Saturday, February 18, 2012


Besides President Abe Lincoln, Mayor Harrell Moore of Hayesville, North Carolina, observes his birthday on February 12.

The Hayesville Town Council established February 12, 2013 as the "Harrell Moore Day."

Mayor Moore has lived in Hayesville 75 years and served our town in many offices. It is appropriate that this outstanding citizen be honored with a holiday.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


A picturesque courthouse stands on the Hayesville, North Carolina townsquare. Built in 1888, the red brick building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since a new Clay County Government Center was built, a committe has been formed to revitalize our old courthouse in Hayesville.

The town of Hayesville was incorporated in 1913 and named after George W. Hayes, a district representative in the legislature. He introduced a bill that formed Clay County from Cherokee County and portions of Macon County in February, 1861. Hayesville is the town seat of Clay County.

Hayesville is located in the southwestern tip of North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains off Highway 64. Georgia borders Clay County to the South of Highway 69.

During 2011 Clay County, North Carolina celebrated its Sesquicentennial with special events sprinkled throughout the year.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Photos by: Brenda Kay Ledford

All photos are under copyright and may not be reproduced in any form.


Brenda Kay Ledford sits on the hood of her daddy's old black 1950's Ford car.

Daddy was a progressive man,
he purchased the first car
in the Matheson Cove,
hauled his family and friends.

He purchased the first car,
a black Model A Ford,
hauled his family and friends,
carried neighbors to the clinic.

A black Model A Ford
led the parade of cars he owned,
he carried neighbors to the clinic,
forded the flooded Hyatt Mill Creek.

The Model A Ford led the parade:
a green Pontiac, VW, Mustang, and Maverick,
he carried neighbors to the clinic,
took pride in his cars.

Disgusted plowing fields with mules
in the Matheson Cove,
Daddy bought the first car,
he was a progressive man.
--Brenda Kay Ledford

Her father was Rev. James Ronda Ledford who grew up in the Matheson Cove in Hayesville, NC.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Granddaddy Bob Ledford’s old barn fascinated me. My brother and I explored it and found many treasures. The musty smell of straw and animals burned your nostrils as you entered the dark building. Sometimes a rat darted from the shadows and started me.

The corncrib came first. It was located on the lower side of the barn. Granddaddy harvested the corn and piled it in a mound. I would shuck ears, toss them into the troughs. The horses stood in their stables and chewed grain from the corncobs.

When Ma Minnie’s bin got low on meal, Granddaddy and his sons took corn to the house and shelled it. He loaded his wagon with toe sacks of corn and took that to the mill to grind into cornmeal.

Granddaddy stored farm equipment—hoes, shovels, rakes, plows, harnesses, cross-cut saws, pitchforks—in the barn. He also kept seed, and feed there. His presence filled the old barn. That was his domain.

Striped barn cats slunk through the barn waiting for someone to milk the cow. My brother squirted milk toward the felines and actually hit their mouths. I never could learn to milk the cow. It’s a skill that comes naturally, or maybe I was not born a farmer.

The old barn has many memories. I cringe when I recall my cousin tore the barn down a few years ago and destroyed its history. I want to preserve the way of life that old barn represented. It’s a story about farming, family, and a simple time lost to modern society.

By: Brenda Kay Ledford

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Beautiful old barns dot the countryside across Clay County, NC. These buildings open windows to our past and testify to the role agriculture played in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Photos by: Brenda Kay Ledford

All photos are under copyright on this blog and may not be reproduced in any form.


Kit, Garnet Johnson's not-so-stubborn mule.

Garnet Johnson, the unofficial "Mayor of Fires Creek," in Hayesville, NC, plowed his two-acre field with a mule. He and his wife, Bessie Mae, resided at "Johnsonville," population of two.

Johnson said plowing with his little mule put him ahead of everyone else. "I've got a four-wheel drive, you know, a four-feet drive," he added referring to his mule, Kit.

"While everyone else is pumping air in their tractor tires, I'm plowing with my little mule. I figure I'm way ahead by having a mule."

He called the mule Kit. "You know what that means, everything's there. You just have to put it together. If you can't put the mule to the sled and work her, or snake wood, or whatever there's to do with her, why we'd have to name her something else. She'll work to anything.

"She's the best mule I've ever saw about kicking or anything like that. She's not a bit of trouble. Never has offered to kick at nobody. She's more of a pet that she's a work animal," said Johnson.

Charles Kuralt who anchored the CBS News broadcast, "Sunday Morning," interviewed Johnson and he appeared with his mule on national televison.

Garnet Johnson is preserving our past at "Johnsonville."

By: Brenda Kay Ledford

Garnet Johnson, the unofficial "Mayor of Fires Creek," plowed his field the old-fashioned way with Kit, his little mule.