In celebration of National Trails Day - the first Saturday of June each year - here’s a bit of local history that has been passed down through the years. It’s a classic mountain tale shared through storytelling which has been interwoven with bits and pieces of history.
Did you ever hear of the old Harp Trace? Uncle Dave Summers got to reminiscing one day and Uncle Dave had seen a lot of water go under the bridge since the day he was born in Morgan County in the mid 1800’s. Uncle Dave could point out to you signs of the old Harp Trace, but its history was old even when he was a small boy.
The story has it that this was an old buffalo and Indian trail, before the Revolutionary war, which passed in the vicinity of Pilot mountain, ran in a northwesterly direction, and crossed Boone’s Camp creek at the back of Uncle Dave’s home. This trail led over the points of ridges in a fairly direct line without any definite attempt to follow a minimum grade line. One guess is, and it is only conjecture, that Daniel Boone, in 1760, followed this trail and made his camp where it crossed the creek that is now named in honor of this event. I would like more definite information as to the exact location of Boone’s legendary camp site.
This trail later came to be known as Harp’s Trace, recognizing some thoroughly dishonorable brothers of the name who frequented it over the territory described above. The story goes that these Harp brothers on one occasion attacked one James Brasel and his brother, Robert, killing James. Brasel’s body was wrapped in chestnut bark and carried to the Col. Davidson burying ground at the old fruit orchard north of Lancing, where it was buried.
While exploring Morgan County in the 21st century, if you’re looking for trails to explore, they abound here. Be sure to follow the Hike MoCo page on Facebook to learn more about our trails and meet other kindred spirits.