Tryon is an officially designated Historic Town – and now has a sign on the interstate to prove it.
After two hundred years of continuous existence as a beloved home to residents descended from the Cherokee and British settlers, farmers, artists, writers, equestrian eventers and lots of incredibly interesting people, you would think that such a gem of an old fashioned small- town kind of town like Tryon would already be firmly on the map.
Surprisingly, it took until 2015 to become officially recognized by the historic designation types whose job it is to recognize and preserve this kind of specialness. It’s a bit of a mystery because it’s just down the road (literally the same road) up the charming Main Street mountain town tourist trail — to Saluda, Hendersonville, then up to Asheville and beyond into the more extreme mountains of Western NC. Down the same road to the south (five minutes south) is historic Landrum, just over the state line into SC.
But yesterday, after over a decade of perseverance on this project by local town leaders, the “much-prized, official, brown interstate signage” went up on I-26. Last year, the Town of Tryon received official designation from the National Parks Service that its downtown had been approved as an official Historic District to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places . The Downtown Tryon Historic District includes both sides of North and South Trade Streets and the Norfolk Southern Railroad right-of-way between 98 North and 55 South. Trade Streets, including the Rotary Clock Tower Plaza and the Nina Simone Plaza.
Besides a great platform to showcase our small, charming historic town, the National Register designation (and little brown sign) provides many benefits for Tryon. For example, “buildings within the designated district can apply for historic tax credits, creating incentives for new and existing businesses downtown,” said Tryon Downtown Development Association Executive Director, Jamie Carpenter. “Besides increased tourism, the marketing benefits of being a designated historic district will last lifetimes as Tryon moves forward to promote its historic qualities, to attract new visitors, and to distinguish downtown Tryon as a destination,” she stated.
The US Department of Interior’s proclamation on historic designation states “The preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans. Congratulations to everyone who sees the incredible gem of a town we have to preserve and help thrive. It’s a very special place to live.