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CARTWAYS PROVIDED ACCESS THROUGH HISTORY
By Marshall McClung
In reality, the road has its name through historic origins, along with other cartways in Graham County including what is now called Mill Creek Circle. In addition, part of the access to the new Robbinsville School on Sweetwater Road travels over a former cartway.
Cartways probably got their name from the old days when ox carts were in use. The North Carolina statute governing cartways was established in 1867. Its purpose was to allow a landowner to gain access to a public road through adjoining property. The purpose of the original statute was to primarily give farmers access to the main road to transport farm products. The statute covered farming practices, timber cutting, mining, and access to private cemeteries. The statute (NCGS 136~69) was amended last year to include single family homesteads.
The statute was also used when a large tract of land was divided between heirs to give them access to their inherited portion of the property. Most of the old original cartways provided for a fourteen foot right of way including ditch lines.
An old cartway started on what is now Old Tallulah Road near the Gerald Postell residence, crossed Tallulah Creek and entered U.S. Highway 129 near the present Mill Creek intersection. It continued past the present location of Mill Creek Storage. A corn mill sat in about that location then. It continued around what is now Mill Creek Circle and came back into U.S. Highway 129 near the Rube Rogers property and continued on to the Sweetgum Community.
Records in the Register of Deeds and Clerk of Court Offices in Graham County show cartways being granted by special proceedings continuing on into the 1930's and 1940's. There are probably later ones than that.
The recent legislation brought about changes affecting property development in North Carolina. One is a restriction that the cartway cannot be more than thirty feet in width including cuts, fills, and ditch lines. A property owner requesting a cartway must compensate the landowner providing the cartway. The amount of compensation is determined by the Clerk of Court in the county in which the cartway is being granted.
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These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
For additional information on Graham County Adventures
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This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina