Sunset over Murphy North Carolina
The History of Murphy, North Carolina

Situated within the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Valley and Hiwassee Rivers in North Carolina, is the city of Murphy. In addition to being the largest city in Cherokee County, it also serves as the county seat.  The history of Murphy, North Carolina is truly fascinating. 

How Murphy Got it’s Name

The town of Murphy was originally called Huntington in 1835, when the Huntington Post Office began operations. The name was changed to Murphy after a politician, Archibald Murphey, who began trading along a path called the Unicol Turnpike which is presently known as the Joe Brown Highway. This area was originally inhabited by the Cherokee Indian nation and they named the area Tlanusi-yi. Translated, this means Leech Place because of a legend of a giant size leech known as Tlanusi that resided there.

Fort Butler’s ImpactBeautiful sunset over mountains

In 1836, the American Army erected Fort Butler on the present site of Murphy. This fort was utilized as a place of collection for the Cherokee Indians that were being moved to their main encampment at Fort Cass. This is now the present location of Charleston, Tennessee. This forced removal of the Indians was the result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. It became known as the Trail of Tears. Numerous Indians became ill on this journey and did not survive. The Cherokee lost 60,000 lives out of the 130,000 that were being relocated. To learn more about the Native American history of Murphy, North Carolina, visit the Cherokee County Historical Museum.

Late 1800s

In 1839, a portion of Macon County became Cherokee County and in 1851, Murphy became the county seat. In the late 1800s, the Murphy Branch of the Western North Carolina Railroad opened. This branch was in construction from 1881 until 1884 and the utilized convict labor to build it. This opened up the rurally located Mountains with other parts of the country for easier traveling and commerce. Later, Murphy became home to a well known manufacturer called Margaret Studios, which made crafts and gift-ware and the company opened a chain of gift stores on a national level.

If you want to see beautiful Murphy, North Carolina for yourself, be sure to stay in one of our cozy cabins. Mountain Country Cabin Rentals offers fully furnished cabins that are close to all of the best attraction in Western North Carolina. Find more fun attractions to visit near Murphy, NC!