Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 22
From left: Carole Johnson,Ray
Castro and Kirstin DeMaio have
purchased the "Walton" home.
North Carolina Teen House Opens for
On the Rise
Lillian Chase, 13, is slated to play MerleFest next April.
There's a rising star on the old time traditional music
scene. You may have already heard of Lillian Chase
of Weaverville, North Carolina, but if not let us introduce you to this inspiring 13-year-old. At age four,
she started taking classical violin and fiddle lessons.
Her practice and connection to some famed Blue
Ridge musicians has taken her to the next level-the
release of her first CD: "Lillian Chase Playing Favorites: Old Time Bluegrass and Ballad," which came out
"I regularly see local musicians Arvil Freeman and
Roger Howell and enjoy learning tunes from this area
and hearing stories about their music," says Lillian.
"I also go to a local jam that Bobby Hicks leads and
have learned so much bluegrass and Texas swing music from listening to and playing with him."
In addition, she says, "I met Bruce Molsky at Swannanoa Gathering, took a class from him, and fell in
love with his bowing style and his singing with the
fiddle. He inspired me to take a little bit that route
and add it into my repertoire."
Want to see Lillian perform in person? She says
she's thrilled to be included in the lineup of MerleFest
2018, held April 26 - 29. Ticket prices and other details at merlefest.org.
Earl Hamner Jr's boyhood home, to the cheers of
Walton-Hamner fans worldwide, is now open daily for
tours. The home, in Schuyler, Virginia, was purchased
by Ray Castro, Carole Johnson and Kirstin DeMaio
(Waltons Hamner House LLC) in August. The price was
listed at $249,000.
"Our main reason for purchasing the home, is to preserve Earl Hamner's legacy," says Ray Castro. "We wanted to make sure that the house continued as a Virginia
Historical Landmark that is open to the public."
The Hamner home is a separate entity but will be
working in conjunction with the Walton's Mountain
Museum and their neighbors at Ike Godsey Store, the
Schuyler Baptist Church and the Walton's Mountain
Country Store on an interactive map on the website to
inform the fans of "All things Walton related" before
their visit to Schuyler, Castro explains.
The Hamner home is open seven days a week from
10 am to 4 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Walton's
Mountain Museum. Photos of the Hamner family in addition to several antiques specific to the show have been
"We want the fans to feel like they are home again,"
-Marla Hardee Milling
-Becky Robinette Wright