The Byway from Beginning to End
This byway begins in Cranberry, North Carolina, originally called Cranberry Forge for the iron believed to have been worked by the Indians. Cranberry was founded in 1850 and named for the abundant supply of Cranberries found in the region. About 12 miles along the route is Valle Crucis, where the mission for which the byway was named can be found.
The land for the mission, 3000 acres, was purchased by Bishop Stillman Ives, who, in 1942 founded a divinity school and began the first Anglican Monastic Order since the reformation. In 1852 the school and monastic order were forced to disband. In 1895 the mission school was founded and was run until World War II.
Today the mission serves as a camp and conference center for the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. The name 'Valle Crucis' means "valley of the cross" and is named for the converging rivers found in the valley.
Places Along the Way
All along the byway there are historical points of interest as well as recreational opportunities. The largest concentration of ski resorts in North Carolina is found near the byway. And don't miss the Mast Farm Inn, one of the best preserved 19th Century farms in North Carolina, and the Mast General Store, opened in 1882. The store now offers outdoor supplies to visiting skiers.