Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern North Carolina, Cleveland County has long been cultivated. Before the Civil War, self-reliant farms grew and raised a diverse array of vegetables, field crops, and livestock. These small farms relied on family labor, draft animals, waterwheels, and ingenuity. Eventually, the county became a leader in production of cotton and dairy products; tractors, combines, and hay balers became farm mainstays. Cleveland County Agriculture showcases the triumphs and trials of farmers—farmers who endured the Great Depression, the arrival of the boll weevil, and the everyday challenges of farm life.
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