Sylva, the seat of Jackson County, was chartered in 1889 and takes its name from a wayfaring Dane, William D. Sylva, who once worked as a handyman for E. R. Hampton, the man who owned most of the land where the town now sits. When it came time to apply for a post office, Hampton asked his small daughter, Mae, what the town should be named. “Sylva,” said the young girl, who had taken a liking to her father's hired hand. With the coming of the railroad in the late 19th century, the town developed into the commercial center of southwestern North Carolina. In 1912, a county-wide referendum moved the county seat from Webster to Sylva, leading to the construction of Western North Carolina's most photographed building, the historic Jackson County Courthouse, which sits atop a hill overlooking Main Street.
Arcadia Publishing
: 9780738554112
: Arcadia Publishing
: 09/15/2008
: North Carolina
: Images of America
: 200 Black And White
: 128
: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
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About the author
Author Lynn Hotaling is the editor of the Sylva Herald, Jackson County's oldest newspaper. She moved to the area in 1970 to attend Western Carolina University, where she majored in history. While at the Herald, Hotaling has edited award-winning Sylva Centennial and Jackson County Sesquicentennial special sections. She authors the newspaper's popular “Ruralite Café” column, which is often based on historical topics, and was instrumental in the 2006 launch of the Herald's Jackson County magazine, Across the Mountains.
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