Richard Chase (1904-1988), American folklorist and author, once called this site home, which he named "King's X" (meaning "time out" or "rest") after purchasing four acres in 1958. King's X was also home to Chase's non-profit community center where he hosted The Council of The Southern Mountains and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. The community center also helped connect locals, students, and volunteers to economic, recreational, cultural, educational, religious, and health resources. The King's X property consisted of an "Overhouse" that contained Chase's library and study, Chase's personal residence called "Woods Edge House," a community house called "Homefree," a root cellar, a "Wild Garden" filled with rare wildflowers, and a spring (Spice Creek) for swimming.
Chase's letters to Dean Trivette (1946-1989), of Meat Camp, illuminate the special place that King's X became in the development of their romantic relationship. By late 1965, Trivette had moved to Berea College and King's X had mysteriously burned down. However, the memory of this mountain retreat and the budding companionship he had with Trivette there inspired correspondence between the two for almost two decades until Chase's death.
Richard Chase Papers. Appalachian State University Special Collections.
Watauga Democrat (Boone, NC). Digital NC.