America’s First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment

Thursday, Mar 23, 7:00pm

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

159 Chestnut St.

$5 students with ID, seniors, active military, EBT cardholders, $7 general admission


America's First Forest tells the story of how Carl Schenck, a German forester, came to America in 1895 to manage the forests at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. He not only helped restore the land there, he established the country’s first forestry school and helped launch the American conservation movement. The documentary film is produced for the Forest History Society by Bonesteel Films.

Enjoy a Thursday night in Blowing Rock with dinner and a movie!

Here’s how it works: pick up your ticket anytime during museum hours on the day of the film, and present it at Bistro Roca for a 10% discount on your meal (offer only valid the day of the film). Then, come on over to BRAHM for a film and discussion.

Movies at the Museum features films by North Carolina filmmakers, films about the arts, and about the history and culture of the Appalachian region. Complimentary popcorn will be provided, and the film will be followed by a discussion facilitated by a special guest speaker.

Speaker: Bill Alexander, Landscape and Forest Historian at the Biltmore Estate

A lifelong resident of Western North Carolina and a Vietnam veteran, Alexander studied forestry and horticulture at Haywood Technical College. He has spent 39 years at Biltmore – the first half in hands-on management of the estate’s extensive gardens, grounds, and forests, and since then as a landscape and forest historian.

Alexander is the author of three books on the history of Biltmore’s gardens and grounds as well as numerous articles for magazines and journals. He is currently working on a book about the history of Vanderbilt’s Pisgah Forest and Biltmore’s forestry legacy. He continues to dedicate his time to research and documentation of the estate’s landscape, forest, and agricultural history, and archaeological resources to support its ongoing management and preservation as a National Historic Landmark. Alexander served on an advisory committee for America’ First Forest and appears as one of several commentators in the film.  


Movies at the Museum is sponsored by Bistro Roca.  



 Movie Trailer

During the filming of America’s First Forest.

Photo credits: Three forestry students constructing volume tables as they measure logs felled in a forest. Courtesy of Forest History Society, Durham, NC.