The Asheville Antiques Fair Inc.

Owned and operated by The Vetust Study Club, Inc. The Asheville Antiques Fair, Inc., has distributed proceeds of over $168,000 to numerous community charities while also awarding more than $341,500 to the conservation, preservation and restoration of local historical projects. In total we have donated $509,500 to the Asheville community. Since the late 1990’s, one major project of a conservation, preservation or restoration nature has been selected yearly, though some require the proceeds of more than one fair to meet our pledged amount. We continue to make annual gifts to several community charities each year such as Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, Meals on Wheels, Asheville-Buncombe County Community Ministry, and the Salvation Army.

Recipients include:

Smith-McDowell House and Museum

Asheville’s first mansion and oldest surviving structure is now restored as a history museum. From 1978 through 1996, the club contributed over $80,680 to the restoration and refurnishing efforts of the house and the dependency building. A number of period pieces were purchased from our antiques show dealers including a cradle, a butler’s desk, a dining room table, beds, a spinning wheel, and wicker furniture for the solarium. Included in our donations was $10,000 to the endowment foundation through the Community Foundation of WNC. Vetust Study, Inc.  Club members have made personal donations such as linens and silver.

Pack Place Education Arts

Located in the heart of “uptown” Asheville. The Pack Memorial Library and the adjoining Plaza Theater were renovated and now house the Health Adventure, Asheville Art Museum, Diana Wortham Theater, Colburn Earth Science Museum, and a historical diorama of Three Centuries of Pack Square. Part of this complex includes the YMI Cultural Center. From 1989-1994 we donated $101,500.00 to Pack Place.

Eblen Foundation Children’s Pharmacy

Eblen Charities is a local non-profit that provides services to the families with children who do not qualify for help from other programs. From 1998-1999 we granted their requests for $18,500.

The Asheville Symphony

The Asheville Symphony is a valuable asset to all of Western North Carolina. From 1995 through 2000 over $42,800 was awarded. In 1998, our contributions to date of $25,000, endowed the Vetust Study Club Harp. In 2001, we also donated $1,000 for a children’s concert.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has been building homes in Buncombe County since 1983. In 1996, we contributed $3,000 to a “Women’s House” project, and in 1997 a contribution of $15,000 provided the funding for the “Vetust Study Club” house. In total we have donated over $18,300 to Habitat for Humanity. In 1997, Habitat nominated the Club for the Community Foundation of WNC Raymond A. Hurst Philanthropic Leadership Award. We were honored to receive this award.

Caring For Children

Caring for Children is a non-profit umbrella organization that seeks to create safety and nurture hope in the lives of children and families in crisis. From 1982 to 2002 $30,025 was donated.

The Grove Arcade
Public Market Foundation

In 1997, the City of Asheville acquired title to the Grove Arcade building under the National Monument Act. The Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation was established to oversee the renovation of the building, returning it to a public retail center after more than forty years as a federal building. In 1999 and 2009, the Vetust Study Club, Inc. contributed $20,000 towards this goal. The proceeds from the 2010 Antiques Fair have been pledged to the continued restoration of the historic Grove Arcade.

The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County

A non-profit organization which funds the restoration of historic structures in Asheville and surrounding Buncombe County. In 2009 the Vetust Study Club Inc. contributed $15,000 to the restoration of the historic Edwin W. Grove Office in Asheville.

WCQS Radio Station

The Richard Sharp Smith’s historic Asheville building is currently home to the WCQS Radio Station. In order to better suit the needs of WCQS and to provide a safe work environment, extensive renovations were needed. The fair has enabled us to commit $50,000 over a four year period.

The Urban Trail

The Urban Trail is a self-guided walk through historic downtown Asheville. It includes 30 stations with markers and sculptures. The Vetust Study Club, Inc. selected this project in 2000 and donated the proceeds from the 2001 and 2002 fairs, to create Station One. Due to the redesign of Pack Square and City/County Plaza in which this station would be located, the design has been on hold. The area was completed during the summer of 2008 and the selection of an artist is underway. Our $37,000 pledge from the club will soon be released.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial Home

Thomas Wolfe’s mother ran the “Old Kentucky Home”, a boarding house in downtown Asheville which her son depicted as “Dixieland” in his novel Look Homeward, Angel. After the house sustained extensive damage from a fire in 1998, a request was brought to the Vetust Study Club, Inc. in 2002 for $15,000. These funds were used to restore the dining room mantel and surround, and replace the dining room china.  Additional contributions were used to complete the restoration of the dining room, replace the upstairs curtains and produce a video for their reopening in May 2004. In total, we have donated $25,375 to the restoration of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Home.


  Mars Hill College

The Ramsey Center, is on the campus of Mars Hill College, housing archival resources for scholarship in its Southern Appalachian Archives and Appalachian Reading Room. Extensive holdings include photographs, manuscripts, sound recordings and artifacts; documenting aspects of mountain life/culture of interest to scholars here and abroad - holdings recognized as some of the finest in the southeastern region of the United States.

With the award of a highly competitive Challenge Grant in 2007, the National Endowment for the Humanities recognized the value of the SAA collections at Mars Hill College. The NEH grant will provide $500,000 - the maximum award possible. To receive the grant, $1.5 million must be raised in matching funds by August of next year.

The proceeds of the 2018-2019 Asheville Antiques Fair will be donated to help Mars Hill ensure these materials survive for future generations.


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