Founded in 1810 by Colonel Robert Love, a Revolutionary War soldier, Waynesville is named for General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who was Love’s commander. He must have made quite an impression on Col. Love with his daring military exploits and fiery demeanor. The town of Waynesville is just the opposite. Quiet and unassuming, it is home to many artists, who draw inspiration from the high peaks of the mountains that ripple off in the distance.
Since the middle 1880s, travelers have made their way to this broad valley surrounded on all sides by mountains approaching 6,000 feet. You might recognize one of those – Cold Mountain – made famous by the Civil War-era novel by Charles Frazier. Ironically enough, the last shots of the Civil War east of the Mississippi were fired right here.
As the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was dedicated in 1940, Waynesville touted itself as the Gateway to the Smokies. By then, the building that is now the Mast Store, then known as The Toggery, was serving residents and visitors to town with quality clothing at reasonable prices. We hope you’ll find the same service and an even wider selection of goods today.
As downtowns begin their revitalization journey, one of the first routes they must travel is finding an anchor, usually a retail store, for their Main Street. Waynesville was the first town to come knocking on our door. The building they showed us used to be The Toggery, and it was perfect.
*Photo courtesy of the Haywood County Public Library History Collection.