According to Dr. Hayden Lutterloh, Henry Lewis Lutterloh purchased some land in western Chatham County after the Revolutionary War, now known as the old Quakenbush farm. Henry Lewis was born in Germany and came to America by way of England where he married Elizabeth Greetham. As a sailor, Henry Lewis had become interested in the silk industry in China. He decided to implement it in America by planting mulberry trees. However, sadly once the silkworm egg that he brought hatched, the worms would not eat the mulberry leaves. He discovered the mulberry trees were a different variety than those used in China. It is believed that Silk Hope obtained it’s name as a result of Henry Lewis Lutterloh’s silk worm adventure.
Although the exact date is not known of the naming of the community, Silk Hope was in existence prior to 1870. The name Silk Hope appeared on a county map in 1870. At the time a post office was located at the crossroads that served the community. No matter how the community obtained its name, Silk Hope has thrived as an industrious rural community with many farmers producing cotton, tobacco, and grains. A cotton gin and grist mill located near the crossroads enabled the farmers to sell their products. In later years dairy and poultry farms became important to the area’s growth, and farming is still the central livelihood of the community’s residents with production ranging from Angus cattle to pecans and chickens. True to its name, Silk Hope is an optimistic treasure of rural America.
Silk Hope is still a tiny rural community, but it boasts exceptional accomplishments. Its school, Silk Hope Elementary, is a North Carolina School of Excellence, and is recognized as one of the best elementary schools in the state. It has had a championship girl’s soccer team for years. The school has been the starting point for many young people who have gone on to have successful careers and contributed greatly to the American society.
It’s a community with a romantic name and a big heart, and it's on the map to stay.