Bethel Rural Community Organization
Cold Mountain Tours
The Cold Mountain Heritage Tour, sponsored by Bethel Rural Community Organization, will occur 3 times in 2011. The first event will be Thursday, August 11, beginning at 9am. Reservations are required for the tour by calling 828.646.0303. Each tour can accommodate up to 30 people, and all tour goers will travel to the same site at the same time. Lunch will be served at Jukebox Junction, and the price for lunch is included in the $25 tour reservation. The Cold Mountain Heritage Tour is a day-long event, winning praise for the thorough presentation of information by tour guides. Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Books 1-6, and the DVD developed by Bethel Rural Community Organization, Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us, will be for sale during the tour.
2011 Cold Mountain Tour - August 11
2011 Tour Locations
Bethel Presbyterian Church – All tour goers will meet at Bethel Presbyterian Church on Sonoma Road by 9am. A caravan of drivers (or bus) will travel to the second site on the tour.
Truss Bridge #79 – Haywood County’s oldest ornamental bridge and North Carolina’s oldest working bridge was built in 1893 and transferred to its current site in 1925. Bethel Rural Community Organization has been an important savior of this bridge and its history. The bridge’s unique construction and design make it significant in bridge design, both in the state and nationally.
Inman Chapel & Cemetery – This 1902 Universalist Church was built by James Anderson Inman (brother of Pinkney Inman of Cold Mountain fame). This congregation was responsible for initiating many of Haywood County’s first social programs. Discussions of current renovations, the history of universalism, and stories about the Inman family as revealed by Inman descendents make this a must see site. In the accompanying cemetery. many graves of Inman family members dwell, including grandparents of Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain. In 2009, Charles Frazier surprised tour goers with a visit.
Blanton-Reece Log Cabin – Perhaps Haywood County’s oldest remaining log cabin, this English-style single-unit with shed addition displays dovetail mortising, extremely rare in the mountains. Reportedly built in 1821, this 360 square feet cabin was home to ten members of the Vess Reece family from 1925-2001. Learn how a large family can exist in comfort in such a small space.
Jukebox Junction (lunch) – A favorite Haywood County eatery, known for its good food, fifties décor, and working Jukebox.
Lenoir Devon Acres - Location of one of Haywood County’s oldest land grants and is one of the county’s longest continuing working farms (since 1806). The two hundred acre farm was home to several generations of the Lenoir family, including Thomas Isaac Lenoir, first Captain of the Highlanders, Company F of the 25th Regiment of the North Carolina Volunteers of the Confederate Army. Thomas Isaac Lenoir brought Devon cattle to the farm in the mid 1800’s, and this same line of gentle cattle is still living on the farm almost 160 years later. Cattle will be available for viewing. Children may feed the two donkeys on the farm.
Cruso School - 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 Community Club has maintained the school building much as it was eighty years ago. Cruso Quilting Club will be demonstrating the art of quilt making on tour day.
Osborne Boundary Oak – This tree was in existence in the days before white man settled Bethel Community. General Griffith Rutherford, who pressed against the Cherokee, led his troops by this tree in 1776. Settler Jonathan Osborne purchased a 600 acre tract of land, and this oak tree was listed as a boundary marker in 1792. Learn the tree’s interesting history, including how Osborne family and community members have saved the tree three times.
Bethel Cemetery – Established in 1854, the cemetery reveals a panoramic view of Bethel Community. One of the most popular sites on the tour, the cemetery is the location of the grave of Inman of Cold Mountain fame. Visitors learn the haunting details of Inman’s demise on Big Stomp Mountain and his burial by his father.
Bethel Presbyterian Church – Built in 1885, this church is the mother Presbyterian Church of Haywood County. Floor to ceiling chestnut interior provides dramatic backdrop for learning about the history of Presbyterianism in Western North Carolina.
Francis Mill - Dating to 1887, the Francis Mill was built by William Francis who came from Tennessee to North Carolina to seek his fortune. He married Polly Almond and received one square mile of land for a wedding present. In the middle of Francis Cove, Francis built his mill of yellow poplar harvested in the vicinity. In 1914, William’s son Monteville Pinkney Francis replaced the original wooden wheel with a Pennsylvania steel wheel. His son Dewey continued the milling tradition until his death in 1976. Dewey’s daughter Hester inherited the mill, and she dreamed of restoring the structure.
At the end of the tour