About White Squirrels

Legend has it that Brevard, North Carolina’s White Squirrels arrived here over 50 years ago via a circus truck. Now this story is so strange is almost has to be true.  So here is goes…

It all started with Mrs. W.E. (Barbara) Mull, a long time resident of Brevard, North Carolina. Her brother-in-law, H.H. Mull, was given two white squirrels by a Mr. Black of Madison, Florida way back in 1949. The pair of white squirrels had been squirreling around in Mr. Black’s pecan grove ever since a circus truck had overturned near his home. H.H. Mull then gave the little white critters to his niece Barbara Mull up in North Carolina. She kept them inside and hoped they might even breed, but alas, no such luck.

In 1951, Barbara Mull got married and went her way. In her absence, one of the white squirrels escaped outdoors. Not long afterwards, Mr. Mull (Barbara’s father) let the other heart broken and love stricken white squirrel go free.  A short time later, little white squirrels began appearing in various parts of town – apparent direct or indirect off springs of this “Adam and Eve” pair.

The White Squirrels of Brevard, North Carolina have become so famous that in 1986, the Brevard City Council unanimously voted for an ordinance that established a sanctuary for all squirrels.  The ordinance reads, “The entire area embraced within the corporate limits of the city is hereby designated as a sanctuary for all species of squirrel (family Sciuriadae), and in particular the Brevard White Squirrel. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, kill, trap, or otherwise take any protected squirrels within the city by this section.”

Other towns also lay claim to having white squirrels as residents. These include Olney, Illinois, Marionville, Missouri, and Exeter, Canada.  Unlike some of these squirrels, Brevard’s White Squirrels are not albinos squirrels, but a variant of the Eastern Grey Squirrel. And since an amazing 27% of Brevard’s squirrels are white squirrels, and since only Brevard has an annual White Squirrel Festival, The White Squirrel Institute, and The Squirrel Box Derby downhill race, this is why Brevard, NC is often referred to as the “White Squirrel Capital of the World.”

So if you ever see a White Squirrel in downtown Brevard, don’t think you’re “going nuts.” Just be sure to bring along a camera to prove it!

37 Responses to About White Squirrels

  1. I have a funny but true story to tell re: a white squirrel we encountered on Hwy 276 coming off the mountain before the city limits of Brevard. Several years ago my husband and I decided to take some close friends of ours to Brevard for the day. They were visting from Ohio and we wanted to show them the beauty of the mountains, the natural waterfalls and the quaint town of Brevard NC. I was doing the driving when one of our friends commented on the shop we were passing called: The White Squirrel. We told them that there was suppose to be some tale that 2 white squirrels had gotten loose in the area years ago and started the white squirrel population. I mentioned that we had never seen one out and about…only in photos. Not more than 10 seconds after saying this~~~a WHITE SQUIRREL ran right in front of our car and luckily missed our tires!!! I did not even time to react …my husband and our 2 friends all said together: WHAT WAS THAT???!! I replied: “THAT WAS ONE OF THOSE WHITE SQUIRRELS!!” We had the best laugh about this. The subject still comes up whether we our on the phone or visiting them up in my homestate of Ohio. My husband and I are due for a trip to Brevard SOON…still looking to see more WHITE SQUIRRELS (hopefully not running in front of our car!!)

    • Sandra Pelham says:

      I was in Hendersonville North Carolina October 09, 2011 and a white squirrel ran across the road in front of us. I have never even heard of a white squirrel and did not belive my eyes. Did not have time to get a camera out it was so fast and ran into bushes on the side of the road.

  2. Daphne Hoffen says:

    Thought you might be interested to know I saw a white squirrel in the Landrum SC area. Was on my horse and did not have a camera and of course could not get close enough to see if the eye was also white but the body was pure white.

  3. Will C says:

    I saw my first white squirrell today @ 57 years old. Does anybody know about omens?

  4. Michael says:

    I saw a white squirrel during a bike ride yesterday in Mooresville, NC. My brother forwarded this website when I told him about it. It was the first time I had seen or heard of a white squirrel. I’m not sure if this is an albino or a variant of the Eastern Grey Squirrel. It was really interesting to see it.

