Finding Aid of the Jane and Robert Goodson Research Collection, PC.7003


Finding Aid of the Jane and Robert Goodson Research Collection, PC.7003


This collection documents the history of the North Fork area of the Swannanoa Valley in Buncombe County and was compiled by Joan and Robert Goodson while researching for their books, and , published in 1997 and 1994 respectively. It includes photo copies, genealogical information, clippings, photographs, and published materials.

Descriptive Summary

The Joan and Robert Goodson Research Collection
Call Number
Goodson, Robert Benton
9.00 boxes
Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

Series Quick Links

  1. Collection Contents

Preferred Citation

PC.7003, Joan and Robert Goodson Research Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

The Joan and Robert Research Collection consists of letters, original photographs, newspaper clippings, genealogical information, photocopies of books, newspapers, transcriptions, and other ephemera.

Arrangement Note

The documents were left in original order when possible, with some series in chronological order and some in the organization scheme of the Goodson's book .


Nestled against the Great Craggy Mountains in eastern Buncombe County lies the North Fork River Valley. The river for which the valley is named, is also known as the North Fork of the Swannanoa River. It rises near Balsam Gap and flows south for approximately ten miles where it joins the Swannanoa River. Originally, the land was territory of the Cherokee, but following the Revolutionary War the valley was settled by pioneers, chiefly of European heritage.

These settlers grew gardens, raised stock and fished and hunted in the bountiful streams, rivers and forests in the area. They were able to make many of the everyday items they needed to survive in the beautiful yet rugged environment. Churches were organized by the 1820s and 1830s. About the same time the U.S. Government began a forced relocation of the Cherokee to Indian lands in Oklahoma.

Shortly before the Civil War, Judge J.L. Bailey established a law school in the North Fork region. The war however caused a hiatus in operation when the students enlisted for service. Following the late unpleasantness, Bailey resumed teaching in Asheville. The land on which the original school was located later became part of the "Gombroon" estate, vacation home of esteemed general and politician Zebulon B. Vance and his second wife, Florece Steele Martin. The impressive structure was built in 1883. "Gombroon" succumbed to fire and burned to the ground in 1936.

By the early 1900s, the City of Asheville was looking for a water source and a large portion of the North River Valley was taken to form a watershed and to construct a reservoir. Additional land was obtained over the years and many residents, descendants of the original North Fork Valley settlers, were forced to leave their ancestral homes. The land of the North Fork region is now of shared use - a mixture of industrial, agricultural, recreational and residential.

Contents of the Collection

Collection Contents
Box 1

(1.1) On the North Fork of the Swannanoa River, 1800-1950 (1997)
(1.2) Tabernacle Cemetery Listings and Historical Information, 1837-1994: Tabernacle United Methodist Church, Black Mountain, North Carolina (1994)

(1.3-1.5) "On the North Fork"
(1.6) "Tabernacle Cemetery Listings"
(1.7) "The Drakes of Black Mountain"
(1.8) "The Goodson Heritage, Vol. 1"
(1.9) "Stepps of the Swannanoa Valley"
(1.10) "Mountain View Baptist Church Cemetery Listings"

Box 2

Genealogical Research

(2.1) Allison,
(2.1 A) Allison Family Marriages
(2.2) Baldwin,
(2.3) Bartlett,
(2.4-2.5) Brendle,
(2.6) Brown,
(2.7) Burgin
(2.8-2.9) Burnett,
(2.10) Carleton,
(2.11) Clements,
(2.12) Cordell,
(2.13) Daugherty,
(2.14) Davidson,
(2.15-2.16) Drake,
(2.17) Fortune,
(2.18) Fouts,
(2.19) Gallion,
(2.20) Garren,
(2.21) Gillespie
(2.22) Glass
(2.23) Goodson,
(2.24) Gragg
(2.25) Honeycutt,
(2.26) Ingram,

Box 3

Genealogy Research: (Ordered within each family file by: genealogical charts/lineage records; correspondence; notations; news clippings/photocopied sources; photocopied photographs)

