Andrew Meeks loves to tell the story of his family’s cotton gin. “An artisan well was dug in 1917 and still runs to this day,” said Meeks. “I’m guessing the first gin built on this site was about the same time. The gin that is standing now was built by my grandfather in 1947. I would love to see this place on the national register for historic places.”
Meeks said the steel structure was made from steel dating back to 1886 that was taken from a building that was dismantled in Chattanooga. The Meeks cotton gin has a rich history. “We never dreamed one day the old gin would be a public venue for weddings, proms, anniversary parties, and banquets,” said Meeks. “It took three solid weeks of cleaning and some remodeling to turn it into a venue, but it has been well worth the effort.”
Since 2014 Andrew and his wife Whitney have been renting out the old gin to the public. It all started when Andrew and Whitney had their wedding and reception there and everyone loved the photos and wanted to know if they could use the place and a venue was born. The old gin stays booked up all year long except for a couple of cold winter months. Tables and chairs at the venue accommodate 150 guests.
The Meeks wanted to find a way to give-back and thank the community for their support and came up with the idea to do a holiday event. “We call it “‘Christmas at the Gin,'” and hold it annually,” said Whitney. “It grows into a bigger event each year.”
This year a book sale and signing by Author/Meteorologist James Spann will be part of the event. Spann has been a weather anchor for 44 years and has written many books, “Weathering Life” being the most recent one. Spann has served as chief Meteorologist for ABC 33/40 for 25 years. He has won multiple Emmy awards over the years and been the recipient of the American Meteorologist Society award for Broadcast Meteorology.
Spann was one of the first weather anchors in the nation to earn “Certified Broadcast Meteorologist” status from the American Meteorological Society. Among radio and television meteorologist, The CBM designation is sought as a mark of distinction and recognition.
Guests will also hear live Christmas music by Victoria Griffith and band during the entire evening. Free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus start at 5 p.m. Each year the decorations are different and styled by Tonya Gant, this year’s theme is the Nutcracker.
Food will be for sale provided by food vendor Forty six 64. “It is total comfort food,” said Whitney. Arts and Crafts vendors will also have wares for sale which include decorative cookies, shirts, antiques, and more.
The event and photos are free to the public. Event takes place Dec. 2, from 4-8 p.m. Located at 2000 County Road 58, Pisgah. Phone 256-244-4729.