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Prof. Elisha Mitchell


Information provided by Mark Huber and Wikipedia 

Prof. Elisha Mitchell (August 19, 1793 June 27, 1857) was an American educator, geologist and Presbyterian minister. As a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1835, he measured the height of Mt. Mitchell. Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. It is located in North Carolina and is 6,684 feet (2,037 m) high. Elisha Mitchell fell to his death at nearby Mitchell Falls in 1857, having returned to verify his earlier measurements which were challenged by one of his students. In 1881-82 the U.S. Geological Survey upheld Mitchell's measurement of the highest peak in the eastern US and officially named it Mount Mitchell.

Mitchell Falls, where Prof. Elisha Mitchell fell to his death in 1857.  

Old linen postcards of Mitchell Falls and Blue Sea Falls, both located in the Wilson Boundary.

Prof. Elisha Mitchell's pocket watch, forever frozen in time, marking that fatal moment at 8:19 P.M. when he fell to his death on June 27th, 1857 at the waterfall that now bears his name. 

This account contains information and details regarding the search for Prof. Mitchell that do not appear in any other story, in addition to the story of how the bronze monument erected in his memory was transported by rail to the Black Mountain train station near Swannanoa, then painstakingly carried 
up the "Swannanoa Trail" to Mount Mitchell, in August of 1888. Written by William B. Phillips, who graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1877.

The first tower at Mt. Mitchell, a simple tripod; Elisha Mitchell's cairn (stones) in the foreground.

The short lived bronze monument to  Prof. Elisha Mitchell's.

Prof. Elisha Mitchell's tomb on Mount Mitchell . The new observation platform is in the background.

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Last Updated 03/26/2017 09:52 AM by Rick Silvers contact me: rsilvers@mebtel.net