  5. Elise Renee Gingerich says:

    You DON’T have to Email ME back
    but I Liked THIS Story ALOT
    PS I live in Lawrence Kansas USA
    and I have NOT seen a White Squirrel as of yet
    Lawrence Kansas is a FINE but Small NorthEastern Kansas Town
    and I guess ITS been OKAY for awhile BUT I think MY 4 or 5 or 6
    is IT 6 or 5 or 4 I’ve LOST count I think these FEW years are UP for Now anyhow
    but I don’t know about Leaving Lawrence Kansas already ALREADY You KNOW what I mean anyhow the Story was CUTE and again Thank You elise renee gingerich Over and Out have a Good and somewhat SAFE weekend I think ITS the weekend anyhow

  6. William Young says:

    one of your white squirrels has made it to Shelton, CT. this one enjoys acrons very much. I was close enough yesterday to see his eyes were not pink. sorry no pics, i am too slow.

  7. Birgit Wassmuth says:

    We just returned from a vacation in Hendersonville, NC. A few days ago, when I was walking our Doberman called Scarlett, she quietly alerted me to something she noticed halfway up on a tree about 100 feet away. She didn’t bark, and she didn’t want to charge forward. She just sat down quietly and gazed in one direction with complete focus and attention. She ignored several of my commands to move on. Then I looked for what she had been staring at: A white squirrel. And before long, there were two more, and then a gray one. They seemed to be chasing each other and having fun. I couldn’t believe my eyes so I talked to Scarlett and thanked her for bringing this to my attention. Too bad I didn’t have my camera with me, but the memory of the three happy white squirrels will forever live on in my mind. What a treat to have seen something that rare!

  8. Will Rogers says:

    When is the White Squirrel Festival, I live in Mills River, NC and have seen a couple of white squirrels playing around in my area. Thanks for shareing them with us!!

  9. Roger Robuck says:

    White squirrels have turned up in my neighbors front yard. It started about 3 years
    ago and there is still one around. It is white with dark eyes. We live near the end of
    the Skyway Bridge South of the Tampa Bay just North of Palmetto, Florida.

  10. I live just outside of Greenville, SC. Close to travelers rest.. I have about 2 acres. We have got about dozen white squirrels in our own backyard!!,

  11. mary lou matre says:

    I had a white squirrel in my backyard in cincinnati, ohio the other day. I sighted 2 of them about 2 years ago & none since then until the other day. They are beautiful.

  12. John Pappas says:

    I spotted a white squirrel at Indian Lake Estates in Lake Toxaway, NC. This was Saturday, April 23, 2011. It is about 14 miles from Brevard. What at a thrill !!!

  13. Pingback: ‎6.4.2011 … Serendipitously driving around Hendersonville, NC. I swear I saw a Biltmore Dairy Bar, then searching for quaint tea shop for Harney’s tea (closed), now at J. Crew Clearance Store … Then to Carl Sandburg house (never been)&

  14. Pingback: ‎6.4.2011 … Serendipitously driving around Hendersonville, NC. I swear I saw a Biltmore Dairy Bar, then searching for quaint tea shop for Harney’s tea (closed), now at J. Crew Clearance Store … Then to Carl Sandburg house (never been)&

  15. jackie smith says:

    just moved to kissimmee fl saw my first white squirrel could not belive my eyes

  16. ernie says:

    I passed through Brevard Saturday afternoon and actually saw one of the white squirrels in the park off Park Drive. I’m a believer!!

  17. c.a.johnson says:

    we have a white squirrel living in our backyard, we live in dayton, ohio, thought I was nuts when I saw it, we took pictures

  18. monica says:

    On vacation in cashiers nc driving on a mountain road we came across a beautiful white squirrel with dark eyes! What a rare treat.

  19. Sharon Sikes says:

    Saw our first ever White Squirrel. We were visiting one of our local attractions, Angel Oak, here in Charleston, SC. I have photos to prove the squirrel was white, but the photo also shows the pretty baby has an extra appendage, just below his right front leg.

