Appalachia Place names

Marble, NC – 2

Old Moss School House - Marble NC

Photo from Marble Spring Baptist Church

Marble – written by Wanda Stalcup

During World War I, three iron ore mines were reopened. Anderson G Betts owned the mines. Iron ore washers were set up in different locations. The ore was shipped to Philadelphia. Jeff Hayes, Glen Farmer and W J Barton were supervisors. A T Dorsey Lumber company built a flume from Snowbird Gap to Marble. The flume carried lumber into Marble for many years. The Big Cove Lumber Company owned and operated by R E Dewar hauled lumber from Vengeance Creek. Claude Angel, Wendell Lovingood and Dee Kimsey were three of the many drivers for the company. I have the ledger (Bonnie Cole gave me) of the Union Lumber Company. During the depression in the thirties several people depended on the sale of wood, tanning bark and cross ties for an income. Therefore many of the people suffered and endured a lot of hardships.

Marble once had a cheese factory owned and operated by Bail, John, Ernest Palmer, Oce Powell and Nelson Almond. John Palmer went to Wisconsin and bought two car loads of Holstein cows and rode back with them in the freight train.

Morgan Kikpatrick operated a grist mill, sawmill and talc mill for many years.

Later Frank Coggins established the Columbia Marble Company. Early merchants in Marble were A B Smith and Leland Coffey. Later businesses were Noah Abernathy, Ben Mintz, Jim Bryson, WJ Barton, Matte DeHart and Arthur Palmer. The streets at Marble were once made of Marble.

In the fifties I remember Pa trading at Arnold Bryson’s and Edna Palmer’s stores.

On June 16, 1873 Marble Springs Church was organized under the sponsorship of the Valley River Baptist Church at Andrews NC. The elders were T A Higdon and A Ammon. Joseph A Kimsey was elected clerk and served for thirty years. Henry Moss donated the land for the Moss Cemetery at Marble. Later Robert Hannah, W J Barton, Ben Mintz and and Ross Newman bought additional land to add to the cemetery. The fist people buried there are located at the top of the mountain near Henry Moss’s grave. Some of the early graves have rocks for the head stone but were replaced with pieces of Marble and a lot of people can’t find some of the old graves.

Marble Spring Masonic Lodge Number 439 was instituted April 21, 1891. My great-grand father John Rowland was a Mason. He is entombed at Mt. Zion Baptist and the Masonic symbol appears on his tombstone. H A Gudger, North Carolina Grand Master, inducted several men from the Marble area into the Masonic Lodge.

Henry Moss donated land for the first Marble school and it was called, Moss school. It was an elementary and high school. It was located about one mile east of Marble.


I hope you enjoyed Wanda’s description of Marble NC’s early days. I can’t imagine a cheese factory in Marble and I never knew they used Marble for the roads-how cool is that! I wish I could have seen the flume-that must have been big doings for sure.

Wanda is the Director of the Cherokee County Historical Museum. She knows more about the history of this area than anybody I know. A few years back she wrote a book “How I Saw Cherokee County”. The book is full of wonderful stories, customs, traditions, and language. If you’re ever in Murphy you can pick up one of her books at the museum.


p.s. You can catch The Pressley Girls next weekend at the following festivals: May 26, 2018 @ 1:45 p.m. Swain County Heritage Festival – Bryson City NC and  May 27, 2018 @ 1:00 p.m. Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival – Blairsville GA

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  • Reply
    Frances E Whiteman
    July 26, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I recently read in the Ashville Citzens-Tiimes 13 Mar 1938 . Article by Harry R Ward. He wrote about Arthur Palmer filling station and owner of small museum . Mentioned was the Henry Ford Foundation seeking items for their museum. . The article highlighted Hiram Lovingood. It mentioned his books. Anvil and old church bench. At this time, any knowledge of these items? He mentioned them going to the Smoky Mountain National Park to be kept for posterity.

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    May 26, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    I am pretty sure that the A Ammons mentioned here was Allen Ammons my great-great grandfather. He was an elder in the Tennessee River Baptist Association and the moderator for many years. The Valley River Baptist was associated with him and them for a time until it joined with newly organized churches in closer proximity.
    Allen Ammons and his family lived in the area that was at first Burke County, then Buncombe, then Haywood, then Macon, then Swain. Allen was born in 1818 Buncombe County but probably not in the boundaries of the present day county, most likely Madison County. His family moved to Cherokee County after the Indian removal. My understanding is that Cherokee County at that time was everything west of the Little Tennessee River and included parts of present day Macon and Swain Counties, all of Graham, Clay and Cherokee Counties as the look today.
    Back in those times people went everywhere on foot or by horseback. A journey from Almond to Andrews on foot today would seem a daunting task to us but those people thought nothing of it. It took a day in both directions but that was expected. And they knew how to move through the wilderness. Modern roads just bust right through most obstacles. Our ancestors knew how to avoid them. They followed the ridgelines. Those were their interstates highways. They followed the paths that the native Americans had traveled for eons.
    Mr. Ammons probably bade his wife and children goodbye with “I need to go to Valley River on church business. I will be back day after tomorrow or the following day.” Unlike present day church elders there was little compensation for such travels. They felt called by God to do what needed to be done and they did it without question.
    The Swain County High School annual used to be called “The Ridgerunner.” I don’t know what it is now. That name fits the people who once populated the area we are talking about. They followed ridges until they reached their destination before descending down into the valleys.

