Diary of Joseph Walter Reese Sr.
This diary contains a treasure trove of information on the early settlement and the residents of Highlands, North Carolina. Joseph was born in 1881 in Franklin, NC and came to Highlands with his parents in 1885. Highlands was founded in 1875 after its two founders, Samuel Truman Kelsey and Clinton Carter Hutchinson, drew lines from Chicago to Savannah and from New Orleans to New York City. They felt that the place where these lines met would eventually become a great trading center and commercial crossroads. My Reese ancestors were some of the first southerners to reside in the town. My Great-Grandfather Robert Walter Reese saw an ad in the Franklin newspaper that a painter was needed to paint the Presbyterian Church on Main St. in Highlands, so he came up to do the job and then moved his family there to permanently reside. In the belfry of the church my Great Grandfather carved his name and that of his oldest son, Joseph Walter Reese Sr. Click the PDF to download and read this fascinating bit of family and town history.
Randolph Shaffner compiled and narrated this brief history video of Highlands, NC, the town that shapes many of my Reese family stories. Ran has been a blessing for Macon County and Highlands NC families specifically. He's been the resident historian of the town for quite a long time. I love this man for his love of people and history. He ran Cyranos Bookshop on Main St. for many years before his retirement. Thanks Ran for what you have done for Western NC history. Here's a link to many of his books and publications. All are worth your time & money if you're a fan of history, especially western NC and Highlands NC history.