Marion, NC is a small town nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Despite its size, it has been witness to several significant historical events over the years. Below are seven historical events that have taken place near Marion, NC:
1. The Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain - In 1780, a battle was fought at Kings Mountain, which sits on the border of North and South Carolina. This battle is considered a turning point in the Revolutionary War and is widely regarded as a significant victory for the Patriots. The site is now a national military park and is less than an hour's drive from Marion.
2. The Civil War Battle of McDowell - In 1862, Confederate and Union forces clashed near Marion, where the Confederates were ultimately victorious. This battle is considered to be the first major conflict to take place in Western North Carolina during the Civil War. A monument commemorating the battle stands in the town of Old Fort, just a short drive from Marion.
3. The Vanderbilts' Visit to Lake James - In the late 1800s, George Vanderbilt, the wealthy businessman and art collector, visited Lake James with his wife and friends. Vanderbilt was so enamored with the area that he ended up purchasing over 100,000 acres of land and building the sprawling Biltmore Estate nearby. Today, visitors can tour the Biltmore Estate and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake James.
4. The Birth of the Blue Ridge Parkway - In the early 1900s, a movement began to create a scenic highway that would wind through the mountains of the eastern US. This highway, which would eventually become the Blue Ridge Parkway, began construction in 1935 and was completed in the late 1980s. Marion is located near the southern end of the Parkway, making it a prime starting point for a scenic drive.
5. The Creation of Pisgah National Forest - In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill creating the Pisgah National Forest, which includes much of the land surrounding Marion. The forest is home to numerous waterfalls, hiking trails, and campgrounds, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
6. The Founding of Montreat College - In 1916, Presbyterian minister John C. Collins founded Montreat College in Montreat, which is just a short drive from Marion. The college is still in operation today and is known for its strong liberal arts programs.
7. The Arrival of the Catawba and Cherokee Tribes - The Catawba and Cherokee tribes have a long history in the area surrounding Marion. Evidence of Cherokee settlements can still be found throughout the region, and the Catawba tribe operates a reservation near the town of Rock Hill, SC.
Overall, Marion, NC and the surrounding area have played a significant role in the history of the United States. From Revolutionary War battles to the creation of national forests and scenic highways, there is much to explore and learn in this beautiful part of the country.
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