Many names you’ll see and hear in Murphy NC come from the Cherokee

Real Estate Agent with Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA

Many of the names you’ll see and hear in Murphy NC and the western NC mountains come from the Cherokee.  What does the word Nantahala mean?  If you keep seeing words like Nantahala and aren’t sure how to pronounce them or where it came from, you’re not alone and it's a question we get quite alot.

Rafters on the Nantahala River

The Nantahala National Forest was established in 1920 under authority of the 1911 Weeks Act. This act provided authority to acquire lands for national forests to protect watersheds, to provide timber, and to regulate the flow of navigable streams.  The forest took its name from the Cherokee word nondayeli, meaning "noonday sun." The Cherokee word is appropriate because of the number of steep gorges in the forest where the sun only reaches to the valley floor at midday.

Nantahala National Forest

    Nantahala National Forest is the largest of the four national forests in the state of North Carolina with more than 530,000 acres which span from Murphy to Waynesville and Cashiers to Fontana Village. Nantahala National Forest has hundreds of waterfalls, as well as river valleys and lakes in the lower lands. Whitewater Rafting is a favorite adventure on the Nantahala River when you visit the Wet & Wild Water Activities. It ranges in elevation from a low of 1,200 feet along the Hiwassee River in Cherokee County to a high of 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County.


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Lee & Carol Barbour
"The Mountain Living Team"



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Comments (2)

Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Love posts like this Carol.  Great local information, facts and good to know.  We have some Native American names of rivers like the Oconee which gets a lot of mispronunciation too. 

Nov 10, 2012 05:07 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

You really have some great history in your area, Carol.  This is another interesting explanation of how a place came by its name.

Nov 10, 2012 05:29 AM