Monday, January 29, 2007

Chimney Rock Rocks

The Chimney Rock region has long been known for geological and meteorological mischief. They didn’t call it "Rumbling" Bald Mountain for nothing. April 22, 1875, Asheville’s Citizen newspaper published a correspondent’s account of one recent tremor:

Having often experienced the mutterings and shakings of BALD MOUNTAIN, which are apparently produced by the detachment and falling of large bodies of rock in some subterranean cavern, we are ready to pronounce this last earthly agitation as not of the same class, nor from the same source, but A VERITABLE EARTHQUAKE.

Reporting with vivid detail, the correspondent told of sleepers awakened by a sound like distant thunder from the south:

Nearer it came, until it was discovered to be IN THE EARTH instead of in the atmosphere, and when immediately beneath our feet, the ground on which we stood was palpably elevated as by a wave underneath. The direction of this subterranean wave was due north and south, and it traveled with immense rapidity. The sound produced by it when immediately underneath us was a compound of the heavy rumbling of thunder and THE SHARP RINGING CLASH as of the crushing or breaking of some metalic or brittle substance in the earth.

According to the writer:

While the agitations of Bald Mountain have never been felt or heard but a few miles from its base, this earthquake shock traversed the whole of the mountain region of North Carolina as far as heard from.

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