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In the early 1800 about 50 families had settled in an area
where cherry trees grew in small clumps and along a creek dividing land into
separate fields.  The creek was known as
the creek of the cherryfields and the area soon picked up the name of Cherryfield.

J.C. Whitmire’s Store, Cherryfield

For the most part this was a farming community.  Raleigh Waldrop was born in Cherryfield in
1914 and has lived there almost his entire life.  In an interview with Peggy Hansen for her
book, Transylvania Memories, Waldrop stated that Cherryfield, “Never was
a town.  Just the church, a little ol’ school,
the depot and J.C. (John Columbus) Whitmire’s Store.”

John Waldrop, Cherryfield RR Agent & Postmaster

The railroad ran through Cherryfield on its way from Brevard
to Lake Toxaway.   In August 1913 John
Waldrop, Raleigh’s father, became the station manager for Southern Railroad at
the Cherryfield Station.  Along with
station manager he also served as the Cherryfield Post Master until the mail
delivery was transferred to Brevard in September 1931.

Longtime Cherryfield landmarks include Morgan Mill and Whitmire

Morgan Mill Blacksmiths, Florida Fowler & George Morgan

Built about 1856 by
“Big Jim” Morgan, Morgan Mill was the longest running mill in Transylvania
County.   The original mill had a double
wheeled mechanism.  This was replaced by
a spruce pine wheel around 1865.  A later
metal wheel came from the Breese Mill on King Creek after it was destroyed by
the 1916 floods.  Morgan Mill continued
to run until the early 1980s.  

Albert S. McKinney worked at Morgan Mill on
and off for more than 60 years.  He
learned the miller’s trade from his father, Thomas Stephen McKinney, who ran the
mill in the early 1920s.  He was still
grinding meal at the time of his death in 1982, at the age of 86.

In 1998, the mill
collapsed under the weight of heavy snow. 
It was later dismantled completely.

J.L. Whitmire Farm & Mill

Whitmire Mill was built by J.L. (John Leander) Whitmire in
1939.  This was the first turbine
operated mill in the county.  Whitmire
used the engine from a 1928 Buick to run the turbine until a race was dug from
Cherryfield Creek to provide water power. 

During WWII the mill operated 24 hours a day.  Later they ground corn Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday were
delivery days to stores throughout southwestern North Carolina.

On Saturday local farmers would bring corn to be ground for
their families and livestock.  The
milling fee, known as a poll, was a small percentage of what was ground.

In 1964 floods destroyed the walls of race.  In November 1964 J.L. Whitmire passed
away.  His widow and sons decided it
would not be profitable to rebuild and the mill was closed.

and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit
the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about
our history and see additional photographs. 
For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at
[email protected]
or 828-884-3151 X242.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712