Maggie Valley History
Maggie Valley is a beautiful large valley, 35 miles west of Asheville, NC; elevation is 3200 feet with mountains rising up on all sides some more than 6,000 feet high. The Valley is a gateway to Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. These two great natural attractions bring thousands and thousands of people to Maggie Valley each year.
Long before the first settlers had come into this mountain country, the Cherokee Indians occupied much of this land including all of Haywood County. Some early pioneers traveled to our area by what was known as the Indian Trail. It led from Cherokee to Waynesville crossing through Soco gap and down Jonathan Creek to Dellwood (now part of Maggie Valley) near the intersection of US 19 and US 276.
Characteristics that would be attributed to these mountaineers over the next 200 years include independence, self-sufficiency, ingenuity, and thrift. All of these traits were essential for survival. They were suspicious of outsiders, yet hospitable, honest, and yet sensitive to criticism. They had a strong attachment to family and their land. Traditions of courage, freethinking, and the right to brew ones own whiskey.
Henry Plott came to Western North Carolina in the early 1800’s with his hunting dogs, later referred to as the Plott Hound. The Plott Hound was first recognized in 1946 by the United Kennel Club and later became the Official State Dog in 1989. Robert Henry Pott built the Plott house located on Moody Farm Road in 1881. In 1885 he was appointed as Post Master of Ivy Hill Township post office, which was then called Plott, NC. The post office was located in his house until 1926.
Around the turn of the century, Jack Setzer was tired of hiring someone to ride the five miles to the Plott post office to pick up mail for the valley. He decided that the valley should have a post office of its own. Jack Setzer wrorte the US Postal Department for permission to establish his home as a new post office, and was asked to submit three names for his post office, which were denied. So Jack then submitted the names of his three daughters: Cora, Mettie, Maggie Mae, plus the name Jonathan Creek, for the creek that ran near the Setzer home.
On May 10, 1904, Jack received an official letter from the US Postmaster General Frank H. Hitchcock that the post office was to be called Maggie, NC. Teenage Maggie Mae was embarrassed when she was told the news. She burst into tears and ran up the mountain to the old log cabin where she had been born.
The name was later changed to Maggie Valley.