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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Maggie Valley, North Carolina


I've talked before about my three childhood friends --and have even asked for prayers for two of them. The four of us (all born in 1942) grew up together in the small town of Big Stone Gap, VA. When we graduated from college, we all went our separate ways for many years. BUT--In 1992 (when we all turned 50), we began a new tradition---of getting together once a year in the fall for a "Girls Getaway"... Since '92, we have gone somewhere and done something together MOST every single year. It's a very special time for us --and one that we all cherish.

This coming October, we are headed to the mountains of North Carolina to Maggie Valley. We are renting a vacation cabin for five days in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. This year will be particularly special since two of the four of us have had some major health problems. One gal (Susan) is in the battle of her life---suffering with cancer. Another one (Reida) has MS and recently had kidney stone surgery. We all know that we are getting older--and that 'life happens'. BUT--we don't ever want these special years of friendship to end.


Here is an article I read on the internet about the history of Maggie Valley. I found it interesting so would like to share some of it with you today. "They named this now famous resort community for a pretty 14-year old mountain girl with long blond hair and deep blue eyes. To know her story and the real Maggie, you must read Maggie of Maggie Valley, NC, a book written by her daughter Patty Pylant Kosher. It’s the chronicle not only about Maggie Mae Setzer Pylant but mountain life when this was still an isolated settlement in the wilderness.


Ten years after Maggie was born on December 21, 1890, her father, Jack Setzer, started thinking that the community ought to have a post office. He wanted to establish a post office in his home because he was tired of hiring someone to ride five miles to an area post office to pick up mail for the valley. Jack setzer wrote to the US Postal Department for permission to establish his home as a new post office that would serve the area.


One corner of Setzer's room was a post office in which he built a wooden box to file the incoming letters and newspapers. At the end of six months, Jack submitted his records to the postal office depth and they accepted his application asking him to submit a name to the postal service. The first three names that he submitted were rejected. He was told that they were used for another NC post office. Jack then submitted the three names of his daughters (Cora, Mettie and Maggie Mea) plus the name Jonathan Creek, the creek that ran through the Setzer’s home.


Jack didn’t tell his daughters that he submitted their names, but on May 10, 1904, Jack received an official letter from the US Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock that the post office authorities had made their decision. The official name of the mountain settlement post office was to be Maggie, NC. Maggie was embarrassed when she was told the news. She burst into tears and ran up the mountain to the old log cabin where she had been born.


At the age of 17, Maggie became the bride of Ira Pylant of Nashville, TN. They moved to Texas, but she came back to her beloved valley several times before her death in 1979 at the age of 88."


How would you like to have a post office and/or town named after you???? Neat story, isn't it? Here are a few pictures --all taken from the internet -- from Maggie Valley. I cannot wait 'til our trip!!!!!



This is the Soco Gap area near Maggie Valley.





Looking down on Maggie Valley





This will be the cabin where we will spend five glorious days together!!!!

I'm sure I'll have TONS of pictures to share when we get home. In the meantime, please continue to pray for the four us, especially Susan and Reida. Thanks!!!


Have a wonderful Sunday.


Hugs,


48 comments:

Bill S. said...

What a great tradition the four of you have. Good Luck on the trip and may God bless the four of you.

Sunny said...

What a fun trip you have to look forward to and what a wonderful story.
God Bless you and your friends, not just on your adventure but every day.
I look forward to seeing your pictures.
Does Maggie Valley have a waterfall? LOL
Sunny :)

Jayne said...

I know that time will be so special to you all Betsy. It's a very beautiful area for sure. :c)

Arkansas Patti said...

Don't know how many times I have driven past the Maggie Valley signs but never stopped.
Thanks for the story, very interesting.
You always find the neatest cabins in the mountains. Just know you will have a wonderful time together.
Will be waiting for the cool pictures.
Prayers to you all.

Mildred said...

A lovely, peaceful setting to share with your friends.

Cedar ... said...

You are very lucky to be able to rent that house for five days of friendship! I hope you have great weather for your time together. Good wishes to your friends struggling with health issues,... and happy times for you all!

