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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Burnsville in Yancey County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D.

 
 
Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D. Marker image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
1. Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D. Marker
Inscription. Here lies in hope of a blessed resurrection the body of the
Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D.
who after being for thirty-nine years a professor in the University of North Carolina lost his life in the scientific exploration of the mountain, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. June 27, 1887
 
Erected 1888.
 
Location. 35° 45.893′ N, 82° 15.906′ W. Marker is in Burnsville, North Carolina, in Yancey County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 128. Touch for map. Marker is located at the base of the observation tower. Marker is a short, but strenuous walk from the parking area. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2388 State Highway 128, Burnsville NC 28714, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Elisha Mitchell (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Andrews Geyser (approx. 8 miles away); a different marker also named Andrews Geyser (approx. 9.3 miles away); Swannanoa Gap Engagement (approx. 9.9 miles away); Swannanoa Tunnel (approx. 9.9 miles away); Swannanoa Gap (approx. 10 miles away); Stoneman's Raid (approx. 10 miles away); Mount Mitchell Railroad (approx. 10.2 miles away).
 
More about this marker.
Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D. Grave and Marker image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
2. Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D. Grave and Marker
This is a replacement marker, placed in September 1928. The original marker was attached to a zinc obelisk in August 1888. That obelisk was destroyed by high winds on January 1, 1915. The original marker is on display in the museum on site.
 
Regarding Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D.. The following is an excerpt from the web site http://docsouth.unc.edu/browse/bios/pn0001194_bio.html (see links below).

Mitchell is best known for his measurement of the Black Mountain in the Blue Ridge and his claim that one of its peaks was the highest point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. He first noted in 1828, in the diary he kept while working on the geological survey, that he believed the Black Mountain to be the highest peak in the area. In 1835 and again in 1838 he measured the mountain, showing the highest peak to be higher than Mount Washington in New Hampshire's White Mountains. In 1844 he returned with improved instruments and measured the highest peak at 6,708 feet, 250 feet higher than Mount Washington. By that time local people were referring to the peak as Mount Mitchell. However, Mitchell's claim was challenged in 1855, when Senator Thomas Clingman, arguing that Mitchell had measured the wrong peak, insisted that the one he had climbed and measured stood at 6,941 feet. As a result of the ensuing controversy, Mitchell
View of the observation tower and elevation marker - 6684 ft. image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
3. View of the observation tower and elevation marker - 6684 ft.
Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.
returned to the Black Mountain in 1857 in a final attempt to prove Clingman wrong and justify his own previous measurements. On 27 June, leaving his son and guides, he started out alone, was caught in a thunderstorm, and apparently fell down a waterfall and drowned in the pool below.

Elisha Mitchell was buried first in Asheville on 10 July 1857. The following year arrangements were made for reburial on top of Mount Mitchell, and on 16 June 1858, with formal ceremonies and addresses by the Right Reverend Bishop James H. Otey of Tennessee and President David L. Swain, Mitchell's remains were buried on the peak. Today his grave is marked by a memorial plaque and observation tower, and the surrounding area has been established as a state park.
 
Also see . . .
1. Elisha Mitchell, 19 Aug. 1793-27 June 1857. (Submitted on September 4, 2008, by M. L. 'Mitch' Gambrell of Taylors, South Carolina.)
2. History of Mount Mitchell State Park. (Submitted on September 8, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesExplorationNotable PersonsNotable Places
 
Mt. Mitchell State Park entrance sign. image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
4. Mt. Mitchell State Park entrance sign.
View of the observation tower in the distance. image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
5. View of the observation tower in the distance.
View of the parking area from the top of the observation tower. image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
6. View of the parking area from the top of the observation tower.
Park office, rest rooms and concession area at the parking area image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
7. Park office, rest rooms and concession area at the parking area
Distance view from the observation tower. image. Click for full size.
By M. L., November 1, 2003
8. Distance view from the observation tower.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 4, 2008, by M. L. 'Mitch' Gambrell of Taylors, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,063 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 4, 2008, by M. L. 'Mitch' Gambrell of Taylors, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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