Murphy in Cherokee County NC
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Murphy, North Carolina the County Seat

The town of Murphy is a charming and picturesque mountain town that anyone would be proud to call their home. Situated here in the center of the county on a hilltop at the convergence of the county's two main rivers, the Hiwassee River and the Valley River near the highway junction of US 19/129/74 and US 64. The town was named after a North Carolina legislator named Archibald Murphey; a misspelling of his name became the town's present identity.

Originally the town was called Huntington after Colonel A.R.S. Hunter who established a trading post and post office here in 1835. The county itself was formed in 1839 from a portion of neighboring Macon County, yet the town of Murphy wasn't officially incorporated as the county seat until 1851.

Though it is just one block off the main crossroads in downtown Murphy, the historic blue marble courthouse displays a presence of dignity and prosperity the county has always aspired to. The workmanship of the courthouse's exterior is composed of a regal eloquence that is quite captivating in its architectural design. This blue marble structure was constructed from local "high quality" marble quarried in the Valley River region to the northeast. The courthouse standing today was completed in 1925 at the height of the local railroad boom and it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cherokee County Courthouse and Episcopal Church

Across the street is the beautiful and brilliantly white painted Episcopal Church of the Messiah, built in 1895. The church stands directly across from the courthouse, you can see the direct contrast in church and government, but here it finds symmetry in an abstract statement of, "the law is the law no matter what side of the street you are on."

First United Methodist Church of Murphy North CarolinaFacing east at the main street cross roads you can't help but notice the strong and stately First United Methodist Church, it was constructed as a modified "Modern Akron" in 1922.

The broad main streets at this downtown intersection are lined in historic buildings. The scene depicts a time when life was much simpler; the nation was young, and growing strong and the downtown district was the central life force for the people in the community.

Today Murphy is a friendly small town with big ideas and has brought that synergy back to life revitalizing the downtown area as well as many other areas of town. Not only in the historic downtown district, but also throughout the town you will find a nice blend of unique shopping.

One of the many special features of Murphy is the fairly large selection of creative eateries, casual pubs, and family restaurants. As well as fine dining establishments with creative and gourmet menus you won't find in most small towns, and the best part is the prices are very reasonable. So whatever your particular craving is, you will find a variety of delectable entrées and treats to your delight.

Amongst the many great old historic homes and structures in the Historic Downtown Murphy District, you'll find the Robert Lafayette Cooper House, a Queen Anne Victorian built in 1875. The house has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here along these historic streets are plenty of sights to be seen and some sights that are unseen. Several historic markers line the curbs along the main streets of downtown Murphy.

Heading about two blocks south along Peachtree Street is a historical marker that reads, "Juan Pedro, in 1567 an expedition of Spaniards, set out from Florida by Pedro Menendez De Aviles and led by Juan Pedro passed near here."  At the downtown intersection of Peachtree and Hiwassee Street yet another marker reads, "Cherokee War, Major George Chicken of South Carolina, led the first English Military Expedition against the Cherokee in this area 1715." Apparently new folks have been visiting the Murphy area for nearly 500-years, that's impressive.

War MemorialThe one historical marker that seems to be missing is one for the patriot and courageous leader General Griffith Rutherford who led an expedition in 1776 of 2,400 Continentals over the Swannanoa Gap (just east of Asheville) heading into the deepest reaches of Western North Carolina to put down a Cherokee uprising spurred on by the British against the patriot colonials who were at war with King George of Britain for independence.

It is said he established his headquarters here at today's town of Murphy, while he organized his North Carolina frontiers men and joined forces with nearly as large a force of men that came up from South Carolina. Their mission was to crush the Cherokee, some of which were raiding settlements in the eastern Blue Ridge Foothills country of North Carolina. At hearing and seeing of the size of this force, the Cherokee took their families and headed into the forest for protection due to the massive amount of firepower Rutherford's men were willing to unleash on them in retaliation for the massacres of frontier settlers. The route of his campaign against the Cherokee blazed a trail that would become several of today's major highways through these Western North Carolina Mountains accomplishing it in a record amount of time. This route is known as Rutherford's Trace.

Next door to the Cherokee County courthouse is the Cherokee County Cherokee Historical MuseumHistorical Museum located in the historic red brick Carnegie Library building. The curator would like everyone to know that the museum is now handicap accessible and fun for the entire family.

