Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Over the Mountains to North Carolina

Back in October, Laurie and I decided to drive over the Smoky Mountains to North Carolina to check out the fall colors… We took the Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway.  It winds among the mountaintops in the Cherokee and Nantahala national forests – thus the name “Cherohala.”  The road is also designated TN Hwy. 165 and NC Hwy. 143. 

On 11/7/15, I posted the photos of the fall colors that we saw on that drive.  You can take a look by clicking on this link:

When we got to Robbinsville on the North Carolina side of the mountains, it was time for a light lunch.  As we drove through town, it was easy to spot the most popular local restaurant!  Lynn’s Place was indeed ‘the place’!

Robbinsville has an estimated population of approximately 600 and it is the County Seat for Graham County North Carolina.  It is the third least populated county in the state. 


·       Famed country singer Ronnie Milsap was from Graham County.

·       Junaluska, a leader of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, lived in Graham County.  He fought alongside Andrew Jackson, and saved his life at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, though later in life he regretted having done so.  Along with most of the Cherokee peoples, Junaluska was forced to follow the “Trail of Tears” to Oklahoma.

Inside, Lynn’s Place is a typical looking small town restaurant…simple, clean and straightforward with minimal embellishment or decoration.  Like most small town restaurants, the service was friendly and many of the customers were on a first name basis with the waitstaff.

Like I said, we went for a light lunch… Laurie ordered one of her favorites, an Egg Salad Sandwich on sourdough bread with potato chips. ($6.00) Just the type of comfort food she craved!

I ordered a Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich on a hamburger bun with coleslaw on the side. ($7.00) The sandwich was OK and the coleslaw was very nice.

Lynn’s Place is a nice place to take a break after driving the Dragon (US Hwy. 129) or after coming across the Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway.  Lynn’s is located at 237 East Main Street in Robbinsville NC.  Phone: 828-479-9777.   This restaurant is on Facebook at

Once we crossed the mountains and had lunch, I decided to take US Hwy. 74 southwest past Murphy NC to NC Hwy. 294 and back through the mountains to east Tennessee.  Along the way, we discovered that a new Cherokee owned $110,000,000 casino and hotel had just opened near Murphy.  The good news for my wallet is that it’s a 2 hour drive from our home but if you’re interested, check it out at

We got off US Hwy. 74 so we could drive through downtown Murphy and see what the town had to offer.  It looked interesting and we’ll have to return in spring. 

Murphy is the county seat of Cherokee County, North Carolina.  It’s the westernmost county seat in the state, located roughly 360 miles from the state capital in Raleigh.  The current estimated population of Murphy is just a little over 1,600. 

The county courthouse was built in the classic revival/beaux-arts style using locally sourced blue marble in 1926.  It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 


·       Eric Rudolph, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bomber, was caught and arrested in Murphy in 2003.

Of course, this building is what I was looking for as we passed through town.  It’s the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad Depot.  This combined passenger and freight depot was built ca. 1890 and it now serves as Murphy’s Visitor Center.
This depot was served by the ‘Murphy Branch’, the westernmost part of what was the Western North Carolina Railroad.  Historically, this line ran through to Georgia and it opened up the isolated and rural mountains west of Asheville to the outside world, allowing easy travel and improved commerce.  The line was constructed with convict labor.  All service to Murphy was discontinued in 1985.

That’s all for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Looks like a good way to spend the day - we like that part of the world.

  2. We like that part of the world too and had a home there for the past eleven years. It just sold and we've since moved to Florida. Otherwise, we would have loved to have you and Laurie stop by while you were in the area.