The Nation: Borderline Dispute

Road maps say that the border of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina is a crow-flies straight line along the 35th parallel from Scaly Mountain, N.C., to Guild, Tenn. But for more than a century a rather quaint controversy has cooked over whether an 1811 surveyor made a southward error —thrown off by a forest fire and Indian harassment—and gave Tennessee and North Carolina some 300 sq. mi. of mountainous woods that actually belong to Georgia.

Mountaineers along the borderline do not raise the issue often, since, according to Georgia Historian E. Merton Coulter. 81, "They pay taxes to one state one year...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!