Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Land of Oz

Har-Led-01-010.jpg

The Land of Oz theme park opened on top of Beech Mountain in 1970. Originally owned by Grover Robbins, the park design was based on the book and movie The Wizard of Oz. With the help of actress Debbie Reynolds, who attended the opening day ribbon cutting, original movie props were acquired and displayed in a museum at the park. Visitors could ride a ski lift up to the Land of Oz, where they began a tour through Dorothy’s house. Visitors then followed a yellow brick road through the park in order of events in the movie, including a trip in a hot air balloon ski lift. Unfortunately, ownership changes and a fire in the park led to its closing after just 10 years of operation. The park fell into disrepair with many items vandalized or stolen before a local group decided to slowly restore portions of the park. It now opens seasonally several days out of the year for tours.

Experience the original Land of Oz, as best that we can piece together, as you click through our exhibit. You wil start at the entrance to the park where you will begin the journey at Dorothy's house. Through the twister tunnel will lead you to Munchkinland where you will follow the yellow brick road through the park. You will pass by the Tin Man's house, the Cowardly Lion's house, and the Scarecrow's house. The Wicked Witch of the West makes an appearance before you find yourself in the Emerald City boarding a hot air balloon lift. Special chair lifts take you back to the parking lot.

Did you experience the Land of Oz in it's heyday? Did you work there at some point? Tell us your story! (Click on the picture and scroll to the bottom to write a comment.)

Exploring Junaluska: Life in the Late 1970s Captured by Cecil Jackson

Cec-Jac-01-144.jpg

This exhibit features selections from a collection of images taken by Grady Cecil Jackson (1947-1996) in the late 1970s. These images center around Jackson’s life in Junaluska, the historically Black community located in Boone, NC.

Per recommendation from Roberta Jackson (Cecil’s widow) and Lynn Patterson (Cecil and Roberta's daughter), this exhibit will focus on "behind-the-scenes" glimpses of the community, the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church, and the historic installation of the 1979 NASA Mod-1 Wind Turbine on Howard's Knob above Junaluska. Images selected for this exhibit are from the largely undigitized, upcoming Cecil Jackson Slide Collection.

A very special thanks to Roberta Jackson for her assistance identifying people seen within images of this exhibit, as well as for giving digital use rights of the images to the Digital Watauga Project and making this exhibit possible.