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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 

Buncombe County North Carolina Historical Markers

 
"The Block" Marker image, Touch for more information
By Michael C. Wilcox, September 4, 2016
"The Block" Marker
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — "The Block"
Eagle Street traditionally has been the commercial, cultural, and professional center of the African-American community. The YMI Cultural Center, commissioned by George W. Vanderbilt in 1892 as the Young Men's Institute, was renovated in the 1980s. . . . — Map (db m98367) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery — "Ready to Take the Field"
Gen. Davis Tillson raised 1,700-man 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery in Tennessee and North Carolina in 1864. The unit encamped nearby while garrisoned in Asheville in 1865. Assigned to Tillson's 2nd brigade, the men participated in operations in . . . — Map (db m55571) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Appalachian Stage
Since 1902, when the first city auditorium was built here, this area has been a center for entertainment and the preservation of Southern Appalachian culture. Acclaim has gone to composer Boscom Lamar Lunsford and playwright Hubert Hayes for . . . — Map (db m36176) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Ashe Monument
Dedicated to the memory of Samuel Ashe 1725 - 1813 Distinguished North Carolinian Governor, Statesman and Jurist in whose honor the City of Asheville was named — Map (db m30120) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-61 — Asheville Normal School
Presbyterian. Opened 1887 as Home Industrial School. Teacher's College 1892-1944. Stood nearby. — Map (db m56622) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Asheville's Enslaved People — Wartime Servitude
When the war began, more than 15 percent of Buncombe County’s residents were enslaved people. James Patton housed slaves behind his Eagle Hotel (straight ahead), where they worked as waiter, maids, grooms, cooks, and trail guides. Three blocks to . . . — Map (db m75507) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Battery Porter — Napoleons on Stony Hill
Near the end of the Civil War in 1865, Confederate Battery Porter was positioned uphill to your right on Stony Hill, at that time the highest point in Asheville. The battery included four 12-pounder field pieces known as Napoleons, a model 1857 . . . — Map (db m75505) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-56 — Battle of Asheville
. . . — Map (db m55543) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Battle of Asheville — Kirby's Expedition
On April 3, 1865, Union Col. Isaac M. Kirby left Tennessee with 900 men including his own 101st Ohio Infantry for “a scout in the direction of Asheville.” Three days later, local resident Nicholas Woodfin spotted the Federals on the . . . — Map (db m75534) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 68 — Biltmore House
Designed for George W. Vanderbilt by Richard M. Hunt. Constructed, 1890-1895. Opened to public, 1930. Three miles west. — Map (db m12704) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Birthplace of American Forestry
George W. Vanderbilt, following the recommendation of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, was the first American landowner to implement scientific forestry, the management and conservation of forest lands, on a large scale. He hired Gifford . . . — Map (db m58507) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Brick Artisan
James Vester Miller was chief brickmason for the 1925 Municipal Building. The cornucopias over the side doorway mark the entrance to the City Market, located there from 1926 to 1932. Of slave parentage, Miller achieved renown as a craftsman, . . . — Map (db m98368) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Buncombe County Court House — 1927
1927 Buncombe County Court House Erected by the People of Buncombe County Board of County Commissioners Hon.E.M.Lyda Chairman Hon.W.E.Johnson~Hon.W.E.McLean Burgin Pernnell County Attorney L.E.Jarrett County . . . — Map (db m18694) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-77 — Buncombe Turnpike
Opened up western N.C. Built, 1824-28; the 75-mi. long route from S.C. line to Tenn. line, used by settlers & livestock drovers, passed nearby. — Map (db m55544) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Civic Pride
Asheville's central square has long served the needs of government and commerce. From 1892 to 1926 a massive city hall with a bell tower dominated the east end. The building housed police and fire departments in addition to municipal offices. . . . — Map (db m17062) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 57 — Confederate Armory
Manufactured Enfield-type rifles. In 1863 Plant moved to Columbia.S.C. Building was located 1/4 mi.SE.Burned in 1865. — Map (db m30269) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Crossroads
Native American trails guided settlers to this site, where in 1793 the Buncombe County Court placed the first courthouse, prison, and stocks. With the opening of the Buncombe Turnpike in 1827, this public square became a crossroads for stagecoach . . . — Map (db m97553) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Daniel K. Moore — 1906 - 1986
Governor, 1965~1969; N.C. Supreme Court Justice, 1969~1978; Judge;Legislator & Business Leader. "Man of the Mountains." Birthplace was nearby. — Map (db m56353) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-5 — David L. Swain
Governor and political leader. President of the University of North Carolina, 1835-1868. Was born three miles E. — Map (db m31260) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.
