Conserving Carolina to host fundraiser at historic home

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On Friday, Conserving Carolina will offer supporters an opportunity to gather at a unique and historic home.

Charlene and Helmuth von Bluecher have agreed to open their home, Fortuna Farm South, to host For Land’s Sake, Conserving Carolina’s southeast fundraising event.

The home, which dates from about 1790, was formerly owned by Bud and Hope Slater, founders of the Pacolet Area Conservancy, which joined with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in 2017 to form Conserving Carolina.

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The Slaters, who hailed from New York City and Marblehead, Massachusetts, first visited Tryon because of friends who lived there. Attracted by the beauty of the area and its ability to grow tall fescue grass, the Slaters moved south in 1953 with their son, Dave.

The Slaters also bought the old farm house, which at the time was a small and simple home.  Over the next 10 years or so, they completed extensive additions and restorations, all in keeping with the setting amid vistas of fields and mountains.

Bud, always a proponent of conservation, formulated a land use plan for Caroland to control development and protect the beauty of the rural surroundings. He also was instrumental in founding the Pacolet Area Conservancy in 1989.

As the story goes, PAC was conceived at Hope’s kitchen table.

Their home was ultimately purchased by the von Bluechers, who completed their own renovations, including a kitchen clad in tiles made by Claude Graves, who started Little Mountain Pottery with his wife, Elaine.

Charlene, a former home designer, has decorated the home with eclectic furnishings. She says guests to For Land’s Sake Are welcome to browse and enjoy being in her home.

For more information on For Land’s Sake, those interested may call Conserving Carolina’s Polk office at 828-859-5060, the Hendersonville office at 828-697-5777, ext. 209, or visit

– Submitted by Carole Bartol