WEBwmmM Mqmtm €^M&MMm,
Superior Fruit, Farming and Grazing Lands-
Grand and Beautiful Scenery— Pure
Air and Pure Water.
J^V BETTER CLIMATE IjY THE WORLD
m ClIMAK OR COUNTRY THAT ERDfGS SURER RETURNS!
1' O THE
nmi\ FRUIT mm\ or stock raiser
No Grasshoppers, Chinch Bugs^ Can-
ker Worms or Musquitoes
DESTROY CROPS OR PERSONAL COMFORT.
GEEENVILLE, S. C.
DAILY NEWS, F..A3IPHLET AND LAW "f^KESS
THE BL UE RIDGE HIGHLAJ^DS
We^tei^il }[on\ Ciki'olii^k.
The Blue Ridge Highlands,
As Dr. Gatchell has aptly expressed it, "projects like a promontory
Vinto the planting region of the South, quite across the 35th parallel of
/ latitude, below which it gradually sinks into the low country of South
• Carolina and Georgia." Near the southwestern extremity of this
' '' proniontory," in Macon and Jackson counties, North Carolina is the
■ crteD.Hivo "plateau," or high undulating country, described in this
- circuJar. It embraces an area of about 200,000 acres in the twocoun-
• ties named, having an elevation of about 4,000 feet above tide water.
> is not exceUed, if, indeed, it is equaled, in the United States, for
H:ealth and comfort, while it is admirably 'adapted to general
' eral farming, fruit growing and stock raising. The atmosphere is light
and clear and pure. There is no fog except in cloudy weather ; the
• sun always shining out as bright when it rises above the horizon as at
»noonday. Yet we have regular showers during the summer season,
-and a drouth to materially injure crops never occurs. The terapera-
Uure is seldom above eighty in summer or below ten in winter, and has
not been known to go above ninety or below zero. The snow fall is
very light, only a few inches at most, and some winters none. The
ground is rarely frozen more than two or three inches deep and but
few days at a time. We have a remarkable absence of winds.
Showers usually come up with barely enough breeze to rustle the
leaves in the tree tops, and tall trees stand for years with trunks so
nearly burned or rotted off that they seem hardly able to sustain their
own weight. The elevation accounts for our cool summers and clear,
pure atmosphere. Our mild winters are attributable to our southern
latitude, nearness to the sea coast and to being generally surrounded
by a low warm country, while the main chain of the AUeghenies
breaks the cold storms from the north and west of us, so that they do
not reach us with the same force and intensity that they have in the
same latitude west of the Allegheny range.
Our pure light atmosphere, even temperature and pure water give
health and vigor, and produce a hardy, long-lived race of people, such
as can hardly be found elsewhere. Consumption, ague, yellow fever,
THE BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS. 3
and other diseases common to low countries of the North or South
never originate here, and persons who come here suffering from such
diseases ai;e almost invariably restored to health and vigor We quote
the following li-om a ^pamphlet written by H. P. Gatchell, M.D. late
editor of the Department of Climatology and Hygiene of the U. S
Medical and Surgical Journal :
" No other range of long settled countries can show so small a ratio of
mortality as those that lie at the western base of the Blue Ridge from
he Virginia line to the latitude of Atlanta, and it is remarkable that
there is an appreciable diminution in the ratio of mortality as we pro-
ceed south, due perhaps, to increasing uniformity of temperature
XT ,1 ' n ' T n^^^^^ ^^ T^'Qg^Y^ to pulmonary diseases that Western
iSorth Carolina aflords the greatest immunity. While out of every
Uiousand deaths, nearly two hundred and fifty in the northern New
±.ng and fetates, one hundred and fifty in Minnesota and California
nearly one hundred in Kentucky and Tennessee, and fifty in Florida
and Louisiana arc from consumption, only about thirty in the thou-
sand are from that cause in Western North Carolina and'the neighbor-
ing portions ot South Carolina and Georgia.
But the ratio of consumption generated in a country is not a test of
Its relative capacity for promoting recovery when the disease is estab-
ished The lowlands ot the South generate a much less ratio than
the colder region of the North, and yet as the statistics of mortality in
the army clearly show, they tend quite as much, if not more to pro-
mote its progress when existing. Their hot, moist atmosphere by in-
ducing debility and fever, hastens the progress of the disease. On the
ot lier hand, the extreme cold of higher northern latitudes proves fatal
by exhausting the small heat producing capacity of the consumptive
A moderately cool and invigorating atmosphere has been found to be
. oy lar the most f;ivorable.
Altitude has come to be recognized as indispensable to any consid-
erable proportion of recoveries. It is, perhaps, as important as any
other conaitioii. Evidence of influence of altitude is furnished by the
highlaiKls ot Peru. A large body of antartic water coming to the sur-
face oft the coast of Peru, lowers the temperature ten degrees or more
and envelopes the land during six months of the year in a chillin-
mist, generating a ratio of consumption unknown elsewhere in the
same latitude. It is the custom of the natives suffering from this for-
midable disease to resort to the Andes, and of the government to 'send
thither soldiers similarly affected, and there is testimony of competent
physicians to the fact that not only most of those who are in the first
stage of the disease recover, but that even those that have cavities in
their lungs may be restored to comfortable health
All altitude of much less than 2,000 feet in our latitude is of little
seiwice, and as we approach the equator a still greater one is required "•
Ihese conditions meet more fully in the section specified thaninanv
other portion of the United States. While as a general rule as we
approach the tropics, consumption diminishes, the inflamatorv affec
tions of the pulmonary apparatus, bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonii
increase. But in this respect AVestern North Carolina is an exception
Its exemption from bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonia is as marked -i ■
It IS from consumption, affording it a decided advantage over New
Mexico, the only region in the United States, except that of the Blue
Kidge so far as existing data determine, with so small a ratio of deatln
from the lattor disease. But the mortality from pleur isy in New Mex-
4 THE BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS.
ico is great, thus rendering the aggregate mortality from pulmonary
diseases appreciably greater than in Western North Carolina."
The people of the South have long appreciated the healthfulness of
the Blue Ridge regions, and hundreds of the wealthier classes from the
loM^ countries of North and South Carolina and Georgia annually re-
sort to this country to escape the malarias of the summer season.
Thousands more will come when they can get accommodations.
The Surface of the Country
Is varied from smooth level lands to rocky cliffs, steep hills and moun-
tain peaks. One half or more is smooth and level enough for good
farm lands and beautiful farms. Probably half of the balance could
be cultivated, and will make good orchard and pasture land;^. The
remainder is mostly too rough to be of much value for agricultural
purposes, though much of it will furnish valuable timber and make
good sheej) range.
Are of a granite formation — mostly quartz, feldspar and mica. Near
the surface they are usually in a state of disintegration and decompo-
sition. The greater portion of the land is free from stone to interfere
with cultivation. There is, however, plenty of excellent rock in good
shape and easily obtained for building purposes. The rougher por-
tions of the country are often rocky, and some of the hill and moun-
tain sides are bold cliffs of bare rock.