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    May 24, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    My brother in law Hubert Nations lived in Marble for a time. He lived in a little bungalow style brick house beside US-19. He had an attached carport where he kept his tools used to fix up the house. He was out there one day working on the table saw and cut off part of two fingers. They took him to Asheville to a hand specialist who sewed them back on. One of them didn’t “take” but the other one did fine. After the hand finally healed he went back to fixing up his house. Guess what? Same table saw, same finger! He sawed it off again. They didn’t try to reattach it this time. They couldn’t find it. They think maybe the dog ate!

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    May 24, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    I read your post pretty early this morning but got so interested in seeing how I am connected to all those people I forgot to leave a comment. I am kin, in some way or other, to most of them.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 24, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I appreciate all the knowledge you report on Marble, I never knew any of that. I’ll bet that flume from Snowbird to Marble was something else. Thank you for publishing about Wanda Stalcup’s amazing stories.

    When I was just a boy, I remember three Postell Brothers cutting timber on Long Branch in Topton. We were up in there Lizard Hunting, and we crossed over the Flume several times. Hadn’t never seen one before, and we were amazed at how those big logs traveled so fast and how the water in the bottom of the V-cut Flume made them logs go. I suppose traveling downhill helped. France Postell, a preacher, talked to us boys about our Souls alot, and he was about the only one of his brothers that could tawk pyane. Those were real Mountain Men. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 24, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Is marble still shipped from that area? You all had blue. The Georgia Marble Company near Jasper, GA has white. (They make the stones for veterans.) And the marble once mined at Tate, GA was pink as was at least some of that quarried at Strawberry Plains, TN.

    I think the movement westward as a group of kinfolks, by blood and/or marriage, was the common way. Each family was thus assured of help for defense, trail difficulties, cabin and barn raising, clearing new ground, etc. Plus it made leaving the old home more bearable when a bunch of the homefolks went with you.

  • Reply
    Michael Miller
    May 24, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Great timing on the Marble article, Tipper. I went back through Marble on the way back from the eclipse on August 21 and stopped at what was once Arthur Palmer’s Museum. As a child and up until the museum closed I never missed a chance to stop, visit and buy from Mr. Palmer. It was the most fascinating place I have ever been with all his great collection of Indian artifacts, historic items and his collection of rocks, gems and minerals.

    Recently, I was discussing in an email with an owner of a meteorite museum about a supposed meteorite shaped like a bowling pin that was used as a doorstop at the Palmer Museum. I recall that it was quite heavy with a rough, maybe scaly surface. I understand that some of Mr. Palmer’s museum pieces were put on display at a museum in Andrews; however, when I attempted to contact the museum the webpage was quite dated and no current information about the holdings or hours of operation.

    If someone knows more about the museum in Andrews, the location of Mr. Palmer’s collection or especially what happened to the ‘bowling pin meteorite,’ I would appreciate it very much.

  • Reply
    DAna WAll
    May 24, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Fascinating bit of history. I smiled to read about where people “traded.” My grandparents in Iowa always talked about the general store where they traded, a well. Interesting word, “traded.” Undoubtedly dates to a time when trading posts and “trading” for supplies was the norm rather than paying money for goods.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 24, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Tip, I’ve been here for over three years now and I don’t think I have ever been to”downtown” Marble. I bet those marble streets were something to see when they were here.
    And a cheese factory, wonder if they sold locally or shipped it somewhere else? Wonder what kind of cheese?
    Thanks to Wanda for this information on Marble.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Interesting read, I recognize some of the last names, some of which are in our area. My Wife has been doing this genealogy thing and found some interesting stories of how families with different last names traveled together from place to place after they got off the boat from the Old Country so to speak, like for example my folks got off the boat in Virginia, traveled to North Carolina, then some of the kids as they got older split and went to Kentucky, then back down to Tennessee, and then into Alabama while still traveling with some of the same family groups, but be fore warned you might find some things you might wished you hadn’t found out about your kin, just saying. But it has been fun.

  • Reply
    Patricia Arrowood Page
    May 24, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Bail Palmer and Nelson Almond were my great great grandfathers. Never knew they had a cheese factory together. Bail’s daughter Julie married Nelson’s son David. (My great grandparents) So I guess they were connected in more ways than one.

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