Bear outside the Cherokee Museum in Murphy NCThe museum houses both the Cherokee County Historical Museum, an Interpretive Center for the Cherokee County Trail of Tears and a hub for the Cherokee Heritage Trail. The history displayed at the museum reflects the local community heritage of its cherished mountain folks along with local Cherokee residents whose ancestors have called Cherokee County home since prehistoric times. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail is being presented at the museum in its own exhibit as well as an exhibit on the Unicoi Turnpike National Millennium Flagship Trail. The Unicoi Turnpike also known as the Trade Path, Northwest Passage or the Unicoi Gap Trail, was one of the most used ancient routes through the mountains connecting the lands to the east beyond the mountains, with the Cherokee Overhill Towns in the Tennessee River Valley to the west.

Up on the hilltop in the historic district of Murphy is the old Harshaw Chapel constructed in 1850; in Greek revival style. This historic church is visible from the courthouse to the left of the white Episcopal Church across from the courthouse.

The Harshaw Chapel is no longer used today by it's original congregation's descendants and newly received members. They moved over to the historic First United Methodist Church at the end of Valley River Avenue.  Today, Harshaw Chapel is in the caring hands of North Carolina's Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A lot of history has taken place here within this hallowed hall, with much of its historic past still remaining in the cemetery next to the chapel.

One local celebrity and controversial figure at rest in Harshaw Chapel graveyard is a man named Abraham Enloe. Abraham was said to have in his hire a servant girl named Nancy Hanks. I first heard this story while doing a profile on Rutherford County, North Carolina.

It is the same Abraham Enloe buried in Murphy, that's mentioned in Rutherford County. Members of the Friends of Abraham Lincoln Birthplace are petitioning for his DNA to prove he is the true father of Abraham Lincoln. I found this to be an interesting story, especially the claims concerning the facts within President Abraham Lincoln's biography and the historian hunter's claim, I do have a hunch of my own but that's too much to go into here and now.

On the north edge of the old historic downtown district, is Konehette Park. Konehette is the Cherokee word for "valley." The park runs along the Valley River as it makes its way through town. The new Wellness Center and Pool located in the park are a welcomed addition to the town of Murphy for residents and visitors alike.

One of the unique geographical features of Murphy is its location where the Valley River merges with the Hiwassee River at the mouth of a foothills' gorge. Due to this geographic feature, The Heritage Partners have extended the river park trail around the river junction to the other side of the historic downtown district creating a loop through downtown and back to the park along its historic residential neighborhood, a great way to enjoy the beauty of the river and downtown Murphy.

This 3-mile trail skirts along both the Valley River and Hiwassee River, which form a conjunction on the north end of downtown Murphy. You can pickup the trail either at Konehette Park along the Valley River or at the Historic L&N Depot next to the Hiwassee River and bridge. The trail offers three different types of trail surface, from sidewalk or asphalt, to gravel and dirt, and the Highlander's favorite wooden decking located over areas of overflow water along the Valley River bank. It's the River Walk's more rural and natural habitats section that I find to be the most serene. A deck overlooks the 'Place of the Leach' where there is bench seating plus an information plaque depicting the Cherokee leach legend. There are two, canoe put-ins along the River Walk, one located on Payne Street and just off of Hiwassee Street near the old Depot. The Murphy River Walk is sponsored thru fund-raisers and devoted volunteers.

Going southward from downtown Murphy on Hiwassee Street, at the bottom of the hill along the river's edge is the historic 1887 L & N Depot. Though a rail line had been planned to reach Murphy since 1855, it didn't officially arrive until 1888 due to delays. The first delay was caused by the Civil War, then the bankruptcy of the Western North Carolina Railroad Company in 1866. The railroad company started once again in 1877 finally reaching Murphy in 1888.

Once the rail line was finished it opened the region for the commercial export of natural resources such as lumber, iron ore, marble along with other minerals and local goods. The rail line brought new arrivals to the region as well as bringing in needed outside goods and luxuries. Although the railroad no longer travels through Murphy, this rail line began an era of prosperity in the town of Murphy that is still enjoyed today.

The bridge from the old rail line that crossed the Hiwassee River is gone with the exception of the original stone pile-on supports standing in the river and some of the old rail line tracks are still in place. There still remains several of the old rail line warehouses near the depot, some restored or remodeled, others awaiting the process. The L&N is a great sight for railroad buffs and the bright red caboose makes for a good photo opportunity.

