Improvements may be coming to five intersections in Bryson City that would increase safety for drivers and pedestrians.

As a room full of disappointed local business owners stood by, the Bryson City Board of Aldermen voted down a measure that would have extended alcohol sales on Sundays.

Don’t let the quaintness fool you — the small town of Bryson City has plenty of challenges and opportunities facing it as it tries to maintain its rich Appalachian identify while also dealing with the growing pains tourism has brought in the last several years.

After three failed attempts, the Bryson City Board of Aldermen is once again applying for a Community Development Block Grant to make much-needed water and sewer improvements to its wastewater system.

Bryson City Board of Aldermen has been discussing potential changes to alcohol regulations that could allow local businesses to sell earlier and later on Sundays.

Adam Clawson of Bryson City spent some of his best days on the water. At 8 years old, he tied a rope around the middle of an old inner tube to fashion a canoe, and with a borrowed paddle, learned to maneuver the rapids of the Nantahala River.

Sign ups for Franklin’s Town Council were coming in slow until the last day, and now there are six candidates signed up to run for three available seats on the board. Councilmember incumbents Barbara McRae and Billy Mashburn signed up to run for another term while Patti Abel decided against a second term.

Surrounded by piles of debris, old wood and gravel, Joe Rowland sees opportunity. “This is the inevitable next step for us,” he said.

Co-owner of Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City, Rowland wanders around a four-acre lot at the end of Depot Street, less than a block from the flagship brewery. Purchased by Rowland in early 2016, the property consisted of an abandoned warehouse (formerly the RC Cola bottling company) and large open field. Initially, the 11,000-square-foot building was going to be used for Nantahala’s equipment storage, barrel aging program and bottling line.

With an annual budget of only about $2.9 million, the town of Bryson City doesn’t have much wiggle room when it comes to cutting expenses or allocating funds for major projects.

This past weekend, May 6-7, was the 34th annual installment of the Great Smoky Mountains Birding Expedition (GSMBE.) The expedition began in 1984 as the brainchild of author, naturalist George Ellison of Bryson City, master birder Rick Pyeritz of Asheville and East Tennessee State University ornithologist and field guide author Fred Alsop.

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