NORTH CAROLINA AMERICAN INDIAN TIMELINE - NC Museum of History
WNC BEFORE EUROPEAN CONTACT - Native Americans of the western North Carolina mountain region included Cherokee, Catawba and Cheraw
More info: hendersonheritage.com/cherokee-catawba-cheraw/
Smallpox epidemic decreases the number of Cherokee in NC by 50%
1754 - 1763
French and Indian War fought between England and France throughout the colonies.
1776 - 1783
War of Independence - Revolutionary War
Buncombe County formed and includes all of Western North Carolina.
Later, Henderson County - 1838, Transylvania County - 1861.
Late 1700s - Land Grants to Revolutionary War Patriots
Settlers claiming land and living in or near the Etowah Valley included:
Early Families & more: hendersonheritage.com / Etowah
Lambert Clayton - 1791
James Davidson, William Davidson & Benjamin Davidson - 1783
Martin Gash - 1794
Joseph Henry - 1783
Andrew Lyda (Lyday) - 1794
Charles McDowell - 1783
Robert Orr - 1794
1795 - 1920
Speculation Land Company era, Tench Coxe et al. Numerous transactions for the buying & selling of large tracts throughout Western North Carolina, then re-selling to new settlers
1800s early (year unknown)
Orr Cabin on Etowah School Rd - John & Jane Clayton Orr build their homeplace along what is now called Etowah School Rd
Claytonville Post Office established, Penrose area (Transylvaniaheritage.org > timeline).
Other sources may differ on this date and location.
1812 - 1815
War of 1812, US & Britain
Beulah Baptist Church established
Burns Creek School established
Joseph Leander Gash was born on the homestead of Alfred and Mary Livingston Gash, off Holly Springs Rd. Later in life, Joseph donated land for the Etowah Train Depot.
1838 - 1839
Cherokee Trail of Tears
Henderson County established. No county seat decided until 1841
1st Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions (CPQS) convened at home of Hugh Johnson in Horse Shoe.
Robert Thomas, 1st appointed Sheriff by CPQS, term of office: Served 1839 - 1844. Sheriff Thomas supervised the special (vote) referendum in 1841 that determined the location of the county seat.
Joseph Henry, Revolutionary War Patriot and early pioneer settler, buried at Old Beulah Baptist Cemetery
1838 - 1841
River Party v. Road Party - Location of Henderson County seat determined by controversial special election
“Drought of WNC, widespread failure of crops on mountain farms” (highway marker, ncmarkers.com P-46)
City of Hendersonville chartered
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church established
Transylvania County established
Civil War begins. NC votes to secede from US.
Robert Thomas, former Henderson County sheriff (1839 - 1844) living with his family in Pleasant Grove section of Etowah Valley, murdered by bushwhackers on his farm (area of Thomas-Fletcher Cemetery, Bright Farms Inc, and other properties)
Civil War ends
Hopewell School established
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians created December 1868, Cheowa (Robbinsville NC)
Oak Forest School established
1878 - 1880
Joseph Leander Gash returns to Henderson County from living in Adairsville GA with wife Margaret and three children.
Two significant railroad events that shaped WNC and Henderson County
1. passenger and freight train service began from Charleston SC to Hendersonville NC
2. the Swannanoa Tunnel was completed, and by October 1880 train service connected Asheville to Salisbury and all of east NC
“Mountain Lily” launched in Horse Shoe. 1885, runs aground near King’s Bridge after flash flood.
John W. & Harriette L. Jeudwine home of the Welsh Colony, aka “The Meadows.”
Charleston Earthquake Rattled North Carolina
August 31, 1886, at 9:50 PM, the largest earthquake ever recorded on the east coast of the United States. Registering between 6.6 and 7.3 on the modern Richter scale, the quake cracked chimneys and plaster walls across North Carolina.
Money Post Office established, later renamed Etowah. First postmaster James A. Collins operates a store about two miles north of present site of Etowah. He names the post office “Money.”
Postmasters, brothers Ozark & Hugh Greer, mother Rebecca Brittain Greer.
Etowah Presbyterian Church established on Turnpike Road, near Holly Springs.
