead, while the band Celtic Sessions played. It was a hungry gal’s dream & I was definitely hungry but thankfully not dreaming. The rest of the weekend brought North Carolina barbecue from JD’s Smokehouse, jalapeño cheese grits that were to die for, a turkey avocado sub from Saddlebrook Bar & Grill, little tea cakes and cookies, a charcuterie spread that had you wiping the drool from the corner of your mouth with one glance at the table, beef stew with dumplings, chicken stew, roasted venison, mashed potatoes, kale salad lovingly prepared by Dawn Matthews. Last but most certainly not least, we all had a nip of Mary Helen’s Cherry Bounce. This bounce was unlike any cherry bounce I have tried, not that I’ve tried many, but it was delicious! So much so that it might’ve sent a couple of us admin’s scouring the barn for the reserves. (That was supposed to be a secret though, so the story shall be that I thoroughly enjoyed my ONE little glass of Cherry Bounce and called it a night, *wink wink.*)

Next up, let’s talk about classes and workshops. I, along with the rest of the organizer team, spent most of the next couple of days running from class to class, setting up and breaking down, hosting workshops and classes of our own, and taking any spare second we could to stop and chat with the attendees. It was a rush and it was the most fun I’ve had in a very long time! I didn’t sit in on any one full class, but I was able to score a couple of video interviews from two of the presenters. I got to meet the members of the 71st Highland Regiment and get a tour of their encampment as well as sit down with 18th Century Physician, portrayed by Chris Grimes, to hear about common medical practices from that time.

Lessons of an 18th c. Physician from Chris Grimes
71st Highlanders Encampment

Moving right along to the music and entertainment, which was, without a doubt, one of my favorite aspects of the weekend. The bands and musicians that we heard throughout the Homecoming, were phenomenal.  We were so lucky to have The Celtic Sessions, Dogwood, Thistle & Heather, Tom Eure, and Kathy Wallace performed for us throughout the weekend, and I really can’t say enough good things about the entertainment. The musicians, the Warriors of AniKituhwa, the Druid Dance, and Chief Attakullakulla, were all just so wonderful, and a great time was had by all!

Right now you’re thinking, how could it possibly get any better than this right? , well brace yourselves because I haven’t even gotten to the best part. The best and most memorable part of A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming was by far, the attendees! This weekend, most of us met as strangers but we all left as family. We might be a slightly-crazy-mildly-Outlander-obsessed-cherry-bounce-drinking family, but we are now family nonetheless and I will cherish the new friendships made, along with experiences shared, from now until next year when I get to go back and do it all over again! Fraser’s Ridge 2020 or bust……who’s with me?

Thank you, Lane and Harmony, for sharing with us! We hope you’re enjoying our look back on Return to the Ridge: Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2019. There is so much to tell, it’s impossible to keep it in two posts, so, next week, part 3!