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Graham County was founded on January 30th 1872 from what was a portion of Cherokee County. The county was named for William A. Graham, who served as a United States Senator from 1840-1843 and then Governor of North Carolina from 1845-1849.

Graham County covers an area of 433 square miles, which have an elevation ranging from 1,177 feet above sea level to a height of 5,560 feet above sea level. 10 square miles of the county is water. The Nantahala National Forest covers two-thirds of the county of Graham. The county seat is Robbinsville.

The Cherokee Natives who live in Graham County are known as the Snowbird Cherokee community, which includes the Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation and are located on the Qualla Boundry.

Graham County has some interesting historical facts which include, it is the birthplace of Ronnie Milsap, well know country music legend. The movie industry filmed the silent film, Stark Love and featured some of the local residents as actors. Portions of the 1993 movie The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford, was filmed at the Cheoah Dam, then in 1994 a portion of the movie Nell which starred Jodie Foster were filmed near Robbinsville. A stretch of 318 curves in 11 miles of US Highway 129 is very popular with motocycle and sports car enthusiasts and this stretch is called the Tail of the Dragon. At the time of this writing, Graham County had a total of only 3 stop lights.

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