The Flood of 1916
September 20, 2009 by mcdowellcountyhistory
If you’ve ever taken a drive up Highway 221 North from Marion toward Linville Falls, you’ve probably noticed the large rocks and boulders that dot the fields and pastures on both sides of the road. All those tons of rock tumbled down the mountainside and to their current resting place during the cataclysmic flood of 1916.
One of the many homes to be ruined by the flood. Others totally washed away, leaving hardly a trace that they had ever stood at all. (Photo from the Carson House Library)
Much of western North Carolina was devastated by the event, especially along the McDowell and Mitchell County line and down into North Cove. The Orchard at Altapass sits almost astride the continental divide, which was ground zero for this disaster. Bill Carson from the Orchard tells the story of the flood through the eyes of someone who lived through it.