Nantahala on the route

Taking the Train: Nantahala

Swain County
Altitude: 2,025 feet

Text excerpted from The Western North Carolina Section at a Glance, 1912 (p. 38):

"The village is located on the charming Nantahala River, from which it takes its name. It is in the midst of a fine hardwood lumber region which is being developed most profitably. Located in the vicinity, too, are marble and granite quarries which, to a very great extent, are awaiting capital and enterprise for their development. The scenery about Nantahala is magnificent. Within a short distance of the village is Cheowah Bald, one of the boldest and most picturesque mountains in this section. By following a rough trail for a distance of five miles from Nantahala, one may reach Steecock Bald, which towers 5,000 feet into the sky."

From Holman D. Waldron’s With Pen and Camera thro’ the “Land of the Sky” (1904) exemplifies the steepness of the mountains which helped inspire the name “Middle Sun,” or more romantically “Land of the Noon-day Sun.”

In conjunction with this view in Holman D. Waldron’s With Pen and Camera thro’ the “Land of the Sky.” (1904), the guide states that “the Murphy branch of the Southern Railway passes for more than a dozen miles ... By many this gorge is believed to be the most picturesque and beautiful in western North Carolina...”

Nantahala in the 1890s

To the West: Topton directions To the East: Hewitt

Nantahala in the 1930s

Return to the Southern Railway Map for the 1910s

Text excerpted from 1912 travel guide, The Western North Carolina Section at a Glance. Issued by the Passenger Traffic Department, Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South, Washington, D.C., 1912.

Sources & Readings

  • George, Michael. Southern Railway’s Murphy Branch. Collegedale, Tenn.: The College Press, 1996.
  • Huddleston, Dale, ed. Swain County, N.C., Centennial, 1871 – 1971: Official Souvenir Centennial History. Waynesville, N.C.: The Mountaineer, [1971].
  • Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society. The Heritage of Swain County, North Carolina, 1988. Bryson City, N.C.: Swain County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1988.
  • Waldron, Holman D. (text). With Pen and Camera thro' the "Land of the Sky" -- Western North Carolina and the Asheville Plateau. Portland, Me.: Chisholm Bros., 1904.