Maggie Valley, NC takes its name from a mountain girl with long blond hair and blue eyes who once called the area her home. Maggie’s true life story is recorded in Maggie of Maggie Valley, NC, a book written by her daughter Patty Pylant Kosier. You’ll not only find a true account of Maggie Mae Setzer Pylant’s life but mountain life as well. At that time, Maggie’s home was part of an isolated wilderness settlement.
On December 21, 1890, ten years after Maggie was born, her father, Jack Setzer began tossing the idea around of the formation of a post office. More so, Setzer wanted a post office to be built in his own home. The nearest post office, the Plott post office, was located five miles from his home and someone had to be paid in those days to take and pick up mail for the valley. Soon thereafter, Setzer was contacting officials with the US postal department in order to get permission to establish a new post office in his home that all the people of the valley could use.
For the next six months he was instructed to provide the service that was needed in the area. He also kept careful records during the time. The post office made up a corner of Setzer’s room – a wooden box used to file incoming letters and newspaper.
Jack submitted his records to the U.S. post office department after six months and they accepted his application asking him to submit community names to the postal service. Setzer’s first three submissions were rejected because they we already being used for other post offices in North Carolina. Following that, he submitted the names of his daughters Cora, Mettie and Maggie Mae plus the name Jonathan Creek, the creek which ran through the Setzer’s home. He kept it from his daughters that he had submitted their names.
On May 10, 1904, Jack received an official letter from the US Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock that the post office authorities had made their decision. The official name of the mountain settlement post office was to be Maggie, NC. Maggie was embarrassed when she was told the news. She burst into tears and ran up the mountain to the old log cabin where she had been born. At the age of 17, Maggie became the bride of Ira Pylant of Nashville, TN. They moved to Texas, but she came back to her beloved valley several times before her death in 1979 at the age of 88.