(3.1) Jones, 3.24-3.26, 4.8
(3.2) Knupp, Kanupp, Canup
(3.3) Kyle
(3.4) Lindsey
(3.5) Lowery
(3.6) Lytle, 2.7
(3.7) McAfee, 2.8-2.9,2.11, 2.22
(3.8) Mooring
(3.9) Morris
(3.10-3.11) Patton, 2.7, 2.17, 4.9
(3.12) Pendergrass, 2.2, 3.5
(3.13) Pilkington, 2.4-2.5
(3.14) Pittillo
(3.15) Powers
(3.16) Pressley
(3.17) Reed, 2.4-2.5, 2.20, 4.10
(3.18) Reese
(3.19) Riddle, 2.7, 4.8
(3.20) Rowland, 2.15-2.16, 2.18
(3.21) Shope, 2.8-2.9
(3.22) Sitton, see also 2.4-2.5, 2.15-2.16, 2.20, 2.21, 3.13
(3.23) Smart
(3.24-3.26) Stepp 2.23, 2.26, 4.8

Box 4

Genealogy Research: (Ordered within each family file by: genealogical charts/lineage records; correspondence; notations; news clippings/photocopied sources; photocopied photographs)

(4.1) Stepp - Silas Stepp, 5.3
(4.2) Stepp - research by Sue Stepp,
(4.3-4.4) Stepp - research by Henry Scalf,
(4.5) Stone
(4.6) Truit
(4.7) Tyson
(4.8) Walker, 2.23, 3.3, 3.24-3.26, 4.9
(4.9) Watkins
(4.10) Whitaker, 2.10, 2.20, 3.17
(4.11) Willet
(4.12) Williams
(4.13) Miscellaneous family obituaries and notes

Box 5

Research for publications:

Civil War:
(5.1) Troop registry; Chicamauga (9/18 - 9/20 1863); local militia/home guard; notes on various local regiments
(5.2) Notations; Black Mountain News excerpts on Civil War era (1956); correspondence; research sources; photos (photocopies)
(5.3) Silas Stepp Civil War letters, courtesy of Evelyn Cordell Romeo and Mary Belle Stepp Clements (transcriptions and photocopies)

(5.4) WWII - Notations; research by Colonel Emil M. Ulanowicz (1994)

(5.5) Fontana Dam

(5.6) "History of Black Mountain"

(5.7) Buncombe County Records - Census (1800-1880); land deeds (1800-1924); marriages

North Fork:
(5.8) "Ashbury's Journal" excerpts; cemeteries; Gombroon/Vance; economy; education; Exum Clement; land deeds (1793-1848); "Letters to Festus" excerpts; Mack Burnett; maps; Mt. Mitchell; Native Americans
(5.9) Swannanoa; watershed; miscellaneous; news clippings

James P. Parker on James Allen and Dr. Mitchell:
[research for Parker's 1929 publication in the Charlotte Observer on the search for Dr. Elisha Mitchell's body (1857)]
(5.10) notations; transcription of Z. B. Vance's 1857 publication in the Asheville Spectator transcription for Harold Johnson's 1905 interview with "Big" Tom Wilson in The Asheville Gazette-News; Parker's interviews with James Allen, J. T. Wilson, and Ervin Allen
(5.11) correspondence - transcription of S. P. Mays and E. N Grant (1879), S. P. Mays and E. H. Swain (1880), Parker and Mary Miller (02/1926), Parker and E. M. Summerell (05/1926), Parker and Hope Summerell Chamberlain (05/1926); manuscripts of Parker's submission for publication; original printed news clipping on Parker's article from the Charlotte Observer; news clippings on the death of James Allen; brochures on Dr. Mitchell and Mt. Mitchell State Park

Box 6

Research for publications:

Mountain View Baptist Church and Rev. Eugene Byrd:
(6.1) research compiled by Rev. Eugene Byrd; correspondence; church member records; church cemetery listings; notations
(6.2) excerpts from "Mountain Musings" by Rev. Byrd in Black Mountain News; poetry by Rev. Byrd; various new clippings (photocopies)

"Bittersweet" excerpts by Oden Walker (Black Mountain News) -
(6.3) Goodson's handwritten notations on Walker; obituary and tributes for Oden Walker; excerpts sorted by topic - Life on the North Fork, Building Burnett Dam, Camping, Church, Cooking
(6.4) continued excerpts sorted by topic - "Doctoring", Economy, Education, Nature/Weather, "Panther Tales", Poetry/Music, Timber, Tribute to Oden's Mother, Wicker Sisters, Misc.
(6.5) photocopies of various "Bittersweet" Oden Walker articles

