Altitude: 1,858 feet
For years Whittier had thrived as a community along the Murphy Branch of the Southern Railway. The town, however, suffered economic setbacks in its major economic sectors, notably logging operations, and with the onset of the Great Depression in 1930. An article entitled “Introduce Bill to Repeal Whittier Incorporation” in the January 19, 1933, issue of the Jackson County Journal (Sylva, N.C.) indicated that the “introduction of this bill came as a result of a petition presented by the citizens of Whittier, which was reported to have been signed by all except one citizen of the town.” Later that month, on January 26, the General Assembly passed an act to repeal the town’s 1907 charter.
The comment in the article to Col. Raymond Robins refers to a prominent prohibitionist who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared in 1932. Robins was a national figure who had made an appointment to meet with President Herbert Hoover in early September 1932. Instead, he disappeared and a nation-wide investigation began into his whereabouts. Finally, in mid-November, Carl Byrd Fisher, a 13-year-old boy in Whittier, N.C., recognized Robins from a picture in the Grit, a nationally distributed newspaper with a strong following in rural areas of the country. Robins arrived in Whittier by bus from Asheville, N.C., and spent considerable time hiking in the surrounding forests. After he was identified and taken to a medical facility, speculation on his disappearance centered on amnesia.
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