Monday, September 17, 2012

Murphy, North Carolina

If you ever drive up through the center of North Georgia, through the beginnings of the Great Smoky Mountains, travel into North Carolina. Stop into the beautiful mountain town of Murphy, North Carolina. There you will find a downtown rich with the culture of crafters, artists, locals, farmers, and travelers. You'll find inspiration at the John Campbell Folk School where music plays, baskets are weaved, paintings painted, and creative arts are sold. While you're there, you are likely to stumble upon the Murphy River Walk, a 3 mile stretch from Konehete Park winding down with the Hiwassee and Valley River waters. But most of all, if you travel up the mountain, curve around turns and steep hills, you'll find my aunt Paula. She moved to Murphy several years ago and while we miss her here in central Georgia, we love to visit the mountain town my family has grown to love.

This fall, you will find me here at the Heritage Walk & Festival volunteering with this great festival that brings locals out and visitors in to enjoy all that Murphy has to offer. The festival is held at the Old L&N Depot in historical downtown Murphy.

One of the many aspects that makes me proud to be a Southerner is the rich history that seeps out of every town especially ones like Murphy. I wanted to share a bit of their history with y'all tonight.

 In 1873, The State of North Carolina began construction of a rail line to carry passengers and freight from Asheville westward. This train, the Marietta & North Georgia, was the first to enter Murphy in 1888. (Check out the cowboy on the right, what a stud!)

This I have nicknamed The Last Steam, because it was the last steam powered locomotive to leave Murphy in  February 1953. The Old Hackney Warehouse pictured behind the train built in 1890 still stands on Railroad Street.   

Summer of 1961, The General, a mighty "show horse" locomotive captured by the Andrews Raiders during the Civil War and recovered by its crew during the great locomotive chase by the work horse locomotive The Texas, was later restored to its full glory and taken on  tour around the country's railways. People from miles around came to see it in the summer of 1961.
These photographs absolutely captured my heart and I could not wait to put them in our living room. I printed and framed some for my aunt as well for Christmas, shows you how long I've had these and waited to put them up!  
Something about a train speaks to me, especially one that is over 100 years old. They represent a steady strength, to go, endure those mountains, and travel the track to get to the exciting destination.
I won't get too deep on y'all!
Till next time!  

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