Historic Sites

Fontana Dam

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Fontana Dam and Visitor Center

Located in the far western corner of North Carolina, Fontana Dam is the tallest dam east of the Rockies at 480 feet. It was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in response to an urgent need for electric power during World War II; construction began in 1942 and was finished in just 36 months.

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Yancey History Association and Rush Wray Musuem

The Yancey History Association was formed in 1979 and by 1989 had purchased the property on which the “McElroy House” museum and the 1920’s gas station “Chamber of Commerce-Visitors Center” are located. The dedication of the house as the Rush Wray Museum came in 1999 when the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Yancey History Association and Rush Wray Musuem

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The Orchard at Altapass

Early History

Perched on the crest of the Blue Ridge atop the Eastern Continental Divide, the Orchard at Altapass occupies a unique spot in both America’s landscape and history. the Orchard has been a vital travel route since our continent’s earliest settlers began exploring these mountains. Buffalo and elk traversed here, followed by the Cherokee Indians and eventually European settlers.

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The Orchard at Altapass

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Rockford

Established in 1789, the town of Rockford served as the county seat of Surry County until is was encompassed into present day Yadkin County. As an early seat of government Rockford developed as an earl seat of commercial activity in the area. Hotels, taverns, and retail stores along with craftsmen including a blacksmith and tinsmith as well as industry including a forge and tannery flourished in the town.

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Rockford

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Francis Grist Mill

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Francis Grist Mill

The Francis Grist Mill, located just outside of Waynesville, NC on Highway 276 was built in 1887. Constructed by William Francis to serve the Francis Cove Community, the mill commonly produced ground wheat, corn and grits for local residents.

The water-powered mill stands beside a small creek that flows downhill. A mill pond, formed by damming the creek upstream and to the south of the mill, fed a partially elevated wooden flume that delivered water to turn the overshot waterwheel.

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