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Shelving Rock at Roan Mountain

By 1780, the Patriots were loosing the battle for independence from Britain. All the northern ports had been captured. General Lord Corwallis was sweeping through the south, reestablishing British rule and crushing the all hope for freedom. In his final sweep, General Cornwallis send his formidable, fierce, brilliant officer, Major Patrick Ferguson, to squelch his left flank into submission to the Crown. Rather than waiting for Major Ferguson to come in force to them, ordinary citizens from Virginia and North Carolina gathered to hunt down Maj. Ferguson on September 24, 1780 in Abingdon, VA.

On September 26, 1790, Mary Paton, a local gunpowder maker, in open defiance to the Crown, provided these men with 500 pound of rich gunpowder. To keep the powder dry from the snow and heavy rains, they stored it in a dry cave at the base of Roan Mountain (in current day Tennessee) known as "Shelving Rock".

These men, known as Overmountain Men, mustered more men from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia as they marched southward through the Appalachian Mountains. On October 7, 1780, they surrounded Maj. Ferguson and his army at Kings Mountain, SC . After an intense battle, Maj. Ferguson was dead and the rest of his 1,000 man army were dead or captured. The Battle of Kings Mountain was one of the major turning points of the American Revolution. 

In 1980, Congress designated the route of the Overmountain Men to the Battle of Kings Mountain as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. The friends group of this trail, the  Overmountain Victory Trial Association (OVTA) has been diligently working to preserve our history and the trail. Now the OVTA, together with local land owners and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy have banded together to save this important landmark and the site of the encampment across the road.

This project is the creation of a printed preservation plan of the Shelving Rock at Roan Mountain with the shaded relief map of the property being the main emphasis.. This preservation plan will be presented to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy; they will in turn distribute it to their various funding sources to save Shelving Rock. The presentation of this project is due May 1st. The mandatory elements are :

  • OVTA, OVHTA and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy's logos,
  • design elements from the OVTA's In Their Footsteps
  • maps, parcels and GIS data of Shelving Rock
  • shaded relief map of the property to be purchased
  • pictures of the landmarks of the property
  • historical significance of the property
  • USGS data downloads of the property

The budget of this project is all volunteer (effectively $0) with access to Adobe CS6 Design Suite, OVTA, photography  and Natural Graphics's Natural Scene Designer™ Premium 6.0 for Mac OS X with Natural Graphics's United States 3D Terrain Models.. 

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