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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Discovering Haywood County

Posted October 11, 2007

My first impression of Haywood County was negative. I was five years old and headed with my family to a vacation in Cherokee. The rotten egg odor from a pulp mill in Canton triggered snickers and frowns from my sister Miriam and me.

Today I love Haywood County. It is truly the "Gateway to the Smoky Mountains."

Haywood follows Perquimans in our 100 county tour on Carolina Conversations. Once a week we will profile a NC county. Haywood seemed like a good pick this week with the autumn colors coming into focus.

It is believed that Haywood has the highest average elevation of any US county east of the Rockies. 19 peaks rise over 6000 feet including Cold Mountain of literary and film fame.

Here is an interesting thing I didn't discover until recently about Haywood County. No streams or rivers flow into Haywood. In fact, it is said to be the only NC county where all of the water flows out.

When I was growing up in Morganton we used to play football in Waynesville. It was always the coldest game of the year.

Some other things about Haywood: there is a new Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley featuring 250 antique cars. Also in Maggie Valley is the renovated amusement park Ghost Town in the Sky.

A few questions for you. Can you name a NC governor who grew up in Haywood County?

Can you name NC's first ski resort which sprang up in Haywood?

Welcome to the magic!

12 Comments

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  • bleslie Oct 12, 2007

    Hello to our friend in Ireland! bornbredtarheel, I hope you enjoy some of the great Celtic music.

  • vitameatavegamin Oct 11, 2007

    Spent the first 18 summers of my life at Lake Junaluska...oh, I miss it! Going in to Waynesville was an event and to go to Maggie Valley or Cherokee was a treat! We knew that when we smelled Canton that it would rain that day (wierd meteorological prediction, I know, but it was always true...).

  • gilharpe Oct 11, 2007

    GOV. MOORE WAS MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR WHEN ELECTED IN 1964 THOUGH HE WAS FROM THE MOUNTAINS HE DID NOT DO MUCH FOR THE AREA AFTER HE WAS ELECTED ACCORDING TO MY PARENTS. I WAS THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 4 RGH

  • gabby1 Oct 11, 2007

    Afriend of mine left Charlotte for Waynesville a couple of years ago. She moved up there to open up a family restaurant. It is a log cabin and is called the Bears Den. I have not been there but I know she would appreciate the business if you are in the area. Tell the owner Bari, Donna said hi!

  • bornbredtarheel Oct 11, 2007

    I don't know the answers to the questions. I just wanted to say hi to Bill from Ireland!! I'm a native Chapel Hillian who's visiting for 2 weeks with my dad.

  • missparrothead Oct 11, 2007

    My husband and I went to a wedding at the chapel on Lake Junaluska in Nov. 2005, and it was a beautiful brisk fall wkend. We perused some of the shops in downtown Waynesville, as they were decorating for xmas. What a nice wkend at the Lambuth Inn!.

  • Question Oct 11, 2007

    We love Waynesville! They have a great old-fashioned 4th of July celebration. A true Americana experience!

  • bleslie Oct 11, 2007

    murdock - you bring up a good point. We could do two counties a week, sure.

  • bleslie Oct 11, 2007

    prmoose - you know your stuff! Yes, Governor Dan Moore was from Canton and Cataloochee was the first ski resort. I did not know of his association with the pulp mill.

  • mrtwinturbo Oct 11, 2007

    ummm would that be Beech Mountain Ski Resort?

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