Strong and unfailing Springs of pure, cold, aoft water are abundant,
i rom these Springs flow bright sparkling rills over clean pebbly beds,
and uniting with others soon form large creeks, which furnish excellent
and regular water powers, and an ample supply of the purest of water
for all purposes. The speckled trout are very abundant in all these
streams, and numbers of trout-ponds could "be made at very little
Of the most valuable kinds for building, manufacturing, fencing and
fuel is plentiful. The trees are usually of moderate size, but large
enough for good sawing timber. They are mostly of good straight
growth, and the grain is straight, free and easily Avorked. In some
localities — protected from the annual fires, which are put out to burn
off the undergrowth for the benefit of the stock range— the trees grow
to an immense size. The following varieties of trees are found upon
the Highlands. Those placed first in the list are most abundant. Oak
-—several varieties, Chesnut, Hickory, Tulip Tree or Poplar, White
Pine, Sassafras, Black Gum, Black Locust, Hemlock — Spruce Pine of
the South — Red Maple, Service tree. Magnolia, Table Mountain Pine,
Yellow Pine, Flowering Dogwood, Black Cherry, Bird Cherry, Black
Birch, Yellow Birch, Mountain xYsh, Crabtree, Willow, Silver Bell,
Persimmon, Holley, Beech, Linn or Baswood, Red Cedar, White
Ash, Buckeye. The most common
Are Rhododendrons, Kalmias, Azaleas, Clethra, Huckleberry, Haw
Alder, Sumac, Witch Hazel, Calycanthus, Flowering Locust,
THE BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS. 5
Is generally fertile, fully as good as the average farm mih of tlie mid-
dle aijd eastern States. It varies from sandy to clay loam, is mellow,
usually Iree from stone and easily worked. There are extensive beds
of muck and other fertilizmg material to enricli the boil when wanted.
The crops best suited to our soil and climate are such as are adapted
to the northern States. Fair crops of corn are raised of the northern
varieties. Wheat is not mucli grown, but generally produces well
Rye and Oats do well. All kinds of vegetables that grow in the North
produce large crops of excellen t quality. For Irish Potatoes Cab-
bages and Turnips no country can beat it in quantity or quality The
grasses grow well, produce good ciops of hav and furnish good qreen
pasturage nearl)^ the whole year.
•For Fruit Growing,
Especially for Apples, this country has no superior. Apples from the
mountain districts of Western North Carolina are highly prized in the
southern markets, and for size, flavor, beauty and keeping qualities are
superior to those brought from the north. The trees are healthy, long
lived and rarely fail to produce heavy crops of fruit annually
There are apple trees on the Sugar Fork river, a few^ miles from us*
that are said to be fifty years old, with stems 7 to 8 feet in circumfer-
ence and still vigorous and bearing heavy annual crops of tine, fair
fruit. Pears have not been much grown, but have usually produced
well wherever they have had a chance. Plums, Cherries and small
fruits all grow well. Peaches and Grapes produce good and regular
crops, but upon our highest table lands the quality is not as good as
upon the southern slope of the Blue Ridge, where they grow in their
grow in their greatest perfection, and there are orchards and vineyards
that have not failed to produce a good crop every year for twenty to
thirty years. The late Nicholas Longworth, of 'Cincinnati, once said
"Were I young again, on the slopes of tlie Blue Ridge, I would plant
the vine and make my fortune."
For Stock Raising
This section of country is not excelled by any portion of tlie United
States. The Summers are so cool that the gra&s never "burns" or dries
up in the Summer season, and the Winters are so mild that vdth the
time grasses we may have green pastures that will keep stock almost
the entire Winter. It will cost but little to provide hay and other
feed to take them through any cold spells or light snows' that would
hinder grazing. Stock need no warm stable.^ here as in the north, but
should have access to open sheds for falling weather.
Is much more pleasant and protitable here than at the north. Sheep
are remarkably healthy and prolific, and with care in providing pas-
tures, will usually do well the entire year without other feed, though
it would be best always to have a supply of hay, turnips, etc., to feed
during cold spell? and to fatten for market.
Our cheap and excellent grazing, cool summers and mild winters
and lountiful supply of pure, cold, soft, Spring water, offer unsurpassed
6 THE BLUE KIDGE HIGHLANIiRi.
if not unequaled facilities for butter and cheese making. Butter made
here by those who understand it, is not excelled by the famous Orange
county butter of New York.
Do well and store a large amount of hone}' of tlie yer}' best quality.
"White clover comes in" whenever the land is opened to tlie sun, so it
is not likely that the destruction of the wild llowers by clearing will
materially lessen the honey-making capacity of tlie country.
