Driving down Highway 105 from Banner Elk, an often overlooked sign borders the road during the descent towards the Foscoe-Grandfather community. The prominent sign boldly states ‘JESTES CEMETERY.’ Little did we know that a piece of High Country history dating back to the earliest settlers sits on this turnoff.
Take a turn down this road, and find one of the High Country's oldest cemeteries, nestled below Grandfather Mountain, belonging to the McClurd/Jestes family dating back to the early 1800s. One will see one another house, currently being renovated by another family and then a 3.7-acre tract of partially pastoral property adorned with apple trees.
The significance of this acreage is the history which encapsulates it. This land has remained within the same family throughout generations. The property line runs up against an old road you can hardly make out now, which used to border the old Watauga River bed before the river shifted in the historic 1940 flood.
When walking this unique tract of land, one can’t help feeling that they are stepping back in time a bit to simpler days, gazing up at the surrounding mountains and imagining what it would have looked like with balds that farmers raised cattle on.
Other features of the property include a stream which runs the edge and would make using this land for horses an ideal endeavor. The area lays relatively flat and would be perfect for a home-site with a Grandfather Mountain view and generous yard space. Privacy is also availible with a home-site on a lower end of the property.
The unique piece of property is zoned for the Foscoe-Grandfather Highway District so that commercial uses would be applicable as well. If one did not want to see the property developed, perhaps putting this in a conservation is another option.
So if you ever wondered what lay below the Grandfather off Highway 105, take a turn and explore Jestes Cemetery and High Country history. Should you wish to own a unique piece of this history, the land in proximity is available to purchase for the first time in generations.
Link to the listing is below: