photographer believed to be Bob Rouse
Photograph by Bob Rouse

I’ve driven by this house many times over the past 15 years or so on my way to a hike in Hot Springs or to a swim in the Laurel River. Sitting majestically on top of the hill with the green and white sign proclaiming “STACKHOUSE,” it always made me wonder what stories it had to tell. Thanks to a wonderful new donation to the NC Room, I found out!

The Stackhouses had a strong hand in the way Western North Carolina evolved and developed during the aftermath of the Civil War. The bulk of the collection is family (and some business) correspondence from the 1850s through the 1940s. While processing this collection it’s been fascinating to learn of everyday triumphs and struggles of bygone days through the lens of a tight-knit and influential family. But I must admit, before I was fascinated…I was CONFUSED.  Here’s why:

This is Amos Stackhouse…

Amos (1819-1909)

this is also Amos Stackhouse…


and this is another Amos Stackhouse…


last? but not least, this is Amos Stackhouse…


 Oh boy. I was in trouble. Thankfully I found Jacqueline Burgin Painter’s book: “The Stackhouses of Appalachia: Even to Our Own Times.” I honestly don’t know what I would have done without the chart of ancestors and descendants she provides. Painter’s narrative engagingly describes sorrows and successes of the family.

Amos Stackhouse (1819-1909) was the founder of Stackhouse, North Carolina. Amos, a Pennsylvania Quaker, wore many hats.  Beginning in 1870, he managed to build and run two stores, a drover’s business, a post office, and a lumber mill among other things. He accomplished all of this “despite the fact Amos Stackhouse was a Yankee and a stranger” (Painter, p.3). Ha!

Curious about others named Amos Stackhouse? Come check out our collection!

Stackhouse Manuscript Collection

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