History

Tree tops at The Cove at Celo Mountain
Mountainside ablaze with autumn colors at The Cove at Celo Mountain

Rooted in Tradition

The Cove at Celo Mountain is located on the northeast slope of Celo Mountain. With an elevation of 6,327 feet, Celo Mountain is among the highest peaks in the eastern US and one of the oldest rock formations in the world. At one time higher than the Himalayas, eons of water and wind have softened its ridges and valleys. Celo Mountain is part of the Black Mountain range, which contains the headwaters of the ancient South Toe and Cane rivers. Their tributaries and branches fan out across a landscape rich in natural and agricultural resources.

Eight hundred years ago, the Yancey County area was a thoroughfare and hunting ground for the Cherokee Indians. In the mid-1700s, Scottish, English and Irish farmers settled the mountains and fertile river valleys. The original settlers’ cabins and Cherokee villages have long since vanished, replaced over time by quaint towns and hamlets sprinkled throughout the valleys and in the various hollows of the surrounding mountains.

This land was heavily mined from the mid 1800s through the mid 1900s for mica, feldspar, lithium and other minerals. Logging during the 1900s resulted in new hardwood forests and lush undergrowth.

Yancey County is known for preserving its local cultures and traditions, including the architecture of past generations. Today young and old alike celebrate Yancey County’s multi-cultural heritage through education, music, storytelling, crafts and other special events.

The Cove at Celo Mountain supports and reflects the strong cultural influences that have shaped this deeply historic region.