A Brief History...
Indian arrowheads can still be found in our windy saddle known as Alpine Meadows. We don’t know much about the original natives in this area, but we do know that on March 19, 1775, the government opened up all of the Grandfather Mountain lands for homesteading. This land became known as the Grandfather Community. The first known settler was Issac McClurd from Scotland, who originally settled in Lenoir, NC. There he received a grant for 2000 acres “at the head of the Watauga River”, which included our area. This occurred at approximately the same time that the famous Daniel Boone lived and hunted in Boone, NC.
Records exist showing that several families lived on our mountain during the next 150 years and the land was primarily used for farming. According to local folk, the lower end of the mountain became known as Mast Mountain and it produced good cabbage, potatoes, and tobacco. In fact, the present Town Hall location was a cabbage and potato patch. The upper end of the mountain was known as Valley Creek including a section known as Buckeye Hollar. This area was mainly used for raising cattle. High above the meadows were the predominant geographical features of the mountain, Hanging Rock, Four Diamond Ridge, and Hawksbill Rock, which were named in the early 1800’s.
Seven men on horseback braved an old wagon trail and observed these peaks one fortunate day in 1964. The four Reynolds brothers; Buck, Frank, Dan, and Herb, Ray Smith, George Hampton, and Gardner Gidley saw this magnificent mountain as something that should be shared by many. The L.A. Reynolds Industrial District of Winston-Salem, NC formed the Resort in 1965 and the founders were met with the challenge of naming the Resort.
At this time there was a rumor about an old man on the mountain who had seven sons “as mean as the devil”. People were heard commenting that in the winter the mountain was “as cold as the devils” or “as windy as the devil”. The founders wanted a catchy, unique name that would bring attention to the mountain. They noticed the repeated appearance of the number seven, including the seven predominant rocky peaks surrounding Valley Creek, as well as the many coincidental references to ”devils”. “Seven Devils” seemed to suggest a frivolous, mischievous resort where people could “experience the temptation of Seven Devils”.
The Resort flourished with a golf course, ski slope, lake, riding stables, campground, and more until it was sold in 1972. A year later the Resort was in financial trouble, which came to include a bankruptcy in 1976. During this period the Resort was kept going by the Resort Club, which was acting as a Property Owners Association. Mountain Realty Company of Greensboro, NC purchased the Resort and worked with the residents to have the Resort incorporated. This incorporation of the Town of Seven Devils on June 30, 1979 served to establish a firm economic base for the Resort. Growths accelerated between 1979 and 1986 and many improvements were made. ‘The Mountain Group’, headed by Robert Kent and Robert West, purchased the Resort from Chester Brown of Mountain Realty in 1980. Kent and West distributed the land among many individuals, which completed the transition from Resort to Resort Town. During this period the Town acknowledges that growth was inevitable and set forth to control its growth properly and retain its quaint resort character.
Today the Town has many accomplishments to be proud of; financial independence and stability, Comprehensive Zoning and Land Use Plans and Regulations, Town Ordinances, successful Tax Collections, beautification programs, a remodeled Town Hall, a very successful Police and Fire Department, a hard working Public Works Department, Town vehicles and equipment to help with daily improvements. The Town is also in the process of improving the water system and road system. Seven Devils is a thriving community with lots of amenities to offer the citizens.
What the Town is today...
Visitors have been coming to the High Country of North Carolina for over a century, drawn by the many attractions, the climate, and the energy of the mountains. Surrounded by the great peaks of the Southern Appalachians and Blue Ridge Mountains, the Town of Seven Devils-- with elevations reaching 5,200 feet and situated in both Avery and Watauga Counties-- is in the midst of it all. Seven Devils is just a few minutes from Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, and Valle Crucis. Its small town atmosphere, combined with convenient location, is some of its appeal. Everyone has his or her own special reason for being here. Regardless of the reason for coming to Seven Devils, all believe it is a great place to visit or live. That is why some come here-- just for the location.
No matter what the reason, all who come here agree that the lure of Seven Devils is as certain as its lush, natural landscape. Seven Devils is a place where man and nature thrive in harmony; a place that presents a different view of life, one that is unobstructed and full of the joy of mountain living. People come here for many reasons, but many come just because it is a place of sanctuary.
You can still find Indian arrowheads at Seven Devils, traces of the history of this sacred space. Settled in the early 1700s by a few pioneering families who farmed Mast Mountain at the lower end of the mountain and raised cattle at the upper end known as Valley Creek, Seven Devils has been drawing visitors for years to its unique destination for its beauty, climate and convenience to the surrounding towns. That is why some come to Seven Devils-- just for the history represented here.
Seven Devils is located across the valley from, and within minutes of, Grandfather Mountain. In fact, Seven Devils has some of the best views of Grandfather Mountain that are available anywhere in the region.
Our High Country lifestyle offers many attractions. Cast your lure for fishing that is so grand you won’t have to exaggerate. Ride a horse through lush forests or listen to mountain folk stories around a campfire. Local outfitters offer caving expeditions and rafting trips down nearby rivers. Take a leisurely stroll and picnic on a mountaintop. Hike challenging trails to majestic waterfalls. Play a game of tennis on our courts. Join Seven Devils Resort Club and enjoy their clubhouse and lake. If golf is your game, there are several public and private courses with varying degrees of challenge within just a few miles of Seven Devils. Enjoy zipping on the Hawksnest Zipline – the longest in the eastern United States with ten lines and 1.5 miles of fun. When the last leaf has fallen, it is time to engage in winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. In fact, if tubing is your forte, Hawksnest has the largest Snow Tubing Park on the East Coast. Enjoy skiing at other local resorts within minutes of Seven Devils.
Family entertainment is ever-present at the many local festivals, scenic attractions, live theater, craft fairs, and outdoor concerts. Breathe in the fresh mountain air while cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway or get behind the wheel and drive the quiet back roads to discover general stores, historic churches, and local flea markets.
Explore nearby mountains, lakes, streams, cliffs, and trails in the High Country all year long. Choose your season. How you enjoy them is up to you. That is why some come to Seven Devils--just for the changing seasons.
Our area has attracted some of the most eclectic and creative chefs in the country. From bistro food and fine dining to sidewalk cafes and barbeque smokehouses, there’s plenty to try. Sample them all while you are here. From traditional home cooking to Appalachian signature dishes, you won’t leave hungry. That’s why some come to the mountains--for the food!
From condominiums, to chalets, to mountain homes and log cabins, you will find private and comfortable lodging suitable for a weekend getaway for two or a ski trip for several at Seven Devils. Here, sitting on the porch and enjoying the view is a way of life. That’s why some come for the quiet and solitude. Wise buyers, taking advantage of beautiful mountain real estate, have been seeking out the area for years for investment and retirement. Seven Devils offers many opportunities and prime choices.
For a vacation, second home, a rental property, or a lifetime commitment to the area, Seven Devils allows you to step back in time to a peaceful place in history and forward in time to future growth. That’s why some come to visit and others come to stay.
Stroll the eclectic and inviting shops and galleries in the nearby area. Find great buys at outlet stores and festivals. Join antique seekers who rub shoulders with craft lovers seeking out local pottery and art, some in working studios. Old- time general stores carry sweets and wares that will take you back to forgotten times. At every turn in the road you will find reasons to fill your shopping bags with distinctive signatures of the mountains. Some, absolutely, come for the shopping.
It is not difficult to see that there are many reasons to visit or live in Seven Devils. Join the many who call Seven Devils home. The reasons are as varied as the personalities that inhabit the Town. It is a “GREAT” place to vacation for a day, week, month, or the rest of your life!