BRCO’s Historic Preservation Committee has done more to collect, record, and make available the rich oral and documented history of its locale than perhaps any other community organization in the region. In addition, the committee’s documentation has extended to other areas of Haywood County, thereby creating a more comprehensive understanding of Bethel and Haywood County history.
The Historic Preservation Committee produced seven historic tours involving hundreds of visitors and volunteers, created three DVDs and two CDs, collected twenty-six art prints of historic sites in Bethel that have been featured in four art venues, produced six books, edited and republished two student-created books, established a local historic signage program with five markers erected, saved a historic tree with seedlings and a historic bridge, created a Pigeon Valley Award for Historic Preservation which has honored ten local citizens, supervised a Girl Scout Gold Award, supervised an Eagle Scout Award, been responsible for two National Register of Historic Places designations, and facilitated a Gertrude S. Carraway Award for historic restoration from Preservation NC. The organization has received six state history awards from the NC Society of Historians, become a site on the Haywood County Quilt Trail, selected as a site on Blue Ridge National Heritage Area's Heritage Trail, and received the prestigious Mountain Heritage Award from Western Carolina University. BRCO is included in an ethnology and a book for its rural and historic preservation directives.