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Cullowhee NC

Cullowhee NC “Whatever You Are Looking For”


Town of Cullowhee NC
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, this little mountain town is home to a big university, Western Carolina University, part of the UNC system. With the pleasant climate, scenic beauty and great outdoor activities, Cullowhee is a fun tiny town! You can visit the Mountain Heritage Center or take a tour through the campus of Western Carolina. The town is located in Jackson County. The name of the town means “Valley of the Lillies,” but is actually derived from part of the Cherokee phrase “joolth-cullah-wee” which translates as “Judacullah’s Place.” Judacullah, a giant warrior and hunter who the Cherokee believe lived in the area, is an important figure in their religion and culture.

Cullowhee NC

History of Cullowhee North Carolina
The town of Cullowhee is one of the oldest settlements in Jackson County. The town reportedly had the first school in the area in 1830. At first the area was mostly farmland, but was cleared out in the 1800s. In 1883, Painter Post Office was founded by Rolling A. Painter and operated out of his store. The Post Office led to further development of the Old Cullowhee Road area, turning it into a business district. The Post Office was renamed Cullowhee in 1908. Cullowhee High School was founded in 1889 by Robert Lee Madison and is now Western Carolina University.

In 1940, a massive flood caused severe damage to the business district of Cullowhee. The flood wiped away almost all the buildings on one side of the river. The flood peaked at 21 feet above the Cullowhee Dam, the highest on record.

The area underwent a massive growth spurt starting in the 1960s and continues on today. Much of the town has remained undeveloped after the flood of the 1940s washed away much of the downtown area.

Mountain Heritage Day
The annual Mountain Heritage Day is a combination of old-fashioned mountain fair and a showcase for Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance and song. The event is known for portraying the feeling of a big family reunion. Located on the campus of Western Carolina University, the festival will feature three live entertainment stages, handmade arts and crafts, Cherokee Stickball Games and children’s activities. There will also be Shapenote Singin’, canning and baking contests, tractor & horse & mule wagon rides, workshops and an antique car show. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind festival!
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Always the last Saturday in September
Event is FREE
(828) 227-7129

national heritage day

national heritage day 3

An annual festival celebrating our rich southern Appalachian heritage and culture nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina on the campus of Western
Carolina University.

Western North Carolina University
Western Carolina University is a constituent campus of the University of North Carolina system. WCU is the fifth oldest institution in the UNC system. Founded in 1889 with a one story wood building and has grown to have over 9,000 students with approximately 220 majors and concentrations for undergraduates, and more than 40 graduate-level programs of study. The campus covers approximately 600 acres and takes up much of the Cullowhee Valley. The university’s mission is focused on quality education and preparation for responsible citizenship in a changing world. Since its founding, WCU has grown in size to become a major cultural, scientific, and educational force in the region and the state.
Address: 1 University Way, Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: (828) 227-7211

western north carolina university

Mountain Artisans Arts and Crafts Shows
The Mountain Artisans shows are famous for featuring just the biggest selection of authentic handcrafted art and craft in this area. Mountain Artisans promotes two events each year.  The July “Summertime” show is held the week end closest to the Fourth of July.  The “Hard Candy Christmas”, a Mountain Christmas Tradition, is always the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Both events are held inside in the Western Carolina University Ramsey Center in scenic Cullowhee, North Carolina.

26th Annual “Summertime” Arts & Crafts Show
June 27-June 28
Hours are 10-5 P.M. each day

28th Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts
November  27-28th    2015
“A Mountain Christmas Tradition ”
Hours are 10-5 each day

Phone: (828) 524-3405


mountain artisans


Elevation is 2116 ft

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