  20. Ronald Sutherland says:

    I saw a white squirrel in the Doe Valley section of Johnson County, Tenn. about 3-4 years ago. Couldn’t get close enough to see its eyes but it was probably an albino but it was defitely solid white.

  21. Cheryl Malinowski says:

    I just returned from Brevard on Monday. I had bought a squirrel-loving friend a white squirrel ornament and included some info and post cards. While there we spotted two, one at a gas station in town and one up Cedar Mt.
    I live in Jacksonville in N. Fla. Years ago there were families of white squirrels in my neighborhood, and my father told me there had been white squirrels on those same streets in the 20′s. I wonder if they could be related to those in Madison Fl. and Brevard? I have also spotted them in the Madison area.

  22. jenny says:

    I live in Green Bay wisconsin, close to a creek i have 2 white squirrels in my back yard, they will blend into the 22″ of snow…lol

  23. theresa says:

    i live in hookers gap candler nc i have pretty white squirrels in my yard we just sit and watch them hoping to make friends

  24. Robyn says:

    I live in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and we see quite a few white squirrels in our suburban neighborhood. Like Jenny, we don’t see them much in the winter. . .

  25. Diane Pratt says:

    I live in Malaga N.J. and I saw a Whie squirrel just last week. My parents lived in Malaga Camp in Newfield N.J. and there were several White squirrels there which is about 2 miles from where I live. We have several pictures of them. We also have a Black squirrel that lives in our neighborhood.

  26. George says:

    I was driving my Mom around the Travelers Rest, SC area (Upstate, SC near Greenville) when we saw a white squirrel in a person’s yard near the Green Valley area off Roe Ford Road. We saw a white squirrel twice in different yards in the same neighborhood, the latest sighting being today 6 October, 2011.

  27. Janit Williams says:

    Today I was in Cedar Mountain, NC, on Cascade Lake Rd, on the way to visit one of the beautiful waterfalls in the area. I was thrilled to see a white squirrel playing next to the road. This was the first time I had seen one and it was a real treat to see such a beautiful animal.

  28. Susan Vail says:

    My aunt lives in North Reading,MA and sent us pictures of a white squirrel that was in her yard. My mom and I live in Bristol,VA and after reading all these comments I’m planning on taking Mom for a day trip to Brevard, NC for our own sightings of these beauties. Where we live we have 3 black squirrels and a bunch of grey squirrels that come to the back deck and beg for Fig Newtons. One has even landed on the doorknob to try to come in and help himself!

  29. Briana Forbes says:

    I sawll my first white squirrel last monday in Richmond,VA I was so happy.

  30. brandy says:

    I am a bus driver in Cincinnati, ohio. I saw 2 white squirrels today while doing my route and my monitor thought I was crazy until I found this website and showed her pictures

  31. Verna Carre says:

    White squirrel lives in the historic Druid Hills area of Hendersonville, NC-have seen him/her 3 times this week…….no pink eyes!

  32. edward davis says:

    The first white grey squirrel we have ever seen was back 30 years ago at State Park in the Panhandle of Florida. (Sophchopy, FL)

  33. Nora Dielhenn says:

    I have lived in my home since 1992 and after I first moved from New Jersey to Madison, Alabama I saw my first white squirrel. Saw it quite a few times and after that it just disappeared. Now, a couple of months ago there is another white squirrel which has become the talk of the neighborhood. Everyone is watching for him everyday which includes me. I definitely will try to capture a picture of him.

  34. jennifer kruseman says:

    I live in Charleston, SC and just saw a white squirrel while on a morning run. I did a double take and watched this beautiful little guy run up a tree. Came home to look up this rare creature and found the site. I’ll keep an eye out for him/her on my regular runs!!

  35. Neta Haulsee says:

    Just wanted to add to the white squirrel population. My ex-husband was sitting in a park in Quincy, MA. and out came the white squirrel. Before investigating online I had already put it on a holiday greeting card. I was thrilled to know that there’s a parade that is held yearly, and hope to get to visit.

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