The facilities for n^arketing our produce are good. We are in the
lieart of the great cotton country of the south, about 250 miles from
the sea coast at Charleston, Port Poyal or Savannah, and within easy
reach of all the great cities and populous districts of the southern
states. But a limited .portion of the south grows successfully the crops
that are produced here. For the balance of their supplies they depend
largely upon the north. And having the advantage tof freights in our
favor, we find ready cash sale for our surplus at remunerative prices.
Our nearest Eailroad point is Walhalla, South Carolina, tlie present
terminus of the Blue Ridge Railroad, thirty miles south of the High-
lands. The Blue Ridge Railroad is soon to be completed via Rabun
Gap and Franklin to Knoxville, Tennessee, and we shall then be but
ten to fourteen miles from a Railroad station. This road via Rabun
Gap will connect with the whole Railroad system of the south and
the north-west, thus offering good railroad facilities.
AVe have passable wagon roads to Walhalla, Franklin and various
points on the Highlands. Good roads can be easily and cheaply made
to all points on the Highlands and to the valley of the Tennessee at
Rabun Gap or Franklin to reach the Railroad.
Good carriage roads of easy grade can be made at little expense to
the summit of all the highest mountain penks.
While Ave have here so large an area of line fertile firm lands, we
yet have mountain scenery that for variety, grandeur and beauty has
few rivals. There are a dozen mountain peaks within a radius of as
inany miles, to the very summit of which one can easily and safely
ride on horseback. From each of these peaks one gets a different view
of a vast extent of country from the Smoky mountains on the north to
the far off low lands of South Carolina and Georgia to the southward.
A country clothed mostly with luxuriant forests, dotted with fertile
clearings, diversified with lofty peaks and beautiful valleys, steep,
rocky cliffs and gentle slopes. To the northward the mountains are
high, bold and picturesque, but receding in more regular and gentle
undulations to the southward until they finally sink into the level
plains of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
On the sides and almost to the very tops of these highest mountain
peaks are beautiful coves and dells where gigantic forest trees stand
guard over perrennial springs of purest, softest waters, which send their
cooling rills down the mountain's side. Hundreds of these brooklets
THK BLUK RUXii: HrOHLANDS. 7
uniting form large creeks and even rivers on the Highlands almost
4,000 feet above the sea. Leaping over precipices in their course to
the valley below, these mountain rivers form grand waterfalls that are
hardly surpassed by anything this side of Niagara or Yosemite.
In these clear, cool waters the speckled trout— so tempting to the
angler and the epicure— are found in great abundance.
During the spring and summer the Khododendrons, Kalmias, Aza-
leas, Dogwoods, Clethra, Silver Bell, and hundreds of other varieties
of flowering trees, shrubs and plants of greatest beauty and fragrance,
are an attractive feature of the landscape. ^
Altogether, we believe there are few localities in the United States
with scenery combining so many attractive features as the Blue Ridge
There are still some deer and wild turkeys. Rabbits and squirrels
are plentiful. The ruffed grouse— called here pheasant— and the bob
white — called here partridge — are abundant.
There is an occasional bear and a few wolves in the wildest moun-
tain districts, but they seldom come near the settlements. There are
some Wild Cats, but they seldom trouble domestic animals, and are
easily trapped or poisoned.
AVe have seen no poisonous snakes here, except the rattle snake, and
they are not so numerous as we find them on the western prairies and
in some of the thickly settled districts of New York and Pennsylvania.
Are very scarce here, owing largely, as we suppose, to the great num-
ber and variety of our birds. Musquitoes— that great pest of wooded
countries generally, and low countries, everywhere — are never
found "on these highlands. There are few flies to harm man or beast.
Xo grasshoppers to injure the crops. No Chinch bugs, potato bugs or
canker worms. There are some of the round-headed borers in neglected
orchards, but we have examined dozens of neglected orcliards and
failed to find the work of a single flat-headed borer.
