All aboard! Bryson City celebrates railroad history and firefighter pride this weekend with Railfest and Fireman’s Day

By Michael Beadle

Take to the rails through Western North Carolina, and you’re bound to hear some history.

In the late 19th century, tracks were being laid from Asheville to Murphy by a group of convicts working on a portion of the railroad at the mouth of a tunnel at the Tuckasegee River. When a barge carrying these prisoners tipped over, 19 convicts weighed down by their iron shackles drowned. Today, when the tunnel drips, folks like to say it’s the tears of those convicts — just one part of the long history of railroads in Western North Carolina.

Bryson City conserves 750 acres bordering Smokies

The town of Bryson City finalized a conservation easement this month that will protect a 750-acre tract known as Lands Creek that’s adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Swain County.

Bryson City developing first zoning plan

An influx of growth has prompted Bryson City leaders to address land-use planning with hopes of drafting the town’s first development ordinance by January 2007.

Metal building in downtown Bryson raises eyebrows

A metal building recently erected on Main Street in Bryson City has sparked discussion over what can be done to preserve the town’s historic character while still remaining business-friendly.

Cashiers plant cuts 80 jobs; some go to Bryson, Canton

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Approximately 80 workers will be laid off from Cashier’s Consolidated Metco plastics plant beginning in January in the largest downsizing in Jackson County since the Ashley Company furniture plant closed in 2002.

Watershed decision was right on target

Bryson City leaders avoided the temptation to sell off their watershed land for development, instead opting to follow through with an earlier commitment to conserve the pristine property. It was the right decision and one that will pay a long-term benefit for town residents and all of Swain County.

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