By: Olivia James
Our group arrived in Hendersonville on a perfect fall morning. We parked
the car and strolled through the center of downtown. Our timing was
such that as we were arriving in Hendersonville so were the bikers who
had left from Brevard that morning on the Mountains to Coast trail.
Stores were opening their doors to the bustle the bikers were causing
and we were free to stop in.
Downtown Hendersonville is home to a variety of stores, restaurants, bakeries,
cafes and bars. As we explored, we talked to the storeowners about the
area and our project. There seemed to be a general consensus about the
town and its growing population. Hendersonville is now the small town
that Asheville used to be but as Asheville grew, so did Hendersonville.
The population of Hendersonville had grown, according to the shop
owners, because of the influx of vacationers from Florida and the
surrounding areas. Many of the people we talked do had only been in
Hendersonville a few years, emphasizing the fact that the community is
young and growing. The small businesses are coming into the area in
order to capitalize on the growth that they have seen in recent years.
While Hendersonville did have foreclosed signs in some store windows, the
downtown area looked vibrant that day. Many owners attributed the
success of Hendersonville to Asheville tourists who wanted to explore
the more rural areas. Many storefronts have been redone in recent years
to attract more people, but there is still that old, rural, small town
feel as you walk down the street. Hendersonville, like Highlands, is
filled with young people who have relocated for business opportunities,
and the town is growing despite the loss the Highway 64 in the middle of