Asheville recreation center renamed in honor of Montford midwife


At its Oct. 24 meeting, Asheville City Council unanimously approved a resolution to rename the Montford Recreation Center to the Tempie Avery Montford Center.

Tempie Avery worked as a nurse and midwife in both the black and white communities of Asheville’s Montford neighborhood, after her emancipation. A former slave of the Nicholas Woodfin family, she became well known and respected in her community in her own right.

Tempie Avery was conveyed a plot of land at 34 Pearson Drive by the Woodfin family, where she resided until her death in 1917.

The present day Montford Recreation Center is located where her house once stood. Thanks to Cathryn McLeod and Martha Warren (a descendant of Ms. Avery’s) for their work on this community-led proposal.

A historic plaque will be installed onsite at a later date.


This Asheville Citizen-Times article recalls Tempie Avery’s contributions to her community:

Visiting Our Past: Getting to know the freed slaves of Asheville