Newland, North Carolina

Avery County Seat

Newland's History

The following history was submitted by Jimmie Daniels in 2013.

By 1913 the County Seat of Newland had grown into a good sized town for its time. The economy for that time in history was good. Roads were being built. By 1920 the economy was on a downward trend as the Federal Government had made some bad financial decisions causing devaluation in currency that created a short recession. The economy soon started to rebound but in 1923 another short recession occurred. Things soon recovered and the country saw some good years before the October 1929 stock market failure that started the years of the Great Depression. Mountain folks are survivors; taking care of themselves came natural for them. The WPA was started in 1935 to create jobs and help the country recover. The WPA they built the Rock Gym and the Avery Cares building. Women were hired by the WPA to operate sewing factories one was located upstairs in the courthouse. The WPA also opened a mattress factory in Newland to offer more employment for women Georgia Cahoon who was County Home Demonstration agent at the time was in charge of this factory. The sewing factories and mattress factory made products that were distributed to the needy. By the mid to late 1920’s the East Tennessee Power and Light Company had bought out all the smaller power companies including the Newland Power and light Company.

On July 1, 1911 a  one time election was held to determine where the County Seat for the new County would be located. After the votes were counted Old Fields of Toe was declared the winner.  Per the deal  with then Lieutenant Governor Newland the County Seat would be named  Newland. 

Land was donated  to Avery County for the building of Newland for the county seat.

There was only one house inside the boundaries of the area that would soon be the town of  Newland. At least 3 people made deeds to donate the  land for the new town. The deeds  stated specifically that the deeds were invalid if any place other than Old Fields of Toe was chosen.  George Corpening  Love did the surveying and marking the boundaries of the town. George was a son of Thomas Anderson Love who was  a Newland Attorney and he was instrumental in gaining Incorporation for the town of Newland. 

Planning  began immediately for the construction of the Courthouse and  Jail. Contractors and style of the buildings were chosen and the building began.

R. W. Wall was appointed mayor and M. W. Clay, E. H. Morris. and T. M. Vance  were  appointed as town Aldermen. Stores and businesses began building in order to be near where most people would be going.

The Hughes Brothers, Claude, Ronald, Ralph and Charlie immediately started building in town.

CL Hughes opened the first store in 1913. Ronald opened a store and funeral home, Ralph opened a drug store. Charlie was an Attorney.

Edwin Guy  was a pioneer in the banking business working in a Marion Bank when they started sending him to the mountain communities to start new banks. When he heard that a new county was being formed he became interested in chartering a new bank for himself. The name Avery County Bank was chosen by the shareholders in 1912. The bank building was started with an apartment upstairs for Mr. Guy, his wife and baby daughter Margaret. On November 7 1913 Mr. Guy received a telegram giving him the authority to conduct any and all business a bank needed to conduct.

1912-13 Advertisement shows Campbell and Baird owned and operated a Brick Factory in Newland the Brick Factory was capable of making 30, 000 brick daily.

In 1913  Mr. Guy had water piped down the mountain  from a huge spring located up the mountain from  where the Newland Cemetery  is located to supply his home, bank and all the other businesses and homes in town.  Millard Jaynes worked for Mr. Guy in establishing the Newland Waterworks.

Electricity came to Newland from Toe River in 1913 when  Mr. Guy started the Newland Power and Light company.  Water was dammed up just up the mountain from the present Paul Crinkley house; a Turbine was placed below the dam to provide power.

Dr. Lovett was the towns first physician and Dr.  R D Jennings was the first dentist.

The Ritter Lumber Company sold the Linville River Railroad to ET&WNC in 1913. ET&WNC sent Cy Crumley to make improvements to allow for a daily passenger train to this area and to extend the line into Boone. Nat Fletcher sold land to Railroad to build the Depot which opened in 1914 the building was equipped with Telephone and Telegraph.

 The Courthouse was completed in July 1913 for first term of Superior Court.  The Jail opened  a short time later 1913. Calloway Inn opened where post office stands today. Loven Hotel was just up the street ( Old Claude Hughes Home) now vacant lot.

Benbow building was built where First Citizen Bank now stands. Benbow Building housed a store, Attorney Benbow’s Law Office and Dr. R D Jennings Dental Office.

The Scenic Theater and cafe opened.

Coco Cola Bottling company opened around 1919 and remained in business until 1930.

Ray family began distilling birch oil

First Post office was located in the building next to the C.L. Hughes Store

Ansil Yates  and Finley Banner both opened barber shops.

 The Presbyterian church was built on the end of the Square

 The First Newland School located where  the Town Hall now stands,  

First Baptist Church began in 1916 meeting in homes then moving their meetings to the courthouse until  the first building was competed in 1922.

1919 County Fair was held yearly for several years.  The Circus came to town each summer and a Carnival came to town most years in late summer.  The Goat Man came through with his goats taking pictures of children.

Medicine men came in their wagons or on the train selling their wares often staying at one of the hotels or boarding houses. Newland had a baseball team.

 Newland had a Basketball team in 1925.

First depot burned in 1921? Depot was run from Nat Fletcher's garage until new depot could be built.

John Henry Von Canon opened the Fordson Automobile Dealership in 1921. His Ad tells he sold the “Ford Touring Car”.

  By 1925 one could leave the Courthouse and drive on paved roads to county seats all over the country.

First Bear Trail Drugstore was located where Yellow Mountain Treasure Chest is located today.

Building that houses the Yellow MTN Treasure Chest was built by Fred Taylor for a store which his family operated.

Most town residents at this time had a cow, pigs, chickens and a big garden spot at their house.