Fletcher Arts and Heritage Association (FAHA) had its beginnings in the fall of 2003 when a small group of like-minded people got together to discuss the Town of Fletcher’s future identity. FAHA was officially incorporated as a North Carolina non-profit in October 2003, and received its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in 2009 that permits all donations and gifts to qualify as tax exemptions. Having been in existence now for more than ten years FAHA continues its mission with zeal and dedication to the community of Fletcher.
Consequently, even before its incorporation as a non-profit organization, FAHA board members decided to first of all explore Fletcher’s history in a way that would allow native residents to relish their past and provide newcomers with an opportunity to find out what kind of town they were living in.
The first FAHA project was a series of 12 lectures entitled “Do You Know Where You Live?” The town’s history was presented by local storytellers and experts in various fields. Topics ranged from historic architecture to tales of Fletcher in the Civil War. DVDs of these presentations are available.
Fletcher is an old mountain community that began when the Samuel Murray clan established a family inn and stagecoach stop to cater to drovers herding their livestock along the Buncombe Turnpike. They had such extensive land holdings that the area became known as Murrayville. The first post office opened in the Murray Inn in 1827 with William Murray as its postmaster for the Limestone Township. The name was changed from Murrayville to Shufordsville in 1852 after the new Postmaster, Jacob Rhyne Shuford. When Dr. George Washington Fletcher was appointed postmaster on September 15, 1886, the name was changed to Fletcher and remains so today.
The Town of Fletcher was officially incorporated in 1989 as its character began changing from that of a traditional Appalachian village to a place where new housing developments were bringing in many young, middle class families who often had no local roots. In fact, Fletcher rapidly reached point where its population was younger, by several years, than any of the other communities in Henderson County. Seeing this disconnect between its younger population and the town’s older history, FAHA works to bring the two together through its historic and cultural activities.