The region that is now Altapass was settled in the last third of the 18th century by restless and brave souls of Scot-Irish descent. The most colorful and prolific of these was Charlie
McKinney, a man set upon making a life for himself, his 4 wives, and his 48 children in the Appalachian wilderness. His children intermarried with many families, including the Davenports, Biddixes, Halls, and Wisemans, to establish a community that has survived and thrived in this rugged paradise. Change has often come to the community in sudden bursts, including the arrival of the railroad a century ago, which gave the community its life, name, and most enduring institution, the Orchard at Altapass.
About the Author
Altapass began with the work of authors Judy Carson and Terry McKinney. Indeed, it was Carson’s family who purchased the orchard to preserve it in a period of rapid development. McKinney, a well-known local musician, was born and raised in Altapass and is the great-great-grandson of Charlie McKinney. This volume is the result of the generous contributions of many Altapassers who have been willing to share their pictures and stories to keep this wonderful mountain heritage alive. The images included depict the orchard, local landmarks, and residents, past and present. In their faces, it is clear that this land is beautiful, but taming it has been difficult.