Set high on a hilltop on the opposite bank of the Hiwassee River to the southwest above the peninsula of today's downtown Fort Butler in Murphy North CarolinaMurphy, once sat the early 19th century Fort Butler. Its sole purpose was to process the local Cherokee who had been rounded up for removal west to Oklahoma. It was called the Indian Removal Act by Congress, putting General Winfield Scott in charge of 7,000 troops to aid him in collecting the Cherokee who didn't want to leave their homelands and escort them with force if necessary, westward along the infamous "Trail of Tears." This was not a glory assignment for the general, forcing these people from their homes didn't sit well with him; although he carried out his duties just the same. The few Cherokee leaders who signed the new treaty went ahead of the main body of Cherokee being removed. With "gold" being discovered in North Georgia and the State of Georgia willing to use its own prejudicial force if necessary, these individuals and others who supported the treaty decided it was best to "go west" rather than taking a chance of total extinction under the threat.

Too many of the Cherokee died along the way due to poor planning on both the government and some Cherokee leaders' behalf, with the government pushing the urgency to meet the treaty removal deadline along with inhospitable weather, a long dry hot summer followed by a very wet and cold winter. Many of the Cherokee perished from broken hearts alone, grief stricken just waiting to collapse along the torturous journey. It's a tale the Blue Ridge Highlander will tell in full one day, hopefully soon.

All that is left of Fort Butler, constructed in 1837 is a stone marker. The property is privately owned now, a small park setting has been landscaped and an engraved stone marker identifies the site. Looking northward from the site of Fort Butler, you can see the junction were the two rivers meet before entering the bluffs and gorge regions that begins at the southern end of Lake Hiwassee.


Blue Ridge Highlander's Gallery

Highlander Fine Arts, Authentic Mountain Photography and Fine Crafts

The Highlander Gallery
When you are visiting the Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains, a stop by the Highlander Gallery is well worth your time. The Highlander Gallery represents some of the finest artists in the mountains.  With a large assortment of Fine Art Photography and Fine Crafts as well.

Here are a sampling of the artists you will find....Anthony Abreu • Michael Bedoian • Juanita Greenspan • Linda Thompson • Tonya Fowler • Jason Fowler • Chris Jones • Les Smith • Chuck Waldroup • Joe Waldroup • Billy Reynolds • Randy Rowe • Thomas Payne •  Frances McCord • Rita Poole • Clive Poole • Marla McCormick • Don Milsaps

Wednesday - Saturday 11:00 ish - 5:00 ish
10079 Old Highway 64  •  Brasstown, NC  • 828.835.9982  •

Food & Drink in Murphy NC

Parson's Pub in Historic Downtown Murphy NC
Lunch •  Dinner • Great Beer

The Parson's Pub
We believe in old fashioned, face to face, friendly conversation. You will not find any televisions or loud music. Just a warm place to feel at home and enjoy...

We pride ourselves on our extensive beer menu (over 50!). Talk to one of our "Beervangelists" to help you try a new favorite! If you request a beer we do not carry, we will attempt to get it!

Monday - Saturday    11 am - 10 pm
19 Tennessee Street • Murphy, NC 28906 • 828-837-4151  •  Parson's Pub Web Site

Menu    Become a Beervangelist    Facebook

White Water Rafting Mountains

Rafting on the Ocoee River

White Water Rafting on the Ocoee
The Ocoee River is often described as the roller coaster of the southeast. Come experience what has been called the greatest white water center in the world.

Professional river outfitter with over 30 years experience. Our safety record is unsurpassed in the industry. We believe our staff is simply the best in the business. Guides are chosen for their character and enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors with you.

Call today to start your adventure...828-835-3275  •

Rafting on the Nantahala River

White Water Rafting on the Nantahala

Experience this unforgettable whitewater adventure through the gorge. The Nantahala is exciting, and a great time, but not as wild as the Ocoee.  This is a river that you can bring children on as young as seven years old.

Experience the excitement of Patton's Run, the fun and splash of Tumble Dry, the rush and roar of riding Class III Nantahala Falls. For a bigger thrill, try taking one of our Duckies down the river!

Call today to start your adventure...828-835-3275  •

Zipline Canopy Tours

Zip Line Canopy Tours...Nantahala Gorge • Chattooga Ridge • Asheville • Pigeon River

Canopy Tours on the Nantahala Gorge, Chattooga Ridge and Pigeon River

Whichever course you choose you are sure to enjoy the newest outdoor adventure to hit the US.

All our courses offer a soaring and gliding experience naturally fueled by a gradual drop in elevation. All trips offer fully guided tours with 2 or more Rangers on at least 10 zips, 4 bridges beginning with a training course at each location.

