What's New at the the Ashe Historical Society

The Ashe Historical Society’s Photo Digitization Project Needs Your Help

The Ashe County Historical Society is in the process of digitizing historical photos for future generations, but we need your...

The Ashe County Oral History Project brings voices from the past

In 1980, Clarice Weaver and other volunteers, working on behalf of the Ashe County Historical Society and Ashe Public Library,...

The Return of ‘This Week in Ashe County History’

Back by popular demand, our weekly feature 'This Week in Ashe County History' is now available on the homepage of...

Ashe County History Map Now Online

The Ashe County Historical Society is happy to announce the interactive history of Ashe County map is now available online....


Welcome from the Ashe County Historical Society. Our goal is to promote and preserve the history of Ashe County. This site provides products and resources related to that mission

This Week in Ashe County History:

04-15-1960Oddie Cox dies in a house fire. Cox was one of Ashe County's greatest educators. Serving as teacher, principal, bus driver and janitor, he single handily work to consolidate and improve the segregated black schools in Ashe County. He was the subject of Sam Shumate's award winning Reader's Digest article, "The Most Unforgettable Person I've Ever Met." In order to teach all the students at the Bristol consolidated school, Oddie Cox had been taking courses in every academic discipline at North Carolina A &T University. Because he had amassed dozens of credits, but none in any specific field, he was set to receive an honorary degree in June of 1960. However, his small home in Nathan's Creek caught fire on the night of April 15th, and Cox was trapped inside. His funeral was one of the largest in memory as former students, Boy Scouts, and other community members, white and black, gathered to honor their former teacher.
04-15-1980The Nella Community store closed. This small store, which served the community of Nella, was not as viable after the departure of the train in 1977. Nella (originally Allen, but spelled backwards to avoid confusion with another train depot) was a community created by the train depot and quite dependent on the train. This community, like Hamilton, Bina, and Tuckerdale, would experience a rapid decline as a result of the train's absence.
04-16-1781Colonel Benjamin Cleveland was rescued from a band of tory raiders led by William Riddle. Riddle had kidnapped Cleveland near the Old Fields in Ashe County on the previous day and was attempting to take him to a large tory encampment to be ransomed. Cleveland had been a patriot commander at the Battle of King's Mountain and still earned great loyalty from local militiamen. A group of these militiamen, led by Ashe County pioneers Benjamin Greer, Samuel McQueen and William Callaway ambushed Riddle's camp on the morning of the 16th and rescued the kidnapped colonel. For years after, the mountain on which the rescue took place, known today as Elk Knob, was referred to as Riddle's Knob.
04-20-1898On this date, Colonel James W.M. Grayson gave a lecture on "Ignorance, Superstition, Love and Jealousy" at the Ashe County courthouse in Jefferson. Grayson, for whom the small community of Grayson in western Ashe County is named, was the uncle of famous fiddler G.B. Grayson and the man who captured Tom Dula as he tried to escape trial for the murder of Laura Foster. Grayson was a well known local politician and orator.