Until the mid 1800s, the ruggedly beautiful land surrounded by the Balsam, Cowee, Blue Ridge, and Great Smoky Mountains was known as the Valley of the Tuckaseegee, part Macon County and part Haywood County. As the population of the area expanded, political leaders determined it was time to form a new county, and the process was begun in 1850. Haywood County parted with all of its land west of the Balsams, and Macon gave up claim to its territory east of the I Cowee Mountains.
At the time, the people of Haywood and Macon counties were divided in their allegiance to two great American leaders: Andrew Jackson, a popular war hero and founder of Jacksonian Democracy, and Daniel Webster, a staunch Whig and champion of the preservation of the Union.
To satisfy both factions, leaders chose Jackson as the name of the new county in honor of "Old Hickory," the seventh president of the United States. The county seat was named Webster in honor of the famed orator, congressman, and senator.
With necessary legislation adopted, boundaries set, and names chosen, political leaders took the first step in establishing a county government on the third Monday of March 1853 in a log cabin erected by pioneer settler Daniel Bryson.
In 1861, Jackson was asked to cede its land in the extreme southern end of the county for the formation of Transylvania County. Ten years later, Jackson gave up another chunk of land in the northwestern end of the county to help form Swain County. That was the final reduction in its land mass.
Shortly after the county government was formed, commissioners began looking for a site for the county seat. The first site considered was the old Love Farm near the present County Home, also known as the "old Fisher place."
The final choice was a hill just west of the Love Farm on the right bank of the Tuckaseegee River. A brick courthouse was erected and was used until the county seat was moved to Sylva in 1913. Judge John W. Ellis, who later became a governor of North Carolina, presided at the first session of court.
A handsome new courthouse was constructed in 1914 on a hillside in Sylva and remained in use until the Jackson County Justice and Administration Building was completed in August 1994.
Extensive restoration work on the courthouse is still being done in 1995. The large, white building with its 107 steps and distinctive dome, is still known as the Jackson County Courthouse, although most courtroom sessions now take place in the new Justice and Administration Center.
The communities in Jackson County have unique characteristics, ranging from historic and agricultural to tourist and visitor- oriented. The county's three incorporated towns are Sylva, Dillsboro, and Webster. Unincorporated communities are Cashiers, Cullowhee, and Whittier.
Other communities are Addie, Balsam, Barkers Creek, Canada, Caney Fork, Glenville, Greens Creek, Qualla, Savannah, Scotts Creek, Tuckasegee, and Willits.
Sylva, the county seat of Jackson County, is in the northwestern section of the county. The county's largest town, Sylva provides an ideal mix of city services and conveniences. Most of the county's businesses and industries are in Sylva. Residents of Macon, Swain, and Haywood counties frequently shop there.
Chartered in 1899, Sylva was named the county seat in 1914 by popular vote. The town is governed by a mayor and five-member board of commissioners. Appointed officials are the town clerk\finance officer, chief of police, town attorney, and tax collector\assistant finance officer.
Brenda Oliver is mayor and the town manager is Tommy Thompson.
Named for Daniel Webster and built on an old Indian Mound, the picturesque community of Webster served as the county seat of Jackson from 1853 to 1914. The town was incorporated in 1859. Today the town is a quiet residential area with numerous homes of historical significance, modern housing developments, and farm land. The town is governed by a mayor and a five-member board of aldermen.
Founded in 1884, Dillsboro was the terminus of the Western North Carolina Railroad and for many years was a bustling community. The Jarrett House, one of the most popular historic inns in Western North Carolina, is in Dillsboro. In recent years, the community has undergone a rebirth and has become widely known for its craft shops that are devoted to the ancient arts of spinning, weaving, carving, pottery, and pewter crafting. Dillsboro is also home to the Great Smoky Mountains Railway, which takes thousands of visitors on scenic rides through the
Tuckaseegee River Valley and Nantahala Gorge. Dillsboro has a mayor and a five-member board of aldermen.
