There is a strange set of circumstances surrounding the early settlers of the Bellasylva community that has not been expressed to date by anyone. It deserves some space in the history of this very unusual wilderness area.
Starting in the first half of the 19th century and up till first decades of the 20th century, the resident population greatly exceeded that of any subsequent era. The early families settled as lumbermen, farmers, and those who wanted to escape the health dangers of close city living that were very evident in those days, when infectious diseases were rampant. Eagles Mere is a successful example of the latter.
The following is a list of the early family names that the writer can currently bring to mind. There are many others, he is sure.
There are others that I can’t think of but the above eighteen resident families are especially unique for the astounding reason that there is, to my knowledge, no present day issue. The gene pool line is no longer around. As a boy in the 20’s, I knew most of them because of attending the annual community picnic held on July 4th, where they were usually present. Many of the families had children, mostly grown, which eventually appeared to be the real end of the lines.
As with most rules there are exceptions, nominally the numerous Schmitthenner/Ficht dynasty and a much smaller one of which I and my families, the Kronmillers, are examples. I am sure that if this gets sufficient circulation, there will be loud calls for revisions, which I will be happy to make. As of this writing, there is currently, only four “residents” in Bellasylva
George J Kronmiller February 25, 2001