Edwards, Cranford, and White Families Postcards, Correspondence, and other material, PC.7047


Edwards, Cranford, and White Families Postcards, Correspondence, and other material, PC.7047

Descriptive Summary

Edwards, Cranford, and White Families Postcards, Correspondence, and other material
Call Number
Edwards family
1868 - 1991
0.200 cubic feet
Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

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Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item,] PC.7047, Edwards, Cranford, and White Families Postcards, Correspondence, and other material, State Archives of North Carolina, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, NC, USA.


Nellie Edwards Cranford (1872-1954) wife of Trinity College professor William Ivey Cranford (1867-1936) contracted tuberculosis around 1905. She, along with her mother Mary Jane "Mollie" White Edwards (1840-1931) and her young daughter Mary White Cranford travelled to Waynesville, N.C. at the advice of her doctor. There she could partake of the mountain air and see a tuberculosis specialist.

After commencement at Trinity, Dr. Cranford travelled to Waynesville from Durham. They spent days riding about in the family's horse drawn carriage to keep Nellie out in the fresh air, and also to look for a spot to build a home. They found an agreeable spot and purchased a few acres from Will and Naomi Tate. That summer the family camped on the land, cooking meals over open fires. Other family members made the trip out and camped along. Nellie as able to return to Durham in the fall, after she was cured of her illness. She and William rode home in their carriage while others took the train back east.

The following summer construction began on the eight-sided summer home. It was written that Dr. Cranston used a cake of octagon soap for as a model for his mountain home. He wanted windows and porches on all sides in order to take in the mountain views and fresh air for Nellie's illness. "The Octagon" became a summer home and gathering spot for the Cranstons and their extended family. Mollie White Edwards came from a large family and many of her sisters and their children and grandchildren came each year.

The Octagon's size allowed for ample accommodations. Many pleasant summer days were enjoyed by the Edwards, Cranston, White, Carr, and Willis families, camping, hiking, going to Mr. Jones's store for the mail.

Nellie's brother, Charles W. Edwards, and Mollie Edward's sister Emma White purchased additional acres of the Tate Farm, Charles lived in the farmhouse, while his aunt Emma built a home on the property which she called "Alladin."

Following Dr. Cranford's death in 1936, the family continued to visit The Octagon for a number of years. During the 1950s, it was rented by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rhinehart. The house was razed in 2001.

Contents of the Collection

Container Count
1 Box

Subject Headings

  • White Family
  • Edwards family
  • Carr Family
  • Willis Family
  • Summer Houses
  • Lake Junaluska (N.C.)
  • Tuscola