Box 7


Black Mountain News excerpts -
(7.1) G. A. Burgin, Bascombe Burnett, Richard Capps, Ed Cordell, W. B. Gragg, Edd Stepp
(7.2) Life on the North Fork, Black Mountain College, local families, miscellaneous

Post-publication documents:

(7.3) Tabernacle - sources/notes
(7.4) Tabernacle - business records: distribution; publicity/copyright; expenses; correspondence/reader response

(7.5) Miscellaneous Correspondence
(7.6) Miscellaneous Notes and Clippings

(7.7) Original Material - Documents: civil war letter (1863), letter segments (?,1869,1917), court of pleas (1867), Post office receipt (Black Mountain, 1897)
(7.8) Original Material - Photographs: early 20th century photographs of Stepp family; Stepp gravesites at Aquone cemetery (1994); Stepp family cemetery (2003); cover photos for On the North Fork; Oden Walker gravesite; Goodson farm in Black Mountain; Photos by J.P Parker - Mt. Mitchell, 1920s; Richard Allison home site on Swannanoa Creek (2002); Patton's Mtn. home site (1993); James Allen (year?); Drake family home in Aquone (1903, 1912); Drake family reunion (1993)
(7.9) Original Material - Media: CD ROM of Bass and Poteet Families, photographs & family tree

Box 8

Addition to collection:

(8.1) Allison Family Marriages
(8.2)Allison/Bailey - Rod & Gun Club
(8.3) Bailey's Law School
(8.4) Bartlett correspondence to Ruth Taylor see also 2.3, 4.8
(8.5) Burgin - G.A. see also 2.7
(8.6) Burnett, Fred - News Articles see also 2.1, 2.8-2.9, 3.21, 3.23
(8.7) Census Records
(8.8) Civil War see also 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7
(8.9) Genealogy - Burnett see also 2.1, 3.21, 3.23
(8.10) Genealogy - Burnett, Bascomb see also 2.1, 3.21, 3.23
(8.11) Genealogy - Burnett, W.H (Champ) see also 2.1, 2.8-2.9, 3.21, 3.23
(8.12) Genealogy - Clement, Exum
(8.13) Genealogy - Cordell
(8.14) Genealogy - Dula, Stepp, Walker, Kyle (Newspaper Article removed from Folder)
(8.15) Genealogy - Gragg see also 2.24
(8.16) Genealogy - Greenlee
(8.17) Genealogy - Hemphill
(8.18) Gambroon - Zeb Vance - (Newspaper Article removed from Folder) Copy made)
(8.19) Goodson, Evelyn Dula - Research
(8.20) Highland Pond
(8.21) Ingram Family see also 2.23, 2.26, 3.24-3.26
(8.22) L. Ingram Photos
(8.23) Jones Family
(8.24) Kerlee Family
(8.25) Kyle Family
(8.26) Maps of North Fork
(8.27) Marlowe - Stepp/Bird

Box 9

Addition to collection:

(9.1) Morris Family
(9.2) Mount Mitchell
(9.3) Mountain View Church
(9.4) Mountain View Cemetery, North Fork
(9.5) North Fork Road
(9.6) North Fork Photos (Paper Copies)
(9.7) Parkers Poem
(9.9) Pitman
(9.10) Porter
(9.11) Rod & Gun Club
(9.12) Stepp Family
(9.13)Stepp, Ann
(9.14) Stepp, Jesse
(9.15) Stepp, Joe
(9.16) Stepp/Scale - Sue - Research
(9.18)Tabernacle Church
(9.19)Timber Industry
(9.20) Tours (Centennial)
(9.21) Walker
(9.22) Water Shed (North Fork)
(9.23) Wicker Sisters
(9.24) Tyson
(9.25) Photos
(9.26) Miscellaneous

Subject Headings

  • Tabernacle United Methodist Church (Black Mountain, N.C.)
  • Black Mountain Region (N.C.) -- Social life and customs
  • Swannanoa River, North Fork Valley (N.C.) -- Social life and customs
  • Black Mountain Region (N.C.) -- Biography
  • Swannanoa River, North Fork Valley (N.C.) -- Genealogy
  • Black Mountain Region (N.C.) -- Genealogy
  • Swannanoa River, North Fork Valley (N.C.) -- Biography
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by Robert Goodson, March 2013

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Laura Engel, Spring 2014