This is the latest in a series of profiles highlighting the City of Asheville’s vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. The City of Asheville maintains a list of neighborhoods who have registered as official organizations. Each month we will invite one of these to tell you in their own words a little more about the place they call home. If you are not sure if your neighborhood is on our listing, please contact Neighborhood Coordinator Marsha Stickford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shiloh Community Association, Inc
Established October 3, 2000
Location: Shiloh Community is located in South Asheville and is loosely bordered by Hendersonville Road to the west and Sweeten Creek Road to east and north.
What qualities make your neighborhood unique?
Our Motto is “Building on the Legacy, Embracing the Future”
Shiloh is a historically Afro-American intact community established in the 1880’s. Many of the residents are related and their ancestors came from (old) Shiloh which was originally located on the present Biltmore Estate. Most of the homes are single dwellings with front porches. There are four churches in Shiloh. In the early years many people walked to their destinations which included downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village, Biltmore Forest, and Biltmore Estate to work. Shiloh was a thriving village community raising their families with economic stability and resources. This was done with child daycares, elder care homes, grocery stores, a dry-cleaners, auto mechanics, seamstress’s , caters, mid-wives, and lawn care providers.
Who are the people that make up your neighborhood?
For many years the population of Shiloh was mostly Afro-American. Today Shiloh is more diverse with low income to middleclass working residents. There are generations of families still living in Shiloh since the 1880’s. We have people who are teachers, domestic workers, chiefs, judges, lawyers, ministers, and other professional and nonprofessional workers.
What is some of your neighborhood history?
Shiloh (a biblical name generally denoting the Messiah, or the Peaceful One) is the last intact Afro-American community in Asheville, established before 1870 and originally located where the Biltmore Estate is today. In the 1880’s Shiloh was moved to the present location. In 1927, a new, six-room elementary school was erected on a 5-acre site on Shiloh Road next to Shiloh Church. The school was built with public money and a large contribution from the Rosenwald Fund, founded by Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck & Company. The Shiloh AME Zion Church was established in old Shiloh (on the Biltmore Estate). Mr. George Vanderbilt bought the land in the late 1880’s and moved the community, the church, and the church cemetery to the current location. We have seen many changes with the increase of commercial businesses, roadway encroachments, and rezoning and development. The Shiloh Community League (1940’s-1970’s) land located at 59 Hampton St. was donated to the Shiloh Community Association in 2005 for the Community Garden.
What role does your neighborhood play as part of Asheville’s community?
Shiloh is becoming a healthier community through improved housing, health education, exercise, organic gardening, and shared intergenerational activities. Our community role is to work with other neighborhoods to ensure that all are safe, thriving, and effectively meeting the needs of its citizens. We aim to be active in city government through collaboration with our governing bodies and surrounding resources.
What are some of the things you look forward to in the future of your neighborhood?
Continue to progressively implement our 2025 Plan (adopted by City Council September 14, 2010) by completing the Shiloh Community garden amphitheater in partnership with Tupelo Honey Café, develop planned sidewalks, increase street lighting, create more livable wage jobs for residents, reestablish community watch. Continue our partnerships with City of Asheville Parks and Recreation, Police Department, Planning Department, Transit Department and Buncombe County Health Department. Other partnerships include: Neighborhood Housing Service of Asheville, Design Corp. of Raleigh, Bountiful Cities, Center for Participatory Change, Lightshare, The Conservation Fund, Western North Carolinas Communities, Warren Wilson College, UNC-Asheville, WNC WebWorx, YUSA, YMCA, ABIPA, Asheville area Habitat for Humanity, and Anonymous Donors.
Name something that you would like to see to make your neighborhood better?
The Shiloh Community Association would like to see and is in great need of acquiring a Resource Center to better transact community business. A bathroom in needed at the community garden site. The Association needs self sufficient sustainable funding and would like to see increased resident participation in the Shiloh Community Association.