Cullowhee is an unincoporated community located in the Tuckaseigee Valley of Jackson County, North Carolina where Cullowhee Creek joins the Tuckaseigee River. Originally a Cherokee town of ancient origins, its name is derived from a Cherokee phrase meaning “Judacullah’s Place.” Judacullah is a mythic warrior the Cherokee believe lives in the area. A small farming community of settlers of Scots-Irish, German, English and African origins displaced the Cherokee after 1820. Since 1889, Cullowhee has been the home of what began as a small teacher-training academy. This once remote mountain community has grown over the last 125 years to become Western Carolina University, a state university with an enrollment of over 10,000 students.


Cars, carriages, and wagons , along with horses, oxen, and chickens join men, women, and at least one child on the streets of Cullowhee in the 1920s.



This short documentary, “Whee,”  was created as a Senior Project by students in Western Carolina University’s Motion Picture and Television Production Program.  Arledge Armenaki on Vimeo.

Related Posts

  • Judaculla RockJudaculla Rock Judaculla Rock, located along Caney Fork Creek in Jackson County, is North Carolina's largest example of a Native American petroglyph, or rock carving. . .
  • Cullowhee IdeaCullowhee Idea   In 1885, when Robert Lee Madison arrived in western North Carolina to teach school, he was dismayed by how rudimentary the region’s schools were. A few years later he […]
  • Horses and MulesHorses and Mules   Although horses and mules have been replaced by tractors on most American farms, some farmers in Appalachia still use them, and many more remember having worked them when […]
  • CatamountsCatamounts Catamount, short for “cat of the mountain,” is a generic name describing any of a variety of mid- to large-size American wild cats. It is most often used to refer to cougars and […]
  • Mountain Heritage CenterMountain Heritage Center The Mountain Heritage Center was created by Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, in 1975. Combining a museum with a research center, it preserves the history and […]