North Carolina's newest county, Avery, has had a history of isolation as a frontier landscape. The first permanent settler to Avery County, Samuel Bright, came in 1774, followed by a slow and steady stream of intrepid men, who built their homes on the hillsides. The area grew with this migration but the Civil War isolated the area again as access to news, ideas, and education were limited. The area was slow to recover, but the discovery of mica in 1870 became an important factor in what is now Avery. Income has also come from the county's substantial woodlands and the good roads have brought in jobs and tourism. Despite the impact of highways, tourism, mining, education, and nearby jobs, the area remains rural and agricultural in nature, but whose geographical isolation is now considered beautiful, rather than ugly.