History of Glen Cannon

   The community of Glen Cannon, near Brevard, North Carolina has a long and interesting history. There is evidence that the area has been inhabited for the past 12,000 years. Beginning with the earliest known inhabitants, the Cherokee Indians, the area surrounding Glen Cannon has been witness to much interesting history.
   The first Europeans began settling the area at about the time a British proclamation established peace with the Cherokee in 1763. Many of these settlers were in the area illegally as there were no clear boundaries for the many treaties meant to establish legal boundaries.
   Prior to the establishment of Transylvania County in 1861, the area was claimed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, sometimes at the same time. After 1763, real estate became considered more profitable than trade and troops were sent from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to destroy Cherokee villages just prior to the American Revolution which began in 1775.
   The area was valuable to traders from both north and south as they used what is referred to as the Eastatoe Trail for trade throughtout the area. Long before the arrival of the Europeans, native people, whose names are unknown, inhabited Transylvania territory. Those early people traveled on foot along paths beaten out by the buffalo that inhabited the Carolinas before recorded history. Later the buffalo trails were widened and deepened by the footsteps of the Cherokee as they journeyed throughout the region hunting game and trading their commodities. Finally, the settler's wagons left ruts and holes gouged into those corridors. The ancient Eastatoe Path was just such a maze of paths in the western regions of North Carolina and surrounding areas.
   The little green Carolina parakeet called the Eastatoe (or Estatoe) now extinct, which inhabityed the Carolinas until early colonial times, provided the name for the trails. Early settlers called the local Cherokee people the Eastatoes, identifying them with their trade town of Eastatoe. The name also came to be applied to the Indian Paths, or the Trading Paths as they were sometimes called.
   Surveyiing the boundary lines were difficult at best and in some cases the surveyors failed altogether. This created a dispute between North Carolina, South Carolina and Gegorgia known as the Waltons Wars. There were skirmishes between North Carolina settlers and Georgia militia until the boundary dispute was settled in 1815, though there continue to be contentious actions concerning property rights in this area even in the present day. The major problem was the correct location of the 35th parallel which North Carolina claimed as its southern border.
   Within the disputed area was a 12 mile wide strip of land lying within the borders of present day Transylvania County known as the "Orphan Strip". Glen Cannon lies in this area. The story of the Walton Wars is very interesting in itself. The "Orphan Strip " was considered a lawless area as no political entity laid claim to it, though North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia all viewed it as their territory.
   Even in real estate transactions there was considerable confusion. Burke and Rutherford Counties began issuing land grants in the early 1790's. At the time, the eastern area of what is now Transylvania was a part of Rutherford County. Joseph Henry acquired land grants from Rutherford County. In 1790 which, on January 14, 1792, formed a part of Buncombe County. That same year Buncombe County was exercising some authority over portions of the now Transylvania County area.
   By 1791, Joseph Henry and William Davidson claimed property on what was then known as "town creek" or "town fork". The State of North Carolina granted Henry and Davidson several hundred acres including a 49 acre tract on the east side of the French Broad River including "high shoals" in 1794. Around 1797, "Town Creek" became known as Williamsons Creek. An 1876 map identifies the stream as Glen Creek and the "high shoals" as Glen Creek Shoals.
   Sometime around 1801, construction began on a road from the Asheville area referred to as the Boyleston Highway (roughly the present day NC Hwy. 280) improving access to the county.
   Glen Cannon began to take shape in 1853 when McKewn Johnstone, son of a wealthy rice planter from Charleston, South Carolina, purchased property that was at that time a part of Henderson County. He was one fo three brothers who purchased property in the "Upper French Broad Valley area".
   McKewn Johnstone's wife was Martha Cannon Webb. The family was living at Glen Cannon when the Civil War broke out in 1861, the same year that Transylvania County was established. They had built a small house on the property. Johnstone enlisted the aid of Albert Cannon, owner fo the Horse Shoe Bend Farm, to clear the land using slave labor. Andy Tipton of Brevard lived and workded on the farm for nearly fifty years. A slave cemetery is said to be located near the site of the old farmhouse. There is a lso rumor that a grist mill was located on the property.
   The property was puchased on July 1, 1905 by Levi S. Clough of Warren, Pennsylvania.
   Clough owned estensive timber lands in several states. He also owned what is described as the historic Clough farm called "Spring Creek" near Warren, Pennsylvania. A warranty deed date March 3, 1923 and recorded on July 3, 1925 transferred the Clouth deed to the L.S. Clough Land & Timber Company.
   This same property was indentured (or deeeded) to Irving J. Reuter on August 10, 1939. Mr, Reuter attended Purdue University graduating with an engineering degree in 1907. His interest in and knowledtge of the automobile industry were reflected not only in his managerial responsibilities, but also as an inventor. His name is listed on six patents issued to inventions related to such developments as an electric generator, and ignition apparatus, a system for supplying electricity, an ignition coil, a roadster rear seat and an engine starting apparatus.
   Mr. Reuter retired from General Motors in 1935. He and Mrs. Reuter lived in various locations in Florida and Asheville, where they maintained a home after 1937. He and his wife established the Janirve Foundation in 1954.
   Reuter sold the property to E. C. Langston and wife, Jennie C. Langston on July 28,1944.
   E. C. Langston and Jennie deeded the property on August 17, 1951 to Laurence DeCamp Romfh and his wife Donna Lynn.
   Little is known about Laurence Romfh but on March 21, 1958 a warranty deed to Glenn Cannon Falls Inc.,* was registeded in his name. On June 10 of the same year a quit-claim deed was registered by Jules M. and Emily N. Romfh also to the Glenn Cannon Falls, Inc., a Florida Corporation. Jules is well known for his love of polo. Oral history- rumors-state that polo ponies were raised on the Glen Cannon property at one time. This claim cannot currently be substantiated. Jules was from a wealthy Miami family and son of Edward C. Romfh who was mayor of Miami in the mid 1920's. Laurence and Jules must have been related in some way.
   On August 6, 1964, an indenture was registered between Elmer Gooden and his wife Frances Gooden and R. H. Burns, Jr., Trustee to facilitate the execution of deeds, etc. for the slae of the property. Burns, deeded the property to the Glenn Cannon Land Company, Inc. on March 1, 1965. That same year 35 investors from Brevard purchased the 1300 acre tract for the purpose of building a golf course and surrounding residential area.
   The group reserved about 155 acres of the bottom land for the golf course which was opened on June 6, 1966. The club sold 400 shares of stock at $300 a share to finance the construction of the course. Willie B. Lewis of Pickens, SC was hired to design and build the golf course.
   Four of the original investors acquired all the remaining Glenn Cannon Land Company Inc. stock in 1975, and began development of the land fronting the golf course. The partners sold their interests to developer, John Nichols, Jr. in March 1982. Nichols continued development until the majority of the home sites were sold. Some of the remaining common lands have been turned over to the Glen Cannon Property Owners Association. This included 12 acres of trails and waterfalls along Camp Creek.
   A few gaps exist in the registration of some parcels contained within the Glen Cannon deeds. The original property included the land lying northwest of Wilson Road. There appears to have been a few heirs who inherited some of the property, but it is  remarkable that the entire portion of what is now Glen Cannon remained basically intact since it was originally purchased by McKewn Johnstone in 1853.

by Ann Hoeke
* The spelling of the Glenn Cannon Land Company, Inc. appears this way in each of the known registered deeds,



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