According to Jason Deyton, noted historian and educator, prior to the coming of the white man, the Catawba Indians occupied the territory to the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Cherokee held the area west of the crest of the mountains. Neither tribe lived in the Toe River Valley permanently. It is believed from time to time that both tribes used this area as a hunting ground. This is based on the fact that arrowheads can still be found here. When the first white settlers arrived there was conflict unfortunately. Aaron Burleson was killed by Indians on the headwaters of Cane Creek. (Late 1700’s)A woman by the name of Mace was scalped alive by the three Indians on the headwaters of Grassy Creek. Her husband returned from a hunting trip to find her mutilated body. He sought out these Indians and found them near the present day Grassy Creek Baptist Church where he killed them. They were buried in the edge of a nearby field. The woman survived and her descendents still live here today.