Highly regarded and used in colonial times by early settlers and Native Americans, the chinquapin faded into obscurity in the 20th-century after the chestnut blight. Capt. John Smith noted the use of the tree by Indians in Virginia, and tribes in North Carolina, including the Cherokee, used the nuts to make flour and the leaves to treat blisters and to make tea to cure headaches. Two pathogens, ink disease and chestnut blight, and an insect, the chestnut gall wasp, arriving from foreign countries, decimated the chinquapin down. In the 21st century, interest in reintroducing the chinquapin to its original range is growing.