Call today to start your adventure...828-835-3275  •


Adventure Camps in the Mountains

Guided Fishing Trips

Real Estate & Property Management in Cherokee County North Carolina

Property & Cabin Rental Management

Great Mountain Properties & Cabin Rentals in now accepting additional cabins

Great Mountain Cabin Rentals

Whether you purchased your mountain home as an occasional getaway, an investment, or the destination of your future retirement, we realize the importance that it be respected as your home first and foremost.

It is our objective to provide you with both quality property management as well as a rental program to help offset some of the expense of owning a 2nd home. Through the combined knowledge of all of us at Great Mountain Cabin Rentals, we have the expertise to help you understand and create a Great Mountain Cabin Rental.

896 Green Cove Road  •  Brasstown, NC 28902  • 828.835.3275  •

Cabin Rentals & Lodging in Cherokee County North Carolina

Great Mountain Cabin Rentals

Great Mountain Cabin Rentals
We are proud to represent the finest cabin rentals in Murphy North Carolina and the surrounding area. We have a nice selection of cabin and vacation rentals with excellent amenities in beautiful and peaceful mountain settings, at very reasonable prices. It is our pleasure to help you find the perfect cabin or vacation rental whether you are looking for a romantic weekend, a girlfriend's getaway, fishing trip for the guys or a family retreat. It is our goal to help you plan the best mountain getaway available.

828.835.3275  •

Heaven's Ridge, Luxury Mountain View Cabin

Heaven's Ridge, Luxury Mountain View Cabin
This beautiful, custom, luxury cabin will absolutely blow your mind. Take all of your cares and worries away, while you enjoy peace and quiet this private estate has to offer during your stay. Heaven's Ridge is located on 42 acres on top of a mountain with phenomenal mountain views all the way around. WOW! is what you will say each and every time you look out the windows of this cabin or spend time on any of the large decks that surround this home.

828.835.3275  •  Heaven's Ridge

Perfect View Luxury Pet Friendly Cabin Rental

Perfectview Hideaway
Luxury "Pet Friendly", Hot Tub Cabin located in Murphy NC.  Perfect View Hideaway offers great views with lots of covered and uncovered decks. This cabin has upscale furnishing and exceptional decor throughout.   Perfect View Hideaway has 2 full living/great rooms both with large flat screen TV's and satellite service. Both living areas also have gas fireplaces.

828.835.3275  •  Perfect View Pet Friendly Luxury Cabin

Fox Den Pet Friendly Cabin in Murphy NC

Fox Den Getaway
Luxury Pet Friendly, Cabin Rental located in Murphy NC. Fox Den is a recently built cabin offering mountain views with covered and uncovered decks. This custom designed cabin has upscale furnishing and exceptional decor throughout. Fox Den has 2 Master Bedrooms with private baths. King master has a rustic stone shower in the bathroom. Second Master has a Queen Bed. There is also a Queen size sofa bed in the living room. Fox Den has a 3 large flat screen smart TV's with Cable one in each bedroom and one in the living room, also wireless Internet service throughout. If you are looking to get away to the mountains in style, this is the cabin for you.

828.835.3275  •  Fox Den Pet Friendly Cabin Getaway

My Mountain Pet Friendly Cabin in Murphy NC

My Mountain Cabin
This sweet cabins offers 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 2 fire pits. Just .2 miles of pavement (not gravel here) from Highway 64 and 5 miles from the Tennessee lines allowed quick access to the Ocoee Recreation Area for a great deal of adventure fun. One bedroom (queen) is located on the first floor and the second is the loft (king) offers and additional 1/2 bath and small office area/reading nook. The kitchen is well equipped and has beautiful granite counter-tops. The Flat screen TV offers satellite service and the cabin comes equipped with Internet and wifi. The first fire pit is located in a gazebo off the main deck and is gas for easy convenience.  The second fire pit it down a short walking deck staircase and is wood.  Great for making s'mores and telling stories.

828.835.3275  •  My Murphy Vacation Cabin

Cozy Bear Cabin

Cozy Bear Cabin
Sit back and watch your cares float away on the hammock in the large screened in porch; rock till your hearts content in the rocking chairs or sit by the brand new fire pit on the spacious deck. This cabin is within a few minutes to town. This 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom cabin sleepy 4 comfortably with a queen size bed and private bathroom connected to each bedroom. Brand new large screen smart tv's (living room and bedrooms) will allow you to stream your favorite movies or watch the game.

