History@Hand is a consulting firm formed in 2001 by Jan Schochet and Sharon Fahrer. Currently it is solely run by Sharon Fahrer and specializes in applied history, collecting people’s stories and putting research into usable forms such as interpretive panels, exhibits and books. Projects often center on community history using a combination of oral history collecting and primary material research (documents).
Sharon Fahrer moved to Asheville in 1996 partly because of its rich history and architecture. People drawn to Asheville often reinvent themselves. Sharon is a recovered environmental planner turned history detective. She began the Family Store Project with Jan to capture the memories of people who knew Asheville’s downtown in its prime and to better understand her adopted home. Armed with a a B.A. in Geography from Clark University and a Masters of Urban Planning from Wayne State University, she has volonteered many hours to the Montford community. For the last nine years Sharon has been the coordinator of the Montford Music and Arts Festival and is the past editor of the Montford Newsletter. History@Hand has grown to offer walking tours, step on bus guides and provides interpretive panels for buildings and outside exhibits. Sharon has done extensive work creating an archive on Jewish Life in Western North Carolina at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Most recently she chaired the 37th annual meeting of the Southern Jewish Historical Society in Asheville.