History and old stories tell us, that sometime around 1795, Jacob Shook built a three-story cabin known as the Shook-Smathers House in Clyde, North Carolina. ¬† Some say is the oldest standing frame built house in Western North Carolina. ¬† Shook was part of a Revolutionary War expedition against the Cherokee allegedly to stop them from siding with the British.¬† After the war, many men on the expedition came back and settled the formerly Cherokee territory.
According to Shook family history, Shook may not have had to purchase the land. Haywood County at that time was in a contested territory that, according to a British treaty, belonged to the Cherokee. However, since the British had lost the Revolutionary War, that treaty was basically unrecognized by the new North Carolina government, which was severely in debt after the war. In order to pay its war veterans, the state either gave away or sold land at cheap prices. Shook and other war veterans, no doubt, took advantage of the deal. He found land along the Pigeon River to build a house. The land, an estimated 300 acres according to oral history, covered most of what is now present-day Clyde.
It was said that the Shook House hosted regular worship services and singing and music lessons in the third-floor attic before a church was built nearby. The cabin hosted the traveling Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury, a major influence on the region and spreader of Methodism. Shook donated land adjacent to his home to be the site of revival camp meetings and also set aside land for the Louisa Chapel United Methodist Church and Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Clyde.
Jacob Shook died Sept. 1, 1839 and was buried along with his wife, Isabella, in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, a short drive from the Shook-Smathers House.
The Shook-Smathers House is located in Clyde about five minutes from downtown Canton. Head west on U.S. 19 from downtown. You‚Äôll see it on the right after passing through the small commercial district of town.
All tours are given by Docents. Other times can be arranged by appointment.
Tours are best given for groups of 10-18.
Visit the Shook House Museum Website For more on the Shook Family History and Johanne Jacob Shook visit their website.
178 Morgan Street
Clyde, NC 28721