Norman Astley in Burke County


Since last summer’s talk by Carrie Streeter in Blowing Rock about Genevieve Stebbins, I have been intending to follow up in Burke County on Genevieve’s husband Norman Astley, who built a modest cabin near Paddy Creek from which he managed lumber and mining investments in the county.  Last week I finally visited the current owner of Paddy Creek Campgound which occupies much of what was Astley’s land and is within sight of his cabin, and took these photos. The first shows the Paddy Creek cabin and the second the land a few miles away on Adventist Circle, across the Linville River from the Paddy Creek acreages.  Both sites are very near the scenic Lake James State Park.

After being advised that Astley seemed to focus his investments in gold mining areas of the county, I visited the History Museum of Burke County in Morganton and learned of the great abundance of gold and its economic impact in the region, as well as the turn of the century boom in lumber production in which the Astleys also invested.