Clear Creek is a main tributary of Mud Creek and the community of Clear Creek takes its name from the stream.
The community is primarily a valley within the county’s central inter-mountain plateau. The valley and flood plains were prime agricultural land in the early history of the county.
Clear Creek’s headwaters are in the mountains in Fruitland, Edneyville and Gerton. The stream flows west until it enters Mud Creek.
The community is entirely west of the Continental Divide.
The city of Hendersonville, located to the south and southwest, is slowly encroaching upon the community and some of the traditional community is now located within the city limits.
The Clear Creek community is bordered to the east by Fruitland, to the northeast by Hooper’s Creek, to the north and northwest by Naples, and to the west by Mountain Home and Balfour.
The community has some smaller mountain peaks, primarily mountains that border the Fruitland and Hooper’s Creek communities.
One of the early Indian trails passed through the community. This trail today is known as the Howard Gap Road. The trail and wagon road began near today’s Spartanburg, S.C., crossed the Green River in the Macedonia community, and proceeded into the Upward and Tracy Grove communities until it reached Clear Creek. The early trail or road then proceeded into Naples and Fletcher.
Early land deeds show land on Clear Creek purchased on July 4, 1785, by land speculators John Miller and Andrew Miller.
Later, on Nov. 3, 1787, John Miller purchased land at the mouth of Clear Creek on both sides of Mud Creek.
On June 13, 1790, William Mills and James Miller purchased land along many of the branches that entered Clear Creek, all the way to Hooper’s Creek.
Mills and the Miller brothers were land speculators who purchased thousands, of acres of land and sold this land to other early settlers.
Prior to 1800, the families of Shipman, Case and McMinn were purchasing land in today’s Clear Creek community, along with other early settlers.
In 1808, George Allen purchased land in the community along the Howard Gap Road from Daniel Case. Allen had a drovers’ stop along the old Howard Gap Road.
By 1810, the Drake family had moved to the Clear Creek section of the county. Winifred “Winnie” Massey Drake and her two sons, Hezekiah and Nathan, were living in the community on the 1810 census.
Also in 1810, Merrimon Featherstone purchased land from William Mills in Clear Creek. Featherstone married Mills’ half-sister, Amelia “Milly” Mills, in 1799. His land adjoined the land of Edward Shipman and James McMinn. He set up a grist mill on his property along Featherstone Creek.
The Love family was found on census reports in the area by 1810, with John Love listed on the militia roster for Old Buncombe County.
Revolutionary War veteran John Peter Corn originally settled in the Green River community in 1793. By 1830, he and his family had moved to the Clear Creek section.
Before the Civil War, the Reese (Rees, Rys) and Dermid families moved into the community.
William Reese lived on the Howard Gap Road from Featherstone Creek, where it crosses the Howard Gap Road, to the top of Couch Mountain. He was a well-known early blacksmith and had a saw mill, Reese Mills.
The Dermid family had a grist mill and saw mill in the community.
Some of these early settlers arrived in the county with slaves or later purchased slaves. There is a substantial black community in Clear Creek, many of whom are descendants of early slaves, particularly of the Mills, Featherstone, McMinn, Drake and other families.
In the early history, the community was served by post offices in Edneyville, and later from the Fruitland, Naples, Hillgirt and Hendersonville areas.
The Love Post Office opened in 1883. This post office, located on North Clear Creek Road on the Love family property, was only open for one year, closing in 1884. George W. Love was the only postmaster.
Today mail is delivered out of the Hendersonville post office.
The earliest established church in the community was Ebenezer Baptist Church, founded in 1816.
There was a Methodist church prior to 1890, Brown’s Chapel. The church was listed in Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory in 1890 and 1896. This church no longer exists.
Moore’s Grove United Methodist Church was organized in 1892, across from Ebenezer Baptist Church.
There was a church named Hogney at the border of Clear Creek and Hooper’s Creek in the late 1890s.
Two churches were organized in the community by members of the black community.
The congregation of Mount Zion Baptist Church built a church about 1900.
The first Stanford Chapel AME Zion Church was built earlier, in the late 1880s or early 1890s.
Locust Grove Baptist Church was founded in 1898, with the church built about 1901.
In the 1930s, the Seagle family built an Episcopal chapel on the family property, known as St. Mary’s Chapel. Today, this church is La Capilla de Santa Maria and used as an Episcopal Hispanic mission church.
More information on these churches and cemeteries can be located under “Historic Cemeteries” in the Clear Creek community on this web site.
Camps and Tourists
About 1935 Ambrose Mills Featherstone established Brookside Camp along Featherstone Creek. The camp catered to summer tourists, mostly from Florida, who came to the mountains to escape the summer heat. The present Brookside Camp Road was named for this camp.
The Huckleberry Mountain Workshop Camp and Artists Colony was located in the Fruitland and Clear Creek communities. For more information on this camp, see the links below. A small paperback book written by Valerie LeVander, niece of Evelyn Haynes who founded the Huckleberry Mountain Workshop Camp and Artists Colony may be purchased at the Henderson County Heritage Museum in the Historic Courthouse in Hendersonville.
It is known that there were at least five one-room schools in the community and most likely others. It is known that one of these schools was a “colored” school.
The Reese School was located on the property of the Reese family in the northern section of the community.
The Ebenezer School was located at or near Ebenezer Baptist Church in the southern section of the community.
A school named Hogney was located near the church of the same name at the border of Hooper’s Creek and Clear Creek on the Clear Creek side of Couch Mountain.
There are also found references to a Hood School located on or near the Howard Gap Road after the Civil War.
There are also references to a “colored” school located in the Clear Creek District in the late 1800s.
Since 2000, a new school was opened in the community – Clear Creek Elementary School. North Henderson High School and Apple Valley Middle School are located near the border of the Fruitland and Clear Creek communities.
The Bullington Center, an educational and horticultural nature center, is located on Zeb Corn Road. This property also houses the offices of the Henderson County Educational Foundation. The property was left to the school children of Henderson County by the former owner. The horticultural section is managed by the Henderson County N.C. Cooperative Extension Service for adult horticultural workshops, the public school system and 4-H Clubs.
The following link is to a story written by Jennie Jones Giles in 1992 on the Huckleberry Mountain Workshop Camp and Artists Colony:
The following is a link to a story on the library at Huckleberry Mountain in 1946. The link may need to be copied and pasted in order to access the story.