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Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:17

There is more than one road to Cherokee …

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Jackson County wants some of the Cherokee-bound traffic diverted its way despite highway signs that indicate the way to Cherokee is through Maggie Valley.

Anyone coming to Western North Carolina from Interstate 40 encounters a sign in Waynesville pointing the way to Cherokee by going through Maggie Valley — which decades ago was indeed the primary route. But the winding two-lane road over Soco Gap is no longer the only way, nor easiest way, to reach Cherokee. Simply continue on the four-lane highway U.S. 23-74 past Waynesville, on past Sylva and take U.S. 441 into Cherokee.

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce wants the N.C. Department of Transportation to add a sign telling motorists that they also can get to Cherokee by simply continuing on U.S. 23/74.

“Presently, the signage suggests that Cherokee can only be accessed by traveling through Maggie Valley,” County Manager Chuck Wooten told commissioners. “This would probably divert some traffic into Jackson County.”

And, of course, perhaps add more tourism dollars to merchants’ wallets, if motorists stop for gasoline or to eat.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has supported adding a sign showing the alternate route via a letter of support to DOT.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

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