Pisgah National Forest, George W. Vanderbilt Marker, Candler
The Pisgah National Forest marker is seven-feet tall by five-feet wide bolder with a bronze plaque. The rectangular 12” X 24” plaque is placed horizontally into the stone and is unadorned aside from decorative framing. The bolder came from the “Pink Beds” located fifteen miles deep into the heart of the forest.
Images: Plaque | Picnic area
PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST / THIS PORTION 83,398 ACRES WAS FORMALLY / PISGAH FOREST / ESTABLISHED BY GEORGE VANDERBILT IN 1891 / AND THE EARLIEST EXAMPLE OF FORESTRY ON A / LARGE SCALE ON PRIVATE LANDS IN AMERICA / ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES ON / 21 MAY, 1914
Pisgah National Forest
October 28, 1920
35.456760 , -82.737980 View in Geobrowse
Donnelly, Leeann. “Local Teen Inspires Pisgah Monument Restoration,” Biltmore.com, August 25, 2015, (accessed February 27, 2017) Link
“An Inscription for Monument,” Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), August 31, 1920
“Boy Scout Project,” Asheville Citizen-Times 2015, www.citizen-times.com, (accessed February 27, 2017) Link
“Bronze Tablet to Vanderbilt to Be Erected In Pisgah Forest,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), August 22, 1920
“George Vanderbilt Tablet Will Be Dedicated at Pisgah Forest Today,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), October 28, 1920
“Memorial to G.W. Vanderbilt Places at Pisgah Forest Thursday,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), October 29, 1920
“Pisgah Inn. Tablet Commemorating the Dedication of Pisgah National Forest,” in E. M. Ball Photographic Collection (1918-1969) D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804 Link
Bronze, granite boulder
Southern Forest Congress
Approximately 500 people “motored” the 20 mile, one hour drive from Asheville to attend the dedication near the forest entrance. Speaking at the dedication, former N.C. Governor Locke Craig (#864 link), said that the finest thing Vanderbilt ever did for this state was the “preservation in all its primeval grandeur and beauty of this great forest.”
The placement of this memorial followed a resolution by the Southern Forest Congress in 1916 to honor the connection of George Vanderbilt with creation of the Pisgah National Forest and development of scientific forestry care. The United States entry into World War One delayed placement of the plaque until 1920.
The marker is located at an entrance into Pisgah Forest that is no longer heavily used. Modern interstates and major highways do not provide direct access to this part of the forest but in 1920 it was the auto road to Mt. Pisgah and George Vanderbilt’s mountain retreat, Buckspring Lodge. The Stoney Point Picnic area where the marker is located is seldom used and not well maintained. As a result the maker had become overgrown with vines and bushes. It was restored in 2015 as an Eagle Scout project by Levi Smith of Troop 58 in West Asheville. Smith had discovered the marker while on a camping trip. Biltmore (House) provided support for the restoration with funding and assistance from their conservation staff.
The marker is located across the road from Stony Fork picnic area on South Pisgah Highway (NC 151). It is exactly 7.5 miles down South Pisgah Highway one turning off of US19/23 outside of Candler, NC.
The Stony Fork picnic area is surrounded dense hemlock forest on all sides. Vacation rental cabins are a short distance away.