Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Book Report on FLYING OFF RATTLESNAKE MOUNTAIN by Sylvia Dyer Turnage

FLYING OFF RATTLESNAKE MOUNTAIN by Sylvia Dyer Turnage is a book based on fact about pioneer aviation before the Wright Brothers  came along.  It is also a good book that tells the life of farmers far away in the backwoods, how they survived and daily living routines.  Politics and “the Indian Situation” is discussed among the community.  The narration follows Micajah Clark Dyer 1822-1891) around from the time he was a young boy to months after his death.

The author, Sylvia Dyer Turnage is a descendant of M. Clark Dyer.  I am related to at least two of his decedents’ family. 

It mostly takes place in Union County, Georgia,  and their farm in the Choestoe Community, but ventures out to the road and towns from Choestoe to Gainesville.

Clark was very interested in mechanics through his life and spent a good portion of it designing and building a flying machine and having test flights off nearby Rattlesnake Mountain.  Keep in mind the prototype built weighed over a hundred pounds  he had to get high up on the mountain to take off, which was probably a challenge, even with mules.

Clark Dyer patented the plans and submitted a model September 1, 1874. Number 154,654.

Unfortunately just as he just about had the mechanics of flying figured out was when he was aging with a weak heart. 

In the book he had a verbal agreement with John Redwine of Gainesville, Georgia, to sell him the plane and the patient for $8,000.   After he died Mr. Redwine honored their verbal agreement and carried the plane to Gainesville but think the progress of it died with Micajah Clark Dyer.  January 26, 1891.

The Wright Brothers had their successful test flight at Kittyhawk, North Carolina, September or October 1902.

The protagonist Micajah Clark Dyer married Morena Elizabeth Owenby July 23, 1842, and had nine children.

From what I have came across while I was doing genealogy of the same families of Dyers Sylvia Dyer put the relationships of the Dyers as they really were.

And his dealings of assembling and trying to get public interest in the plane by getting newspaper editors interested must have really happened because there were articles in the papers about it.

I think the only fiction in the book were the conversations held.  Probably very similar interactions and conversations did occur.

Micajah Clark Dyer's Tombstone has his patent on it:


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