Whence These Special Places: The Geology of Cashiers,
Highlands & Panthertown Valley

1 Session: Tuesday, September 28

ZOOM 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Member Fee: $15, Non-Member Fee: $20


The mountains and waterfalls of the Southern Blue Ridge have been shaped by over 500 million years of extraordinary geologic processes. This course will provide an overview of that geologic history, with a particular emphasis on exploring how our variety of mountains and waterfalls have been shaped by differences in their geologic pasts, and how events occurring hundreds of millions of years ago have determined the form and character of natural features we love and enjoy today.

This presentation will be structured around numerous photos of the area’s mountains and waterfalls, and will include graphics to help explain their geologic history. The course is based in science but the language and concepts used will not require participants to have a scientific background. Questions about the broader geology or particular favorite natural features will be welcomed.

Currently a resident of Montford, Bill Jacobs had a 38-year career as a lawyer, mostly in Atlanta. Throughout those years he and his wife maintained a home in Cashiers, which became their primary residence for about a decade before their move to Asheville.

During the years leading up to and following his retirement in 2011, Bill spent many hours roaming the mountain roads and trails. As his familiarity with the region grew, so too did his curiosity about how we come to have the Blue Ridge and its marvelous collections of natural features, especially waterfalls. Post retirement, this curiosity led him into years of study, with books, academic papers, on-line courses and materials, in-person classes and research at UNCA and, of course, numerous field trips. Eventually he began sharing what he was learning, both in Whence These Special Places? and in group presentations.