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Hurricane Ridge Subdivision

Fines Creek, North Carolina

Compiled in January 2009 by Carol Kimsey, George Nottingham and Sam Jones

History

The tract which includes Hurricane Ridge was a 60,000 acre land grant given to Daniel Huger on October 10, 1795.  The land, which was pasture, having few trees, was transferred to David Russell Noland (our David Noland’s grandfather) who developed an orchard on the mountain, planting the apple trees that are found throughout.   He also raised sheep on the mountain but later changed to cattle.  The sheep were able to climb straight up the mountainside, but this caused erosion, some of which can be identified today.  The cattle went around the mountain and their paths were the beginnings of some of our roads today, like Pump House Rd.

Later the land passed to his only son, David Reeves Noland.  This David Noland sold a part of the land on the back side of the mountain to the Forest Service in 1934 for $12/acre and in 1946 he gave them the two acres we call Edd Top.  The Forest Service built a wooden structure for a fire tower but the hoped for road to the top never materialized and access was limited to a sled road.   In 1947/48 Noland harvested timber and sold 400 acres to Mark Ferguson (James Ferguson’s father) for $12,000.  This tract included what we now know as the “Hurricane Ridge” development.

Over the years a number of families have lived on the land and evidence of homes can be found in several places.  A log house owned by the Jarretts was said to be at the foot of the mountain and the remains of a chimney and foundation as well as a spring are found on the Kaplan property across from Pump House Rd.  Barn Cove Road gets its name from the fact that in the1920s tobacco was grown and two tobacco barns were located near there.

Faye McElroy mentions Martha Holler and Hatfield Holler and locates Jones Cove below Dot Bruce’s property.   She says the Russell place was near the Beckstrom home today.  She relates that Edd Top was named after one of David Noland’s relatives and though he can give the correct spelling, he has no knowledge of the source of the name.  

Most are familiar with “Cemetery Road” and it is a pleasant adventure to hike the area to the old cemetery to see the old headstones.   The harshness of life on the mountain in those days can be read in the dates and eulogies there.  Some of Fay’s relatives, the Rathbones are buried there. Fines Creek family names that have continued through the years are Redmon, Russell, Reeves, Noland and Ferguson.

The story of how Fines Creek gets its name is particularly interesting.  When the Indians had the land the creek was called Twelve Mile Creek by those who moved into the area.

As these settlers moved in, an inevitable battle with the Indians left one man, Mr. Fines, dead.  The ground was frozen and he could not be buried properly so his body was placed in the creek, sliding him under the ice.  As spring came around the settler’s were unable to locate the body and began referring to the stream as Fines’ Creek.

In more recent history, David remembers going to the mountain top to “salt’ the cattle with a workman.  He remembers that it took all day riding his pony to cross the mountain and come down on Martin’s Creek.  In 1954 when he was older, he drove the first vehicle to Edd Top, straight up the ridge in a Jeep.

We have all heard locals talk of “hunting all over that mountain” in their youth, but apparently at one time most of the game had been wiped out.  There were no deer, few raccoons, no turkey and a bear was never seen on the mountain.  Hunters and hikers used to go across the mountain by the Jarrett place, behind the cemetery and follow Tom’s Branch to Hurricane Creek.  There was a large neighborhood there with a school and many homes.

Hurricane Ridge Development

The Fergusons held the land until the 1970s when it changed hands several times in a year, first going to Frank Green for $64,000 and ultimately was purchased by Lawrence A. Roberts and wife in 1972 for $400,000.  Lawrence Roberts was one of the original owners of Hurricane Ridge Ltd; also involved were Julian Myrick, Ed Davis, and Hadlock among others.   It was at this time that Bernard Ferguson, David Noland Jr., and Bill McElroy granted a right of way for the subdivision’s entrance road.  Another easement was granted by Noland to HR so the state requirement of 100ft of land around the #1well would be met.  This was reciprocated by providing water system connection rights to Noland for some of his lots adjacent to the development.

The subdivision was developed by Hurricane Ridge Ltd in 1973.  This subdivision is a gated community platted into 109 lots. Of these, there are approximately 75 sites available for a dwelling. The remaining lots are either utility, recreational, combined with others to obtain a suitable building site, or unsuitable due to terrain and/or septic system limitations based on current codes.

In the early 1980s the then homeowners recognized the need for some amenities that HRLtd was unwilling to provide.  A Homeowners Association (predecessor of our current property owners association) was formed.  Jim Bruce served as the first President and through his leadership an automatic gate was installed and paid for by the homeowners.  Sam Samuels lead an effort to provide a recreational area which is still a work in progress.

A transient community water system was designed by Matheson, Hintz & Associates in 1973 and installed.  Later it was discovered that the installation did not agree with the plans and NCDENR condemned the system in the early 1990s for non-compliance with regulations.

On December 2, 1996, the Hurricane Ridge Property Owners Association was incorporated, and on December 31, 1999, the water system was deeded to the Property Owners Association. A sum of money was placed in an escrow account in Waynesville, North Carolina, to pay for correction of existing deficiencies noted in discussions with a representative of NCDENR and to pay a portion of the cost of constructing the remaining phases of the water system.  The newly formed Hurricane Ridge Property Owners Association spent approximately $120,000 correcting deficiencies and completing the water system between 2000 and 2003.  Funds were provided by special assessments of property owners plus funds contributed by HRLtd as part of the transition from the developer to the POA.

The road system and water system are serviced maintained by Joe Golden and his helpers whose intimate knowledge of the systems and experience over the past 30 years dealing with the associated problems have been an invaluable asset this community.

During the 27 years since inception, 35 dwellings have been constructed and connected to the water system. Two homes have permanent residents, eight families spend approximately six months in residence, about 20 families visit their homes frequently (at least once a month) and the remainder visit infrequently.

Organizational Structure

The Hurricane Ridge Property Owners Association is a not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors elected by the property owners. The Board consists of seven members, three classes of two members each (except for one year when there are three members) elected for three-year terms, staggered so that two (or three every third year) are elected at each October annual meeting.  Qualifications for the Board include property ownership, familiarity with an interest in mountain issues, time, and talent.

Ownership

The community property of the Hurricane Ridge POA is owned by each and every member.  Community Property consists of the roads, water system, and several lots or portions of lots on which are located two wells, recreation area, and water reservoir.

Web site courtesy of  Don and Michele Ostrowski.  1