This classic photograph portrays the hardy mountain settlers who created a community out of the wilderness that was the Blue Ridge Mountains. Isaac Hollifield was a descendent of one of five Hollifield brothers who moved into the area that is now McDowell and Mitchell County in the early 1800’s. Many of these family members populated the North Cove, Turkey Cove, Armstrong, and Little Switzerland Communities. Isaac was the son of “Gray” Daniel Hollifield. He was well known to summer residents of the Little Switzerland as the man who took them to and from the foot of Mount Mitchell to camp. Isaac married Millie Shuford, with whom he had five children. He was born in 1860 and died in 1947. His philosophy on life compared people to leaves, who “drap off one by one. And when your time comes, we’ll miss you fer a spell. And then, we’ll fergit.”

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