One Mile from Late 18th Century Treasures

If you were one of the large black Ravens who calls this valley home, you could fly one mile due north of my house, over Brushy Top Mountain, and land in a tree facing a late 18th century log farmhouse that looks as fresh as the day it was built. In fact, there are at least three of these historic houses within a half mile of each other, and a walk along unpaved Haynes Road will take you close to all three.

Otter Creek flows out of my valley, but just over the mountain, Ham Creek collects the water from the north side of Oak, Brushy Top and Bear Gap Mountains.

Brushy Top Cornfield
Brushy Top and Bear Gap above Ham Creek send nutrient rich water to these bottomlands where corn is the major crop. This scene is from September 1st as the corn is almost ready to harvest. Just in the distant woods is an 1835 wood frame farmhouse that was moved from a spot a mile away, and lovingly restored into the two story guest cottage that it is today.

Ham Creek Farmhouse
Spring House Farms
This house is part of “The Cottages at Spring House Farm” http://www.springhousefarm.com , a secluded collection of cabins deep in the woods that can be rented by the night. The main house is the restored 1826 Albertus Ledbetter post and beam farmhouse that is on the National Registry. One of my five neighbors in this valley descends from the McCurry family who purchased the Ledbetter House in 1921. Check out this recent feature from North Carolina Public Television.

Ham Creek Tulip Poplar
This Tulip Poplar along Ham Creek Road is already showing the signs of the coming autumn.

Wolf Pen Pasture
Paved Ham Creek Road leads to unpaved Haynes Road, that takes you deeper into the valley. Hickory Nut Mountain looks over a pasture frequented by herds of Black Angus cattle.


The shoulders of Haynes Road are lined with wildflowers this time of year. The sign is indicative of the old families who settled this valley.

Tall White Pines
Standing over 100 feet tall, this group of Eastern White Pine would have been planted at the turn of the last century.

Ham Creek Log Cabin
Almost at the end of the road is this late 18th century log house. Although I don’t know when the house was built, it mirrors the two chimney style of the 1790 log house where my family reunion was held last month in South Carolina. Situated on a hill below Bear Gap Mountain, the house has been restored, and has a wood frame “guest” cabin, below, in the woods nearby.

Old Ham Creek Cabin

Ham Creek log Wildflowers
Wildflowers frame the log cabin, as they have for over 200 years.

Ham Creek Log Cabin Summer
I’m constantly learning about the remarkable history of this isolated area of the mountains. Many more stories are just waiting to be discovered.

5 thoughts on “One Mile from Late 18th Century Treasures

  1. I tried to look at the cabins via your post, but the address was invalid. Will still look it up. Have you seen the Mountain Ash trees in Fall or Spring? They only grow on the highest peaks – i.e. Roan Mtn., Mt. Mitchell. Beautiful! And there is a web-cam on Purchase Knob that we love to look at. Purchase knob was donated by two people to the park service in 2001. You can go there by appt. only. Just type in Purchase Knob and several sites come up. Beautiful pictures as always, Vann. Keep exploring. Nancy

  2. Beautiful 1800s-1930s Fixer-uppers :>) The Preservation via the Red Metal Roofs a big plus. You just ca’t get a new one that Rustic

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