BCCWNC Cold Mountain Run

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Date(s) - Thursday, August 15, 2024
9:30 am - 2:30 pm

Ingles Asheville Outlets - 863 Brevard Road
863 Brevard Road
Asheville, NC

Greetings British Car Owners of WNC – welcome to the Cold Mountain Mini History Mystery Adventure hosted by  Max & Wendy Haner. The outing will be historic and fun with good food and an opportunity to meet new people and of course be with great friends. Participants will meet at Ingles parking lot on Brevard Rd in Asheville at 9:30 Am for a 10:00 Am departure.

Information about the Cold Mountain Movie (Spoiler Alerts).
We hope that you had an opportunity to see the movie Cold Mountain staring Nichole Kidman as Ada, Jude Law as Pinkney Inman, Renee Zellweger as Ruby, Natalie Portman as Sara and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Reverend Veasey. The movie is a 2003 epic period war film based on the book that was written by Charles Frazier. Charles Frazier grew up in the Cold Mtn region of NC. This was a highly acclaimed first novel and was an international bestseller with over one million copies and winning the National Book Award in 1997. The book was the inspiration for the Oscar winning film directed by Anthony Minghella.

When North Carolina secedes from the Union on May 20, 1861, the young men of Cold Mountain enlist in the Confederate States Army. Among them is W.P. Inman, a carpenter who has fallen in love with Ada Monroe, the preacher’s daughter who came from Charleston, South Carolina to care for her father. Their courtship is interrupted by the war, they share their first kiss the day Inman leaves for battle. Ada promises to wait for him.

Three years later, Inman fights in the Battle of the Crater. Inman is wounded in a skirmish, and as he lies in a hospital near death, a nurse reads him a letter from Ada, who pleads for Inman to come home to her. Inman recovers and deserts, embarking on a long trek back to find his brother and return to Cold Mountain.

Then the movie takes a turn that we know nothing about about from the Cold Mountain side of things, so we will continue with Ada back in Cold Mountain. Ada’s father has died, leaving her with no money and little means to run their farm in Bethel Cove. She survives on the kindness of her neighbors. A friend by the name of Ruby moves in and together they bring the farm to working order, becoming close. Meanwhile, Ada continues to write letters to Inman, hoping they will reunite and renew their romance.

The Home Guard take care of the surrounding area and they shoot and kill people that are trying to steal food, land, rape women and are Union soldiers. From there, the movie again doesn’t stay true with the book and we want to keep this a history tour with the actual facts.

A very brief history of the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway began as a dream in the late 1800;s and became reality in 1983 when the 469-mile scenic highway was completed. Construction began in 1935 at Cumberland Knob. The heavy construction was done by contractors who won bids for the different projects along various parts. Civilian Conservation Corps troops took care of the roadsides, landscaping, and structure building. As a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, this project was intended to provide jobs throughout the region. A part of the Blue Ridge Parkway is located in the Pisgah National Forest which includes Cold Mountain. It became the first National Forest in the eastern United Stated in 1916.

The Cold Mountain Plane Crash
On Friday, September 13, 1946, Cold Mountain became the final resting place of a post WWII B-25 Bomber, whose crash claimed the lives of its five crew members. Oddly enough, no one saw or heard the crash when it happened. It was only found days later after a large group of planes were dispatched to search for the lost plane when it never reached it’s destination. The B-25 was in route from Tampa, Florida to Detroit, Michigan when it apparently crashed near the mountain top because of a miscalculation in altitude due to very foggy, rainy conditions. Five members of the United States Army, including Major General Paul B. Wurtsmith, the temporary commander of the Eighth Air Force, lost their lives upon impact. In April 1989, one of the last remaining pieces of wreckage, the B25’s twin engines were actually airlifted from the site and returned to Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Michigan. Their purpose was to serve as memorials to commemorate the late General Wurtsmith, who the base was named after.

Stops and Points of Interest

1. Stop at Cold Mountain Overlook: The overlook is 6,030 ft tall. Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Rockies at 6,684 ft. Both are located in the Pisgah National Forest.

2. Pass by Blanton/Reece Log Cabin: We will drive by to see (on the left) perhaps Haywood County’s oldest remaining log cabin, this English-style, single-unit-with-shed addition displays dovetail mortising, extremely rare in the mountains. Reportedly built in 1821, this 360 square feet cabin was home to 8 children and their parents. They lived in the house for 76 years. The reason for the two names as it was occupied by two different families at two different time. No nails were used to build the log cabin, only locust pegs were used to keep the logs together.

3. Rest stop

4. Lake Logan and the logging industry: Sunburst Logging Industry was the largest logging community in WNC history in 1905. The trees were used to make paper at Champion Paper Mill that is located in Canton (now known as the Evergreen Packaging Mill) This area provided large amount of pulpwood for the growing paper industry. At times there were over 1,500 residents here. The very first school of forestry (Biltmore Forest School) was opened in 1910 at Sunburst and founded by Dr. Carl A Schenck who is also known for his contributions as the forester for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate. The elevation at Sunburst is ½ mile above sea level. After a massive fire in 1925 that destroyed almost ¾ of the trees, Champion Paper Mill then decided to dam the West Fork of the Pigeon River and this resulted in creating an 87 acre lake that completely flooded the logging community of Sunburst in 1931. The lake is named for Logan Thompson, the son of champion’s founder. Champion Paper Mill decided to build various facilities around the lake to accommodate the company’s functions. The buildings were built from the logs of the trees. Many of the buildings are still in use today and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many noted visitors have been here from Billy Graham, President Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. George has a photo at the boathouse holding a trout that he caught. Today the Episcopal Dioceses of WNC operates the 300-acre retreat and the remaining 4,500 acres are preserved for the National Forest.

