At the westernmost end of Highway 64 is the town of Murphy. While the name may be familiar to some because of its association with Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber who hid in the Appalachian town for five years, Murphy’s 1,627 residents and visitors have more to say of the town’s notability.  Murphy is located at the intersection of the Valley River and the Hiwassee River at the mouth of a foothill’s gorge, a geographical feature that makes the small town unique.

In the 1800s, Murphy was along the Unicoi Turnpike, a trading path connecting Cherokee lands east of the mountains to those west of the mountains in Tennessee. When the Indians were removed and transported along the Trail of Tears, the U.S. Army took over the area and built Fort Butler as a collection site from which the Cherokees were transported.

Today, the town industries include manufacturing, construction, retail trade, public administration, accommodation and food services, and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, which are listed in descending order of prevalence and economic influence. With more attention being paid to western North Carolina towns, though, it can be expected that the industry for accommodation and food services may play a bigger part in the town’s economy in the near future.

Murphy Photos

Murphy Features and Reviews

Not Just Another Days Inn

By Rachel Fishman – 2014 What could have easily been just another Days Inn chain became a valuable source of information, culture, and hospitality for our journey in Murphy. The concierge of the Days Inn along Highway 64 enthusiastically welcomedRead more Not Just Another Days Inn

Fields of the Wood Bible Park

By Katherine Makepeace – 2014   “And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive,” . This was just one of the many biblical quotes embedded in the infrastructure of the Fields of the WoodRead more Fields of the Wood Bible Park

A Courthouse Wedding

By Katherine Makepeace – 2014   Love was the last thing I expected to witness as I walked through the cold, vacuous marble halls of the courthouse, expecting instead to interview the magistrate about local crime in Murphy. A young coupleRead more A Courthouse Wedding

The Cherokee Matriarch: Rediscovering Roots

By Katherine Makepeace – 2014   Fate is a funny thing. We never know when a great coincidence will occur, nor can we foretell the extent to which an event will alter the course of history – in ways that areRead more The Cherokee Matriarch: Rediscovering Roots

The Time Traveling Town

By Alexa Dysch – 2014 A gem nestled in the mountains along Highway 64, Murphy is full of rich history and distinct artisan culture. Beyond its unique people and traditions, Murphy is all the more special for holding a GuinnessRead more The Time Traveling Town

Oranges and Pimento Peppers

By Alexa Dysch – 2014 In the strangest of places and in the most unexpected of ways, a bit of Florida followed me to the mountains of North Carolina. It started innocently, and crept up slowly. Like a guardian angelRead more Oranges and Pimento Peppers


By Emilia Azar – 2014 Nantahala’s direct Cherokee translation is “Land of the Noonday Sun.” What I saw of Nantahala was not the town in the light of noonday sun, but rather in the darkness of a midnight moon. It isRead more Nantahala

Murphy through the Eyes of Cliff Owl

By Emilia Azar – 2014 “You’re going to change the world,” Alexa announced to me on our car ride to the mountainous terrain of North Carolina. Who knew the same concept would come up the next day with a completeRead more Murphy through the Eyes of Cliff

Andrew Chastain: A Murphian Gem

By Emilia Azar – 2014 “All we want are cheeseburgers.” This statement was echoed by Katie, Rachel, Alexa, and I when deciding on our dinner location for the second day of our weekend mountain trip. Who knew that the best partRead more Andrew Chastain: A Murphian Gem

Shoebooties Restaurant Review

By Emilia Azar – 2014 “Just go to Shoebooties, you can’t go wrong there.” Cliff the Magistrate – as my group officially dubbed him – told us that Shoebooties Restaurant was the place to go if you if you wanted aRead more Shoebooties Restaurant Review

Mayor of Murphy Profile: Bill Hughes

By Hillary Dooley and Nicole Esplin, 2013 There’s something about Bill Hughes. Something that makes you want to tell his story. Traveling gets a person used to meeting new personalities every day, as we search for a new story toRead more Mayor of Murphy Profile: Bill Hughes

Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurant and Tiki Bar

By Casey Brown, 2013 Nestled on top of a little hill on the outskirts of Murphy is a little wooden building that blends with the mountain scenery with a bar straight the tropics. This clash of cultures is known asRead more Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurant and Tiki


By Will Stiefel Our last stop on Highway 64, before reaching Tennessee, was the small town of Murphy. We pulled into Murphy early in the afternoon when the sun was at its hottest. At first, it seemed like the entireRead more Brothers


By Olivia James The charm of Murphy, North Carolina lies in its small businesses and the store windows that line the downtown area.  As we hopped around from the Cherokee County Museum to the Courthouse, we noticed that many ofRead more Stuff-tiques