The city of Durham, North Carolina, is home to the world-renowned Duke University and Duke Medical Center, as well as several other prestigious colleges and universities.
Haywood County, located in western North Carolina, has a rich and fascinating history dating back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, who were forced out of the area during the infamous Trail of Tears in the 19th century. European settlement of the area began in the late 18th century, with pioneers establishing farms and small communities along the rivers and valleys.

During the American Civil War, Haywood County was divided in its allegiances, with some residents supporting the Union and others siding with the Confederacy. The region experienced several skirmishes and battles, including the Battle of Bethel and the Battle of Waynesville. However, the impact of the war on Haywood County was relatively minimal compared to other areas.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Haywood County experienced significant growth due to the development of industries such as agriculture, lumber, and textiles. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s facilitated the transportation of goods and helped spur economic growth in the region. Haywood County became known for its agricultural production, especially in the cultivation of apples, which led to the establishment of a thriving apple industry that continues to this day.

In more recent years, Haywood County has focused on preserving its natural beauty and promoting tourism. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which partially lies within the county, attracts millions of visitors each year who come to explore the area's scenic landscapes, hiking trails, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Haywood County has also preserved its historical sites and has become a popular destination for those interested in local history and culture. The county continues to thrive as a vibrant community that balances its past with its aspirations for the future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Haywood County, North Carolina.

  • 1808 - Haywood County is established
  • 1828 - The county seat is named Waynesville, in honor of Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne
  • 1876 - The Haywood County Courthouse is built, becoming a prominent landmark in the county
  • 1925 - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is established, including a portion of Haywood County
  • 1940 - The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway, is completed, passing through Haywood County
  • 1997 - The Shining Rock Wilderness area is designated, protecting the unique natural features of the region
  • 2004 - The Pigeon River Gorge is designated a National Wild and Scenic River, preserving its beauty and ecological value