1st Sears Catalog published
Deed to land for train station, donation from Joseph L. Gash to railroad H&BT&T Co
Money Train Station built, later called Etowah (Old Hwy 64 & Etowah School Road). Railroad service from Hendersonville to Brevard, later Rosman & Toxaway.
Train wreck at trestle crossing French Broad, Etowah / Horse Shoe
1896 or 1897
Etowah “colored school” near Joshua Ridge Road. Number of years of operation unknown
Postmaster, Joshua M. Laughter
Money Post Office renamed "Etowah"
Spanish American War
Etowah Mission (Episcopal Church Asheville) met at Oak Forest School until 1906
Postmaster, James A. Laughter
Box Brownie Camera introduced by George Eastman
Railroad service to Lake Toxaway begins
Rural Free Delivery, RFD, comes to Etowah
Chestnut trees carrying blight enter US at NYC port
Etowah Methodist Episcopal Church, white frame church on present site. Previously, worship was held at Belew’s Chapel (Pine Lake subdivision), circa 1904 (?). Now called Etowah United Methodist Church.
Orr cabin sold to George W. Weese
Margaret Stewart Gash placed classified ad in Montgomery AL paper for boarders. In 1913, Valley View Hotel (the Gash home) was listed as boarding house in tourist publication for WNC.
Shape Note Sings began at the Methodist Church. William Walker, aka “Singin’ Billy,” renowned SC Baptist composer visits sometimes.
Etowah Institute established, operated by Methodist Episcopal Church. Closed (when?)
1913 - 1918
McKinna & Son general store in Etowah - collection of store ledgers. Location?
Postmaster, Pearl G. Gash (1883 - 1971). Post Office located in Gash home, later moved to the train depot.
First telephone in Etowah. McKinna's store ledgers have notes about messages taken by telephone.
1914 - 1918
World War 1
1916 July - August
July, the Great Flood of 1916. August 13, a month later, Lake Toxaway Dam broke.
Etowah Baptist Church organized, met at Oak Forest School.
1920 - 1933
Moland-Drysdale Corp. began operations, aka Etowah Brickyard
1921 - early 1930s
Carr Lumber Co. operated a rail spur from Etowah to Mills River. Eubank Road near the golf course is on the old railroad grade.
Etowah Post Office moved from Gash home to Train Depot
Etowah Baptist Church built
1928 - 1960
Etowah High School built in 1928 as one room schools consolidated throughout the county
NC passes law to require drivers license
Whiteside's Service Station, Tuff Whiteside (1874 - 1962)
Etowah Grange established and began meeting at Etowah High School (source: Hy-Tower school newsletter 1937)
Ecusta Paper Corp. begins operation in Transylvania County (Pisgah Forest) bringing jobs to the area. Flax fibre used to make cigarette paper and more.
1941 - 1945
World War II
Etowah Train Station becomes a "non-agency station," no agent on duty. Freight trains continue to use the tracks until 2002. Pearl Gash retired as postmaster August 1948. Post office is relocated.
Charlotte's WBTV, the first television station in the Carolinas signed on
Olin Industries purchased Ecusta in Transylvania County. Production shifts to include cellophane in 1950s.
1950s - mid
Iron bridge over French Broad River on Etowah School Rd was replaced with bridge in use today. [need NCDOT verification]
1956 - 1958 ?
New Hwy 64 reconfigured through Etowah. Original road renamed Old Hwy 64. Another source states new Hwy 64 was completed in 1954. [Need NCDOT verification]
1956 - 1959
Grange building built on Brickyard Road. Became branch library in 1985. Today, the WCCA.
See HISTORY IV
The last "Carolina Special" train service to Hendersonville and beyond
Gash home and property purchased by developer Lloyd Ducote. A large part was developed into the original Ingles Shopping Center. Today's Etowah Shopping Center.
Ingles Grocery opened in its first location, the Etowah Shopping Center
Olin Industries / Ecusta plant closed. Last freight cars on Southern Railway, Hendersonville to Brevard. Tracks no longer in use.
EcustaRails2Trails, LLC purchased the rail corridor to create the ~19 mile Ecusta Trail between Hendersonville and Brevard