Visitors have been coming to Chimney Rock in Rutherford County since 1883. Lucius Morse and his brothers purchased it in 1902, for $5,000 and planned to develop it as a tourist attraction. The park has belonged to Morse family ever since. Over the years millions of people have visited the rock and made the climb to the top to enjoy the spectacular view. Recently there were fears that the Morse family would sell the 1,000-acre property, which was valued at $55 million, on the open market. However, in January 2007, Gov. Michael Easley announced that the state had purchased the property, and it will be added to the state park system.