Fisher Reunions Facilitate Community Improvements
Picturing The Past
Last updated 9/28/2020 at 3:23pm
Slick Fisher Road in the Lake Toxaway area of the county winds 4.5 miles beginning at North Toxaway Baptist Church on Blue Ridge Road (Hwy. 281), travelers climb approximately 341 feet in elevation and then descend about 660 feet before connecting back up with N.C. 281. The route along the highway is longer (4.7 miles) but a quicker drive. The road gets its name from Isaiah S. "Slick" Fisher.
Fisher, a grandson of James Washington Fisher, was born June 7, 1851, to William and Harriet Sims Fisher. He married Caroline Lee in 1876 and they had 10 children. The Fishers acquired a large amount of property in the northeastern part of Hogback Township in Transylvania County.
According to a brief family history submitted by his grandson, Warren Eugene "Dick" Fisher, for The Heritage of Transylvania County, volume 2, "It is not known exactly how Isaiah received the nickname 'Slick.' Some say he was a fine dresser. This seems hard to believe for country folk. Most likely his middle name was Sylvester or Sylvannus, though neither name appears in any documentation or other family names."
Fisher was a farmer and prominent in community affairs. He served as school commissioner for Hogback, District 4, was a longtime Board of Elections judge in Hogback Township and was also a delegate to the Democratic State Convention in Charlotte in 1908.
The Fishers were also long-time members of Lake Toxaway Baptist Church. Church members regularly maintained the church cemetery but many graves did not have headstones. In 1924 Isaiah Fisher, along with Rev. Wade Nicholson and Lee Norton, presented a fundraising plan through an annual event. Officers and committee members were elected and the event was named the Fisher Reunion. "Uncle Slick" served as chairman of the Arrangement Committee for many years.
In addition to the traditional picnic lunch and visiting, there were typically one or more speakers and a collection was taken. The first new monument purchased and placed was for James and Dorcas Fisher. While the main objectives were to maintain the cemetery and mark as many graves as possible, other projects were also undertaken occasionally. In 1929 funds were used to buy materials to build picnic tables for the church grounds, and in 1940 to put a fence around the church grounds so livestock would not damage the property.
Isaiah S. "Slick" Fisher died on Dec 10, 1936, and is buried at Lake Toxaway Baptist Church cemetery, which he worked to improve and preserve. Descendant of Isaiah and Caroline raised money for concrete tables and a marble tablet in their memory in 1960. The base was inscribed with the names of their children.
The Fisher Reunion continues to be a regular event to bring family and friends together.
(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact NCRoom staff at http://[email protected] or 828-884-1820.)