828.835.3275  •  Cozy Bear Cabin Rental

Riverside Retreat on the Nottely River

Riverside Retreat
The ultimate retreat for your mountain get-away! Perfect for the family or a romantic get-away. This comfortably furnished, Non-Smoking, two bedroom, two full bathroom, cabin home is nestled on the banks of the widest portion of the Nottely River. Rumor has it, that the fishing has been great this year. Enjoy spending your morning on the large river front deck as you watch the water go by. The yard is a great place for kids to run around. The winter months you will enjoy the wood burning fireplace.

828.835.3275  •  Riverside Retreat

Reese's Retreat Close to the Ocoee

Reese's Retreat
Brand new cabin with all the amenities. Located close to Ocoee River this sweet 2 bedroom, 2 bath cabins is great for families. Master on main has a king size bed while the living room has a pull out couch and the loft bedroom has a queen size bed making this cabin sleep 6 comfortably. The main level of the home has a nice size, well equipped kitchen for all of your cooking needs. The open dining area seats 6 along with a nice dining table on the wrap around porch for that seasonal evening meal.

828.835.3275  •  Reese's Retreat

Bear's Den, Pet Friendly Cabin

Bear's Den, Pet Friendly Cabin
Mountain View Cabin with Community Hiwassee River Access. This cabin is located only 15 minutes to town and the road is paved the entire way. Pet Friendly and WiFi access, Bear's Den is a beautiful cabin offering 3 bedrooms, one king in the loft and one queen on the main floor and the lower level has 2 sets of twin size bunkbeds, a bonus room with a queen size bed on the lower level, a pull out sofa and 3 full bathrooms. Dog friendly offering a large amount of decking with a gate for your pup to run around and enjoy. A side screen in porch allows for great outdoor dining or that morning cup of coffee, the sunrises are amazing.

828.835.3275  •  Bear's Den, Pet Friendly Cabin

Sunset Ridge, Pet Friendly Mountain Getaway

Sunset Ridge, Pet Friendly Mountain Getaway
Sunset Ridge offers a wide range of amenities and is the perfect getaway for any occasion. If you are looking for the perfect family retreat, you have found it. Sunset Ridge with Great Mountain Cabin Rentals is the perfect place to escape the big city with your family. With 3 bedrooms, a beautiful scenic porch, and a basement filled with a pong table, foosball table, and air hockey table, there's enjoyment for the whole family. Sunset Ridge has a fully stocked kitchen, indoor fireplace, a gas grill, outdoor seating, and a range of mountain views perfect for sitting by the fire pit and making s'mores with your family!

828.835.3275  •  Sunset Ridge Cabin

Running Waters, Luxury Hiwassee Riverfront Cabin

Running Waters
Running Waters sits above the beautiful Hiwassee River in the historic town of Murphy, North Carolina. This wonderful riverfront cabin offers you private escape with scenic views and direct access to the Hiwassee River, a special treat to any getaway.

Whether it's a romantic getaway, restful family vacation, or a holiday away from home, you'll be treated to comfort in our luxury riverfront 3 bedroom - 2 bathroom home.

828.835.3275  •  Running Waters

Wild Wolf Lodge, Luxury Hot Tub Cabin

Wild Wolf Lodge
Huge cabin with main level king master suite, and private bath, 2 bedrooms upstairs, 1 with 2 twins, 1 with a king bed, twin beds, trundle twin bed and a private balcony, 2 additional king beds on Terrace Level. Terrace level also has a large recreation room with full size pool table, 2 dart boards, full size bar, brand new flat screen Smart TV, and an over sized battleship game. Step outside to the large hot tub, fire pit area and even a tree-house for the little ones.

828.835.3275  •  Wild Wolf Lodge


North Carolina Campground

Murphy/Peace Valley KOA

Peace Valley Campground
The beauty and solitude of the Mountains make our KOA an ideal spot to settle in and relax for a while. Located one mile from Harrahs Cherokee Valley River Casino, we offer spacious RV Sites, fully furnished Deluxe Cabins, and Tent Sites along the scenic Valley River. At the campground, guests can wade into the water to cast their lines for trout in the stocked river, take a dip in the pool, catch up on news and sports in the game room, spend time with family and friends, and simply relax. Then get settled in and head out to explore our beautiful area. You're just a short ride to the Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon. Visit Fields of the Wood Park, hop on a mountain train, or join in a class at the famous John C. Campbell Folk School. Piney Knob Hiking Trails are just around the corner. Fires Creek, Lake Hiawassee, Nantahala, and Fontana are great natural areas to visit.

800-562-9382   •   117 Happy Valley Road   •   Marble, NC 28905  •  Murphy Peace Valley KOA Campground



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