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This booklet is only a brief survey of some of the major forces and steps that have made the County of Graham what it is today. No attempt has been made to write a definitive history of the county. Such a history would take years to complete and would include among other things, a more generous treatment of the genealogy of the early families. Every resident of Graham County can say with the Psalmist of old, "Yes, we have a goodly heritage." We return to the past to reminisce with pleasure but not to linger there. Our heritage is yet in the making and may we profit from the experiences of the past.

We attempt not to justify that which may have been included or omitted. We have chosen those historical events, personalities, and even early folklore that would seem to be representative of the large body of historical data.  Where roots go deeply into the past, it is sometimes hard to guarantee that everything about an article is true. We ask that allowances be made for errors or omissions.

We are indebted to many in the gathering of data for this publication. First and foremost we are indebted to the late Belle Slaughter whose valuable historical collection has been made available to us. We further express our thanks to the following: John Veach for writing the history of Bemis Lumber Company, and Graham County Railroad; Doyle Brock for pictures and information of lumbering industries; William L. Nothstein for writing history of the Forest Service and early logging in the county; Robert B. Barker for information on Civil War; Hildred Millsaps in research of history of Robbinsville First Baptist; Mrs. Ruth Elliott for the Fontana Story; James Barrett for Tapoco history; Joyce Jenkins and Howard Edwards in developing data pertaining to Stecoah and Tuskeegee; J. D. Carver for photography; John and Mary Howell for all illustrations; and to Annette Stratton Edwards and Voyce C. Lovin for hours and hours of typing of the manuscript.

It would be impossible to give credit to all who have contributed pictures, information, or support in this effort; it was truly a county effort. To all we express our deep appreciation.

Leonard Lloyd, Centennial President

Colonel Harry Hancock, Centennial Coordinator


Booth Crisp, Jr., Centennial Sheriff

Jack Lovin, Historian


Marion Ingram, Assistant Historian


Mary Howell, Illustrator

John Howell, Co-Illustrator

Main Street
Robbinsville, North Carolina
April 3, 1972
O. W. Hooper, Jr.
Harry Hancock, Jr.
Booth Crisp, Jr.
Leonard W. Lloyd
O. W. Hooper, Jr. (Advisory Board Member)
Harry Hancock, Jr. (Advisory Board Member)
Booth Crisp, Jr. (Advisory Board Member)
Leonard W. Lloyd, President
O. W. Hooper, Jr., Vice President
Mrs. Ann Rogers, Secretary
Mrs. Willa Mae Ayers   Jesse Ralph Jenkins
Mrs. James Barrett   Mrs. Wallace Jenkins
James Barrett   Mrs. Ralph Jenkins
Wayne Carringer   Roy Jones
Booth Crisp, Jr.   Ted Jordan
Lowell Crisp   Ned Long
Ralph Crisp   Floyd Millsaps
Mrs. Shirley Crisp Mayor W. L. Prince
Howard Edwards Mrs. Buddy Rogers
R. W. Elliott   George Sheffey
Mrs. Genevieve Fowler   Richard Stewart
J. C. Garland   Mose Wachacha
Harry Hancock, Jr. Modeal Walsh
Mrs. Marion Ingram   Neal Webster
Clarence Jackson



