Highlands hero, Charlie Wright received a gold medal. Will Dillard was awarded a silver medal.
The Carnegie Medal is a three-inch medallion awarded to civilians who risk their lives saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Andrew Carnegie’s profile dominates one side of the medal. The reverse includes a cartouche, or inscription plate, which carries an embossed statement naming the rescuer, the rescued, the place, and the date of the heroic act. With the cash prize that came with the medal, Wrigh
“Fool’s Rock,” less than five feet wide, juts out over the valley floor, 2,000 feet below. Today, a guardrail protects visitors from the sheer drop.
Like these in 1909 (right), would picnic among large rocks that circled the campground at the end of Kelsey Trail. On that fateful day in 1911, 13 friends went up to Whiteside. Photograph courtesy of Tammy Lowe.
When Highlands was founded in 1875, there was no road to Whiteside Mountain. So in 1881 Samuel Kelsey began work on a wagon road that began at the north end of 5th Street and ended a quarter-mile from the top of Whiteside Mountain. Completed in 1883, the trail wound for 4½ miles through a forest lined with huge hemlocks. Photograph courtesy of Tammy Lowe.