By Johnnie Grant –
The historic Montford neighborhood recently dedicated five interpretive history panels mounted on bus shelters along Montford Avenue.
The panels display bygone scenes and African American heritage where passersby can glimpse information about the area.
These displays celebrate the diversity of the community and give brief histories of the neighborhood through its prosperous times and struggles. The first is located in front of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. The next four are mounted on two bus shelters at the intersection of Montford Avenue and Cullowhee Street.
Also present to commemorate this occasion were the relatives of Tempe Avery. Tempe was the famous African American nurse who delivered many babies in Asheville area, both black and white.
Before the Civil War, Avery was owned by Nicholas Woodfin, a state senator and the largest slave owner in Buncombe County. In return for her loyalty and service to his family, Woodfin gave Tempe Avery land in the Montford community, which she passed on to her descendants. The Montford Recreation Center is being renamed in her honor by Asheville Parks & Recreation Department.