Executive Committee
Leonard W. Lloyd, Chairman
J. C. Garland, Co-Chairman
Ann Rogers, Secretary
O. W. Hooper, Jr., Treasurer, Chairman, Revenue Division
O. W. Hooper, Jr., Chairman, Revenue Division
Graham Denton, Chairman, Publicity
Betty Jackson, Chairman, Snowbird Publicity Committee
Mrs. Marion Ingram, Chairman, Historical Program
George Teesateskie, Jr., Chairman, Indian Historical Committee
Jack Lovin, Historian
R. W. Elliott, Chairman, Dress Division
Mrs. Betty Phillips, Vice-Chairman, Dress Division
Lois Calonahuskie, Chairman, Snowbird Indian Dress Committee
Ralph Crisp, Chairman, Special Events Division
Tom Teesateskie, Chairman, Snowbird Special Events Committee
Mrs. Rebecca Harless, Snowbird Indian Representative
Jesse Ralph Jenkins, Chairman, Parade Committee
Londa Harless, Chairman, Indian Parade Committee
Donald Gregory, Chairman, Dance Committee
Ute Jumper, Jr., Chairman, Indian Dance Committee
Mrs. Maxine Williams, Chairman, Heritage Committee
Mark Wachacha, Chairman, Indian Heritage Committee
Mayor W. L. Prince, & Booth Crisp, Jr., Co-Chairmen, Brothers of the Brush Committee
Mrs. Willa Mae Ayers, Co-Chairman, Graham County Mountain Belles - Stecoah
Mrs. Shirley Crisp, Co-Chairman, Graham County Mountain Belles - Stecoah
Howard Edwards, Chairman, Research Centennial Group in the School & Church
Neal Webster, Traffic Control Officer
Mrs. Betty Phillips, Co-Chairman Decorating Committee
Mrs. Booth Crisp, Jr., Co-Chairman Decorating Committee
O. W. Hooper, Jr., Co-Chairman of VIP Committee
William F. Murphy, Co-Chairman of VIP Committee
Mrs. Brenda Millsaps, Co-Chairman, Youth Group Committee
Gene McMonigle, Co-Chairman, Youth Group Committee
Harry Hancock, Jr., Coordinator
Wayne Carringer, Chairman, Veterans Committee


Registration of Guests (Centennial Headquarters Staff)
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (O. W. Hooper, Jr.)
VIP Luncheon (O. W. Hooper, Jr.)
VIP Tour of Heritage Museum (O. W. Hooper, Jr.)
Opening Night Ceremony
LADIES DAY (American Legion Auxiliary)
Registration of Guests (Centennial Headquarters Staff)
Cake Baking Contest (Sandra Roberts)
Fashion Show (Ann Rogers, & Betty Phillips)
Charleston Contest (American Legion Auxiliary)
Bathing Beauty Contest (American Legion Auxiliary)
Registration of Guests and Senior Citizens (Girl Scouts)
Old time pickin' and singin' & awards for oldest citizen (Girl Scouts)
Luncheon for Senior Citizens (Girl Scouts)
Special Tour for Senior Citizens of Heritage Museum (Girl Scouts)
BROTHERHOOD DAY (Robbinsville Lions Club)
Registration of Guests (HQ.)
Horse Pulling Contest (Warner Deyton)
Hog Calling Contest (Ed Ingram)
Corn Shucking & Shelling Contest (R. Norton)
Chain Saw Contest (Arvil Adams)
Wood Chopping Contest (Arvil Adams)
Crosscut Saw Contest (Arvil Adams)
Stake Splitting Contest (Squeak Jordan)
Rock Lifting Contest (Jack Millsaps)
Horse Shoe Contest (Arnold Allen)
Talent Show (American Legion Auxiliary)
RELIGIOUS HERITAGE DAY (Cheoah Baptist Association)
Centennial Services in each church (Cheoah Baptist Association)
County Wide Picnic (Graham Co. Rescue Squad)
County Wide Religious Service (Cheoah Baptist Association)
Gospel Singing (Cheoah Baptist Association)
YOUTH DAY (Stecoah Rescue Squad)
Registration of Guests (Headquarters)
Sack Race (Gary Stepp & Lowell Crisp)
Wheelbarrow Race (Eddie Brooms)
Greased Pole (Graham Co. Rescue Squad)
Punt & Passing Football (Bobby Colvin)
Indian Stick Ball Game
Teen Dance (Carol Collins,& Jan Pangle)
FRONTIER DAY (American Legion)
Registration of Guests (HQ.)
Parade (Ralph Jenkins)
Hog Rifle Demonstration (Judge Leatherwood & family)
Centennial Queen (Rainbow Girls)
Beard Judging (Barbers)
Buck Dancing Contest (Don Gregory)
Old Timey Square Dance (J.C. Garland & Don Gregory)
Cherokee Indian Heritage Event (Mark Wachacha)
Graham Co. Heritage Event (Agayah Club)
Pageant (Mary Ellen Maxwell)