Cullowhee is the home of Western Carolina University, one of sixteen campuses of The University of North Carolina. The university is one of the largest businesses in Western North Carolina, employing more than 1,400 people and with an annual payroll of more than $50 million. Surrounded by high mountains, Cullowhee is in the scenic Tuckaseegee River basin.
In the early 1900s, several inns were established in the Cashiers area to serve Southern gentry who visited the mountains in the summer to escape the heat of the lowlands. Many of these families built summer homes, and their descendants still return with others to enjoy the excellent golf courses and tennis facilities, as well as a multitude of natural resources. The historic Hampton Inn, famous for its 18-hole, par 71, championship course, is in Cashiers. Close by is Sapphire Valley, a year-round resort community that received a four-star rating in the Mobile Travel Guide.
The community of Whittier lies in the rich farming country on the boundary of Jackson and Swain counties. Once a bustling community, Whittier now is treasured as a quiet country retreat. The town was established in 1885 by Dr. Clark Whittier of California, a relative of the Quaker poet, John Greenleaf Whittier. Nearby is the site of the 18th century Cherokee settlement of Stikohi, or Stecoee, which was destroyed in 1776. Col. William H. Thomas, a white Cherokee chief, established his home there. Using funds from the New Echota Treaty of 1838, Thomas bought land at Stikohi and gave it to his Cherokee friends. That land became the nucleus of the Oualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. The Stikohi site is now known as the Thomas Farm.
Highest point: Richland Balsam, 6,450 feet.
Lowest point: Whittier Post Office, 1,850 feet. Cashiers: 3,478 feet Glenville: 3,456 feet Balsam: 3,338 feet Willits: 2,544 feet Tuckasegee: 2,200 feet Webster: 2,156 feet Sylva: 2,039 feet Dillsboro: 2,000 feet Whittier: 1,850 feet
POINTS OF INTEREST
Judaculla Rock: A soapstone boulder 40 feet in circumference containing pictographic writings by unknown Indian tribes, off N.C. 107 South on Caney Fork Road.
Richland Balsam Overlook: Highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 6,053 feet, offering 270 degree views of mountains in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Whiteside Mountain: One of the highest cliffs in the east, the gleaming, bare rocks are off U.S. 64 in Cashiers.
Jackson County Courthouse: Built in 1914, and sporting 107 steps, it is one of the most photographed buildings in Western North Carolina. A monument of a Confederate soldier overlooks a fountain and Sylva's Main Street.
Cashiers:A historic comfortable summer resort community with numerous gift, crafts, and antique shops. The small town (population 1,099) offers a variety of accommodations and excellent restaurants.
Dillsboro: This growing village is home to a host of talented artisans and crafters. The more than 50 shops feature pewter, glass, pottery, rugs, shawls, Christmas ornaments, decoys, hammocks, and corn-shuck creations.
Great Smoky Mountain Railway: A passenger train service in Dillsboro that provides scenic excursions to Bryson City, the Nantahala Gorge, and Andrews from April 1 through Dec. 31. Golf Courses: Some of Western North Carolina's best courses are Sapphire Valley in Sapphire and High Hampton and Holly Forest in Cashiers.
Lakes: Fairfield, Wolf, Thorpe, Bear, and Cedar Cliff lakes offer fishing and recreational opportunities.
DRIVING DISTANCES FROM JACKSON COUNTY
Asheville.........48 Atlanta...........141 Birmingham, AL ...295 Charleston, SC ...290 Charlotte ........130 Chattanooga, TN...134 Columbia, SC......180 Gatlinburg, TN....45 Greenville, SC....70 Jacksonville, FL..400 Knoxville, TN.....105 Lexington, KY.....265 Memphis, TN.......492 Miami, FL.........735 Nashville, TN.....283 New Orleans, LA...610 Orlando, FL.......540 Raleigh...........285 Spartanburg, SC...90 Tampa, FL.........575
Jackson County has many good reasons for consistently earning high ratings as a best place to live. The mountain scenery is spectacular any time of the year, the climate is moderate, and opportunities for outdoor adventures are numerous. Outstanding educational activities are available at moderate cost. A variety of groups contribute to the enrichment of the county's cultural life. Diverse and pleasant lifestyles are available, whether it's the convenience of town living or the wide open spaces of the countryside. Its no wonder that Jackson County is one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina. Outside magazine, in a recent issue, selected Jackson County as one of the 100 best counties in America.
