Yale educated Elisha Mitchell moved from Connecticut to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1818 to become Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. As a member of a state sponsored geology survey, he encouraged the development of Western North Carolina’s natural resources, but he achieved lasting fame for determining that Black Mountain near Asheville was 250 feet higher than Mount Washington in New Hampshire. When his calculation was challenged, he returned in 1857 to verify his measurements. He fell down a waterfall to his death, and his body was recovered by the legendary mountain hunter and guide, Big Tom Wilson. He was buried on a nearby peak, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River. In 1882, it was named Mount Mitchell in his honor.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Tom Wilson Big Tom Wilson, a legendary tracker, guide, and bear hunter whose death was reported in the New York Times, roamed the Mt. Mitchell area in the early 19th century.
- 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 […]
- Blue Ridge Parkway
Essay By Timothy N. Osment History, M.A. WCU 2008
The Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching 469 miles between the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, has offered […]
- Old Growth Forests Old-Growth forests conjures up visions of the great forests that once covered most of eastern north America, and of towering trees undisturbed by logging and human settlement. They provide […]
- Pisgah National Forest Pisgah National Forest, founded in 1916, covers much of North Carolina’s northwestern mountains. Pisgah was the first national forest created from purchased land rather than from the […]