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

What BEAUTIFUL mountains, Betsy! I'm so happy you and your friends are getting together for a reunion. Reminds me...I'd love to do that with some of my friends. Remember...maybe you and I and our families could get together in Big Stone Gap next summer...or early summer. I will pray for your two friends who have illnesses....love you, Deb

Dorothy said...

What a wonderful tradition and certainly a wonderful place to go!! We have spent a week there the last two Falls.
Blessings and prayers for all of you!
Dorothy

Peggy said...

You are going to be about 40 minutes from me!! You will love it. Its much bigger and busier now but there are still beautiful quiet areas there to enjoy

Thistlebrooms said...

Such Wonderful friendships are Rare...I know you'll enjoy your time together and make MORE Memories to last...
What a Grand place to celebrate your long lasting Friendships!!! The views from the Cabin are inspiring...

Wishing everyone a Fantastic Girl Get-Away...

My Best...Marilyn

Diane said...

Great story, Betsy. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

With scenery that gorgeous and good friends this will be an awesome time.Perhaps even just being together will help the ones in poor health.
Blessings,Ruth

The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful tradition!! Everyone needs girlfriends:)

When I was young, I used to say I was going to buy an island and name it Lori Land. I still think its a pretty good idea!!

Marge said...

I've been to Maggie Valley. It's beautiful and you'll love the stay there. That cabin looks like the perfect getaway! Have a wonderful time, and I'll keep your friends in my prayers.

Small City Scenes said...

What a wonderful story. Not only of Maggie Valley but of your and your childhood friends.
Have a wonderful 5 days. MB

Snap said...

Betsy, this looks like a wonderful place for you and your friends. Will you get to see some of the leaves change or are you too early? Have a wonderful time. We'll be thinking of you and waiting for pictures!

Rita said...

Betsy,
Beautiful story about Maggie. But then, I have come to expect beautiful stories from you. That is why I keep coming back.
Nice tradition you and your girlfriends have. Enjoy!!!
You and your friends are in my prayers.

Di said...

Betsy, beautiful photos and Soco Gap makes me yearn for the drives we used to take: MD, VA, WV... and the glory of fall colors. We have color here in the PNW, but predominantly evergreens... nothing compared to the deciduous of the east coast. It is remarkable that you will spend time with your friends. Have a wonderful time. They are in our prayers.

Deborah Godin said...

Great story and tradition. And that cabin looks very inviting!!

SmilingSally said...

Interesting story.

dot said...

Interesting post Betsy! I didn't even know it was named for a real person. Hope you ladies have a wonderful time together.

JunieRose2005 said...

Hi,

I'm enjoying looking through your blog-for the first time! You live in a beautiful part of our country and we always like visiting your area- especially in the fall!
We're in Fl but have family and roots in the other southern states!


Junie

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Isn't that just a wonderful story .
I have been to Maggie Valley several times, but didn't know how it came about it's name until just now.
That is so special, fitting for such a beautiful valley.
I wish you and your special friends a wonderful time in the mountains, my little piece of heaven :)

SquirrelQueen said...

That will be such a fun trip, what a great place for a girl getaway.

I remember our family vacations would often take us through Maggie Valley. We would drive up to Murphy or sometime Bryson City and then over to Maggie Valley and on to Waynesville. From there we would drive through the Pisgah National Forest on our way home. I think we may have stay in or near Maggie a few times. Somewhere along the way I must have heard the story of the name as it sounds so familiar to me.

Hugs,
Judy

Kirigalpoththa said...

Looks like a great drive!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Looks like a great drive!

mountain.mama said...

I liked the story about Maggie and her dad, but the one about you and your friends touched my heart. I know you will have a wonderful time together. Deep friendships are so much more meaningful with every passing year.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Looks and sounds like a marvelous place to spend a vacation. Enjoy!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Five days with a few long-time friends sounds wonderful, Betsy. And Maggie Valley sounds like a great place to stay.

I don't know how I'd feel about a place being named after me...but I think there's little chance of that happening anyway. ;-)

Harriet said...

Maggie Valley is a beautiful place. I have never heard the story of how it got it's name. The book sounds interesting.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What an interesting bit of history!!!!
I hope you girls have a delightful visit. Prayers for Susan and Reida.

