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Conservancy protects Lost Cove ghost town



1/23/2013 - Conservancy protects Lost Cove ghost town
by Karen Chavez - Asheville Citizen Times


The Nolichucky River and Gorge can be seen from the Lost Cove property, a 95-acre tract in Yancey and Mitchell counties recently purchased by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

ASHEVILLE -- The legacy of illicit moonshining -- as well as the beauty of bleeding heart and Virginia spiraea -- will be forever preserved with the recent protection of historic Lost Cove in remote and rugged Nolichucky Gorge.

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently purchased the 95-acre Lost Cove tract, an in-holding of Pisgah National Forest near the North Carolina-Tennessee border in Yancey and Mitchell counties.

Well-known in local lore as a ghost town, Lost Cove has a colorful history of homesteaders, railroad crews, timber and moonshine, and is a scenic home to endangered plants and wildlife.

"The opportunity to save this significant part of Lost Cove was very important and welcome to those of us who live in its vicinity, who know personally of its special natural and historical significance and have long hoped it would one day be protected," David Ramsey, SAHC trustee, said in a statement.

The remote Lost Cove property is considered one of the more unique properties SAHC has ever protected and is entirely within the Nolichucky River Gorge Significant Natural Heritage Area, said SAHC membership director Cheryl Fowler.

The property was one of the last that wrapped up a banner year for SAHC, the Asheville-based land trust, which protected nearly 10,000 acres in 2012, for a total of some 60,000 acres since its start in 1974, Fowler said.

She said the Lost Cove tract was bought for $195,000, all raised from private donations.

"Lost Cove is identified as one of the eastern United States' most legendary ghost towns," Fowler said.


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