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 Features and Reviews
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 welcomed…Read more Not Just Another Days Inn
By Katherine Makepiece – 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 Wood…Read more Fields of the Wood Bible Park
By Katherine Makepiece – 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…Read more A Courthouse Wedding
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 Guinness…Read more The Time Traveling Town
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 angel…Read 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 is…Read more Nantahala
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 complete…Read more Murphy through the Eyes of Cliff
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 part…Read more Andrew Chastain: A Murphian Gem
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 a…Read more Shoebooties Restaurant Review
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 to…Read more Mayor of Murphy Profile: Bill Hughes
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 as…Read 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 entire…Read 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 of…Read more Stuff-tiques