Beech Mountain was once a rugged wilderness known only to the Cherokee Indians. Eventually hunters, loggers, moonshiners, and settlers made their marks upon the mountain. In the 1960s, Tom Brigham, a Birmingham dentist, envisioned a ski resort in the South and chose Beech Mountain as the perfect site. Grover Robbins, a timber man and developer from Blowing Rock, turned Brigham's vision into the Carolina Caribbean Corporation, which developed a four-season resort with the Land of Oz at the top. Initially lots sold faster than roads could be built to reach them, and the overextended company went bankrupt. Property owners rallied to preserve what had been created, and in 1981, the mountain reinvented itself as a charming town and popular resort destination. In addition to a core of permanent residents, it draws thousands of visitors annually for skiing, hiking, spectacular scenery, cool summers, and excellent golf, tennis, and other recreational facilities--and for the special feeling that is Beech Mountain.