Authors: Judy Carson & Terry McKinney
The region that is now Altapass was settled in the last third of the 18th century by restless and brave souls of Scot-Irish descent. The most colorful and prolific of these was Charlie McKinney, a man set upon making a life for himself, his 4 wives, and his 48 children in the Appalachian wilderness. His children intermarried with many families, including the Davenports, Biddixes, Halls, and Wisemans, to establish a community that has survived and thrived in this rugged paradise. Change has often come to the community in sudden bursts, including the arrival of the railroad a century ago, which gave the community its life, name, and most enduring institution, the Orchard at Altapass.