The country is sparsely settled by a hardy, intelligent, kind and
hospitable people. Their clearings are mostly small, but they usually
raise a supply of corn and vegetables for their families. A few farm-
ers are clearing up good farms, starting fine orchards, raising hay and
stock, and making money.
Cost of Living.
People who wish to live economically can live well on less money
liere tlian in any other country we have ever been in. Good plain
board can be had in families at S2 00 to $3 00 per week.
There are no colored people here. Good white laborers can be
hired for fifty cents per day and board, or seventy-five cents without
8 THE BUTE RTDGE RIGHLANDS.
board. Carpenters, and meclianics generally, SI .50 per day. Good
dome?tic help can be had for $1.00 per week.
Building Material ^
For log houses can be had lor the cutting. Good while pine and
poplar lumber can be had at the mills for $1.00 per hundred feet.
Good stone for foundations, cellars, fireplaces, etc., are easily obtained.
A brick kihi has been burned for chimney's, etc,
PricG of Land.
The price of good, unimproved liirm land is fri)m $1.50 to $3,00 per
acre, some few choice pieces, well located, are lield higher, and some
fair pieces can be bought for $1.00 per acre. Rougher lands, suitable
for pasture, orcliard and wood lots, can be bouglit for 50 cents to $1.00
per acre. The land is mostly owned by individuals, in tracts of fifty
to two thousand acres, but most of it is for sale at the above named
prices, except the small portion already occupied by settlers, and some
of that will be sold with improvements at an additional price, suffi-
cient to pay cost of improvements. The titles have mostly been ob-
tained from the State and are perfect.
The price for splitting rails is fifty cents per 100, for hauling and
laying fifty cents more, or $1,00 per 100 for rails laid up in fence. It
takes about twenty rails to the rod for a good fence, making a cost of
twenty cents per rod for a good rail fence. A good four-board fence
can be built, with oak or chestnut posts, for fifty to sixty cents per rod.
To clear all the timber ofi' the land "would cost SC.OO to $12.00 per
acre, but the undergrowth can be cleared off" and the large trees " dead-
ened" for $1,50 to $3.00 per acre. The undergrowth can be grubbed,
the large trees " deadened," and the ground prepared for the plow for
$3.00 to $6.00 per acre. With the small growth thus cleared out and
the large trees deadened, one, two or three annual crops may be grown,
and the ground can then be seeded in grass and used for meadows and
pasture until the roots are well rotted out, when it will cost but little
to clear off the balance of the timber.
Will People from the North be Well Received ?
Or "will it be safe for them to come South," We are often asked the
above questions, and would say in reply, it depends entirely upon
yourself, what you come for and how you behave after you get here.
Since the war the South has been over-run by a lot of " political .shy-
sters" from the North, whose sole business was to get office and steal
themselves rich. Unfortunately, too many have been successful, and
tlie people of the South have contracted a righteous hatred for that
class of immigrants, and do not strive to make their sojourn in the
country pleasant or comfortable. But people coming here to engage in
any honest, respectable pursuit, for pleasure or profit, it matters not
what their opinion or previous condition, or where they are from —
North or South, Europe, Asia or Africa — if they behave themselves as
good citizens should in any country, they will be as well received, as
kindly treated, and as safe from harm as in any spot in the " wide
THE BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS. 9
**Why Has not the Blue Ridge Highlands been
This question is asked by our friends from the North. The reason
why is easily explained. The people of the South have heretofore
devoted themselves, almost exclusively, to producin^^ the trrcat southern
staples, cotton, rice, sugar and tobacco. Land has been plenty, and
that best suited to the growth of the above named staples was, of course,
taken first. And not only the Blue Ridge Highlands, but millions of
acres more of the best lands in the South for stock, fruit, grain and
vegetables, with a climate that has no superior, are to-day unoccupied.
The best of these lands lie along the Blue Ridge in Western Nortli
Carolina, and the northern portion of South Carolina and Georgia.