5. Inman Chapel & Cemetery: Inman Chapel was founded in 1868 and is the oldest Universalist church in Western North Carolina. In 1961 Universalist Church became to be known as the Unitarian Universalist Church. James Anderson Inman was the first pastor of this church and was brother to Pickney and pastored the church for 42 years. After Inman, Hannah J Powel became the pastor and she led mission work and a school from 1921 to 1942. Hannah created the very first Kindergarten in North Carolina. She led education programs at the Sunburst Logging Industry and throughout Haywood County. She created a lending library where they would give out books to people so that they could learn to read. She also provided a clothes closet and meeting space for women to meet and children to learn. She was an amazing women of her time. Charles Frazier who wrote the story Cold Mountain has strong family roots in Haywood County. He’s the great great grandson of James Anderson Inman. Frazier spent his early summers under the shadow of Cold Mountain. Many graves of the Inman family and local citizens, dwell in the nearby cemetery, including grandparents of Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain. Inman Chapel received an NCDOT historic marker because of its historic significance.

6. Stop at Rocky Branch Longear Donkeys: Gail and Randy Guy have over 15 MINI-ature donkeys at any one time. MINI-ature donkeys measure between 28 -36 inches tall making them easy to handle and are excellent pets. Donkeys are also known as burros, asses, but are not horses. They are shorter and generally hardier than horses. Donkeys have been used for transporting people and goods since biblical times. While donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn, they are also notoriously smart and capable of keeping themselves and their passengers away from danger. They tend to be most easily identified by their long ears, but they possess other telltale characteristics. Donkeys lack the wither bump that horses have above their shoulders. Donkeys have flatter backs than horses, smaller hooves, coarse and bristly manes, and thin tails. Donkeys are smaller than most adult horses. The Nubian donkey has a cross on its back because it was said that this breed of donkeys carried Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We will stay here for approximately 30 minutes.

7. JukeBox Junction: Lunch at 1:00 PM

8. Stop at Bethel Church & Cemetery: This church was built in 1885 and is considered the mother Presbyterian Church of Haywood County. The Bethel Cemetery was established in 1854, the cemetery reveals a panoramic view of the Bethel Community. The cemetery is the location of the graves of the Inman family. The two unmarked graves are of the two brothers William Pickney “Pink” Inman and Swager Inman. Their father is Joshua and their mother is Mary and their bother is Lewis. The Inman family had 6 boys and only 2 survived from the war. Their unmarked graves do not include a Confederate flag flapping at its side since they were considered a deserters. The other unmarked graves just beyond the brothers are those of slaves. It’s fitting that their graves lie where you can see to the south, Cold Mountain. In the opposite direction stands Big Stomp Mountain, where Pink and Swanger drew their last breaths, being killed by Teague’s Home Guard approximately four miles from their home while wearing the union required uniforms as condition of their release as prisoners of war.

The story begins with William Pickney Inman fighting for the Confederate army in the 25th Regiment. He was shot in the neck in the Petersburg, Virginia Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. He was then taken to a hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he was recovering from his wound. He was watching all of the men dying and decided to leave the hospital and go north to try to find his brother, Swager Inman.

As local historians explain, the Inman brothers had seen plenty of war and both were captured by the Union and sent to a crowded prison known as Camp Douglas in Chicago, Ill., where hundreds of Confederate inmates died of disease and starvation. In order to be set free, prisoners were required to take the Union Oath, thereby swearing-off allegiance to the Confederacy. This, apparently, is what the brothers did and walked about 300 miles toward their home in the Bethel Community. As they made their way home in Yankee uniforms (the only clothes they had, since they had been prisoners), they were gunned down by Home Guard, a band of local militiamen (sometimes viewed as vigilantes). When Inman’s father heard the news that his sons had been killed just four miles from home, he set out in a horse and cart and carried their bodies back home to receive a proper burial. Joshua Inman would lose four of his six sons in the war. We will stay here for approximately 15 minutes.

Returning to Asheville: You have a choice of driving up to Cruso on US Hwy 276 and get onto the parkway. Then you can take 276 to the Cradle of Forestry or continue on following NC Highway 110 (Pisgah Road) back into Canton and then home. If you choose the Parkway below is some information about the Cradle of Forestry.

The Cradle of Forestry
We will now back track to US Highway 276 and go to the Cradle of Forestry, an American Heritage Site which commemorates the beginning of forest conservation in America. On this site in 1898, Dr. Carl Schenck, chief forester for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate, founded the Biltmore Forest School, the first forestry school in the U.S. There is a 28 minute movie that features the information about the beginning of Forestry in United States. First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School this was featured last year on PBS and was funded in part by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Visitors to the cradle of Forestry can “ride” a fire fighting helicopter simulator over a forest fire, then crawl underground and see the animals that live beneath the forest floor. Outdoor activities include several guided trails which lead to historical buildings, a 1915 logging locomotive, and an old sawmill.


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# of Spaces Booked - 6

Who's Going (does not show attendees guests)

  • Syd Chipman
  • Dewey Parker
  • Robert Milks