Here in the North Carolina mountains we are sort of between tourist seasons. The summer season is over and it is another month until the fall leaf season gets crazy. So while things are quiet around here, I thought I’d share a bit of vintage NC, from a booklet the state published. There’s no date anywhere, but there is a note from Governor Gregg Cherry, who served from 1945 to 1949. (Side note: In Gastonia, Cherry’s hometown, it was said that sober he was the best lawyer in town, and drunk he was the second best.)
For those of you unfamiliar with my state, North Carolina starts at the Atlantic Ocean and ends at the crest of the Appalachians (app uh lach uns). It’s a long, very diverse state. People tend to confuse it with South Carolina, which is an entirely different place. It’s Charlotte, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina.
I live in the mountains. For long weekends I like to go to the coast, and in doing so pass on the highway people from the coast going to the mountains. It’s a good system as it keeps the state even. According to this brochure, there are also places to visit in the middle of the state, such as looking at the Old Well on the UNC Chapel Hill campus and riding to the hounds at Sedgefield. Somehow I think I’ll stick with the beach.
Mount Le Conte is along the crest of the Appalachians, right on the Tennessee line. I’ve hiked that trail, and I can tell you that I did not do it in a dress as the hiker above did. This is very wild country, though in the summer there is a steady stream of people going up to spend the night at the Le Conte Lodge.
There’s another silly hiker wearing a dress. I don’t know the location of this trail, but it looks a bit dangerous to me, and I’m used to mountain trails! The dude ranch is probably the Cataloochee Ranch, which is still in operation. It’s a beautiful place.
Cherokee is just west of me, near the entrance to the Great Smokies. No, the Cherokee did not wear feathered headdresses, but a guy has to make a living. Even today there are Cherokee “chiefs” set up along the side of the road waiting to be the tourist’s next photo op.
As you can see, Dry Falls are not really dry. The name comes from the fact that one can walk behind the falls without getting wet, well, at least not much.
This is the Blowing Rock, which is near Boone. There are all kinds of “legends” about the rock, most of which involve lovelorn Indians.
Lake Junaluska is just down the road from me, and it is a lovely little lake. It is the site of the Methodist Assembly which was started in 1913. The old camp style auditorium still stands, as do two old hotels from the era.
Now this is interesting. Neel’s Creek, which is near Mount Mitchell, really was open for fishing only to women. There were creeks nearby where husbands and boyfriends could fish, but men were not allowed at Neel’s Creek. In the mid 1940s it was so popular that there was talk of making another trout stream women only.
I was just joking earlier about the middle of North Carolina being just a place to pass through. The golfing is world class, and there are plenty of historic sites.
Pivers Island looks like a nice place in the late 1940s. Today the little island is almost covered by a NOAA facility and the Duke University Marine Lab. Behind the two women you get a glimpse of Beaufort, which is a fishing and sailing center, and a nice little historic town.