Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for The State Vol. 14 Issue 47, Apr 1947
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Before major infrastructure opened the western mountains for easy access, an enterprising man named Colonel S. V. Pickens tried to take advantage of river travel. In 1878, Pickens secured a charter for the French Broad Steamboat Company and $25,000 in state appropriations to open the French Broad River for river travel. With the charter and state money the Mountain Lily, a river steamboat, was launched in 1881 to run from Hendersonville to Brevard before finally making the trip to Asheville. Though the steamboat could carry passengers and cargo, the river proved inhospitable for river travel and after a few years was abandoned.
Christopher and Augustus Bechtler emigrated from Germany to settle in Rutherford County in 1830. Both were metallurgists and were drawn to Rutherford because of the active gold mining in the region. By 1831, the Bechtler's were minting gold coins in $1, $2.50, and $5 denominations, a government approved endeavor at that time because of non-stringent federal laws. The Charlotte Mint was established in 1837 and by 1840 the Bechtler's had stopped their private coinage business.
Mrs. Mebane Holoman Burgwyn of Woodland wrote a book called \"River Treasure.\" Its intended readership was eight to twelve years old and focused on fictional character 12 year-old Guy Harrison's adventures in the Occoneechee Neck, an impoverished area farmed by African American families. Ralph Ray of Gastonia illustrated the work and despite their collaboration the author and illustrator never met.