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The unincorporated town of Highlands, North Carolina is situated on a plateau in the Nantahala National Forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains in Macon County, for the most part, with a small portion in Jackson County. Although the permanent population is 924 as of the 2010 census, it goes up to 20,000 from spring to autumn. The town was founded in 1874 when two developers from Kansas, C.C. Hutchinson and Samuel Kelsey drew lines from New Orleans to New York and from Chicago to Savannah. They supposed that the spot where the lines crossed would be a perfect place for a commercial crossroads and trading center. They created a health and summer resort there in 1875.

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