In the early days of McDowell County, strong personalities often had a sizeable and lasting impact on the community.
Colonel Adams (Photo courtesy of Bill Nichols, John's Market Collection)
The accomplished inventor Col. Daniel W. Adams of Old Fort worked to bring water, electricity and telephone service to the town. Adams also served as a mountain guide and designer of municipal fountains, among a myriad of other interests and abilities. He also built a very architecturally eccentric home, which can be seen in the photo to the right.
Charlie McKinney of North Cove/Little Switzerland is a legendary figure as well, known for other “talents”, including the ability to provide four dozen young heads for four dozen new hats from J.D. Blanton’s store in Marion. Terrell Finley (above) of The Mountain Gateway Museum talks about Col. Adams:
…and Bill Carson of the Orchard at Altapass
tells us about the “colorful” Charlie McKinney:
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It was a spectacular day in June when the McDowell Oral History crew made the pilgrimage to the Orchard at Altapass, just this side of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A visit to the Orchard can be an education on several subjects; about the Over Mountain Men and the Revolutionary War, the super-human effort required to bring the railroad across the rugged Appalachian slopes and about the delightful characters that were the first to settle the area.
Most folks come to the Orchard to have FUN and what could be more fun than some good ole mountain music? In this clip, Judy Carson of the Orchard introduces Terry McKinney for a taste of the good times to be had on a weekend visit to the high country of McDowell County. Terry is a direct descendant of one of the most colorful residents to settle the area and he shares his wealth of knowledge about some of the important musicians to hail from McDowell.
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