Those of us in the Cashiers area find it necessary to drive to Sylva at least a couple of times a year as that’s where Jackson County’s business takes place.
Most of us use Highway 107 North, starting at the Cashiers Crossroads, for our drive to the county seat and it is a scenic route through natural and man-made history if you will take the time to pay attention. At the top of the first hill, you cross one of the many official Continental Divides. Continuing north on 107, the altitude diminishes all the way to the Power House where the road becomes level – folks often say “going off the mountain,” or “going down to Sylva,” even though when looking at a map a northerly direction seems to appear to be “up.” In the early days of the colonial era, the British Colony of South Carolina claimed that our Continental Divide was the border of South Carolina!
The next road to the left is Laurel Knob and if you venture down that road, you’ll end up on Norton Road after seeing a lot of old homes, rolling meadows, and new developments.
Continuing on 107 North, you’ll soon see on your left our local Blue Ridge School complex and the Rescue Squad headquarters – both on North Norton Road. Just ahead you’ll see glimpses of Lake Glenville, built in 1940 with the damming up of the Tuckaseigee River and flooding the valley where the little village of Glenville was located. Some buildings were moved to higher ground; the cemetery, graves and all was moved up on a hill which you’ll see on your right. Sometimes when the lake level is lowered, eerie remains of what usually is hidden beneath the water are seen. After driving through the present day Glenville, you’ll reach Pine Creek Road which lets you drive on top of the lake’s dam. From there on down to the foot of the mountain, you parallel the Tuckaseigee River. Its headwaters begin in the Cashiers area, grow wider and flow faster to its ultimate arrival in the Gulf of Mexico.
Our present abbreviated scenic tour of part of Highway 107 North ends a few more miles past the historic Power House, which you’ll see on your right as the terrain finally levels out. With the river still on your left, you go past Dr. John R. Brinkley’s house on the right hand side and in a short time you’ll spy the back of a large red barn on the other side of the river on your left. Right past the seed and feed store, turn left at Moody’s Bridge, cross over the river and make an immediate left onto Roy Tritt Road. Soon you’ll see the front of the red barn – a sight to behold. You’ll never drive to Sylva again without looking over at that barn. In a future article, I’ll tell you the story of the Tritt family who built the red barn a long time ago.
[Thanks to Doug Tritt for the picture of The Red Barn.]
Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society