McDowell County is unique culturally and topographically. Formed by legislative action in 1842 from Burke and Rutherford Counties, McDowell's northern and western borders trace the towering heights and rugged terrain of the Blue Ridge, while its eastern and southern borders incorporate broad river bottoms and lower hills of the Piedmont. Showcasing more than 220 images, this volume is a mosaic of McDowell County's first century and covers the towns of Marion and Old Fort, as well as smaller communities like Brackettown, Crooked Creek, Dyartsville, Glenwood, Greenlee, Little Switzerland, Montford's Cove, Nebo, and North Cove. Views of waterfalls on the Catawba River and Tom's Creek, along with those of the eerie limestone formations of Linville Caverns, attest to nature's bounty. Aging photographs, many of which are published for the first time, draw attention to families, churches, schools, memorable personalities, and historic sites. This collection also brings to life the county's defining events: the arduous construction of two railways through the mountains, the destruction of Marion by fire in 1894, the disastrous flood of 1916, the textile strike of 1929, and the patriotic response by the citizenry to national crises. Photographs of selected homes, commercial sites, churches, and schools testify to the diverse architectural style and levels of economic and social well-being found in the county.