Nance said...

What a wonderful story/history, Betsy! Travel mercies to the four of you.

Rambling Woods said...

Wow..what a place to view the fall colors...You all are in my thoughts Betsy...Michelle

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hello Betsy,

What a lovely story of how the town came to be. :0) It truly is beautiful. You and your friends will have such a great time..what a special gathering.

Thomas and I were talking about his youngest son (now 31) and how him and 9 other guys that he attended school with or played sports events against have stayed in touch all these years after graduation. They also meet at a chosen destination each year for a celebration of friendship. We think that is NOT the usual and is so very special to hear about.

As for the FuFu Pink cap at my blog..the first thing I thought of was the "pink foam hair rollers"..Yep, I think we are showing our age. :0)

Thanks so much for visiting..it's always nice to read your sweet words.

Love & Light for this beautiful Sunday...

Steph

JKoenig said...

That cabin should provide a tremendously colorful view at that time of year. I pray you all have a safe and wonderful visit.

Four of the five girls in my grade school class are still living, and we meet about every three months for lunch. And since our 50th high school class reunion last year, several of us also meet for lunch every couple of months. After all the busy years in the past, it is so nice to just be able to get together and visit and enjoy our memories and friendship.

I'll look forward to seeing your pictures...Janice

Rose said...

All I can say is have fun...and what a beautiful place to do it in.

Nance said...

Hi Betsy,
I'm back ... drooling on all your gorgeous roses! and WOW! they are all my favorite! ha ha ha
Hubby and I started a rose garden a while back, but sadly, between the Japanese beetles and deer, they didn't do very well, we lost all of them but a few hardy ones.
Oh well, I will just keep coming back here and admire yours! ;)

Elaine said...

Betsy, I loved hearing the story of how Maggie Valley was named! When I was a little girl growing up in South Carolina we took several vacations there and I have such fun memories of the place! Thanks!
Elaine :)

marmee said...

i am so happy for you that you will have another time together with your friends...life is uncertain and really needs to be celebrated every chance we get. i have spent some very happy times in maggie valley...we have vacationed there several times in a friends cabin. it's a great place. we went to ghost town in the sky when the kids were younger. i am so sure you will be looking forward to your time with good friends.

Cicero Sings said...

Now that's a cabin and a half! You should have a hoot of a time staying there, cozy and with such a view. So glad you can still get together.

Fun to read the history of this place.

Tammie Lee said...

This is a wonderful story. Seems like a beautiful place to share with loved ones. It is my sense that you will have a meaningful time together!

Mary said...

Beautiful cabin! The view must be wonderful all the time.

Jo said...

Betsy what a wonderful you are and what a special bond you four share. I will pray for Susan and Rheida and you and the fourth friend. You are a WONDERFUL blogger. You actually wrote the story (which was poignant, and yes, we'd all love a town/post office named after us...) instead of merely supplying the link to the article. That is one AMAZING story. I've never heard of a private person starting a Post Office. Does it / the house still exist? Probably as a museum? I look forward to you photos as you must be looking forward to your stay in October. (((Hugs))) Jo

Jo said...

Oh Betsy, Sunny was sharp re the waterfall! I didn't give it a thought. Way to go Sunny!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: That was such a neat place, tucked away perfectly.

Lola said...

Prayers for the 4 of you but especially the 2 with health issues.
You've picked a very peaceful, beautiful place to enjoy each others company & for a whole week. I think it's great.
I've been there many times. Just before the passing of my DH, that was one of the places he wanted to go see. We had formed friendships with the local sub shop owners. Sadly we learned 1 had passed. So sad.
Have fun & enjoy your time together.

Temuk said...

Greetings from Malaysia, Betsy! You have a fantastic blog. All those beautiful pictures bring back nice memories of my 4-year stay as a student in Ithaca, NYState (1978-1982). I enjoyed gardening and fishing around the lakes... I enjoyed the changing of seasons, though a bit uncomfortable with the thick snow & slippery ice during the winter. I look forward to seeing more of your pictures in the future.

Daisy said...

I hope you have a great time on your trip, Betsy. I think that is a wonderful idea that you get together every year like that.