Woody House – Cataloochee

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This home began as a one-room log cabin. Jonathan Woody entered Cataloochee before the Civil War, moved out for a while, and returned around 1866. He, a widower, and his new wife, a widow, brought his children and her children. With his younger children and his new wife Mary Ann’s nine children still living at home, they made for a large family. This increased the population of Cataloochee substantially and abruptly. By 1900 or so it was necessary to enlarge the Woody cabin. The framed additions, including several bedrooms, porches, and a kitchen,were built from 1901-1910.

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Rear of house

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Spring house

Steve Woody became head of the household, after his father Jonathan  died in 1894. All eight kids slept upstairs in the “old soldiers’ room” and awoke each morning to the sound of their mother grinding coffee. The usual farm and household work was relieved by supplemental tasks: gathering chestnuts, robbing beehives, hunting, and trapping.

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Upstairs

Like many Cataloochee families, the Woodys took advantage of tourism that spilled into the lovely valley. They stocked the streams on their property with rainbow trout and charged fishermen for the privilege of taking them. Sightseers and boarders slept in the house and barn and ate in the home. The extra income was welcome. The Woodys, like their neighbors, saw the times changing and changed with them. The house is a good example of that a progressive 20th-century structure with a frontier cabin heart.

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Front room

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One of the reasons the home remains is such good shape today is that the family remained in the house well after the park was established. Steve Woody stayed until 1942, just two years before his death.

Woody stood about six feet tall and rode a black horse, making an imposing presence. Once an apple buyer came looking for his neighbor Hiram Caldwell. Woody told him that Caldwell had sold all his apples. Woody convinced him to load up with his apples so he would not have to leave with an empty wagon.

It is said that Woody, along with Caldwell, felt the schoolhouse was too small for the community. They conspired to burn down the original Beech Grove Schoolhouse to force the County to fund an adequate school. That new school stills stands in the Cataloochee valley.


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