North Carolina-Haywood County-May 28

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-May 28

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

Haywood County came into existence in 1808 after it was carved out of then existing Buncombe County. It’s population is slightly under 60,000 and its county seat along with its largest city is Waynesville, NC.

Map below shows Haywood County outlined in red.


Haywood County is located in the mountains of North Carolina and it has several storied peaks including Cold Mountain at 6,030 feet. Cold Mountain was also a novel written by Charles Frazier and made into an award winning movie in 2003.

cold mountain

A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway will have you come across Cold Mountain.

sign cold mountain

Even in 2016 Haywood County gets to be part of movie filming.

The towns of Canton and Waynesville will be the backdrop for the fictional town of Mission Grove, North Carolina, in an upcoming movie called “Chasing Grace” that have started filming locally this past month.

The movie, is a faith-based story of a pastor’s family and a tragic accident that threatens them. This turn of events leads to complex betrayals between two brothers who blame each other. But the concluding message of the film is forgiveness.

Also a film coming out in September of 2016 called Mastermind used Hazelwood Elementary School in Waynesville, NC as a staging area/base camp for a shoot taking place nearby. The movie is based on an inside bank robbery that occurred in Charlotte, NC.


The Loomis Fargo bank robbery that occurred on October 4, 1997 resulted in the theft of 17.3 million dollars from the regional office vault of Loomis Fargo. It was a story of some crazy decisions.

The crime involved vault supervisor David Scott Ghantt, his married girlfriend Kelly Campbell (a former Loomis co-worker), her friend Steve Chambers, his wife Michelle Chambers and four other co-conspirators.

The first group known to inhabit the area of Haywood County was the eastern Native American tribe of the Cherokee.  William Holland Thomas (1805-1893), a native son of Haywood County, was leader of the Cherokee during the early 1800s.  Raised with the Cherokee tribe, Thomas or Wil-Usdi (“Little Will”) grew to love the Cherokee people because of their community and loyalty.

william holland Thomas

Thomas dedicated himself to study law with the ulterior motive to protect the Cherokee from the encroaching white civilization.  In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota called for the U.S. military to remove the tribe from North Carolina, but Thomas worked passionately to keep the Cherokee at their home in the western mountains.  Thomas, the only white man to be chief of the Cherokee, was finally able to secure thousands of acres for the tribe.  The land was bought with Thomas’s own money, and the Cherokee became citizens of the state due to “Little Will’s” fervent loyalty to the Native Americans.




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