Europeans introduced the important craft of iron making to Appalachia in the 16th century. Iron ore was discovered all over the region. Large deposits were found in Pennsylvania. Smaller ones were scattered in places like Cherokee. . .
Long before Western North Carolina was celebrated by visitors for its majestic Blue Ridge Parkway views; even before it was recognized by the ailing for its beneficial climate and therapeutic mountain air, our region was famous for something else: its seemingly-infinite amounts of mineral wealth. . .