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North Carolina was the site of the first gold rush in the United States, in the early 1800s. The town of Charlotte was named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III of England.
Jackson County, located in the western part of North Carolina, is rich in both natural beauty and historic significance. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee, who occupied the region for thousands of years. However, in the early 19th century, European settlers began to arrive, leading to a major shift in the county's cultural and demographic makeup.

The county was officially established in 1851 and named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. During this time, the economy of the area revolved primarily around farming and logging. However, the discovery of gold in nearby areas, such as nearby Cullowhee, led to a short-lived gold rush in the mid-1800s.

In the late 19th century, Jackson County experienced substantial growth and development, particularly with the arrival of the railroad in the area. This transportation infrastructure brought new opportunities for trade and commerce, as well as tourism, as more people began to visit the scenic mountain landscapes.

Furthermore, the establishment of higher educational institutions, such as Western Carolina University, in the early 20th century brought a new wave of growth and prosperity to the county. Today, Jackson County continues to thrive as a popular destination for outdoor recreation, offering activities such as hiking, fishing, and whitewater rafting.

Throughout its history, Jackson County has evolved from a Native American settlement to a thriving community that maintains its natural beauty while embracing modern development. Its rich cultural heritage, combined with its picturesque scenery, make it a fascinating place to explore and learn about the history of Western North Carolina.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Jackson County, North Carolina.

  • 1796: Jackson County is established as part of Haywood County.
  • 1814: The county is officially named after General Andrew Jackson.
  • 1824: Sylva is founded as the county seat.
  • 1883: The Western North Carolina Railroad connects Sylva to the rest of the region.
  • 1934: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is established, encompassing parts of Jackson County.
  • 1964: Western Carolina University is founded in Cullowhee.
  • 2013: Jackson County celebrates its bicentennial.