Cold Mountain Heritage Tour CD

Original Cold Mountain Heritage Tour

The Cold Mountain Heritage Tour (CMHT) was a one day event (or two days some years) featuring living history tours of numerous historic sites throughout Haywood County, but primarily in Bethel where Cold Mountain is located. The 2008 tour was affiliated with Haywood County’s Bicentennial celebration, the 2009 tour was connected to a commemoration of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 75th Anniversary, and the tour in 2010 was conducted in conjunction with the observance of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary. Allowing visits to approximately ten sites per year, the CMHT required a year’s planning and involved approximately one hundred volunteers per year.

Because of the enormous amount of time and volunteer effort required to plan and implement the tour each year, the committee held its last tour in 2011. For six years, tour guides at each location led visitors on a wonderful historic journey. In order to continue the highly-praised historical excursion, the HP Committee has produced a CD Travel Guide of the Cold Mountain Heritage Tour.

Cold Mountain Heritage Tour CD

A Travel CD of the Cold Mountain Heritage Tour is now available for you to take your own self-guided tour. Included are nine of the most popular sites from the original tours, which are easily visited without the assistance of on-site tour guides. Additional discussions about names and sites that have previously not been on the CMHT are featured on the CD.

The nine sites represented on this CD are:

Bethel Presbyterian Church
Built in 1885, this church is the mother Presbyterian Church of Haywood County. Floor to ceiling chestnut interior provides dramatic backdrop for learning about the history of Presbyterianism in Western North Carolina.
Bethel Cemetery
Established in 1854, the cemetery reveals a panoramic view of Bethel Community. One of the most popular sites on the tour, the cemetery is the location of the grave of Inman of Cold Mountain fame. Visitors learn the haunting details of Inman’s demise on Big Stomp Mountain and his burial by his father.
Truss Bridge #79
Haywood County’s oldest ornamental bridge and North Carolina’s oldest working bridge was built in 1893 and transferred to its current site in 1925. Bethel Rural Community Organization has been an important savior of this bridge and its history. The bridge’s unique construction and design make it significant in bridge design, both in the state and nationally.
Inman Chapel & Cemetery
This 1902 Universalist Church was built by James Anderson Inman (brother of Pinkney Inman of Cold Mountain fame). This congregation was responsible for initiating many of Haywood County’s first social programs. Discussions of current renovations, the history of universalism, and stories about the Inman family as revealed by Inman descendents make this a must see site. In the accompanying cemetery. many graves of Inman family members dwell, including grandparents of Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain. In 2009, Charles Frazier surprised tour goers with a visit.
Blanton/Reece Log Cabin
Perhaps Haywood County’s oldest remaining log cabin, this English-style single-unit with shed addition displays dovetail mortising, extremely rare in the mountains. Reportedly built in 1821, this 360 square feet cabin was home to ten members of the Vess Reece family from 1925-2001. Learn how a large family can exist in comfort in such a small space.
Lenoir’s Creek Devon
Location of one of Haywood County’s oldest land grants and is one of the county’s longest continuing working farms (since 1806). The two hundred acre farm was home to several generations of the Lenoir family, including Thomas Isaac Lenoir, first Captain of the Highlanders, Company F of the 25th Regiment of the North Carolina Volunteers of the Confederate Army. Thomas Isaac Lenoir brought Devon cattle to the farm in the mid 1800’s, and this same line of gentle cattle is still living on the farm almost 160 years later. Cattle will be available for viewing. Children may feed the two donkeys on the farm.
Cruso School
Built in 1928, this building ceased to exist as a school in 1966. Today Cruso Community Club utilizes the facility as a community center to promote its many programs. The school houses a mini-library, craft co-op, and a thrift shop. The Community Club has maintained the school building much as it was eighty years ago. Cruso Quilting Club will be demonstrating the art of quilt making on tour day.
Riverhouse Acres
Originally inhabited by Native people of the area, this lovely property is the location of the Forks of the Pigeon River. Part of an original land grant owned by William Cathey, the site became the historic location of camp meetings after which Bethel, meaning House of God, was named. History of Riverhouse Acres is included in Book 1 of Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain.
Osborne Boundary Oak
This tree was in existence in the days before white man settled Bethel Community. General Griffith Rutherford, who pressed against the Cherokee, led his troops by this tree in 1776. Settler Jonathan Osborne purchased a 600 acre tract of land, and this oak tree was listed as a boundary marker in 1792. Learn the tree’s interesting history, including how Osborne family and community members have saved the tree three times.

Additional Information:

  • Sunburst - the largest logging community in Western North Carolina’s history
  • New College Community Experience - A branch of Columbia University in Cruso
  • Riverhouse Acres
  • Colonel Joseph Cathey
  • Calvin Filmore Christopher
  • The County Home
  • Osborne Boundary Oak
  • Garden Creek Indian Settlement

The CD allows tourists to visit the sites included with the understanding that the tourist assumes all liability. Bethel Rural Community Organization and individual tour sites cannot be held responsible or liable for any accident or mishap that might occur on any of the properties on the tour.

Click HERE to view details of some tour sites of the past.

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