Because of the remoteness of Cataloochee, the valley was hardly affected by Reconstruction. The residents more or less resumed their pre-Civil War way of life and did well in their wonderful valleys. The children were educated in the little one room school houses from grades 1 through 7. Circuit riding preachers helped to feed the already spirits.
As a new century came, the people of Cataloochee still farmed, raising their crops and livestock and performed the chores that maintained their existence. Post Offices kept them in touch with the outside world.
In the 1920s, work was begun to modernize the Cataloochee Turnpike which was first completed in about 1861. With the help of dynamite, the improved road, only wide enough for a wagon in most places, was completed. The new road was a vast improvement from the old road used for sixty years.
An influenza epidemic struck the world in 1918 and reached Cataloochee in 1920. Many were sick and recuperated. Others were not so fortuante and are buried in the cemeteries in across Cataloochee.
In the late 1920s, the beautiful timber in and around Cataloochee turned money green. Lumber companies bought properties, built camps and railroads, hired the workers and logged out the mountains. The once beautiful forests were turned into a wasteland.
Cataloochee had four post offices. The first one was in Young Bennett's house, then it was moved to Frank Palmer's house. From there it was moved to Jarvis Palmer's house. Maria Palmer was the postmistress. This post office was referred to as the Cataloochee Post Office. When this post office was closed, it was replaced by the Nellie Post Office which was named after Turkey George Palmer's daughter amd was in a general store.
The Ola Post Office was in Little Cataloochee. It was named after Will and Rachel Messer's daughter. This post office was also located in the general store.
The mail carriers were Hub Caldwell and Mercius Hall. Their substitutes at one time or another were Myrtle Sutton, Ella Hall, and Pearl Valentine. (top)
© 2001, Cataloochee - A Valley & It's People