Pingree and Charity Plott built their home on a knoll on a portion of his father’s land which, at the time, comprised approximately 900 acres. At the time of Pingree’s death, land holdings contained 1,311 acres that included the large white two-story Victorian detailed L-shaped wooden frame structure built by the Reverend Jesse Stalcup in 1876. The nine rooms allowed sufficient space for the couple’s five sons and one daughter. Several members of the household contracted tuberculosis, evident by the blue window panes said to be soothing for patients suffering from consumption. Plott operated a mill and farmed the land. For more information about the Plott House and family see Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Book 1. See also Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us DVD.
Riverhouse Acres currently comprises a house, a campground, and an organic garden alongside the Pigeon River at the location where the East and West Forks of the river merge. A part of the original William Cathey land grant, the site was, according to oral history, probably utilized by the Native Americans who inhabited the area. The location became a popular site for religious camp meetings during the 1800s. Bethel, meaning “House of God,” changed its name from the original Native American moniker, Sonoma, as well as its Forks of Pigeon reference, to its current name as a result of the religious fervor that encouraged local citizens to prefer the Biblical reference for the community’s name. For more information about Riverhouse Acres see Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Book 1, and Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour CD.
The Rutherford Trace march proceeded through Bethel and beyond in 1776. General Griffith Rutherford and his more than two thousand troops conducted a scorched earth progression against thirty-six Cherokee villages in order to eradicate Cherokee resistance to white settlement in the area. A state historic marker commemorates the historic trek on Highway #276 across Waynesville Mountain. See also Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us DVD.