A Brief History of Silk Hope, NC

Silk Hope, North Carolina


  • 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.