Jackson County lies between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. Elevations range from 1,850 feet to 6,450 feet. The Nantahala Nabonal Forest covers 28,400 acres of the county. From the Nabonal Wild and Scenic Chattooga River in the south to the forested lands of the Cherokee Indians in the north, Jackson County offers some of the state's most breathtaking natural beauty.
Many people consider the climate of Jackson County ideal. Summer temperatures are warm in the daytime, but nights are cool. Winter temperatures can dip below freezing, but rarely longer than a few days at a time. Snowfall is light to moderate. July is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 73.6. In January, the coldest month, the mean temperature is 40.1. Annual precipitation is 47 inches. Average relative humidity is around 70 percent in the summer and 66 percent in the winter.
Jackson County's crime rate is less than one half of the state average and almost one fourth of the national average.
Seven volunteer fire departments serve the county, each staffed with efficient and competent volunteers who are equipped with modern fire-fighting equipment. Fire departments are in Sylva, Cullowhee, Savannah, Balsam, Qualla, Canada, and Cashiers.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department is headquartered in Sylva behind the Jackson County Courthouse. Deputies reside in strategic locations throughout the county. The Sylva Police Department provides additional protection within the corporate limits of Sylva. Other agencies with law enforcement responsibilities in the county include the N.C. Highway Patrol, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Traffic and Security at Western Carolina University.
Jackson County's ambulance service is contracted through Moody Funeral Home and a Rescue Squad in Sylva. Service by fully equipped ambulances with advanced life support is provided by Jackson County Emergency Service and by the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad.
Jackson County has three fine libraries: Jackson County Public
Library on Main Street in Sylva, Hunter Library on the campus of Western Carolina University, and the Learning Resources Center at Southwestern Community College on Webster Road.
The county library offers free movies each week and a children's story hours during the summer. Hunter Library, the largest collection in Western North Carolina, features a comfortable reading section with current international and national newspapers and periodicals. All three facilities house impressive collections and provide a variety of services for the public.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Outdoor enthusiasts will find endless opportunities in Jackson County. Hunters, fishers, hikers, horseback riders, and campers are drawn to the Nantahala National Forest. The county's clear cold-water lakes offer swimming, boating, skiing, fishing, and other water sports. Kayakers, rafters, and canoers have discovered that Jackson County is in the heart of some of the South's best whitewater rivers. The Tuckaseegee, Chattooga, Oconaluftee, and Nantahala rivers are either in or close to Jackson County. The Blue Ridge Parkway borders the county, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of America's most visited parks, is only minutes away.
Jackson County's four golf courses offer some of the most scenic and challenging golfing in the Southeast. Sapphire Valley has two courses, one private and one public. Others are Wade Hampton, a private course, and High Hampton Inn, which is open to the public but gives first priority to guests.
Jackson County's Recreation Department provides an organized program of activities for all ages on a year-round basis. Facilities include lighted tennis courts, softball fields, basketball courts, a swimming pool, and playgrounds. Special interests classes are regularly offered.
Spectator sports include Little League and Senior League baseball, Softball League, and high school football, basketball, and baseball.
Western Carolina University, a member of the Southern Conference, fields fourteen intercollegiate teams. Men's sports include football, basketball, baseball, tennis, track and field, cross country, and golf. Women compete in volleyball, basketball, tennis, cross country, and track.
