About the FHAMC


Who We Are and What We Are:
The mission of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County, NC is to provide living history experiences and to preserve the folk heritage of Macon County for generations to come.
The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and sharing the culture and folkways of our Southern Appalachian Mountains.
By providing living history experiences and hands-on demonstrations, FHAMC strives to keep Macon County’s heritage alive!

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"Linking Our Past to Our Future"


The goals of the FHAMC include the following:


To provide living history experiences and events through education and demonstration to preserve our heritage.

To promote awareness of the need to preserve the folk heritage of Macon County.

To facilitate cooperative relationships in the preservation of our heritage.

To support history projects such as the Women's History Trail, etc.

» Download Our Latest Brochure (PDF Format)


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History of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County

The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC) is dedicated to preserving and sharing the culture and folkways of our Southern Appalachian Mountains. The founding members understood that with the increasing development and changing lifestyles in our county, our priceless heritage was in danger of being lost, simply by our indifference and neglect.  In an effort to continue the work of a 2004 Heritage Steering Committee comprised of concerned citizens that began meeting for the purpose of preserving our heritage, FHAMC was created and officially established as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization in January 2005.

Margaret Ramsey, one of FHAMC’s founders, believed that “In today’s world, we are constantly amazed by the new technologies that make our lives easier; however, we must never forget the hard work and ingenuity of our forefathers that made these advances possible.”

The major goals of FHAMC at the time of its inception and still appropriate today are to provide living history experiences and partner with like-minded groups to promote heritage through hands-on activities to:

EDUCATE: Increase understanding of past generations/history of where we come from;
DEMONSTRATE:  Showcase everyday skills, crafts, and music of our ancestors; and
PRESERVE:  Promote awareness of the need to preserve the folk heritage of Macon County.

FHAMC’s immediate goal was to develop a showcase for demonstrating the everyday skills, crafts, and music of our ancestors.  With wide community support, the first festival was launched in 2004, (later it was renamed the Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage”) and it was held in downtown Franklin on the grounds around the Burrell Building (now Town Hall) and other town areas, i.e., Gazebo, Rankin Square, etc.  From 2004 until 2012, the festival was organized and sponsored solely by FHAMC Board of Directors along with community volunteers. By 2013, it had grown bigger than the volunteer board and other festival helpers could manage, so FHAMC sought a partnership to continue.

In 2013 and 2014, FHAMC was fortunate to collaborate with the Franklin Main Street Program and the Town of Franklin to help co-sponsor this festival offering administrative and logistical help from Main Street Director Linda Schlott.  In order to continue receiving grant funding, FHAMC incorporated paid vendors to help offset costs for the event.  To align with their goals, the FHAMC board decided to set guidelines and only accept Appalachian focused/themed vendors.  And today, those guidelines are still in effect. FHAMC has stayed true to the heritage preservation component in that the Franklin Area Folk Festival is known as a demonstration’s festival first and foremost.

In early 2015, Franklin Main Street Program was re-organized and not able to continue offering administrative assistance or Town support as a festival partner. Typically, it takes the FHAMC Board of Directors and volunteers an entire year to plan the festival.  In order to continue the quality and scope of the existing festival and redirect their efforts, FHAMC decided to take a year off in 2015 to determine the next steps. In the meantime, an opportunity to meet their goal of providing heritage demonstrations presented itself later that year and they collaborated with Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center, another non-profit organization, to co-sponsor a Heritage Day at Cowee School.  This joint endeavor proved successful, and Cowee’s Board of Directors agreed to partner with FHAMC to continue the full-scale Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” at the school which has continued from 2016 until 2023.  For the last several years, Anne Hyder, Claire Suminski and Theresa Ramsey served as the festival’s leadership team, but they decided to step down from this very labor-intensive role after the 2023 festival, leaving a void yet to be filled.  

FHAMC Board of Directors


Some of the previous FHAMC Board Members that served for many years to promote heritage events included:  Shelby Bankston, Ronnie Beale, Cheryl Beck, Craig Berry, Tina Bottomley, Betty Ann Bryant, Charles Bryant, Susie Bryson, Betty Cabe, Joanne Clark, Barry Clinton, Harold Corbin, Kevin Corbin, Shane Corbin, Tex Corbin, Lonnie Crawford, Marilyn Crawford, Randy Dills, Caroline Edmonds, Henry & Judi Fichner, Kathy Flowers, Janet Jacobs Greene, Reed Henson, Martha Holbrook, Farrell Jamison, Susannah Kuppers, Charlie Leatherman, Cassie Mathis, Emma Mathis, Mary Alice McLaughlin, Barbara McRae, Bob Moore, Jane Morgan, Tommy Nicholson, Margaret Perry, Bob Poindexter, Ralph Preston, Margaret Ramsey, Shirley Ridge, Dee Ann Gibson Roles, Ron Schott, Jane Shatley, Evelyn Southard, Chuck Sutton, Jean Swafford, Wayne Swank, Sharon Taylor, Ben Utley, Sue Waldroop, Vince West, Larry White, Wayne Younce and representatives from the Scottish Tartans Museum and the Macon County Historical Museum.

Today’s FHAMC Board of Directors includes two original 2005 Charter Board Members, Theresa Ramsey and Mark West, along with Becky Barr, Keith Bowers, Jenny Collins, Matt Corbin, Claudette Dillard, Joey Gibson, Marty Greeble, Bethany McCall, Susan McCaskill, Kirk Mathis, Sherry Miller, Mia Overton, Mary Polanski, Evelyn Southard, Evelyn Claire Suminski, and Chairperson Anne Hyder. If you have any interest in helping to preserve the heritage of our area, we invite you to get involved and become part of our organization.  FHAMC will continue to provide heritage events and activities to support our goals.



Board of Directors


Officers / Executive Board

Chairman: Anne Hyder
Vice Chairman: Marty Greeble
Secretary: Becky Barr
Treasurer: Theresa Ramsey
Member at Large: Susan McCaskill
Member at Large: Mark West
Director Emeritus: Betty Ann Bryant

Other Members

Keith Bowers
Jenny Collins
Matt Corbin
Claudette Dillard
Joey Gibson
Kirk Mathis
Bethany McCall
Sherry Miller
Mia Overton
Mary Polanski
Evelyn Southard
Claire Suminski

Folk Heritage Association of Macon County NC

"Roots That Run Deep"

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