Dr. Blackwell was the first woman awarded a medical degree in the United States. She began privately her medical studies in Asheville in 1845 under Dr. John Dickson, for whom she taught music at Dickson private school for girls. The school was . . . — Map (db m31663) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Ellington's Dream
In 1926 Asheville and Buncombe County officials considered erecting matching government buildings on Court Plaze. The city chose Douglas Ellington's Beaux-Art design with its Art Deco embellishments. The county, however, rejected Ellington's plan . . . — Map (db m98371) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-95 — Flood of 1916
Devastated western N.C. and western Piedmont; destroyed homes, crops, mills, bridges. Four lives lost, July 16, near main gate of Biltmore Estate. — Map (db m97531) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-30 — Forester A. Sondley — 1857 ~ 1931
Historian, lawyer, and bibliophile. Gave to Asheville the Sondley Reference Library. His home is 2.7 mi. north. — Map (db m56288) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-33 — Francis Asbury
Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1784-1816, often visited and preached at the home of Daniel Killian which was one mile east. — Map (db m31456) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Frederick Law Olmsted — Biltmore Estate Landscape Architect — 1822 - 1903
As work progressed on Biltmore Estate, his last and largest private project, Frederick Law Olmsted observed, "It is a great work of peace we are engaged in and one of these days we shall all be proud of our parts in it." It was Olmstead who . . . — Map (db m58506) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Historic Hilltop — Asheville Urban Trail
Colonel Frank Coxe opened the first Battery Park Hotel in 1886. The rambling structure on a hill top became internationally prominent, catering to famous guests. In the early 1920s Edwin W. Groves purchased the property. He built a brand new Battery . . . — Map (db m30224) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Hotel District — (of Asheville, N.C.)
An ornamental eagle perched high in front of the Eagle Hotel one block south. Irish immigrant James Patton opened the hostelry in 1814. Almost opposite the Eagle, the Swannanoa Hotel began operation in 1878, making South Main Street - now . . . — Map (db m57588) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Immortal Image
Reminiscent of Asheville's Victorian past, the Drhumor Building across Church Street was built in 1895 by William J. Cocke and family. Fred Miles, Biltmore Hourse sculptor, carved the limestone frieze. Immortalized in stone is on the east side is . . . — Map (db m97545) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 32 — Jeter C. Pritchard
United States Senator, 1895-1903. Republican leader, newspaperman, federal judge. His home is 3/10 mile east; grave is 1.3 mi. west. — Map (db m12708) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 94 — Jimmie Rodgers — 1897-1933
"Singing Brakeman" lived in Asheville, 1927. Began his country music career with radio broadcasts on WWNC, then 50 yds. W. — Map (db m84784) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-49 — Joseph Lane
Territorial Governor of Oregon, 1848-50, Vice-Presidential candidate, 1860, U.S. Senator, major general in Mexican War. Born 3 miles east — Map (db m31534) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-44 — Kiffin Y. Rockwell
World War I soldier, aviator. First pilot of Escadrille Lafayette to shoot down enemy plane. Killed in action, Sept. 23, 1916. Home 200 yds. W. — Map (db m31325) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Landsman Riley Powers — Mountain Sailor
Early in 1861, Buncombe County farmer William Riley Powers joined the Rough and Ready Guards (Co. F, 14th North Carolina Infantry). The regiment was assigned to southeastern Virginia. There, Confederate Gen. Benjamin Huger discharged Pvts. Powers . . . — Map (db m75532) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-29 — Lee's School — 1846-1879
. . . — Map (db m57304) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 79 — Lillian Exum Clement Stafford — 1894 - 1925
First female legislator in the South. Elected to N.C. House, 1920. Her law office was 400 yds west; home ½ mi. NE. — Map (db m12707) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-22 — Locke Craig — 1860 ~ 1924
Governor, 1913-1917. He created the state highway & fisheries commissions, est. Mt. Mitchell State Park. Lived 1/2 mi. W. — Map (db m57111) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Monument Corner
W.O. Wolfe's tombstone shop, fondly recalled by his son, Thomas in Look Homeward Angel, once stood on this corner. During the boom of the 1920s, real estate developer L.B. Jackson purchased the property from Julia Westall Wolfe and built . . . — Map (db m97548) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 18 — Newton Academy
Established before 1793 as Union Hill Academy. Named for George Newton. Later site of a public school. Building stood 200 feet east. — Map (db m2277) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — O. Henry
William Sydney Porter, whose pen name was O. Henry, rented an office nearby in 1909-1910. Popular for his short stories, especially "The Gift of the Magi," he was inspired to write "Let Me Feel Your Pulse" by a visit to an Asheville physician. . . . — Map (db m97533) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-78 — Olive Tilford Dargan — 1869-1968
