Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let's get one thing clear right up front. There are two Pilot Mountains in North Carolina, three if you count the one that was the scene of a small plane crash where the pilot was killed. It's called the pilot's mountain, not on any map, just a local thing.

The other two were named hundreds of years ago when they were landmarks, both of them, for the early settlers. They stand alone, each of them apart from nearby mountains. Distinguished.

Of these two, one is quite famous, thanks to the Andy Griffith show and fictional Mayberry. Barney was often going to Mt. Pilot to hang out and this was where the writers were sending him (add a fictional town):

Beautiful. Majestic. Visible from Interstate 77 on the North Carolina/Virginia state line. Travelers can't help but notice.

But that's not the Pilot Mountain of the schoolhouse this blog is about.

This one is:

Travelers can see it from Interstate 40 in North Carolina between Morganton and Marion, but probably no one ever notices. And only in winter when there are no leaves on the trees lining the interstate.

British soldiers camped nearby during the American Revolution, easy for them to use the pilot to find the camp after a day of searching for revolutionaries. The overmountain men marched by it going to the Battle of King's Mountain and again on the way home after a hard earned victory. It was their guide to follow, their north star so to speak, to march between the pilot mountain and the ridge of mountains to its east. During the early 1800's it was the scene of a gold mining enterprise. Now it's a sleepy hump sitting there so alone, apart, the landmark where travelers turn north, west, or south. Sturdy. Dependable.

It's a good name for a school that was apart, sturdy to the community, dependable to the children.

Catch of the day,


1 comment:

  1. Gretchen,
    That was very informative and interesting. Brought back old memories of Andy G. show and yes, I recall they referred to Mt. Pilot. That was fun. Thanks