Our Community

Photo courtesy of Ed Kelley

Welcome to Haywood County, North Carolina…an area rich in history, culture, culinary talent, diverse music and crafts. Haywood County boasts 546 scenic square miles and 14 peaks over 6,000 feet in elevations, including Cold Mountain. The county is bordered in the south by Blue Ridge Parkway and in the north by the Great Smoky Mountains and Pisgah National Forest.

Major surrounding southeastern cities include Charlotte, Knoxville and Atlanta which are easily accessed by way of an efficient interstate highway system inwhich I-40 runs through the middle of the county. Asheville, North Carolina is the largest city in Western North Carolina and lies directly east of Haywood County. The county population is 60,176 which include Canton, Clyde, Maggie Valley and Waynesville.

The moderate climate with four distinct seasons makes Haywood County an idyllic jewel which offers endless beauty, history, tourism and national parks for everyone to enjoy. Once you visit charming Haywood County you will want to call Haywood County home.



Clyde was once an important holding area and loading point for shipping livestock to more populous areas of the country. The small, friendly town later evolved into a “bedroom” community for people who work outside the area. Rich in heritage, deep in tradition, Clyde pays homage to the musical talents of residents past through musicians such as Carroll Best. Best may be most known for his mastery of the melodic or “fiddle” style of picking on the banjo.

Clyde is home to the Shook Smathers Museum, one of the oldest buildings still standing in Haywood County. The museum is widely known for its association in the foundation of Methodism in Haywood County.

The Town of Clyde is also known for its tribute to Clyde township veterans who gave their lives during World War I and II, Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. How will you know when you’re in middle of Clyde? Just look for the “big gun!” Town of Clyde


Canton is nestled among five hills along the banks of the Pigeon River in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Home to Evergreen Packaging, Blue Ridge Paper, Haywood County’s largest employer, is near major highways and within easy driving distance of the regional airport. Canton’s beautiful residential communities lie along tree-lined streets in this quaint town.

Unique murals decorate the walls of many of the buildings in downtown Canton, depicting historical elements important to the people of the town. Town of Canton

Maggie Valley

In the early years, Maggie Valley was known for its farming community. As more and more people discovered its lush green valleys, high mountains and cool summer climate, the valley became a summer mecca for people seeking relief from the heat of cities and flatlands. Named for one of the daughters of the community’s first postmaster, Maggie Valley has since developed as a national and international destination for tourists.

Year-round, visitors will never experience a lack of activities. Entertainment from Blue Grass music to good old-fashioned square dancing and clogging; dining experiences from diners to fine dining; outdoor activities from horseback riding to downhill skiing; and family attractions from the zoo to Wheels Through Time Museum. And a visit to Haywood County would not be complete without a visit to Cataloochee Valley, the home of the Elk Preserve. Town of Maggie Valley


The county of Haywood was established in March of 1809. In the bill to create the county, Thomas Love named seven men who would choose a place near the center of the county to erect public buildings. In reality, however, the decision was made by one man – Robert Love, who made the group an offer it wouldn’t refuse. Love offered 17 acres of property in trust to what would be the county and its first officials. That property would become the county seat. It is the hill along which Waynesville’s Main Street runs today.

Robert Love is also credited with naming the county seat “Waynesville” after Revolutionary War general “Mad Anthony” Wayne.

From a strictly military perspective, Haywood County did not figure largely in the Civil War. However, there are many stories of wartime chronicled in the Haywood County history books. Perhaps the most significant is this: With news of General Lee’s surrender traveling slowly, the Civil War continued in Western North Carolina. The final shots of that war, east of the Mississippi River, were fired near Sulphur Springs, and General James Martin surrendered honorably on May 9, 1865. The Town of Waynesville was incorporated in 1871. Waynesville began to see development after arrival of the railroad in 1884. The agricultural, lumber and tourism industries in Waynesville and Haywood County began to thrive as access to the west was opened up.

In July 1995 the Towns of Hazelwood and Waynesville merged into one community and continued to grow with a population today of 9,482. With a great climate, growing cultural environment, extensive recreation areas and educational opportunities for all ages, Waynesville receives a very high rating for quality of life. Town of Waynesville

Photo courtesy of HCTDA

Lake Junaluska

Lake Junaluska United Methodist Assembly was conceived in 1908 in Chattanooga, TN during a meeting of the Laymen’s Missionary Conference. This group felt that a meeting and education center would be beneficial for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to serve the Southeastern population. Delegates decided that assembly ground should be set apart for the purposes of Christian culture and the dissemination of the principles of Christian religion throughout the world. After searching for a suitable location for the meeting grounds, Waynesville was selected for its reputation as a summer resort area, its accessibility and its beauty. The Southern Assembly was incorporated on June 30, 1910, with the purchase of land beginning immediately thereafter. The site of the Assembly was formerly rolling farmland next to Richland Creek, which was dammed to make the Assembly grounds’ lake. Today, the Junaluska Assembly is comprised of some 1,200 acres including the 200 acre lake.