And while there is probably no other section with so nuich good land
for sale, lying contiguous, and so many advantages combined for a
first class settlement, yet much of what we have said of this particular
section Avill apply to a large portion of the country within the above
named range. The writer is a native of Western Kew York, has lived
five years in Illinois and ten yesrs in Kansas, engaged in agricultural
and horticultural pursuits, has traveled over most of the Northern and
a considerable portion of the Southern States, has studied as carefully
as possible the advantages of the different sections, and has located
here for a home, satisfied that no other section of the United States
now offers so many advantages for settlement, for the ftirmer, the fruit
grower, the stock raiser, and others seeking rural homes for health,
comfort and prosperity, as these beautiful table lands and sunny slopes
of the Blue Ridge.
The Town of Highlands.
We are laying out the town of Highlands as a convenience for our
settlement. It is not the intention to try to make it a commercial toiv!<,
but a center for the surrounding country, where Avill be located our
Post Office, Stores, Shops, School House, Churches, Hotels, &c. It is
situated on a beautiful undulating sits on the main Franklin and Wal-
halla road, 20 miles south east of Franklin and 30 miles north of
Walhalla. It occupies a central position on the Highlands, and a point
from which good carriage roads can easily be made to reach all point?
on the Highlands, and all of the grandest scenery of the surrounding
country. It is near the base of Stuley mountain, one of the grandest
peaks of the Blue Ridge range From the center of the town site, it is
about 1^ miles south-east to the top cf ''Stuley," 2;r miles south-east to
"Fodderstack," 2 miles east to "Black Rock,'' U 'miles north-east to
"Whiteside," 3 miles north to ''Short Off"," 6 miles north to "Ycllow
Mountain," 4 miles north-west to the "Dry Fall" on the Sugar Fork.
There are on the town site a goodly number of unfailing springs and
streams of pure cold Avater. The largest stream — "Mill Creek" — has a
fall which furnishes a good water poAver for mills and machinery.
Small lots will be laid out in the centre of town for business pur-
poses, the balance in 2'j acre and larger lots for residences for those who
may wish to spend their summers here, or live near the school, church,
post office, &c. These lots Avill be sold to actual settlers at very low
rates, as we desire to have it occupied by good citizens.
There are two small saw and grist mills near town, and we expect
to have one built on the town site the coming season. We have a
country store and post office, and will soon have a hotel and other con-
veniences. It is our purpose to build up a first-class school, and have
all the facilities for improvement, and social and religious privilege.?,
that are found in the best neighborhoods of the North or South.
10 THE BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS.
How to Come.
Persons coming from the Northwest, West, or Southwest, should
come to Atlanta, Georgia, thence via Atlanta & Richmond Air Line
Railroad to Seneca City. From the East and Northeast come to Rich-
mond, and thence via A. & R. A. L. R R. to Seneca City, or come by
fiteamer to Charleston, and thence by the South Carolina Railroad to
Walhalla. Persons arriving at Seneca City can call on A. W. Thomp-
son, livery stable, and get conveyance to the Highlands at the follow-
ing rates : One person, $8.00 ; two, $10.00; three or more, $4.00 each.
Fifty pounds of baggage alio »ved with each passenger. Or take the
cars to Walhalla, nine miles nearer, and there call on W. A. Adding-
ton & Co., livery stable, where they will get conveyance to the High-
lands at the following rates : One person, $7.00 ; two persons, 68.00 ;
thre or more, $3.00 each.
Most of the people who arc locating here are from tlie North, but
good citizens are welcomed from any part of the country.
For further information, address,
S. T. KELSEY,
Highlands, Macon County, N. C.
^ > # » « f» i
Letter from General Clingman.
New York, .Tune 12, 1867.
To Wr,i. Frazier, Esq., President of the Aincriean Agricultural and Miner-
al Land Company, New York :
Dear Sir : The short period during which I expect to remain in
this city, and the pressure of business engagements, will prevent my
replying at length to your inquires in relation to the wes'tern part of
For a great many years I have resided on the west side of the Blue
Ridge, the range of mountains which divides the waters falling into
the Atlantic from those descending to the Missisippi River, Having
for more tlian sixteen years been a Representative or Senator in Con-
gress from that region, I used in my canvasses to visit every part of it.