Cultural events in Jackson County cover a wide spectrum of tastes and interests.
Theater and Music: The Kudzu Players, a community theater group, offers popular plays on a regular schedule, The Department of Speech and Drama at Western Carolina University produces approximately dramas, comedies, and musicals throughout the year at Niggli Theater and Studio Theater on the Cullowhee campus.
Art Exhibits: The Chelsea Gallery and Belk Art Gallery at Western Carolina University offer art exhibits by local, regional, and national artists on a year-round basis. The mountain region is well known for its unique crafts, many of which are on display at locations throughout the county, including the Jackson County Library.
Historical Exhibits: The Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University is a regional museum and educational facility, offering a look at the land, culture, and people of the Appalachian region. A permanent exhibit, Migration of the Scotch-lrish People, charts the settlement of the Scotch-Irish in the coves and mountains of Western North Carolina.
Special Events: A variety of annual events are devoted to the mountain traditions and culture: Mountain Heritage Day at Western
Carolina University, Dillsboro Heritage Festival, Fourth of July Celebration in downtown Sylva, Summer Evenings in Webster, the Dillsboro Merchants Open House and Luminary, plus bazaars, craft shows, and antique shows. Both Sylva and Cashiers sponsor annual Christmas parades. Western Carolina University hosts Madrigal Christmas Dinners each season.
Prominent speakers, authors, poets, and performing artists frequently visit the campuses of Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College to give lectures, readings, concerts, and performances.
Newspapers serving Jackson County include ] The Asheville Citizen-Times (daily), The Sylva Herald (weekly), and The Cashiers Crossroads Chronicle (weekly). Students at Western Carolina University publish the weekly Western Carolinian, which serves students and faculty of the university.
Radio stations are WRGC (680 AM, 1,000 watts) in Sylva and WWCU (90.5 FM, 327 watts) a campus station at Western Carolina University.
Television networks serving the area are ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the Public Broadcasting Service. Reception may vary, according to location in the county. Cablevision is available in more densely populated areas.
POPULATION AND INCOME
Although one of the fastest growing counties in Western North Carolina, Jackson is not over populated. Its 27,000 residents have varied interests and backgrounds. The population is stable, and the residents are well educated, thrifty, and contribute to the vitality of the county.
Many of Jackson County's residents come from families that have made their homes in the area for generations. Others come from various states and countries to make their home here. Many visitors to the area often return to purchase seasonal homes, boosting the county's population from April through October.
Jackson County has special appeal for older Americans approaching retirement age. County leaders have placed increased emphasis on creating more opportunities for retired residents. A substantial number of young adults resides in the county, taking advantage of the many educational opportunities. The 20 to 29 age group is the largest segment of the population most of the year.
The county's low crime rate and the absence of problems often associated with urban life have attracted many young families to locate here and raise their children. Housing for these diverse population groups has been readily available at a cost much lower than the national average, whether purchasing or renting a home.
1980 1990 % Change 1994
Jackson 26,100 27,000 +3.45% 28,108 North Carolina 5,930,600 6,693,100 +12.86% 7,019,142
Density of Population Persons Per Square Mile
Jackson County 55.0 57.3 North Carolina 137.3 144.0
LAND AREA AND POPULATION DENSITY
Jackson County covers 499 square miles, and, according to the latest available data, has an average density of 54.7 persons per square mile. The state average is 135.7 per square mile.
EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR FORCE
Educational institutions are the major employers in Jackson County. Opportunities for employment also are available in government, business, and industry, especially small manufacturing. Employers in small manufacturing are primarily in the areas of apparel, lumber, furniture, and plastics.
Educational institutions, business, and industrial concerns work together to develop a trained and skilled labor force to meet the needs of area employers. A large pool of qualified workers is available for employment.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
Jackson County has a vibrant business and industrial base that is engaged in a variety of pursuits. Major sectors include manufacturing, retail trade, services, and agriculture. Approximately half of the county's population is employed, mostly in industry and business establishments. Agriculture provides work for several hundred more people, and approximately 700 people hold jobs in the travel and tourism sector.
