What Town Was It?

Brasstown, NC

A big THANK YOU to everyone who played along with the giveaway Where Is It? Four people guessed the correct location-which is Canton, NC.

Canton is a town in Haywood County NC-almost 100 miles from here. It happens to be The Deer Hunter’s home town-so at least a few times a year the Blind Pig family spends some time in Canton.

So many of you guessed Brasstown that I wished I could bring all of you here for a personal tour! Brasstown isn’t really a town at all. If you’re at the stop sign shown in the photo above you are in the center of Brasstown.

The buildings you see across the road and to the right are craft shops. If you turned and looked behind you-you’d see the John C. Campbell Folk School; if you looked to the left you’d see Clay’s Corner; if you turned right then made a quick left beyond the craft stores you’d find the Brasstown Post Office with the Brasstown Community Center just across the road a ways. And that pretty much sums up the tour of central Brasstown-not even a red light! Tri-County Raceway is fairly close to the intersection above as is the Kelischek Music Workshop.

In school I learned the word Brasstown is from a corruption of a Cherokee word which meant brass. Brasstown is a divided community-with a portion of it laying in Clay County and a portion laying in Cherokee County where our humble abode is located. Over the years we’ve received tax bills from Clay County and even jury duty notices from Clay County-as I’m sure the folks who live in the Clay County portion of Brasstown have received them from Cherokee County.

Now for the giveaway winner. The random number generator picked #39 Margaret Johnson who said: “I believe this is Canton, NC. My husband grew up there.”

Margaret if you’ll email your address to me [email protected] I’ll send you a poke full of Blind Pig stuff including a Lamp Lighting cd, a Songs of Christmas cd, something Granny made, and something Chitter made.


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  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Tipper, I read Ed Ammons comment and I got to thinking my ancestors the Palmer s came from Sandy Mush, sure would love to find the place. I wrote a fiction story about Sandy Mush it is on the computer somewhere.I enjoyed all the comments.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Tipper, I have so many family members who lives in Canton, N.C, and so glad Margaret used to smell to high heaven with champion Fiber plant on a damp day but they have controlled most of this. Nice wonderful brother in law retired from Champion.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    and Ed…do you remember Enka?
    When we were kids we had to pass the Enka plant on our way to Canton to visit Moms sister. We would be sleepy and think we were getting near Canton…Aroma wafting into the old car! It was only “Enka Stinka” as we called it when we were kids…I think that old Rayon factory is now gone.
    My Aunt used to say, when she neared Canton, we’re almost home! She said that times when she opened her suitcase when on a faraway trip she could smell Canton in her packed clothes. It used to embrassas her she said. After praying and thinking about it she felt she was blessed, since relatives had good jobs there at the Champion plant…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I think the brown foam creek and the smell has been lowered somewhat after all the fuss of the past few years.
    I used to watch for the bubbling brown foam creek, trying to follow it, past hills and turns in the road, looking for it out the car window all the way to Clyde…until the crooks, turns and hills took it out of view and away from the road!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Canton and Clyde! Candler and Waynesville! Heaven to us Wiggins Creek degenerates. Where only the pure in body and soul could ever dwell, but for the smell!
    Daddy dug a pit below the lower chicken house where he threw the chickens he found dead. He had fashioned a wooden cover over it, something like a toilet lid, that would open so as to cast the recently diseased and deceased fowls inside. But the foul odor that emanated from the stacks of Canton far exceeded the odor from Daddy’s Death Pit. The stench of death equals the stench of progress was our answer. Has the stench of death declined in the modern era? I doubt it. Has somebody come up with something to disguise it. Probably!
    I remember a couple of times a year when there was an odor in the air that smelled of rotten eggs. Believe me, I know rotten eggs when I smell them, we lived on a chicken farm.
    We would stick our noses in the air and say “smells like Canton” but we knew that is where Daddy sold his pulpwood and a source of our livelihood.
    Even as late as the 90s we would play games while passing through on I40. As soon as I saw those stacks that belched out the clouds of noxious vapors, I would start accusing my daughter of failing to withholding an intestinal emmission, which then led to “the smellers the feller”

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    guess whosw brother-in-law & sister-in-law live in Canton? And guessed who got it WRONG!!!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    February 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Couldn’t smell thru the computer! Everyone in Canton always says the town smells like money. As far downstream as I am it just smells like stink, especially on foggy days.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Miss Cindy mentioned Brasstown being
    the smallest town she’d ever seen.
    This reminded me of Signs you could
    purchase where you buy your tag.
    One asked the question: Where the heck
    is Aquone? and the answer was: “Right
    next to Kyle, North Caroliner.” …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t ever remember going thru the
    town of Canton, except of the night
    when there was a detour. My Aunt and
    uncle lived there and I was always
    amazed at the grass on those high
    mountains, instead of trees.
    Congradulations Margaret Johnson on
    winning the prize!…Ken

  • Reply
    February 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

    This is a great way to visit the area: reading your other reader’s posts after seeing your photos!! It’s like getting a personal tour!

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Wow! Canton! I remember that we always knew it was gonna rain if we “smelled” Canton from our house on Eagle’s Nest Mountain in Waynesville(before it burnt to the ground – the house, not Eagle’s Nest). Last summer during our visit, I noticed we never did smell the paper mill once. Someone told me that it wasn’t operating any more. Is that so?

  • Reply
    Debbie Nobles
    February 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    My grandma Jessie R.Hall Wilson (7-6-1890 -8-18-1981)was born in Clyde.I still have a lot of family there.I aways feel like that is home to me even tho my grandparents moved to Pensacola in 1910.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Congratulations Margaret, you are going to love the CD’s! I know the surprises that Granny and Chitter made will be great too.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Wow, I sure did mess up on this one! If I am not mistaken, Champion Paper Mill is on the right down the hill, behind those brick buildings. Wasn’t the old 5&10 cent store on the corner too. There used to be a red light there, with a sharp turn down the hill toward the straightaway to Charlie’s on the left and went past the mill on the right. My uncle would park in the little parking area and we would cross over the little creek to the main sidewalk, if he had business on the other side…The little brown foam creek ran thru that area and out thru town. I absolutely do not remember that (alabaster beige) color building on the left! Nor, do I remember those pretty black lamp posts! LOL Since they put in the Interstate exit into Canton, years ago, it all seems different than when I was a child. We would be coming in from Asheville if we were already in NC…or if we came from Tn directly to my Aunt and Grannies we would come through Clyde on the old road. They lived between Clyde and Canton! I just love that area!
    Congratulations to the winner…
    I liked this post. Brought back lots of memories, I didn’t remember! LOL
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…My flowering weeping red peach is about to pop! I hope it holds it’s floweres until this cold snap is over this week!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 24, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I used to think Clyde was the smallest town I had ever seen till I saw Brasstown. Clyde is a small town near Canton. Brasstown is for sure the smallest.
    Congratulations to Margaret!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 24, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I enjoyed my stops at Brasstown. The shops are great, love Clay’s Corner and of course the Folk School is my favorite stop. You could visit a minute or two there and enjoy every one of them.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Although Brasstown doesn’t have a lot, if you haven’t visited the area, you are missing nature’s beauty, especially in the spring and fall. We visit the area once a year for a car event.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 24, 2014 at 7:31 am

    My friend Beanie’s dad worked near Canton for a while. He called it Candooly. Don’t know why. He also worked at Sandy Mush. Any idea where that name came from?

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 24, 2014 at 7:30 am

    One of these days, I have to make it over to Brasstown. I want to visit the Kelischek Music Shop. I play one of their Penny Whistles.

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