1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Little Ottie’s Last Hike
John McCurdy 08

From the Lexington News Gazette of October 22, 2008
Hugh Bouchelle Wrote: 

On a cold November day in 1891, little Ottie, not yet 5 years old, wandered off from his schoolhouse in the valley. The students were out collecting fuel to feed the school’s wood stove. The community desperately searched , trying to beat the winter that was quickly shutting down mountain travel-to no avail-little Ottie was lost. His  body was  found the following spring by  hunters  just  off the crest of Bluff Mountain, over seven miles and over 2,000 feet higher than the schoolhouse!

Years later his family erected a monument at the exact spot where little Ottie was found. The monument is just a few feet from the summit and right off the Appalachian Trail. Hikers on the trail often leave small toys and trinkets on the monument. I have left several myself. They are always gone when I return, replaced by the ones others have left. 

Some say, when winter’s icy breath is on the mountain, little Ottie is seen wandering the woods looking for the way home. Many hiking logs report having sighted a small boy who seemed to disappear when approached.


I have seen the monument several times while hiking, I’m ashamed that I had forgotten it until I read Hugh’s account. I left a Baby Ruth candy bar on the monument once.