Whiteside Mountain

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Whiteside Mountain
Elevation 4,930 ft (1,500 m)
Location
Location Jackson County, North Carolina, U.S.
Range Appalachian Mountains
Coordinates 35°04′51″N 83°08′18″W / 35.0809°N 83.1382°W / 35.0809; -83.1382
Topo map USGS Highlands

Whiteside Mountain is a mountain in Jackson County, North Carolina between Cashiers, Highlands, North Carolina, and the Georgia border.[1] Whiteside Mountain can boast the highest cliffs in Eastern North America.[2] It also has a feature called Devil's Courthouse,[3] not to be confused with the Devil's Courthouse 20 miles away in Transylvania County, NC.[4]

Since the 1980s, the park service has tried to restrict access to the Courthouse and has allowed the foot trail to it to grow over because of dangers such as strong winds. They also did not want accidents from paragliding and similar activities taking place from the mountain top or from the Courthouse. There is also an overhang, a small platform less than 7 feet in diameter, connected to Whiteside as if it were a cantilever. Similar overhangs can be found on the Appalachian Trail.

History[edit]

The Cherokee name for Whiteside mountain is Sanigilâ'gĭ.[5][6]

Legend of Spear Finger[edit]

Cherokee myth says that Spear-finger, the powerful woman monster, built a bridge from the Hiwassee River to Whiteside Mountain.[6][7]

Legend of De Soto[edit]

The overhanging edge has a message carved into it, which reads that Hernando de Soto was there and that it was carved by his men who allegedly threw over their sick, crippled horses there. However, it is likely a hoax carved by some boys sometime in 1926 when there was probably much more of the overhang than there is today. Since the terrain is too rough for men and horses to get through, for De Soto to have come through here at a time when there were no roads or pathways is unlikely. De Soto's route most likely took him through the Cumberland Gap from South Carolina.

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Whiteside Mountain
  2. ^ "H1271 [Edition 2]". Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  3. ^ "An Inventory of the Significant Natural Areas of Jackson County, North Carolina" (pdf). Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Devil's Courthouse Tunnel
  5. ^ Ellison, George; Mooney, James E. (1992). James Mooney's history, myths, and sacred formulas of the Cherokees: containing the full texts of Myths of the Cherokee (1900) and The sacred formulas of the Cherokees (1891) as published by the Bureau of American Ethnology: with a new biographical introduction, James Mooney and the eastern Cherokees. Asheville, NC: Bright Mountain Books (Historical Images). ISBN 0-914875-19-1.  p467
  6. ^ a b Setzer, Lynn (October 31, 1999). "Once upon a time ...". The Raleigh News & Observer. pp. 316, 444, 467.  Full text
  7. ^ Ellison, George; Mooney, James E. (1992). James Mooney's history, myths, and sacred formulas of the Cherokees: containing the full texts of Myths of the Cherokee (1900) and The sacred formulas of the Cherokees (1891) as published by the Bureau of American Ethnology: with a new biographical introduction, James Mooney and the eastern Cherokees. Asheville, NC: Bright Mountain Books (Historical Images). ISBN 0-914875-19-1.  p 316 and also 444 & 467

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°04′51″N 83°08′18″W / 35.0809°N 83.1382°W / 35.0809; -83.1382