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History of Whitewater Ridge at Waddle Mountain, Sapphire, NC

Waddle Mountain, a mountaintop ridge running north to south in southwestern Transylvania County is a special and unique property with a long and varied history.

The property was originally owned by the state of North Carolina. One hundred and seventy five acres was deeded as a part of a land grant to Nancy Jane Owens in April of 1893 (PDF file, 200k - download the more readable version here). The price paid for the land at that time was fifteen (15) cents per acre. In the early 1920’s, the Lusk family from Salem, SC, moved to Waddle Mountain. For over 30 years, the Lusk family raised their family and scratched out a living on the mountain.

In the 1950s, the Lusk time on the mountain ended. During the next 40 years the property had a number of different owners. At one time, The American Red Cross had title to the property. Later, it was sold on the Transylvania County Courthouse steps. For another period of time it was owned by an attorney from Atlanta. In the mid 1960s it was purchased by an investor from California, and held for 30 years. In the mid 1990s, the California investor sold the property to an investor from Walhalla, SC. This individual added 90 acres to the property by trading 90 acres that he owned elsewhere to the Forest Service for 90 acres that adjoined the Waddle Mountain property. This brought the total acreage to 265 acres. This was the final transaction before the current owners bought the property.

In 1998, the current owners purchased the entire 265 acre tract. An additional 20 acres was purchased from an adjoining land owner to bring the total acreage to 285.

The new owners were not developers, but individuals who loved the mountains, and understood what a special property Waddle Mountain was. Their main goal was to not spoil this spectacular spot. To this end, they endeavored to treat the land in an environmentally friendly manner.

Restrictive covenants were put into place to protect the land and the future homeowners. Lots were laid out to an average of 4.5 acres. This was done to provide privacy to future homeowners, and to reduce the overall density. Underground utilities were installed. Sandy Gap pond was built. A community water system was designed and implemented. All this to reduce the impact, and to protect the natural beauty of the property.

The property was named Whitewater Ridge at Waddle Mountain. It has some of the most spectacular views in Western North Carolina. It is surrounded on three sides by the Nantahala National Forest. The Whitewater River, with it’s spectacular waterfalls and trout fishing, can be accessed directly from the property through the national forest.

It has always been a nature lover's paradise and remains so today.