Creek was named for Richard Williamson, who was granted 500 acres of land on
January 7, 1794 along both sides of the French Broad River tributary.
McKewn Johnstone, son of a wealthy rice planter from Charleston, purchased about
1300 acres along the creek and the French Broad River. McKewn was a brother to Francis and William
Johnstone who also owned large amounts of property along the French Broad
hired Albert Cannon to manage the clearing of the land using slave labor. An 1862 Transylvania County Board of Tax
Listing records the Johnstones among the largest slave holders in the
county. Francis owned 37 slaves, McKewn,
25 and William, 14.
|Upper Glen Cannon Falls
included a double waterfall separated by a hundred yards of rapids flowing
through a glen lined with hemlock and rhododendron. The falls were later named Glen Cannon for
Albert Cannon. Cannon served as
Commissioner of Agriculture for North Carolina for many years. He was also a shareholder with the French
Broad Steam Boat Company and the ill-fated Mountain Lily.
Martha Cannon Webb Johnstone were living in Transylvania County with their
three sons when the Civil War broke out. According to Mary Jane McCrary, “In order to
safeguard the women and the children at home, McKewn Johnstone, Sr. was put on
patrol duty by the Confederate Army.
Often he led raids into the mountains.”
There is no record of him serving in the Confederate Army though. Following the war the Johnstones moved to
Andrew, McKewn and Martha’s oldest son, remained on the Glen Cannon
property. He lived there until 1905 when
it was sold to Levi S. Clough, a Pennsylvania lumberman and farmer.
Rueter, automotive executive and founder of the Janirve Foundation, owned the property
Rueter’s the property was owned by E.C. and Jennie C. Langston until 1951. At
that time members of the Romfh family purchased it. On August 6, 1964, Elmer
and Frances Gooden registered an indenture for R.H. Burns, Trustee to
facilitate the sale of the property.
On March 1,
1965 a group of investors established the Glenn Cannon Land Company, Inc. and
purchased the 1300 acres for a golf course and residential community. The golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool
and clubhouse were constructed on 125 acres.
years the surrounding property has been developed with homes. Today there are about 280 residences in Glen
For the most part
the property has remaind intact since McKewn Johnstone purchased it in 1853.
Much of this
information came from Ann Hoeke’s “Glen Cannon History” available at the
library. Hoeke researched and wrote a
history of the Glen Cannon property during Transylvania County’s
Sesquicentennial in 2011.
|Glen Cannon Falls Farm, 1951
|Glen Cannon Falls Farm, 1951
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.