The Grassy Mountain area of Mitchell and McDowell counties was long a traditional settlement of Scotch-Irish families. In the summer of 1909, Charlotte lawyer Heriot Clarkson discovered the Alpine-like setting and laid plans for a resort colony. Heriot’s Switzerland Company purchased 1100 acres, arranged for railroad and toll road access, and began to build Swiss-style cottages. Construction of the Blue ridge Parkway after 1930 drew growing numbers of visitors. The Big Lynn Lodge was built on the site of a great Linden tree where, tradition has it, the Over Mountain Men rested on their way to victory in the Revolutionary War Battle of King’s Mountain. Little Switzerland has endured as a retreat center and tourist attraction into the 21st century.