RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation hosted a ceremony today to name the U.S. 19/74 bridge over Junaluska Creek in Andrews in honor of brothers Dave and Frank Swan, who served as renowned community leaders throughout their lives.
NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata delivered the ceremony’s keynote address, and Larry Kernea, who represents the region on the N.C. Board of Transportation, was the event’s emcee.
“Dave and Frank Swan were involved in nearly every aspect of this community and helped make it what it is today,” Tata said. “They both valued creating new opportunities for and investing in this region, and I’m sure they would be proud of what this area has become and their ongoing legacy.”
Dave and Frank Swan moved to Andrews with their parents and siblings in 1919. Dave was a businessman, lumberman, timber cruiser and farmer who owned and managed large tracts of land in Cherokee and Graham counties. He and his wife’s family purchased and donated several thousand acres of land to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Dave also served as a representative for Cherokee County to the N.C. General Assembly, as well as on the Andrews school board and he worked for the Nantahala Power Board. In addition, he was a director of the Andrews Building and Loan Association, a mason and a steward of the Andrews United Methodist Church, and he also played on the Andrews baseball team. He passed away in 1931.
Frank worked in various lumber camps in Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties. During this time, Frank and Dave worked to establish a hunting preserve on Hooper’s Bald in Graham County, and Frank was instrumental in moving many game animals from Murphy and Andrews to it.
Frank was also a member of the Battery “B” Tennessee National Guard, and during World War I he formed a cavalry troop in Andrews for the North Carolina National Guard. In addition, he served as an official advisor for veterans affairs to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and as a veteran affairs advisor to western North Carolina.
Frank was also instrumental in the building and financing of Andrews District Memorial Hospital and served as its trustee. He served his community in many other ways including as a lay leader and chairman of the builders club for Andrews United Methodist Church, a mason, a charter member of the Smoky Mountain Shrine Club, an organizer of the Andrews Rotary Club, a member and service officer of the American Legion, vice-chairman of the Southwestern North Carolina Development Commission, an original member of the Andrews/Murphy Airport Committee, a member of the board of directors for the State of Franklin Health Council, chairman of the Andrews Federal Housing Authority and chairman of the Andrews Community Center.
He was also the original wagon master of the western North Carolina wagon train that was started to build a paved road, which is now the Cherohala Skyway, from Robbinsville to Tellico Plains, Tenn. Frank passed away in 1972.
The naming of this bridge in honor of Dave and Frank was requested by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners with endorsement from the Town of Andrews. The N.C. Board of Transportation adopted a resolution dedicating the bridge for them on Dec. 6, 2012.