Jackson County's largest source of income is from retail sales. In 1990, income of more than $180 million was brought into the county through retail sales, mostly foods and automotives. Other areas represented in retail sales are general merchandise, pharmaceuticals, furniture, furnishings, and appliances.
The county's second largest source of income is generated by travel and tourism, approximately $32 million in 1990. While figures fluctuate, depending on such national economic factors as gasoline prices and amount of expendable income, the travel and tourism industry has enjoyed steady growth.
Another major income producer for the county is agriculture, which accounted for more than $17 million in 1991. About one-third of that total came from Christmas tree sales, an industry extremely well adapted to the county's climate and topography. Greenhouse crops, ornamental trees and shrubbery, cattle, tobacco, and vegetable and fruit crops also are produced in the county.
Jackson County's 234 farms average 77 acres are relatively small, compared to those in the eastern part of the state, primarily because a smaller percentage of the land can be farmed on the mountainous terrain. Consequently, Jackson's industrious growers have concentrated on highly intensive farming methods and have created one of North Carolina's healthiest agricultural economies.
Business Establishments (1994)
Total Business Locations (Private Sector) ...855 Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Mining, Construction ................................126 Manufacturing ...............................32 Transportation, Communications, and Other Public Utilities.............................24 Wholesale Trade .............................17 Retail Trade.................................250 Finance, Insurance, Real Estate..............77 Business and Repair Services, Personal Services ...........................121 Entertainment and Recreation Services........18 Professional and Related Educational Services, Other Professional and Related Services......130
Jackson County has good sites available for industrial Development. Tracts for industrial development are available with water and sewer.
Jackson County property taxes are 53 cents per $100 valuation. The towns of Sylva and Dillsboro have ad valorem taxes within their corporate limits using the county assessment.
Residents of North Carolina must pay state income tax. Filing date is April 15. North Carolina does not allow long term capital gains.
An intangible tax of 25 cents per $100 is imposed on securities, based on year-end values. North Carolina corporations are exempt from the tax.
The sales tax in North Carolina is 6 percent.
Jackson County has placed a high priority on the development of reliable and safe transportation systems to and from the mountain region. The county has a rural character, and the main arteries for both commercial and private transportation have remained un-congested and efficient. Major urban centers such as Atlanta, Charlotte, and Knoxville are easily accessible.
Jackson County Transit
Jackson County has accessible, affordable transportation a phone call away. Jackson Transit offers daily local routes, including pickups and drop offs in Cullowhee, Webster, Dillsboro, and Sylva. Transportation can be provided to employment and school and for shopping trips and medical appointments. Fares vary according to distance. Out of town transportation to Bryson City, Cherokee, Franklin, Waynesville, and Asheville is by reservation.
With a model highway system extending from the mountains to the coast, North Carolina well deserves its title as "The Good Roads State." The state Department of Transportation maintains 76,000 miles of highway and interstate routes, more than any other state in the nation.
In Jackson County, U.S. 23-74 provides four-lane service to Sylva and the northern sections of the county. U.S. 441, also a four-lane highway, services the southern end of the county. The county's three state highways are N.C. 107 (four lanes from Sylva through Cullowhee and two lanes from Cullowhee to Cashiers and South Carolina), N.C. 116, and N.C. 281, which is partially a gravel road.
U.S. 23-74 provides access to Interstate 40, which is 14 miles east of Jackson County, and to Interstate 26, which is 33 miles east in Buncombe County.
Twin engine aircraft can be accommodated at Jackson County Airport, which has an asphalt runway of 3,200 feet. Commercial airline service is available at Asheville Regional Airport, 60 miles east. Passenger service is provided by US Air, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, American Eagle, and Comair. Daily flights provide connections to all major cities.
