History of Waynesville, NC

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Waynesville, NC was founded 1810 by revolutionary war soldier, Colonel Robert Love, who named the town after his former commander, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.

February 15, 2017 by Rick Morris

Colonel Love was an American Revolutionary War soldier from Virginia. He was born in 1760 in Augusta County, Virginia. He joined the Virginia Militia in 1776, out of present-day Wythe County. As a member of the North Carolina legislature, Love represented Washington County (now in Tennessee) for one year - 1879.

Colonel Love became a delegate to the Fayetteville convention in 1789, and voted in favor of ratifying the Constitution.  In 1792, he was elected to the North Carolina state senate.

Love once challenged a man to a duel after an argument broke out over the matter of a horse race. Both were duelists, but the man he challenged declined to partake. That man would later become the President of the United States. His name... Andrew Jackson, who would never turn down another duel.

In 1809, Love, now a wealthy man and the first elected Justice of the Peace for Haywood County, donated the land where the courthouse currently rests. His original donation was for a courthouse, jail, and town square. He sold lots to help pay for the Courthouse construction. The area was called Mount Prospect. Shortly thereafter, the new town was renamed "Waynesville".

Love died in 1845 in Waynesville, NC and is buried in the town's Oak Hill Cemetery.

Photo: Monument in Waynesville, NC honoring the spot where Waynesville founder Colonel Robert Love and future President Andrew Jackson almost settled an argument with a duel.

Who Was Anthony Wayne?

Anthony Wayne (1745 - 1796) was a U. S. Army General and Statesman. He had a fiery personality and a short temper - thus the nickname "Mad Anthony". He quickly rose to the rank of Brigadier General.

During his early years, General Wayne served with the Continental Army's invasion of Canada, at the aid of Benedict Arnold. In 1977 he was promoted to Brigadier General and served as commander of the Pennsylvania Line.

Later he lead the attack at the Battle of Monmouth against the British. He was awarded a medal by Congress for leading a three-column, light-infantry, night-time bayonet attack and victory at Stony Point.

Wayne survived a mutiny (over pay and conditions) in 1781 while commanding the Pennsylvania Line. That same year, he led another fearless bayonet charge, this time with Marquis de Lafayette's advance forces at Green Spring (Virginia).

Photo: Picture of "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Having been surrounded via a trap set by the British (Cornwallis), he ordered his men to fix bayonets and attacked the much larger British forces, winning the battle. The victory earned Wayne great respect and significantly improved his reputation for being "mad".

In 1783, after negotiating a peace treaty with the Creek and Cherokee tribes, Wayne was promoted to Major General (2-star) and provided a gift of land from Georgia.

After serving for one year in the Pennsylvania state legislature, Wayne retuned to Georgia to live on the land awarded him. He was a delegate to the state convention which ratified the U.S. Constitution.

During the early 1790s, Wayne was recalled by President George Washing to head up a new military force called the Legion of the United States. His job, form an Army and quell the Western Indian Confederacy.

In forming the new Army, Wayne established the first "basic training" for American soldiers. The new soldiers were sent to Ohio to form "Fort Recovery". A victory against the British-backed Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in Ohio ushered the state into the Union in 1803.

Wayne died from gout in 1796 while returning from a trip in Detroit to Pennsylvania. He was buried at Erie, but was disinterred in 1809 and moved to a family plot in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

A Last Battle of the Civil War

Well, it necessarily isn't a battle.  But, it's worth noting.  On May 6, 1865 the Thomas Legion of Highlanders attacked the raiding union soldiers of Colonel William C. Bartlett's 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry.  After being sent into retreat at Waynesville, the Union soldiers were surrounded by the Thomas Legion.  A night of intimidation was followed by the sudden surrender of the Confederate forces, courtesy Confederate General James Martin and his cohort, Colonel William Thomas of the Legion.

At then end of the battle, it was noted as being the one with the last shot of the Civil War, so it is told.

Waynesville incorporated in 1871.  The railroad arrived in the Frog Level district in 1884.  A new depot was built after the original one was destroyed in a fire in 1900.  Here is a photo of downtown Waynesville in 1900... 

After a solid 60 years of growth, the last passenger train left the depot in 1949.  And, in 1995, the towns of Waynesville and Hazelwood merged, and became Waynesville NC 28786.

Today, Waynesville is divided into several neighborhoods: Downtown, Frog Level, Hazelwood, Laurel Ridge, Russ Avenue, and West Waynesvillle.

Here are more early photos of Waynesville, NC (Photos courtesy Haywood County Public Library)

Haywood County Courthouse and Downtown Waynesville, NC - Late 1800s:

Downtown Waynesville, NC during winter - Early 1900s:

Waynesville, NC Town Officials - 1909:

Haywood County Company H, 1st NC Infantry - 1916:

1918 Waynesville, NC High School Seniors:

1918 Waynesville, NC High School

Independent Bus/Coach Line, Waynesville, NC - 1920s:

Waynesville NC, Lots for Sale (Public Lot Sale. Wagon has sign that states "Free Rides to Lot Sale") - 1920s:

Waynesville Township Highschool Football team - 1927:

Logging near Waynesville in 1939:

Ed Swayigim's strawberry farm workers - Late 1930s:

Barber's Orchard Apple Pickers and Graders - 1930s:

Downtown Waynesville, NC - 1940s:

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Members - 1941:

Fiddler Cal Messer and Dancer Rufe Sutton: Circa 1930s:

Waynesville NC Weather
The weather in Waynesville is mild, with warm summers, cool autumns, cold winters, and warming springs.

