Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain History and Culture
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Micajah Clark Dyer

A local Union County Georgia young man named Micajah Clark Dyer (1822-1891) lived at the foot of Rattlesnake and Cedar Mountains in the Choestoe District of Union County. This insightful and intelligent young inventor who was always tinkering and Micajah Clark Dyer - Flying Aparatusinventing gadgets much to the amazement and often scorn of his neighbors. Clark was a poor farmer with a family to feed and his formal education did not surpass the one room country schoolhouse he attended. With a wondering mind and the natural skill of an architect, he often watched the birds flying over his farm and ponder why can’t a man fly.

With an imagination fit for a genius and primitive tools he confined himself to his work shed drawing precise plans and constructing a flying machine. Clark applied for and received U.S. Patent No. 154,654 on September 1, 1874 for his “Apparatus for Navigating the Air. "

Eyewitnesses from family, neighbors and friends saw him fly off the side of Rattlesnake Mountain navigating his crude flying machine over their fields. Two news articles were published concerning the flight in 1875, one in the Gainesville Eagle in Georgia and the other in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

This event took place some 30-years before the Wright Brothers' claim to fame. Quite impressed with his hand drawn patented plans, the Highlander has included a copy to give our readers a view of his creation.

Clark Dyer died in 1891 and his widow sold both the plane and the plans to brothers named Redwine. It's the family's belief that those plans found there way to the Wright Brothers. Others have often contended that the Wright Brothers weren’t the first to fly and gave credit to a hand full of others.  Possibly the Wright Brothers were just insightful enough to alert the media, grounding their accomplishment. To further follow up on this historical conformation check out the family web site www.micajahclarkdyer.org and follow the paper trail.

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