• Laurel Contributor

How Cashiers got its Name

by Carol M. Bryson

A long-lost ledger reveals the truth about the naming of Cashiers.

For 120 years, folksy tales have taken over to explain how Cashiers got its name.

Was it named for a prized bull? Supposedly the bull belonged to Wade Hampton III, but Hampton did not purchase land in Cashiers until 1855, and the name was chosen in 1839.

Even Judge Felix Alley, from Whiteside Cove, did not know how Cashiers got its name. He wrote that he believed Cashiers was named for a hermit named Cash, but there was no one in the area named Cash in the 1840 census.

Another tale passed down for generations is that a mule came over the Blue Ridge from Hamburgh (now Glenville), to pasture on the south side of the Ridge. The mule named “Cash” had extra-tall pointed ears. Thus his favorite grazing place became known as “Cash-ears Valley!”

Still another story is that Cashiers was named for a race horse belonging to Senator John C. Calhoun.

As it turns out, none of these stories were true. The first post office was opened in 1839 by Jonathan Zachary with his choosing of the name “Casher’s Valley.” It was located on an old Indian trail. Today this trail would be on the east side of High Hampton Lake.

Jonathan Zachary’s older brother, Alexander Zachary, built his house on up the trail to the north, opening it as a boarding house and a store. Alexander Zachary’s store ledger book was just found 26 years ago. The ledger revealed that in addition to the usual stock items he sold, Alexander provided services much like a banker would have. His store became the place to exchange gold for cash or to barter for his stocked food and supplies. Before long the miners would be saying “Let’s go to the Casher’s to trade some of our nuggets for some coffee.” “Let’s go to the Casher’s” became the common rally cry at the end of a hard week in the gold-laden streams. Jonathan Zachary picked up on the common usage of the word “Cashier” and decided to name his post office “Cashers Valley.”

So there you have it – how Cashiers got its name. Jonathan Zachary decided to name the community after his brother who was known as the Cashier. Just remember the first Cashiers post office was named by a Zachary and you’ll have it right.

The Laurel Magazine

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