I have also ascended the principal mountains for the purpose of meas-
uring or observing them, while my fondness for geology and mineralogy
has carried me into almost every valley. My general acquaintance,
therefore, with this entire region, probably exceeds that of any other
It may be regarded as an elevated table-land of more than two hun-
dred miles in length, with an average breadth of fift}^ miles, and is
crossed in different directions bj'^ manj'^ mountain chains. The height
of the lower valleys may be stated as ranging from two thousand to
twenty-five hundred feet above the level of the sea, while the principal
mountain chains rise four thousand feet higher. This elevation, not-
withstanding its southern latitude, gives it a delightful summer cli-
Mr. Wm, McDowell, who made observations for the Smithsonian
Institute, at Asheville, for several years, informed me that the ther-
mometer during the warmest summer weather did not rise above eighty-
two degrees Fahrenheit. Even the climate of Switzerland is not equal
to that of this region ; not only at Geneva, but in the high valley of
Chamouny, I once found hotter weather than I ever experienced in
this section ; while there, one is occasionally chilled in mid-summer by
THE BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS. 11
■cold blasts from the masses of snow on the higher Alp?. In western
North Carolina, none of the mountains are high enough to bear snow
in summer, yet the region is sufficiently elevated to afford a climate
which is cool, dry, bracing and exceedingly exhilerating. No country
is more healthy, being alike free from the diseases of miasmatic regions,
as well as those common in rigorous or damp climates.
What especially distinguishes this section from all other mountain
regions that I have seen, is the general fertility of its soil. This is true
not only with reference to its valleys, but also of its mountains. Their
aides and even tops aro generally covered with a thick vegetable mould,
on which the largest trees and grasses grow luxuriantly. At an eleva-
tion of five thousand feet above the ocean, the grasses and weeds are so
rank as to remind one of the swampy lands of the lower regions. On
the tops, and for a considerable distance down the aides of the higher
chains, there are several varieties of evergreen or ''winter grass," a«
they are generally called there. These are so nutritious that cattle are
kept in good condition on them all the winter. A friend of mine before
the war kept four or five hundred horned cattle on one of these moun-
tains, and with the exception that they were supplied with salt occa-
sionally, they subsisted entirely, both in summer and winter, on those
grasses. The older cattle, he assured me, soon learned to understand
the effect of the seasons, and without being driven, they led the herds,
in the spring, down sides of the mountains to obtain the young grasses
that came up with the warm weather, and when these were destroyed
by the autumn frosts they returned to the tops to get the evergreen veg-
etation, and found shelter under the spreading branches of the balsam
fir trees in stormy weather. I have seen in Play wood county a five
year old horse that was said to have been foaled and reared entirely on
the top of Balsam Mountain, and was then for the first time brought
down to see cultivated land and eat food grown by the hand of man.
Where the lands in this part of the State are placed under proper
cultivation, they produce abundantly. On choice spots, more than one
hundred bushels to the acre of Indian corn has frequently been obtain-
ed, and this valuable grain is everywhere produced in sufficient quan-
tity. Wheat, also, does well, while oats, rye and barley are particular-
ly good. It is especially suited to the production of grasses, timothy,
orchard and herds grass, or red top being usually preferred. Clover and
blue grass grow well, but are not so good as in some counties having
more lime in the soil. Last summer I went with Mr N W Woodfin over a
mountain farm of his ; the land of which had originally cost him less
than one dollar per acre. It had been cleared by cutting out the under-
growth, and girdling the large timber so as to deaden it, and then put
in grass, nearly t^venty years previously. It was covered over with
a thick growth of timothy and orchard grass, much of which appeared
as thick and as tall as a fair wheat field. In someplaces we found both
of these grasses rising high enough, as we sat on our horses, for us to
take the top of the stalks growing on each side, and cause them to meet
above the withers of our horses. I never, in fact, saw better grass any-
where than grew generally over this entire tract of twelve hundred
Irish potatoes, cabbages and turnips are grown in the greatest quan-
tities, while no country excels this for fruits. Its apples, both in size
and flavor, excel those that I have seen in any other part of the world;,
while peaches, pears and grapes grow^abundantly. Besides the Catawba
there are a great many other native grapes. One gentleman thinlcs he
has obtained a hundred varieties of native grapes, some of which he
considers superior to the Catawba. That this country is admirably
adapted to the production of grapes and wine there can be no question.
