History of Rutherford County North Carolina

Rutherford County founded in 1779, borders a natural gateway into the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the oldest operating county government seat in Western North Carolina with a wealth of new world history whose Colonial frontier was settled long before the American Revolutionary War.

During colonial times many Scotch-Irish and some English pioneer families traveled down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania and Virginia.

These hardy settlers were looking for a new start along the western frontier when they made their way into this region of far Western North Carolina in the mid-1700's. These colonial frontier families formed a new life for themselves in a wilderness country that was being pressed on both sides by outsiders as well as their own adversaries within. To the east lay British tyranny pressing with taxes, military power and government, to the west in the mountains of the Blue Ridge lay the Cherokee nations whose warriors pressed back hard against the advancing settlers, declaring “no more yield to native land.” To make matters worse, within the colonials own new settlements were families loyal to the British Crown, the Tories.

Abraham Lincoln...FYI

Here’s a FYI.  I have now come across at least two possible locations in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Foothills concerning the late President Abraham Lincoln’s possible birthplace and the possible identity and burial grounds of his father.  The birthplace is in the town community of Bostic in Rutherford County and his possible father's burial site is in far Western North Carolina's mountain town of Murphy in Cherokee County. Since the true identity of Lincoln’s father is debatable and unsure, it is believed by some local Rutherford County residents that they have found the actual birthplace of President Lincoln in their beloved county. Members of The Friends of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace insist that the nation’s 16th president was born less than 2-miles from the Bostic Lincoln Center, which is located in a former train depot at 112 Depot Street.  These members believe that a foundation of large rocks at the top of a hill near Puzzle Creek once supported the home of Abraham Enloe, who they believe to be Lincoln’s real father. It is said that Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks, lived with the Abraham Enloe family in Rutherford County and Lincoln was born there between 1804 and 1806 rather than the popular belief that he was born in Hardin County  Kentucky on February 12, 1809. The group is currently lobbying the government for a DNA testing to verify their claim.

After the Civil War, agriculture remained the county’s principal resource, including some illicit moon shinning along the outer skirts of the county. In 1874 Rutherford County began a new generation of industry with the first textile plant opening and then closing just a few months later due to a large fire. In 1885, R.R. Haynes and S. B. Tanner started their own textile industry in the county and built a cotton mill. Haynes and Tanner built a mill village with homes, a school, a company store and helped build churches to provide for their employees. Later, others came and built textile mills and villages as well. These textile companies were all located near the center of Rutherford County, along the railroad lines, which spawned several communities to grow together side by side. Towns such as, Forest City, Spindale, Avondale, Cliffside, and Ruth along with a few other smaller communities developed from the growth of the textile industry. Rutherfordton the county seat also got involved with the textile movement.

These mills brought steady work and much needed household cash to folks who toiled long hot days on the local farms for generations. Rutherford County gladly received this new influx of currency from the textile industry, which improved the quality of life for their local residents causing many local businesses to prosper as well.

In the dawn of the early 20th century something unique began to take hold, something that would put Rutherford County on the geological tourist site map of fame and recognition.

In the year 1900, standing atop the summit of Chimney Rock, Dr. Lucius B. Morse was awe struck and inspired by the magnificent beauty and wonders of Rutherford County’s Blue Ridge Mountains, foothills and valley lands.  As a result, he began an obsession that would continue over the next two decades.  In 1922, Dr. Lucius B. Morse and his investors began work in the region of Hickory Nut Gorge to create a resort attraction that would consist of a white water river, a large man-made lake and a geological natural wonder that has drawn millions of visitors to the area for over a century, Chimney Rock Park.  Today Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is renowned for its natural geological wonders and is one of the most popular state parks visited in all the Blue Ridge Mountains.

For nearly 250-years, Rutherford County along with its rich heritage has grown and prospered through its agricultural, textile and now its tourism industry, along with being a historical gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Adventure and Family Fun in Rutherford County

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Come for the views discover infinite possibilities- 75-mile views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure, unique hiking trails, 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls, amazing rock formations, guided rock climbing and signature special events.

Preferred Lodging in Rutherford County

Golden Valley Vacation Cabin Rentals

Peaceful, private and relaxing" describes our selection of impressive vacation home and log cabin accommodations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Our getaway destination have gorgeous mountain views. Located between Hickory and Asheville, 15 miles south of I-40 on NC Scenic Byway, Route 226, in the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, our cabins are within minutes of many of North Carolina's most visited mountain attractions.

Luxury Real Estate for Sale in Golden Valley North Carolina

Luxury Cedar Log Home for Sale in Golden Valley North Carolina

If you're looking for a private Blue Ridge Mountain getaway, far away from the stress of everyday life, yet close enought to Asheville for all the conveniences you could want, Summit Lodge is that place.

No detail was overlooked when building this custom cedar log home, including choosing property with an awe inspiring mountain view. Perfect for a full time residence, a family getaway in the mountains with future retirement plans or a corporate retreat.

Visit Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills...