Digital Heritage Moment
In 1814, Henry Colwell purchased the first title to land in a valley in northern Haywood County known as Cataloochee. By 1900, the population had grown substantially into a thriving community. In 1928, Cataloochee residents were notified by the Federal government of their pending eviction to make way for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Families who had lived in Cataloochee for more than a century were paid for their land and told to leave. Many chose to relocate elsewhere in Haywood County.
Descendants of Colwell and other early settlers like Tommy Caldwell had lived in Cataloochee for generations. Today their grandchildren and great-grandchildren return annually to Cataloochee to the areas where their family homesteads once stood, preserving their deep family roots.
Digital Heritage Moments are produced at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. To learn more, visit digitalheritage.org. You may also hear Digital Heritage Moments each weekday on radio stations WKSF-FM, WWCU-FM, WMXF-AM, WPEK-AM and WWNC-AM.