The Crab Creek community of Henderson County is a land of tall mountain peaks with a fertile valley lying between them. Old silos, barns and stone chimneys, remnants of cabins and old houses, dot the landscape. Jeter Mountain, Evans Mountain and others line one side of the tranquil valley, with Pinnacle Mountain, Ann Mountain and others reaching to the sky on the other side.
The Pinnacle, Stone Mountain and Grassy Mountain are three of the highest peaks separating the Crab Creek and Green River communities. Snaggy Mountain, Ann Mountain and Rich Mountain separate the communities of Zirconia and Crab Creek. Jeter Mountain (Underwood) is the tallest peak separating the Etowah and Crab Creek communities.
The community extends to the Transylvania County line and is surrounded by the communities of Green River, Zirconia, Flat Rock, Valley Hill, Big Willow and Etowah.
The stream named Crab Creek flows into Little River to eventually empty into the French Broad River and on to the Mississippi. In early deeds, the creek was named Crabtree Creek for the large number of crab apple trees that dotted its banks.
Prior to the building of today’s roads, the main route from the Davidson River in today’s Transylvania County went through this valley and on to Flat Rock and Hendersonville. The main route from Asheville through Mills River and on to Cedar Mountain and Greenville, S.C., went through part of Crab Creek.
Saw mills, farms, dairies, and, of course, moon shining were trademarks of the community.
The earliest deed located was in 1790 when Wilby Williams and David Miller bought land on Little River and Crabtree Creek. In 1792, John Goode entered a deed for land on Crab Creek. Williams and Miller were land speculators who sold their large land holdings to early settlers.
Early families in the community were Thomas, Evans, Hamilton, McCrary, Osteen, Patterson, King, Shepherd, Brown, Anderson, Smith, Jones, Stepp, Sexton, Pridmore and others.
The Underwood family also lived near the community. The original name of Jeter Mountain was Underwood Mountain.
By 1834, there were enough residents of the community to form their own church – Crab Creek Baptist Church. By 1860, residents near the Transylvania County line formed Holly Springs Baptist Church.
In 1920, Berea Baptist Church was organized near the community of Flat Rock. The community now had three Baptist churches. Holly Springs was located near Transylvania County, Crab Creek in the center of the community and Berea Baptist near Flat Rock.
In the 1850s a post office named Calhoun was established. At this time, Transylvania County did not exist and the post office served residents of the Penrose and Little River communities in today’s Transylvania County, along with residents of some sections of the Crab Creek community.
In 1875, Crab Creek Post Office served the community. This post office was likely near the site of Crab Creek Baptist Church. The post office was closed in 1878. Loveda Hamilton was the first postmaster, followed by Sabrina Hamilton.
Pinnacle Post Office was also established in 1875 near the site of today’s Wolfe Lake and Camp Pinnacle between Little River and Crab Creek roads. This post office closed in 1881. Jason King was the first postmaster and he also owned a mill in the community that ground residents corn into cornmeal. George W. Turpin and the Rev. John W. Anderson and Thomas C. Anderson also served as postmasters.
In 1889, Knight post office was established. The exact location of this post office has not been determined. Sarah N. Hamilton was the only postmaster. The post office closed in 1894. Since at one time the mail route went from the Davidson River to Calhoun to Osteen to Knight to Pinnacle to Delmont the post office was most likely located between Crab Creek Baptist Church and Evans Road.
The Osteen Post Office was established in 1895, with Elisha Osteen as the first postmaster. This post office was located at the site of today’s Holmes Educational State Forest. This post office closed in 1904.
Today, residents of Crab Creek are served by a rural route out of the Hendersonville post office.
A one-room school opened in the community some time after the Civil War. The school was located across from the Crab Creek Baptist Church on a knoll. It closed in 1930 and later the building burned.
Elementary students in the community then began attending Valley Hill Elementary School and Flat Rock High School. By 1960, Flat Rock High School became a junior high school and later a middle school, and high school students attended East Henderson High School.
Today’s students attend Atkinson Elementary School, Flat Rock Middle School and East Henderson High School.
During the Great Depression a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was located in the Crab Creek community. The camp was located at today’s Holmes Educational State Forest. Workers built the road now called Old CCC Road, along with other roads in the county. They also conducted reforestation projects.
Three summer camps are located in the Crab Creek community.
Camp Pinnacle for boys opened in 1928 where the Crab Creek community meets the community of Flat Rock. H.R. Dobson, a football coach from Spartanburg, S.C., and Van C. Kussrow Sr. began the camp.
In 1948, Camp Blue Star opened in the Crab Creek community. Herman Popkin and his brothers, Henry and Ben, began this camp for Jewish youth.
And in 1949 the Methodist church opened Camp Tekoa near where the Crab Creek community borders today’s Valley Hill and Flat Rock.
It was in 1956 that the DuPont Corporation began buying land. The DuPont plant began production in 1958. This land is now the site of DuPont State Forest.
Click on the links below for additional articles on the Crab Creek community.
The web site for Holmes Educational State Forest is http://www.ncesf.org/HESF/home.htm