Writer of fiction and poetry. "Fielding Burke," her pen name. Author of Call Home the Heart and Highland Annals. Home, 1925-68, was 1/4 mile N. — Map (db m57222) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Past and Promise
Until electricity was introduced in the late 1880s, gas and kerosene lamps provided lighting in Public Square—now Pack Square. Horse-head fountains, fed from a reservoir on Beaucatcher Mountain, were affixed to lampposts at the east and west . . . — Map (db m98364) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Private George Avery — South Asheville Colored Cemetery
George Avery, a 19-year-old enslaved blacksmith, joined Co. D, 40th United States Colored Troops, in Greeneville, Tennessee, in 1865. According to local tradition, his master, Confederate Maj. William W. McDowell, sent Avery to enlist for a post-war . . . — Map (db m75527) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 36 — Richmond Pearson — 1852 - 1923
Congressman, 1895-1901; U.S. Minister to Persia, 1902-1907, and to Greece and Montenegro, 1907-09. His home, “Richmond Hill,” was ½ mile N.W. — Map (db m71110) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-3 — Riverside Cemetery
Graves of Thomas Wolfe & "O. Henry," authors; Zebulon B. Vance, governor; Thomas L. Clingman and Robert R. Reynolds, U.S. senators. One-half mile W. — Map (db m97532) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Robert E. Lee — Dixie Highway
Erected and Dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Friends In loving memory of Robert E. Lee and to mark the route of the Dixie Highway “The shaft memorial and highway straight attest his worth . . . — Map (db m31578) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 37 — Rutherford Trace
The expedition led by Gen. Griffith Rutherford against the Cherokee, September, 1776, passed nearby on the banks of the Swannanoa River. — Map (db m2279) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 38 — Rutherford Trace
The expedition led by Gen. Griffith Rutherford against the Cherokee, September 1776, passed nearby. — Map (db m17056) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Smith-McDowell House — Our Businessman-Soldier
After John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1859, new militia companies were formed in the South. Businessman William W. McDowell, whose wife acquired this house from her father’s and brother’s estates, raised a company called the . . . — Map (db m75524) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — St. Genevieve ~ Of ~ The ~ Pines
The Religious of Christian Education, an order of nuns originally from France, established Hillside Convent School on January 6, 1908. In 1910, the school was moved to this site and renamed St. Genevieve~of~the~Pines. For eight decades, the . . . — Map (db m57479) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Stepping Out
The coming of the railroad and tuberculosis sanitariums in the 1880s prompted a population explosion in Asheville. On Patton Avenue the Grand Central Hotel opened circa 1880 and the Grand Opera House in 1890. Later, vaudeville and motion picture . . . — Map (db m97550) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 9 — Stoneman's Raid
On a raid through western North Carolina Gen. Stoneman's U.S. Cavalry occupied Asheville on April 26, 1865. — Map (db m12768) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-53 — Sulphur Springs
Health & social resort during the nineteenth century; patronized by low-country planters. Springs are 600 yds. S. — Map (db m17093) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — The County of Buncombe
Near and West of this spot at Gum Spring The County of Buncombe was organized on April 16, 1792 under act of the General Assembly of North Carolina Erected by The National Society of the Colonial Dames Of America In the State of . . . — Map (db m12831) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — The Early Years In Asheville's Historic Central Square
Buncombe County was carved out of a magnificent mountain landscape etched by indigenous trails and scattered settlements. The bill creating the county was ratified on January 14, 1792. In 1793, the county's first official courthouse, a jail and . . . — Map (db m98370) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-56 — The University of North Carolina at Asheville
Established 1927; became Asheville-Biltmore College 1936. Moved here in 1961. A campus of The University of North Carolina, 1969. — Map (db m55545) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P 17 — Thomas Wolfe
Author of "Look Homeward Angel" (1929)."Of Time and the River", and other works. Home stands 200 yards N., birthplace 500 yds. N.E. — Map (db m12706) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Thomas Wolfe House / Dixieland — Old Kentucky Home
Dixieland Asheville native Thomas Wolfe achieved international fame with the publication of his first full-length novel, Look Homeward, Angel, in 1929. Many of the incidents in the book took place in his mother's boardinghouse, "Old . . . — Map (db m12757) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — To Honor the Revolutionary Soldiers — Buried in Buncombe County, N.C.