12 THE BLUE RIDGE HH^IILAXDS.
The fact that varieties oi" grapes can be Kclected, iiiat ripen at dilierent
periods of the autumn, will make the vintage longer tiian it is in Eu-
rope, and tluis increase the amount of wine made. All kinds of live
stock thrive in the country, though horses and liorned cattle have been
more generally raised, because tliey require less care from the farmer.
Sheep are very healthy, and grow Avell everywhere. As large sheep
as I ever saw were some that were suliered to run in the woods, both in
summer and winter, without being fed. Mr. \Voodfin also stated to me,
ihii} lie could, from the stock of his farm above alluded to, at all peri-
ods of the winter obtain good mutton and beef from the animals that
were subsisted on the grass. P^ven when sheep are to be kept in large
numbers, it is certain that they would do with half the feeding they re-
quire during the long winters in New England, Snow seldom remains
many days at a time, even on the mountain tops in North Carolina ;
and when the grass is good, little is required in the form of hay or
other food for the stock.
The minerals of this region have hitherto been turned to very little
account. There are some narrow belts of marble and lime-stone which
furnish a sufficiency of lime for use, and from which good marble can
be procured at certain points. The different ores of iron, of the best
qualities, exist in great abundance in many places, and from them su-
perior iron can be made. Large and promising veins of copper have
been cut in several localities in Jackson county, and surface indications
leave little doubt but that similar deposits will be found in other countieK.
Gold has been profitably mined in the counties of Jackson, Macon and
Cherokee, but less extensively than in the section east of the Blue
Ridge. It is quite probable that good veins of this metal will, in time,
be opened, and there is encouragement to search for lead and silver at
several points. The barytes and clirome ores can be brought into use
when tlie railroads are finished that have been provided for by the
State. Though coal does not exist, its want will not be experienced for
a long period, as the immense forests will supply fuel for a great num-
ber of years, a,nd long before they can become exhausted, railroads
will permeate all parts of the district, and will bring in supplies of this
valuable mineral from localities not far distant.
The country is everywhere intersected by bold and rapid streams,,
and the supply therefore, of water power, is beyond Jiny demand that
can ever exi-t for it. These streams, from the elevated valleys in which
they are fii i collected, has a descent of not less than one thousand feet
before the} i-scape into the State of Tennessee, and present at various
points ther* iore, rapids and falls where the water can be conveniently
used for manufacturing purposes.
Though this region lacks the boldness and grandeur of the Alps, this
deficiency is more than balanced by tlie fact that every part of it is
susceptible of settlement and cultivation. The fact that the mountains
as well as the valleys are covered by a luxuriant vegetation, gives to
them a green and inviting appearance which renders many of the scenes
peculiarly attractive to the beholder. The present population, though
sparse, is quiet, industrious, intelligent and moral ; the negroes there not
being numerous enough to constitute an important element in the whole
society. I know of no country more inviting to industrious emigrants,
when one considers its excellent climate, Avater and soil, its mining and
manufacturing resources, and its cheap lands and good population.
Very truly yours, T. L. CLINGMAN.
We have arrangements by which parties from the Northeast can get
tickets at reduced rates to Seneca Citv, by calling at the office of
TILLMAN R. GAINES, 29 Broadway ,'N. Y., 3d fioor, room E, and
stating that they wish to come to the Highlands.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
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