Restaurants in Waynesville NC
When it comes to finding good food, there are several quality restaurants, bar and grills, and eateries.

Waynesville NC Hotels
So, you need a place to stay?  No worries.  Try one of our cozy Bed and Breakfast's, motels, or cabins.

Bogarts Restaurant
One of the town's most regarded restaurants.  If you are looking for good food prices, this is for you.

Ingles Grocery
Head over to Ingles for all your grocery needs.  One of about 200 Ingles chain groceries in the area.

Wells Funeral Home
A respected funeral home in Waynesville for more than 100 years.

Urgent Care
This is where you go when you are sick, but not enough to warrant a visit to the ER. Two locations in Waynesville.

Downtown Waynesville
Where its happening! Walk the cozy sidewalks and take in the shops, street art, and culture.

Mountain Projects
A community action agency, serving Haywood County since 1965.

Old Stone Inn
This mountain lodge and restaurant is currently for sale (February 11, 2017).  Seven buildings. 18 guest rooms.  Price: $900k.

The Lodge
The Lodge is a hotel in Waynesville offering complimentary coffee and doughnuts in the lobby.  Queen-sized beds, no-smoking in all rooms. All rooms are poolside.

Movie Theater
If you are looking for a regular movie theater in Waynesville NC, you're out of luck.

Cabin Rentals
Nothing says living rustic like a night in a 19th century cabin.

Barbers Orchard
Barbers Orchard is a produce market/fruit stand that is open Monday - Sunday from 9am until 6pm.

Things to Do
There are plenty of things to do in Waynesville NC.  From browsing shops on Main Street in this Historic town to visiting the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway

Music Box
The Music Box is a DVD and video store in Waynesville, NC.

Here is a selection of dentists in Waynesville.

Shopping is a fun part of any visit to Waynesville NC.

Go Grocery
Go Grocery provides surplus grocery products which they purchase from producers at discount.

Hair Salons
Time to get that hair done?  Here is a small listing of hair salons in Waynesville NC where you can do it.

Herren House
A Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville, NC.

Pisgah Inn
Situated at about 5,000 feet in elevation on Mt. Pisgah, the Inn offers basic rooms at a reasonable price.

Garrett Funeral Home
Garrett's present building, built in 1968 features a chapel for 250 guests, cushioned seats, a piano...

Cold Mountain
Take a hike up the famous Cold Mountain, from the movie.

Mast General Store
Quality goods for the living, coffins & caskets for the dead.

A listing of churches in Waynesville, NC.

Waynesville Inn
The Waynesville Inn is a golf resort and spa located in Waynesville, NC.

Frog Level
Visit the historic "Frog Level" district just below the Waynesville courthouse area.

Carolina West Dental
With a staff of about 20 people, 8,000 square feet, and 8 chairs.

Homes for Sale
Buying or selling a home or land in Waynesville area.

Waynesville NC Newspaper
There are a couple newspapers that service Waynesville NC.

The Swag
The Swag features an award-winning restaurant, awesome accommodations, and world-class hiking trails.

Oak Park Inn
Old-fashioned lodging for visitors to Waynesville, North Carolina.  Nice place!

Tractor Supply
Located just outside of town off Highway 19.

Haywood County
One of the 100 counties in the state of North Carolina, Haywood is located in the western part of the state.

Bed and Breakfast
One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Waynesville NC is by staying at a bed and breakfast.

Sweet Onion Restaurant
Without question the best restaurant in Waynesville NC!

Parkway Inn
The Parkway Inn motel offers rooms for smokers or non-smokers, honeymoon suites, and double-wide hot tubs.

Main Street Realty
Main Street Realty has a number of real estate agents/brokers to serve you.

Waynesville NC Map
Here is a large map of Waynesville, NC.

Hart Theatre
The HART Theater, or Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, is a community theatre showcasing regional talent.  Plenty of plays and musicals are performed in the 255-seat James Auditorium.

Population & Elevation
What is the elevation of the town of Waynesville?  How about it's population.  Here are some basic facts.

Autumn Care
Autumn Care in Waynesville opened in 1985 and provides 24-hour nursing care.

Producer of medical products and employer of local people with disabilities and disadvantages.

This is an Italian style restaurant serving authentic Italian or Mediterranean dishes.

The primary hospital serving Waynesville NC and the rest of Haywood County is Haywood Regional Medical Center.

Tuscola High School
Tuscola is one of two high schools in Haywood County.  The other is Pisgah High School in Canton.

Sunburst Realty
A real estate agency/broker in business since 1974. 

Massie Furniture
A place to buy solid wood furniture in Waynesville, NC.

High Country Furniture
Furniture store in Waynesville NC.

Windover Inn
Windover Inn...

Star Ranch
This is an animal rescue location for abused and neglected horses.