I’ve always liked Hayesville. I've been to Clay County many times over the years, and just learned something new about the place. If you’re driving west on Highway 64, you’ll cross Smackass Gap shortly before reaching the county seat.
I never knew this until I took a close look at a topo map for the area. Smackass Gap is just west of Ledford Chapel, a church on the south side of Highway 64 overlooking one cove of Lake Chatuge.
According to the Board on Geographic Names, the official federal place-namers, there is only one Smackass in the United States, Clay County's own Smackass Gap. It begs the question, "Why in the world did they name it Smackass Gap?"
I have no idea.
While searching for the answer, I did come across a website for Miz Eudora Rumph, a noted author (In the Sweet By and By) who proudly hails from Smackass Gap. I also learned that Miz Eudora will be hosting a tour of Smackass Gap on September 19 and 20. Apparently, a motor coach full of Red Hat Ladies will be arriving for two days of festivities, including dining at the Hayesville Family Restaurant, a visit to Clay’s Corner (home of the possum drop), Moonshine Mash, a picnic at Chatuge Dam, and lunch at the Jarrett House in Dillsboro.
Presumably, if you pay the $216 to attend this shindig, you will find out why the place is called Smackass Gap.
On US 64 at Smacksass Gap, Clay County, NC