|Cascade Grocery, 1991
Crab Creek valley along the Little River in Transylvania County had two small communities, Calhoun and Grange, which were just a mile apart on Crab Creek Road. During the 1800s mountain farmers driving their hogs to market in South Carolina would pass through the valley and stop for the night; thus the area was nicknamed Hog Town.
Calhoun was located where Everett Road meets Crab Creek. David Shuford was the first post master there beginning in 1856. The post office was discontinued in 1904 and relocated to Penrose just 1 ½ miles to the North. The railroad running through Penrose plus road improvements likely had a lot to do with this.
C.E. Wilson had a large general store in Calhoun around 1900. An article in the May 28, 1909 Sylvan Valley News announced that a hosiery mill, known as the Penrose Manufacturing Company, would operate out of the old stone store building. Ansel Hamilton and Arthur Picklesimer ran Calhoun Mercantile Com-pany out of the building from 1919 to 1925. In the 1960s Nick’s Store opened in this same location and operated until the late 1990s. Nell Nicholson built and operated the little store.
A mile south of Calhoun, Grange was in the area where Cascade Lake Road and Crab Creek Road meet. It had a post office from 1875 until 1908. Little River School and Little River Baptist Church were the center of the community. At one time Ben Perry Merrill had a blacksmith shop in the area. There was also a small tannery.
Martin Hamilton built Cascade Grocery on Cascade Lake Road in the early 1900s. Volney McCrary bought it from Charles Ashworth in the 1930s. McCrary’s daughter, Nell Nicholson, ran it for a few years, followed by Fred and Christine Hamilton for many years.
Wade and Kate Merrill had the Jot ‘Em Down Store on Cascade Lake Road. It got its name from customers who would request “jot ’em down” for later payment on their groceries. Later the Merrill’s son Donald moved the store to Crab Creek Road. Both Merrill’s Store and Cascade Grocery remained in business into the mid 1990s.
|Inside Cascade Grocery, 1991
Thanks to Margaret Kilstrom and Brenda Orr who both have a wealth of information about the Little River Community.
Photographs 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 ext. 242.)