Yesterday, circa 1900: Salisbury’s Thomas K. Bruner takes photograph from top of Big Bald Mountain

  • Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 12:41 a.m.

Yesterday, circa 1900

Donna Poteat provided to the Post this photograph, circa 1900, of Thomas K. Bruner, “which I thought was fascinating,” she says. It shows Bruner using the equipment of his day to take a photograph from the top of Big Bald Mountain. “Photography sure has come a long way,” Poteat says in her email. The photograph came to her courtesy, she adds, of the H.H. Brimley Memorial Library at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. It was emailed to her by the museum’s librarian with several other photos because Donna’s husband, Steve, is doing research on Bruner and his gold-mining operations in Rowan County. Bruner was the associate editor of Salisbury’s Carolina Watchman newspaper in the late 1800s during a time when his father, J.J. Bruner, was editor. Donna Poteat says Thomas K. Bruner became the secretary of the N.C. Board of Agriculture and was instrumental in founding the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Big Bald Mountain, on the N.C.-Tenn. border is 5,516 feet high in elevation and still offers one of the best views for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. The Post could be mistaken, but it looks as though Bruner took a whiskey bottle (foreground) to the top of the mountain with him.

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