The characters in the Mitford books are mostly southern, very human, and oh-so-funny. These books make me laugh out loud, and I really love a book that does that. Karon's use of southern dialect is so humorous and realistic; one of the men in the books is always saying "buddyro", which I haven't heard anyone say since I was a child. Having grown up in the south, the characters and dialect really strike a chord with me. But you don't have to be southern to appreciate the books; the people and themes are universal. I imagine if you look around, you can find real-life Mitford's all over the country.
The stories take place in the fictional town of Mitford, which is based on the town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Jan Karon was living in Blowing Rock when she wrote most of the series; in fact,
the first book was printed serially in the small-town newspaper, The Blowing Rocket.
If you liked the books, you might enjoy seeing what some of the real places actually look like; if not, you can just enjoy seeing a really cute mountain town. Unfortunately, Blowing Rock has become something of a tourist destination, so it's almost impossible to to find a time to visit when it's not crowded.
We took a lot of pictures, so this will be a two-part post. You can see Part Two of "Finding Mitford" HERE. The first group of pictures are of the church.
Father Tim's church in Mitford is The Lord's Chapel; the real Episcopal church in Blowing Rock is St. Mary of the Hills.
Isn't this a beautiful church?
There was a small, partially enclosed garden on the side of the church, and this is what I found inside...
"I am the Resurrection and the Life..."
This was one part of the wall around the garden...
Pink David Austin roses... you can see our David Austin roses in this POST.
...and more pink Foxgloves
Does anyone know what these sweet flowers are?
Shasta Daisies below...
One of the pretty lanterns, with some Lamb's Ear, Hosta, and Daisies.
Fox Gloves and Blue Salvia.
Beautiful Ferns, Siberian Iris (?), and Hostas.
The next few pictures are from Blowing Rock Park (Baxter Park in the books). It sits right on top of a hill in the center of the little town.
A patriotic wreath for Memorial Day.
There are several antique shops in Blowing Rock, and all are quite pricey. Wealthy people travel to Blowing Rock from Florida, and many buy vacation homes there. For some reason, this shop just felt like Andrew Gregory's antique shop in the Jan Karon books.
Another pretty church, the Presbyterian church, is right across the street from St. Mary of the Hills.
Beautiful pink Mountain Laurel...
The last group of pictures were taken on a little side street of the town.
I'll do another post with more pictures soon. I hope you enjoyed your trip to Mitford!
I'll be linking to Pink Saturday, hosted by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound and Seasonal Sundays, hosted by The Tablescaper.