Graham County is a fascinating place full of rich history and unique features. Here are seven interesting facts about this North Carolina county:
1. Isolated Geography:
Graham County is located in the western part of North Carolina and is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. It is one of the most isolated counties in the state, with few roads and only a handful of towns scattered throughout its rugged terrain. This isolation has contributed to the county's strong sense of community and unique culture.
2. Home to the Cherokee:
The Cherokee Nation once called Graham County home. The region was part of the Cherokee Nation's ancestral homeland, which spanned parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. Even today, there is a strong presence of Cherokee culture in the county.
3. Author of the "Ballad of Tom Dooley":
Famous writer and folklorist Scott Alworth wrote the song "Ballad of Tom Dooley" in 1959. The song tells the story of the famous Tom Dooley murder case, which took place in Wilkes County, North Carolina, but was later made famous by the Kingston Trio's popular recording. Alworth was actually a Graham County native.
4. Land of the Lakes:
Graham County is home to a variety of beautiful lakes, including Fontana Lake, Santeetlah Lake, and Cheoah Lake. These lakes provide ample opportunities for fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.
5. Home to the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center:
The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit organization located in Graham County. This center is dedicated to preserving and promoting Appalachian art and music, and offers a variety of classes, concerts, and community events throughout the year.
6. Home to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest:
The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is located in Graham County and is part of the Nantahala National Forest. The forest is named after American poet Joyce Kilmer, who was killed in action during World War I. The forest is home to a variety of ancient trees, including some of the largest and oldest poplars in the eastern United States.
7. Home to the "Walk in the Clouds" Filming Location:
The movie "A Walk in the Clouds" was filmed in Graham County in 1994. The film starred Keanu Reeves and was set in a vineyard in Napa Valley, California. However, the vineyard scenes were actually filmed in the grape fields of Graham County, near the town of Robbinsville.
In conclusion, Graham County is a unique and interesting place that has played an important role in North Carolina's history. From its isolation to its deep Cherokee roots, from its cultural arts center to its beautiful lakes and forests, Graham County is a true gem of the state.
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