Cowee-West's Mill Historic District

Also known as: Kaw'yi, Cawe
Roughly bounded by the Little Tennessee River, NC 28, SR 1340, SR 1350, and SR 1341, Franklin, NC

a self-guided map of the Cowee historic district is online thru the Franklin Chamber of Commerce


T R Rickman store - c1895

The Rickman Store was a mainstay in the Cowee Community for many years. Constructed in 1895 by John Hall, Thomas Rickman purchased the store in 1925 and operated it until his death in 1994. Many of the original fixtures are still in place. 259 Cowee Creek Rd. Franklin, Nc

Photo taken by pam phillips in October 2015



Street Views 


Cowee was the principal diplomatic and commercial center of the 18th century Middle Town Cherokees. Occupying the center of Cowee was the ancient mound on which stood the council house which seated several hundred people. From there, houses lined both banks of the Little Tennessee River and plantations of corn, beans, squash and peaches extended out for two miles in all directions. A smaller Cherokee village, Usinah, was located at the eastern end of the historic district

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 8, 2001
Reference number
NR name
Cowee--West's Mill Historic District
Architectural styles
American Movement: Bungalow/Craftsman; Modern Movement: Art Deco;
Areas of significance
Agriculture; Architecture; Community Planning and Development; Exploration/Settlement; Archeology - Aboriginal; Archeology - Prehistoric
Levels of significance
State; Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Post office; Specialty store; School; Religious structure; Cemetery; Storage
Current functions
Single dwelling; Specialty store; School; Religious structure; Cemetery; Storage; Secondary structure
Periods of significance
1499-1000 AD; 1749-1500 AD; 1900-1750 AD; 1750-1799; 1800-1824; 1825-1849; 1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1775; 1819; 1875
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 56
Contributing structures: 3
Contributing sites: 8
Non-contributing buildings: 23
Non-contributing structures: 2

Update Log 

  • October 27, 2015: New photo from pam phillips
  • October 24, 2015: New photos from pam phillips
  • April 10, 2015: Added by Michael Miller

Related landmarks