Ruins of Proctor, NC, Creative Image on Flickr by Scott Stewart
Towns do not survive forever. Western North Carolina has a number of its own lost towns. They disappeared for a number of reasons. Some vanished when rivers were dammed, creating lakes for the generation of electricity. Lake Glenville drowned the town of Glenville in Jackson County in 1941. The region’s largest lake, Fontana, created in 1944 in Graham and Swain Counties, submerged several small communities, including Japan and Judson. Other towns vanished when their economic reason for being disappeared. Many logging towns, like Sunburst in Haywood County, followed that pattern when the timber boom burst after World War I. So when traveling in western North Carolina, keep your eyes open for ghost towns. You may just stumble across one.
As undeveloped land shrank in the East, the desire to preserve a wilderness experience intensified. In 1925 a forester, Benton McKaye, organized a conference in Washington, DC, to plan […]
Mount Mitchell Of the ten highest mountains in the eastern United States, six are in the Black Mountain Range of western North Carolina. The most famous of these is Mount Mitchell, which at 6684 feet is […]
Mountain Balds The Southern Appalachian Mountains are not high enough to have a natural tree line or Alpine zone, yet the region has hundreds of treeless areas called balds. Their origins- whether or […]
Place Names People like to name natural features. In Appalachia, place names often stand out because of the wide variety of ethnic groups that have settled the region. Many places, like Cullowhee and […]
Wetlands Southern Appalachian wetlands are gaining attention for the wealth of rare and unique life forms they support. In North Carolina alone, mountain bogs and fens provide habitats for nearly […]
Have you ever seen a Carolina Lily? Did you know it is North Carolina’s official state wildflower? But take care to avoid mistaking it for [...]
About The Digital Heritage Project
DigitalHeritage.org includes essays, video interviews, and other materials created by the students of Western Carolina University. It also includes regional lesson plans created by teachers participating in the Adventure of the American Mind project sponsored by the Library of Congress. Radio spots created by WCU faculty and students may be heard on stations WKSF-FM, WMXF-AM, WPEK-AM, WWCU-FM, and WWNC-AM. A print version is available each month in the Laurel of Asheville.
Tonya Carroll (B.A., 2007 M.A., 2009) with Bruce Frazier (Carol Grotnes Belk Endowed Professor in Commercial & Electronic Music) in the recording studio.