Among the freight carriers serving Jackson County are ABF Freight System, Inc.; Atlanta Motor Lines, Inc.; Blue Ridge Trucking Co.; Carolina Freight Carriers Corp.; Estes Express Lines, Inc.; Roadway Express, Inc.; Spartan Express, Inc.; Transus; and United Parcel Service. A regional distribution center in Sylva operated by UPS delivers to many eastern cities, often on an overnight basis.
Southern Railroad services the northern part of Jackson County. Delivery points are in Balsam, Addie, and Sylva. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway is operated out of Dillsboro with freight and passenger service to points west.
Education has a high priority in Jackson County, at both the public school and collegiate levels.
The public school system is administered by a five-member board of education, which is elected by county voters. The board employs a superintendent who administers the schools according to policies adopted by the board.
The county has four elementary schools, one union school, and one high school. Enrollment in the county's public schools for the 1994-95 academic year was 3,452. Budget for the year was $22,437,104. The school system has 450 full-time employees, 230 of whom are teachers. More than half of the county's teachers hold graduate degrees. Expenditure per pupil is $5,043.16. The drop-out rate was 6 percent during 1992-93.
At the post-secondary level, Southwestern Community College is a two-year institute providing learning opportunities for people of all ages. Jackson County is home to Western Carolina University, one of sixteen campuses of The University of North Carolina. WCU offers baccalaureate and graduate programs in a variety of fields.
All public educational institutions are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
· Blue Ridge School (K-12) Cullowhee Valley School (K-8) Fairview Elementary School (K-8) Scotts Creek Elementary School (K-8) Smoky Mountain Elementary School (K-8) Smoky Mountain High School (9-12)
160 regular teachers 67 other teachers 10 guidance teachers 8 librarians
Ratio of students to teachers: 16 to 1.
Southwestern Community College
Southwestern Community College was established in 1964 to serve the communities of Jackson, Macon and Swain counties as a part of the 58 member Community College System of North Carolina.
Located on a beautifully landscaped 57-acre campus on highway 116 between Sylva and Webster, the six major buildings include facilities devoted to vocational, technical, service, and health occupations as well as a Learning Resources Center.
Southwestern offers over 30 curriculum programs designed to prepare graduates to enter the work force or to transfer to other institutions.
The college offers many health science programs including Drugs. and Alcohol Technology, Electroneuro diagnostics, Medical Laboratory, Medical Transcription and Medical Coding, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Phlebotomy, Physical Terapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, and Respiratory Care Technology.
In addition to health programs, SCC offers many other quality programs ranging from Computers and Electronix to Commercial Art, Business, Paralegal, trades programs and General Education. For a complete list of programs offered at Southwestern, please contact the Admissions Office. Curriculum enrollment is around 1,600 full and part time students.
In addition to curriculum programs, Southwestern has a strong Continuing Education division that offers a wide range of classes including Public Safety, basic skills, and business and industry training.
The college operates with an open door admissions policy. This means that anyone who is 18 years of age or older may enroll in classes. Admission to degree programs requires a high school diploma or high school equivalency (GED). Some programs have special entrance requirements.
For more information about Southwestern Community College, please contact the admissions office at: 275 Webster Road, Sylva, NC 28779 or telephone (828) 586-4091, Ext. 253
Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University is one of sixteen senior institutions of the University of North Carolina. The main campus in Callow and resident-credit centers in Asheville and Cherokee serve a student body of 6,600. Faculty numbers 325.
The university is divided into four colleges: Applied Sciences, Artis and Sciences, Business, and Education and Psychology, plus the Graduate School. The university offers seventy-five undergraduate majors. Approximately 1,200 students are enrolled in ten master's degree programs with more than fifty options in professional and academic fields.
For the 1994-95 academic year, tuition, fees, and room and board cost students approximately $4,100. Out-of-state students pay $10,600. Full-time graduate students from North Carolina pay about $1,147 per academic year in tuition and fees. Cost for out-of-state graduate students is $7,483. Room and board are additional.
