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Brasstown, North Carolina facts for kids

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Brasstown, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Clay
 • Total 12.21 sq mi (31.63 km2)
 • Land 12.17 sq mi (31.52 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
1,736 ft (529 m)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 828
GNIS feature ID 1019281

Brasstown is an unincorporated community located mostly within Clay County, North Carolina, United States, though roughly one third of Brasstown is within the adjacent Cherokee County.


Brasstown Bald Historical Marker -2
Brasstown Bald Historical Marker #2

According to the two Georgia historical markers, the area surrounding Brasstown Bald was settled by the Cherokee people. English-speaking settlers derived the word Brasstown from a translation error of the Cherokee word for its village place. Settlers confused the word Itse'yĭ" (meaning 'New Green Place' or 'Place of Fresh Green') with Ûňtsaiyĭ (Brass), and referred to the settlement as Brasstown. Itse'yĭ is a Cherokee locative name given to several distinct areas in the Cherokee region, including this one in North Carolina.

Opossum Drop

The Opossum Drop is an annual event at Clay's Corner convenience store organized by proprietors Clay and Judy Logan. At midnight on New Year's Eve, instead of dropping an object, a plexiglass box containing a living opossum is lowered from the roof of the store. The animal is lowered carefully to prevent any injury or trauma. Federal and state animal permits are obtained in advance, and the opossum is released afterward in the wild. The festivities vary from year to year, but have included a contest with local men dressed as women to compete for the title "Miss Possum Queen", talent shows from the local Brasstown residents, performances by the Brasstown Militia, and comic routines by Clay Logan. The Little Brasstown Church choir sings hymns, bluegrass music is played by other performers, and fireworks, snacks, beverages, and souvenir merchandise are also featured.

Clay Logan received international attention in 2004 after the Possum Drop was featured in a New York Times article.

For the 2014 New Year's Eve celebration, the organizers of the event acceded to criticism from animal rights groups and discontinued use of a live opossum. They announced they would instead drop "a roadkill opossum or perhaps a pot of opossum stew."

John C. Campbell Folk School

The nationally recognized John C. Campbell Folk School, dedicated to preserving and encouraging the folk arts of the Appalachian Mountains, is located in Brasstown. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Tri-County Race Track

The Tri-County Race Track, a 1/4-mile banked dirt oval race track, is located in Brasstown.

Distance to state capitals

Located in the west of the state, Brasstown is closer to the capitals of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky by driving time than it is to North Carolina's capital of Raleigh.

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