|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!