The many activities at the university make it a cultural hub for the region. Plays, concerts, exhibits, and lectures are offered through out the year. The university's annual Mountain Heritage Day draws more than 35,000 people to the campus each September. Elder hostel programs are held during the summer, and continuing education programs are offered year-round.
WCU also houses several outreach programs: the Speech and Hearing Center, Developmental Evaluation Center, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Intervention Program, the Institute for College and University Teaching, the Alliance of Business Leaders and Educators, and the Office for Rural Education.
Western Carolina University's Catamount athletic teams bring quality sports action to the campus as they compete in the Southern Conference and NCAA. The Cats have clinched the baseball conference title seven times in a row and have competed in NCM Division post season play. The Catamount football team has been a strong NCM division contender in recent years. Games are made even more enjoyable by the breathtaking autumn scenery that surrounds the campus.
The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching
Located opposite the Western Carolina University campus on NC . 107, the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teachings was established in 1985. A part of The University of North Carolina system, NCCAT offers a variety of renewal programs for the state's best public school teachers. Week long seminars, featuring a diverse and eclectic range of subjects, are led by a professional staff of educators.
In 1925, two Sylva physicians established the county's first hospital on Court House Hill. They likely were unaware that their small start would one day become the current Harris Regional Hospital.
With funds from the Duke Endowment and support from Col. C. J. Harris, a local resident, the hospital thrived and expanded. Col. Harris was very much interested in seeing that area residents had access to quality health care. In recognition of his generous support, the facility was named the C.J. Harris Hospital and became a private, not-for-profit community-owned health care facility.
The hospital remained at its original site on Court House Hill until a new 50-bed facility was constructed in 1959 at the present site. Funding for the construction came from Hill-Burton funds, donations received in a fund-raising campaign, and through the sale of stock contributed by Col. Harris.
Major expansions in 1970, 1986, and 1994 boosted the hospital from a small 50-bed facility to hospital with 86 acute care beds and 100 long-term beds. As the hospital expanded, so did its service area. While Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Graham counties are the hospital's primary care area, other counties also are represented in a service area that stretches into northern Georgia and includes approximately 150,000 people. More than 50 percent of the hospital's patient load now comes from outside the county.
In 1994, the Mountain Region Cancer Center was established on the hospital grounds in a joint venture with Asheville's Memorial Mission Hospital. A complex of doctor's offices has developed around the hospital in response to the rapid growth.
Services and staff have increased to keep up with the hospital's growth. Harris has a full-time staff of 49 health care professionals working in 22 different specialties.
In recognition of the hospital's expanded service area, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name to Harris Regional Hospital to more truly reflect the hospital's regional status. The trustees also adopted the name of West Care Health Systems in recognition of other medical services offered at the complex. Among the broad range of specialties offered by Harris Regional Hospital are cardiology, dermatology, family medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, internal medicine, urology, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, neurology, pulmonary medicine, and psychiatry. A 24-hour emergency room is staffed by board-certified physicians.
The hospital's medical staff has the diversity and professional talents of hospitals many times its size. Working with a highly trained staff, these specialists provide the finest medical care available.
Harris Regional Hospital is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees composed of community members who volunteer their time and expertise. Paramount among the board's goals are to have a hospital that serves all who need quality care and retains its status as one of the region's most progressive health care facilities. Harris Hospital is one of two in the 280-hospital Sun Health Alliance to receive more than $2 million in grants to pilot a study of how the health care system of the future will operate. Results of the three-year study will be shared across the full hospital membership of Sun Health.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BUILDING CODE PERMIT
Requirements North Carolina General Statutes require issuance of a building permit prior to construction, alteration, or repair of any building or building system.
Exceptions are farm buildings (except dwellings), projects costing $5,000 or less, unless the work involves: 1. Load bearing structures 2. Plumbing systems 3. Heating or air conditioning systems