Louisa Duls’ memories of Little Switzerland are captured in her book, “The Story of Little Switzerland” written in 1982. Beginning in 1911, she spent her summers in the family cottage at Little Switzerland. Her father was one of a group of Charlotte business men responsible for creating the “Switzerland Company” in 1909 and developing this spectacular section of the Blue Ridge mountains.
Between 1908 and 1909, the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio railway extended their lines from Spruce Pine to Altapass going on to create eighteen tunnels traveling through the lower Blue Ridge, pushing track down the mountain into Marion.
Today, the Historic Orchard at Altapass, is the best place to grab a bird’s eye view of those railroad tracks and switch-backs. The railroad built the orchard as a means of providing additional food to its workers. In 1995, Kit Trubey purchased 280 acres and saved this historic landmark. Today, it operates as a non-profit attraction located at Milepost 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Downtown Little Switzerland is comprised today of a book store, café, general store and post office situated on a section of Highway 226-A that is parallel to the Parkway. Take the exit at Milepost 334/Little Switzerland. At the stop sign, turn right onto Highway 226-A and you will see this distinctive “downtown” region. Check out the inter-active map for other businesses, accommodation choices and attractions.