“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cashiers in Jackson County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Zachary-Tolbert House

A Family Divided

Zachary-Tolbert House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 26, 2014
1. Zachary-Tolbert House Marker
Inscription.  The Zachary family of Cashiers symbolizes the divided loyalties of western North Carolinians. The builder of this house, Mordecai Zachery, had strong ties to the Confederacy, as did others in the area. Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton sent his family to his hunting lodge, located across the road for safety during the war. It burned to the ground in 1932. Zachary’s brother and near neighbor Alexander remained a Unionist. Too old to serve, Alexander Zachary gave aid and sympathy to Federal soldiers who escaped from Confederate prisons in South Carolina and made their way through the mountains to Union lines.

William H. Thomas, the noted politician, promoter of western North Carolina, and white Cherokee chief, was among the travelers on the Tuckasegee-Keowee Turnpike who stopped at Mordecai Zachary’s house. When the war began, Thomas enlisted white and Cherokee men for his Confederate unit, Thomas’s Legion. Zachary served in the Legion, according to his tombstone inscription.

Alexander Zachary’s sons served both sides during the war. Christopher Columbus Zachary enlisted in Co. F, 29th North Carolina Infantry, in the Confederate
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army. He rose to the rank of sergeant but later deserted and returned to western North Carolina. He then “rode with the Bushwhackers”—Union Col. George W. Kirk’s 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry—that attacked Confederate units in the mountains. Another son, fourteen-year-old Thompson R. Zachary, guided a group of escaped Union officers through Cashiers Valley to the Federal lines in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they were photographed. Alexander Zachary remained in Cashiers after the war.

In 1873, Mordecai Zachary sold this house to former South Carolina congressman Armistead Burt, a leader in the secession movement before the war. Zachary moved to a farm near Cherokee in Swain County, next to Thomas’s property.

Mordecai Zachary constructed the Zachary-Tolbert House in the popular Greek Revival style about 1850. Zachary also built the original furniture, much of which remains in the house. Besides raising a family here with his wife, Elvira Keener, Zachary also boarded travelers on the Tuckasegee-Keowee Turnpike. The Tolbert family purchased the dwelling in 1909. Since 1998, the Cashiers Historical Society has owned and interpreted the house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(lower left) “Union Refugees in East Tennessee,” with T.R. Zachary
Zachary-Tolbert House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 26, 2014
2. Zachary-Tolbert House Marker
in back row on right, from Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial History of the Civil War.
(upper center) William H. Thomas Courtesy North Carolina Office of Archives and History
(lower right) Union bushwhackers attacking Confederate cavalrymen, engraving by Junius Henry Browne, 1865.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1932.
Location. 35° 5.505′ N, 83° 4.831′ W. Marker is in Cashiers, North Carolina, in Jackson County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 107, 0.2 miles south of Whiteside Cove Road (County Route 1107), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1940 NC 107, Cashiers NC 28717, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Church of the Good Shepherd (approx. half a mile away); Wade Hampton (approx. 1.9 miles away); Grimshawes (approx. 2.8 miles away); Baccus Lodge c. 1907 (approx. 6.8 miles away); Mary Lapham (approx. 7 miles away); Elizabeth Wright Prince House (approx. 7.1 miles away); The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Zachary-Tolbert House-Sign at the entrance image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 26, 2014
3. Zachary-Tolbert House-Sign at the entrance
(approx. 7.1 miles away); Samuel T. Kelsey (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cashiers.
Zachary-Tolbert House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 26, 2014
4. Zachary-Tolbert House
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 847 times since then and 139 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 19, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 3, 2023