County North Carolina
Voting in North Carolina N.C. General Election Information
Graham County Sample Ballot Show me my Voter Information
|GRAHAM COUNTY FARMS - EARLY 1950'S
By Marshall McClung
A soil survey of Graham County dated August 1953 contains some interesting facts. The survey conducted by the Soil Conservation Service, N.C. Agricultural Experiment Station, and TVA, contains much more information than just about the soils.
In the crops section it speaks of much of the corn crop being harvested by hand. The tops are cut, the stalks stripped of corn blades, tied in bundles, and stacked in the field. The corn ears are left on the stalk until dried an6 then pulled and taken to barns or corn cribs for husking.
Hay in the steeper sections of the county was cut by hand with a scythe. Pastures had not been considered important before because they had been unfenced and cattle had been permitted to range free. When open range ceased, permanent pastures started coming into existence
In addressing the topography of Graham County, the highest points the book listed were: Big Huckleberry Knob 5,560 feet, (the highest in Graham County); Haw Knob, 5,472; Hooper Bald, 5,429; Little Huckleberry Knob1 5,400; Stratton Bald, 5,400; Laurel Top, 5,350; Little Haw Knob, 5,146; and Cheoah Bald 5,062 feet. (All of these points with the exception of Cheoah Bald are located near the Robbinsville-Tellico "Wagon Train" Road.) Cheoah Bald is located on the Appalachian Trail.
The elevations of some of the "settled" communities were listed as: Robbinsville, 2,064 feet; Stecoah, 2,022; Cheoah, 2,212; and Tapoco, 1,147 feet. Almost two-fifths of Graham County has slopes greater than 60% and over two-fifths of the slopes range between 30 and 60%.
Principal streams listed were the Cheoah River fed by Big and Little Santeetlah Creeks, Yellow Creek, West Buffalo, Big and Little Snowbird Creek, Sweetwater and Tallulah Creek. The Little Tennessee River drains Tuskegee, Sawyer Creek, Stecoah, and Wolf Creek.
The climate of Graham County was described as temperate with no distinct dry season. Summers were said to be mild with cool, pleasant evenings, and high amounts of rainfall. The average temperature during the warm part of the year was 740 Winters were described as moderate with short, erratic cold spells. The average date of the last killing frost was April 25, and the average date of the first killing frost in autumn was October 16. The latest killing frost listed at that time was May 17, and the earliest killing frost they had on record was October 2.
Other interesting pieces of information stated that small sawmills and grist mills powered by water were located on many creeks. Yellow Creek, Wolf Creek, and Atoah Creek were listed as having the potential for hydroelectric power.
The transportation section listed highways 129 and 28 as the hard-surfaced cross county roads. Secondary roads were said to become impassable during rainy weather.
The communities and farm facilities section listed one high school and several primary schools, with several children having to walk a good distance to a bus route. Travel time to and from school was as much as two to four hours for some children. Churches were widely distributed throughout the county within a convenient distance of most homes. The county had seven post offices with most of the county served by rural tree delivery (RFD). About half of the farm houses were painted, almost all had electricity, but many did not have running water.
In 1950, twenty farms in Graham County were listed as having a telephone, 510 had electricity. In 1950, there were 200 automobiles, 160 trucks, and 30 tractors on Graham County farms.
Agriculture was the principal occupation in Graham County then. Crops grown included corn, barley, tobacco, pumpkins, potatoes, hay, and some wheat. In 1950, there were 759 farms listed in Graham County. A little over 22% of the land in Graham County was being farmed with the rest too steep or too heavily forested for farming. Seven percent of the farms were tenant farms.
The 1900 census showed cattle and hogs outnumbering people. The census listed 4,343 people, 4,636 cattle, 5, 547 hogs, and 3,754 sheep.
Thanks to Joe Bonnette for his assistance in providing information for this article.
Agriculture Arts and Crafts Cherohala Skyway Cherokee Nation Churches
Education Election Information Emergency Services Family Resources Fontana Dam
Forestry Facts Genealogy General Information Government Health Care
Hiking/Camping History Local Color Library Map of Graham Co. Media
N.C. Forest Service Real Estate Swan Cabin Sheriff's Department Travel & Tourism
U.S.F.S. District HQ U.S. Forest Service Utility Services Weather Forecast Wildflowers
These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
For additional information on Graham County Adventures
the Travel and Tourism Authority or
go to the Visitors Information Center of the Travel and Tourism Authority Webpage
or call 1-800-470-3790 or 828-479-3790 Fax 1-828-479-4733
This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina