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Recipe for Color- The Changing of the Leaves

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

Driving to work at RE/MAX Mountain Properties yesterday morning, I noticed something disturbing. A few solitary leaves were turning yellow and red. It’s mid-August, and the leaves are starting to change. I love summer and heat and would have them all year. Alas, it looks like fall is about to be upon us. As much as I love the summer sun I have to admit that fall, especially in our area, is breath taking. Several people obviously agree, as the fall season is just as busy if not busier than the spring and summer. And I will be the first to admit that I do love a good drive up on a mountain or on the Cherohala Skyway to check out the glorious autumnal color.

What causes that color though? What is the magical recipe that makes for a great leaf season?

Apparently, during the spring & summer the leaves are food factories for the tree.  But when the fall season hits the leaves stop their food making process due to a change in daylight and temperatures. The color that the leaf changes to will depend on the tree and additional chemical changes. Typically, you see red and purple hues in trees like dogwoods and sumacs while some trees like the sugar maple is orange.

Low temperatures, light, and water are the keys to hues and duration of the foliage. What we hope not to see is an early freeze, heavy wind and rain, and drought.  All those factors will cause less bright leaves and shorter foliage. The ideal environment is tons of sunlight, warm days, and cool nights.

Luckily this year we’re not in a drought, though it has been a dry summer here in Murphy. So fingers crossed the other conditions will cooperate for a brilliant autumn. If it should, you absolutely have to make a trip up here to check it out. Stay a night or two, check out our many harvest festivals, take a hike through the colorful trees, drink a delicious hot beverage sitting by a campfire as the smoke drifts into the night sky. Whatever you do, your time here is going to a fantastic adventure. 

 

If your dream is to wake up every morning and gaze out onto the mountains, then check out this list of homes that can make your dream come true. 

Small Town Vs. The Internet

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

I live in a small town. The kind of town where if I forget to lock my door when I leave the house for work, and I don’t worry about it. The kind of place where walking home from the local pub (I live in the city limits) at 11 at night is something I’ve done multiple times with no fear. I’ve gotten my car stuck and had to walk up to a complete stranger’s house to call Dex to come pull me out. And while the nice lady and I respected the boundaries of strangers, she let me use her phone, because that is the type of place I live in. So when once again, I had to try to explain to yet another concerned person who does not want to move to Murphy because of the crime, I got a little angry.

If you pull up the crime statistics, you will be shocked. If you have never been here, then you will wonder how so many of us can stand to live here. Some statistics quote that 3 out of 4 people are victims of violent crime. If you live or visit here, you’ll be scratching your head and be puzzled. Until you look at the map.

 

In the city limits of Murphy, there are 2,420 residents according to the 2014 census. The county wide census number claims 27,178, a large part living in what is considered Murphy.  The statistician’s in all their wisdom have not had the pleasure to visit our fair town. If they had, they would consider that while the city limits are only 2.625 square miles, the county is 467 square miles.

 There are two main “towns”, Murphy & Andrews, with several townships and areas. Andrews stretches to the boundaries of Swain & Graham counties. Murphy takes over where Andrews leaves off to the west and goes all the way to the state lines.

You can definitely see how problematic and inaccurate the statistics are. Unfortunately, strangers on google might only see the statistics. But we who live in Murphy know the difference. I’m a relatively recent transplant but the beauty and people of the answer were a perfect fit.

Murphy has definitely see some growth in the past few years. We’ve gotten a new Harrah’s Casino, and while it hasn’t been the huge boon projected for the housing market, it’s added hundreds of job opportunities to the area. And county wide alcohol sales have been approved, paving the way for new restaurants and gas station locations all over the county.

But we’ve still got out small town charm. If you head out to The Daily Grind & Wine, you’ll likely see familiar faces sitting enjoying a strong cup of coffee with their cigars. Taking a walk down main street, you’ll see Mr. Cowan, hurrying to put an overnight package in the UPS box.  If you stop by in at Fatback’s Gas Station, Pat will probably be there manning the store. And if you decide to enjoy a relaxing Friday evening at Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurants tiki bar, well you’ll most likely see some of us from RE/MAX. We don’t only see ourselves as fellow denizens of this cozy, magical place in the mountains, but we’re your neighbors.

Give us a call for anything you need. We’re only too happy to help.

 

Bear Paw Resort

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

As I reline on the boat, feeling the sun’s rays bathing my body and the soft, cooling wind dancing over, the peaceful slapping of the waves against the hull and the gentle rocking of the boat gives me a sense of peace that I associate with Lake Hiwassee.
Bear Paw Resort is one of the few places around the lake that you can live “on the lake”. With over 163 miles of shoreline, Lake Hiwassee is an anomaly, with only 7% developed.  In the summer, when you are out on the lake, you do see the occasional boat or jet skis but it’s practically empty compared to surrounding lakes which can be up to 97% developed.  There are only a few marinas on the lake, one of the best ones is at Bear Paw Resort.

Murphy is a historical area, and Bear Paw brings its own set of tales. Part of the TVA’s plan, the Hiwassee Dam is one of the 51 Dams of the Tennessee Valley Authority water control systems.  It’s the third highest dam of the TVA system and named after the river it holds back. To house the workers that would build the Dam, they built 42 permanent houses, 73 Temporary houses, 5 men’s dormitories and one woman’s dormitory. They also built a cafeteria, hospital, community building, personnel office, school, multiple garage buildings, service station, a bowling alley and an observation building.

In 1959, Hiwassee Lake Resort Village was organized to own the land the village sat on. Development continued but it wasn’t until 1965 that more than 50% of the home sites had been sold and steps were being made to make it into a full time resort. In 1973, the village became known as Bear Paw. Today it has 1,090 lots, 200+ homes, 42 cottages, 23 Condominiums, and a marina. It has twenty-four-hour gated security, well maintained roads, and a vibrant community life. While the resort is popular with second home owners and vacationers, it also boasts full time residents.

Bear Paw Resort doesn’t have “HOA fee’s” like you would think. It exists under a special service district provision. Instead of fees, there are standard taxes that are then given back to the district and the board that takes care of the land and road.

Today as your drive down the roads, you drive slowly, waving to people riding around on their golf carts (a favorite way of transportation), walking their dogs, jogging, and riding down to play tennis or go swimming. You might hear the echo of music at the club house from a dance class or the laughter of neighbors & friends as they take a moment to speak to each other. On the Fourth of July, Bear Paw has one of the biggest parties and best fireworks. And every day of the year, Bear Paw Resort is a fantastic community to live in.

If Bear Paw sounds like the kind of place you’d like to call home,

We can help that dream become a reality. 

Tennessee Valley Authority

by Dex Hubbard

The time:1920

The place: Hazel Creek

An area filled with mountain Appalachian communities. People who worked together to build the local school houses. Bare feet that walked forest trails home or to the favorite fishing spot. Fresh dirt breaking underneath the hoe, the earth waiting to embrace the life giving seed.

Life wasn’t easy, but it was home.

You would have no idea that one day the roads you walked, the churches you attended, the land you plowed, and the home you built would be below water, a tribute for FDR’s creation of the TVA.

On May 18, 1993 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the TVA Act. The TVA’s purpose was to help control floods, produce electricity, and improve the quality of life for those who lived in the Tennessee Valley.

Indeed, many of the goals of the TVA were met. Electricity became more widely available, especially to those who did not live near cities. The TVA gave funds to hire people to work with farmers, and to introduce new farming practices. Flooding was reduced drastically. My grandmother will still talk about the flash floods that use to sweep over the land, how half of the old home was swept away by one such flood. You can go visit the cabin today, and gaze at wonderment at how far and fast and violent the river would have to be to reach the old homestead.

One goal of the TVA was to “modernize” the Valley. Malaria affected thirty percent of the population and the average income was 630.00 per year, although some families survived on as little 100.00. Erosion, and poor farming practices had depleted the soil and caused crop yields to fall. The TVA created new fertilizers, taught farmers better farming practices, replanted forests that had been lost to lumber and burning, and improved the fish and wildlife habitat. However, the change that most impacted the residents in the Tennessee River Valley was the availability of electricity.  

Though there were a lot of great things to come with the formation of the TVA, getting changes to be successfully received by the locals was difficult. Over 15,000 people were displaced with the creation of the dams. And in many of the areas, remote geographically and vastly different in way of life, government agencies were suspect. So the TVA found leaders in the community and convinced them of the benefits of the new farming practices.

If you don’t live near a TVA regulated dam, your knowledge or care about them may be superficial. For that matter, most of us who live near them don’t give them a second thought.  But they impact our lives every day.

The TVA ranks as the largest public power company, and has a generating capacity of 31,658 megawatts and delivers power to 8.5 million Tennessee valley residents. The TVA also manages four major reservoirs in North Carolina. The outdoor recreation created by the TVA is phenomenal; Fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing are incredible on the lakes and the rivers. Rafting is a huge sport, with some TVA controlled rivers being sites of Olympic events.

The TVA is both historic and pivotal in the commercial driven economy of Western North Carolina, East Tennessee, and Northwest Georgia.  Everywhere you look you see something that is an offshoot of the TVA and its original purpose. So come to the mountains and enjoy history, conservation, and beauty all rolled into one beautiful place.

Why Murphy?

by Dex Hubbard

Visitors who come into our office to look at homes often ask, Why Murphy? What is it like here? What makes Murphy the best place to live?

 

For me, it begins with the mountains. 

                                                    

 

Surrounded by such overwhelming nature can take your breath away. It’s easy to take for granted, day in and day out, but sometimes the sunlight will catch the crest of the mountains just perfectly to illuminate the shadows and once again you’re reminded of how blessed you are to be here.

 

                                                     

Another reason I love it here is because there is never time to be bored.  If there isn’t a concert at the renowned John C. Campbell Folk school, head down the street to Clay’s Corner (Famous for their New Year’s Possum Drop). Or just wander downtown for good old fashioned retail therapy. If nothing in Murphy is catching your eye at the moment, it’s guaranteed that there is something in Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Hayesville, or Hiawassee that will satisfy. If getting away from it all is the goal, being surrounded by trails, rivers, lakes, creeks, mountains, and national forest service land is ideal.

 

 

 

The best thing about Murphy though, is the people.

 

 

Whether you’re walking into the Curiosity Shop and being greeted by Linda or going to The Daily Grind and being treated like family by the locals who hang out there. Wandering down the street into Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company and having a member of the enthusiastic staff mix you their favorite vinaigrette combo over ice cream, just because it tastes so good. It’s seeing people that you know at Doyle’s’, raising a glass and sending over a round. Or your boss’s wife taking you to the Sweet Tooth (just because).

 

Just some of the many reasons I’m happy to call Murphy home.

 

 

Are you ready to answer that call?

 

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Photo of Dex Hubbard Real Estate
Dex Hubbard
RE/MAX Mountain Properties
1151 W US Hwy 64
Murphy NC 28906
828-361-4710
828-8373002
Fax: 828-837-8372