Weaving Room of Crossnore School
Backstory and Context
The Crossnore School is a nonprofit foster care residential program of Avery County that has served the state of North Carolina since 1913. Ever since 1920, this school has offered a unique student work program which gives students an opportunity to learn the craft of weaving (Alvic). The weaving program was founded by Dr. Mary Martin Sloop, a medical doctor who moved to Avery County in 1911 and desired to upgrade a one-room schoolhouse with greater education opportunities (Alvic). Sloop once said “It is not only material to help the students, but it makes a change in their attitude toward life” (Henion).
The first weaving program of Crossnore was originally based on Berea College's Fireside Industries, which was also known for teaching weaving (Alvic). Eventually, the Crossnore School built a “weaving room” for its crafting programs. When the original weaving room burned in 1935, Sloop appealed to the Daughters of the American Revolution, who helped construct a more permanent, stable, and durable building made of stone. This unique historical edifice still stands to this day (Alvic).
Some of the original statements of purpose from when the Crossnore Weaving Program was first created read “To keep alive an almost forgotten art” and “to cherish in young people of the mountains a reverence for this art” (Henion). The original aim of the school was to achieve these aims while simultaneously providing livelihoods (Alvic). This unique program has also been supported by local residents, who offer instruction and employment opportunities. The primary goal of the Crossnore Weaving Program is to raise funds dedicated to bettering the lives of the children of Crossnore, while also providing education on a traditional form of arts and crafts (Alvic).