I collect post cards featuring YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly. Blue Ridge Assembly is a YMCA conference center located in Black Mountain, NC (outside of Asheville). Founded in 1906 and hosting its first group in 1912, it hosts various youth and adult conferences, professional conferences, family reunions, and camps. Over time, I began including other Blue Ridge and supporting memorabilia.
Blue Ridge Assembly has changed names a few times. When the assembly was founded it was named Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training, but was known as just Blue Ridge Association. In 1933, after a reorganization, the name was changed to Blue Ridge College (not to be confused with Black Mountain College which started at the assembly in the same year). In 1944 the name was changed to Blue Ridge Assembly when ownership was transferred to the YMCAs of the South. Only a few cards use the long name of Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training, most just use Blue Ridge Association. No post cards are identified as “Blue Ridge College,” instead “Association” was still used or simply “Blue Ridge NC” was used. The first post card in my collection, with a postmark date, the use the word “Assembly” is a handwritten postmaster card in 1947. The first post card with the printed word “Assembly” is 1948. See the Blue Ridge Timeline for other important dates in Blue Ridge history.
The main and oldest building is Eureka hall (formally known as Robert E Lee Hall). Other buildings include: Heaton Hall (formally known as College Hall), Asheville Hall, Abbott Hall, Hibbard Hall (were Martha and George Washington Halls used to be), Blue Ridge Center, Washburn Center, Weatherford Hall, Younts Hall, Gym, and lots of cottages. Other areas include: tennis courts, Warner swimming pool, Ware Pavilion/Harry H Brace Indoor Challenge Center (formally the pavilion), Alpine Tower and Challenge Course, fields, playgrounds, hiking trails, and a lake. For a PDF map of the Blue Ridge, click here.
Post cards offer a unique glimpse of the past. Places where buildings once stood and areas once used are now empty or used for other purposes (i.e.: the old Dining Hall behind the Lee Hall, the pool / lake by then Lee Hall, outdoor tent areas) . New buildings have been built where post cards once showed empty spaces (i.e.: Blue Ridge Center). Take a walk through history to see some of the changes.
In the early days, Blue Ridge had its own post office in the basement of then Lee Hall. The post office opened in 1913, became a rural branch of Black Mountain in 1955, and closed in 1974. While the post office was in operation, cards were postmarked “Blue Ridge NC.” Cards in my collection with “Blue Ridge NC” postmarks range from 1914 to 1958. In the very early days the mailing address was simply “Blue Ridge NC” (no street address or ZIP Code). Today the mailing address is “84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain 28711.” See the Post Office History and Postmasters-Postmarks pages for more information on the post office.
Thumbnail views of the front and back of all cards are provided. At first glance a card may seem identical, but upon close inspection you will find small differences. Small differences can include: a slight difference in the picture, different roof colors, different front caption, different reference number, different location of the reference number, different stamp box, back paragraphs, different publishers, or different publisher markings. Some cards have been printed by several publishers. Scans have been done of each variation so you can see how post cards have changed. See if you can find the differences. If you need help use the Post Card Variations pages. Every used or postmarked card has been scanned so you can experience a first hand account of Blue Ridge history.
Enjoy your walk down Blue Ridge memory lane. There are lots of cards and items in the Extra Collections, so take your time and come back often. Cards are added as my collection expands. New additions are highlighted on the Collection Index Page.
On the index pages, click on any thumbnail to see a larger image. Click “Return To Image Page” (on the top or bottom) to return to the index page for that image. On the larger image pages, click on the image to move to the next image our use the “Previous Enlarged Scan” or “Next Enlarged Scan” links.
Cards are arraigned by publisher. The extra collection follow the Blue Ridge cards. For more information on card names and publishers, see the Publisher’s Page.
For more information about Blue Ridge Assembly visit www.blueridgeassembly.org The Collection Index Page lists post cards by image name, description, postmark city, and postmark date.
If you have any questions about these cards or if you have cards to sell or trade, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org