James Alexander • Zebulon Baird • Willian Brittain • Adam Cooper • Samuel Davidson • Willian Davidson • Lot Harper • Joseph Harrison • William Moore • John Patton • Daniel Smith • Valentine Thrash • David Vance • Robert Williamson . . . — Map (db m37193) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Trinity Episcopal Church — Built 1911 - 1913
Designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, New York Has been placed on the National Register Of Historic Places By the United States Department of the Interior — Map (db m32324) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Walk Into History
The Urban Trail, a self-guided walk through historic downtown, begins here at the heart of the city, the public square. Philanthropist George Willis Pack, for whom the square was named in 1903, gave generously to the entire community. So too, the . . . — Map (db m98369) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — War with Spain
This marker is erected in loving memory of the men of Buncombe County who volunteered and served in the War with Spain, the insurrection in the Philippines and the China Relief Expedition, 1898 - 1902 — Map (db m37194) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Wartime Jail — Asheville's Prisons
During the war, many large buildings such as schools, warehouses, and churches became temporary prisons in Southern cities. After Asheville's jail on Pack Square overflowed with Confederate draft evaders, deserters, Union prisoners of war, and . . . — Map (db m59170) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Western North Carolina Veterans Memorial
[inscriptions, west center interior] "It is the Veteran:" It is the Veteran who has given us and defended Freedom of Religion. It is the Veteran who has given us and defended Freedom of Press. It is the Veteran who has given us . . . — Map (db m30268) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-88 — Young Men’s Institute
Est. 1892 as a center for social, moral, religious influence for blacks working at Biltmore. Businesses thrived in building 100 yards, S. — Map (db m30151) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — Zebulon Baird Vance
. . . — Map (db m32044) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Asheville — P-89 — Zelda Fitzgerald — 1900-1948
Writer, artist, Jazz Age icon; wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. On Mar. 10, 1948, died in Highland Hospital fire, Ό mi. S. — Map (db m55546) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Bent Creek — P- 35 — Dr. L.B. McBrayer
Leader in fight against tuberculosis in North Carolina, Superintendent of State Sanatorium in Hoke County, 1914–24. His birthplace is 400 ft. W. — Map (db m56701) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Bent Creek — French Broad River
The French Broad River played a major role in this region’s early development. Initially called the “Broad River” by eighteenth-century French hunters and traders, it was later named the French Broad River. With headwaters on Pisgah . . . — Map (db m58937) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Black Mountain — P-21 — Andrι Michaux
French botanist, pioneer in studying flora of western North Carolina, visited Black Mountains, August, 1794. — Map (db m56096) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Black Mountain — P-64 — Black Mountain College
Est. in 1933; closed 1956. Experimental school with emphasis on fine arts & progressive education. Campus was 3 mi. NW. — Map (db m56119) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Black Mountain — P-93 — Geodesic Domes
Prototype domes built nearby in 1948 & 1949 by Buckminster Fuller while he taught at Black Mountain College. — Map (db m97525) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Black Mountain — P-84 — Montreat College
Presbyterian. Opened in 1916 as Montreat Normal School. First president was Robert C. Anderson. Campus is 2 miles N. — Map (db m97530) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Black Mountain — P-72 — Mount Mitchell Railroad
Opened Black Mountains to logging and tourism. Built, 1911-1914. Ran from point nearby to Camp Alice, 21 mi. NE. — Map (db m56700) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Enka Village — Home Place of Capt. Wm. Moore
