Daniel Smith was one of the first European settlers of the French Broad and Swannanoa River valleys. Born in New Jersey in 1757, he moved to Western North Carolina during the 1770s. While serving as a Captain in the North Carolina Militia from 1776 to the end of the Revolutionary War, he fought at the battle of King’s Mountain – one of the turning points of the war. At the close of the war he bought prime landalong the Swannanoa River and built a cabin for his growing family. It was located less than a mile from here. Like many military men of his generation, he was also known as an “Indian fighter.” The words on his gravestone reflect the harsh character of frontier life:
“In Memory of Col. Daniel Smith, who departed this life on the 17th May, 1824. Aged 67. A native of New Jersey, an industrious citizen, an honest man, and a brave soldier. The soil which inurns his ashes is a part of the heritage wrested by his valour for his children and his country from a ruthless and a savage foe.”
DANIEL SMITH’S MUSKET
Daniel Smith used this gun, nicknamed “Long Tom,” for hunting, for self-defense, and sometimes for warfare. The six foot long firearm is a smooth bore muzzle-loading musket made in Europe in the 1700s. The great length of the weapon increased its accuracy. Collection of Western North Carolina Historical Association.