Built in 1928, this building ceased to exist as a school in 1966. Today, Cruso Community Club utilizes the facility as a community center to promote its many programs. The school houses a mini-library, craft co-op, and a thrift shop. The quilting club has created numerous remarkable quilts that are on display. A mural of Cold Mountain provides a backdrop to the auditorium stage to highlight the famous mountain that casts its impressive shadow upon the entire community. Cruso Community Club has maintained the school building much as it was eighty years ago. The building is open to visitors from June-October. See also Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Book 3, and Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour CD.
The 1902 chapel is the oldest Universalist Church in the state west of Durham. This modest white church was built by Cold Mountain Inman’s brother, James Anderson Inman. The congregation was responsible for initiating many of Haywood County’s first social programs. After an impressive restoration, the chapel recently received North Carolina Department of Transportation and Cultural Resources' historic marker designation for the many unique programs conducted at the church by Minister Hannah Jewett Powell. In the accompanying cemetery dwell the remains of Inman family members, including the grandparents of Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain. All six books of Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain feature information about Inman Chapel and the Inman family. See also Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us DVD and Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour CD.
Garden Creek, according to archaeological assessment, is the location in Bethel of a Native American settlement near the Pigeon River that dates back 10,000 years. The site, accessible off of Highway #110, has been the subject of four separate archaeological digs: 1880, 1915, 1964, and 2011. The Garden Creek location is thought to encompass three Indian mounds and two villages on twelve acres. Data collected at the site points to a farming society in Bethel that dates back 2,000 years. The archaeological survey reveals that three Cherokee ancestral inhabitants of Bethel have been confirmed: the Woodland Pigeon Culture (hunter/gatherer) - 300 B.C. – 200 A.D.), the Woodland Conestee Culture (hunter/gatherer/cultivator of seeds - 200-700 to 800 A.D.), and the Pisgah Culture (maize-based agriculture with trade networks - 800 – 1500 A.D.). A state historic marker commemorates the location of the Native American settlement. See also Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour CD.
Cold Mountain is a dominant mountain in the Bethel/Cruso region of Haywood County, North Carolina. The mountain is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pisgah National Forest, and Shining Rock Wilderness area of the Appalachian Mountain chain.
Cold Mountain is also of historical significance because it lends its name to several books by local authors that delineate Bethel history:
Cold Mountain Hunter by L.D. Griffin.
Cold Mountain Bomber Crash: The Enduring Legacy by Doris Rollins Cannon.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Books 1 – 6, by Evelyn Coltman
In the Shadow of Cold Mountain by Phyllis Inman Barnette
Chinquapin Grove School
The Chinquapin Grove School flourished as an alternating pay/free school in the post-Civil War era. The pocket attendance notebook (1868) of the school's original teacher, William H. Hargrove, lists students along with their attendance record.
R.A. Sentelle, Haywood County's first Superintendent of Public Schools, kept several years of diaries. Sentelle's Chinquapin Grove School diary logs begin in 1874. Sentelle's 1884 diary entry indicates that he ran Chinquapin Grove School for four months as a pay school. That fall he taught a free school at the same location. According to an 1883 entry, he lists approximately forty students at Chinquapin Grove.
The structure was a mutli-purpose building. The entire time the building served as a school, it was also a working post office during the week and a church on Sundays. The log building later became a house and then a barn. Norman Long has restored the log school house to become a small museum.
Calvin Filmore Christopher
Since his death in 1940, civic minded people in Haywood County have desired to honor Calvin Filmore Christopher, Bethel resident who is generally considered to be one of North Carolina's most prolific inventors. BRCO members are finally able to recognize the man whose genius led him to introduce mechanical inventions that have changed the ease with which society functions. On NC Highway #110 near Max Thompson Road a marker, produced and funded by BRCO and individual members, pays homage to the almost forgotten inventor.