Here on land granted him in 1787. He erected the first house of white settlers west of the Blue Ridge. Capt. Moore and his troops camped near here when on the Rutherford Expedition against the Cherokee in 1776. Erected by Unaka . . . — Map (db m56431) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Enka Village — P-54 — William Moore
Captain of militia force which marched against the Cherokee in Nov., 1776. A fort which he built stood near here. His home was 200 yds. E. — Map (db m57152) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Fairview — Gen. William J. Palmer — Quaker Warrior — Stoneman's Raid
(preface) On March 24, 1865, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 6,000 cavalrymen from Tennessee into southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina to disrupt the Confederate supply line by destroying sections of the Virginia and Tennessee . . . — Map (db m75541) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Fairview — P-60 — Sherrill's Inn
Established in 1834 to serve travelers crossing Hickory Nut Gap. In continuous service until 1909. House stands 300 yards south. — Map (db m57303) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Hominy — P-39 — Rutherford Trace
The expedition led by Gen. Griffith Rutherford against the Cherokee, Sept., 1776, camped near-by along Hominy Creek. — Map (db m17094) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Ridgecrest — P-55 — Stoneman's Raid
Southern troops turned back Stoneman's U.S. cavalry, raiding through western North Carolina, at Swannanoa Gap, near here, April 20, 1865. — Map (db m55830) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Ridgecrest — N-32 — Swannanoa Gap
Used by Indians and pioneers in crossing Blue Ridge. General Rutherford's expedition against Cherokee passed here, September, 1776. — Map (db m57036) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Ridgecrest — Swannanoa Gap Engagement — Blocking the Way
Stoneman's Raid On March 24, 1865, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 6,000 cavalrymen from Tennessee into southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina to disrupt the Confederate supply line by destroying sections of the Virginia and Tennessee . . . — Map (db m55971) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Ridgecrest — P-46 — Swannanoa Tunnel
Longest (1,800 ft.) of 7 on railroad between Old Fort and Asheville. Constructed by convict labor, 1877-79. West entrance 300 yds. S.E. — Map (db m56855) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Swannanoa — P-69 — Warren Wilson College
Founded in 1894 by the Presbyterian Church as Asheville Farm School. A four-year college since 1966. 1 1/2 mi. E. — Map (db m57301) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Weaverville — Brothers In Service — Zebulon and Robert Vance Brithplace
Here were born two notable Buncombe County brothers, Zebulon Baird Vance (1830-1894) and Robert Brank Vance (1828-1899). Zebulon Vance was a Whig and supporter of the Union who opposed secession until the last moment. At the outbreak of war in . . . — Map (db m23138) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Weaverville — P-74 — Weaver College
Founded as Weaverville College, 1873; Methodist, coeducational. In 1934 merged with Rutherford to form Brevard College. Campus was one block W. — Map (db m55842) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Weaverville — P 2 — Zebulon B. Vance
Governor, 1862 - 5, 1877 - 9; U.S. Senator, 1879 - 94. Birthplace 6 Miles Northeast. — Map (db m22782) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), West Asheville — "End of Car Line" — 1890-1934 — Built by Edwin G. Carrier
The west Asheville & Sulphur springs electric railway ran from the springs to Government Street, at what is now Pritchard Park Fare 5’ — Map (db m17055) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), West Asheville — P-86 — Electric Streetcars
First electric trolley system in N.C. opened, Feb. 1, 1889, bolstering regional tourism. Served train depot 1/4 mile S.E. — Map (db m17058) HM
North Carolina (Buncombe County), Woodfin — P-16 — Bingham School
A boys' military school, operated by Robert Bingham, 1891-1928. Moved from Mebane. Campus was 1 mile S.W. — Map (db m97523) HM

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