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Outlander Locations – “Fraser’s Ridge”

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FRASER’S RIDGE

Outlander America will begin a series on the locations in the Outlander book series.   In Voyager, Jamie and Claire Fraser (and others) leave Scotland to begin a new life in what was known at the time as British America in 1767. Our first edition will address the fictional Fraser’s Ridge.

“Fraser’s Ridge” near Boone, NC

Boone

It is well known that Diana Gabaldon, author of the series, is an accomplished researcher. So let’s take a look at the location of Fraser’s Ridge and why she probably chose its fictional location.

According to Diana, Fraser’s Ridge is located on a plot of land covering roughly 10,000 square acres. It is nestled in an area north of the Yadkin River between the towns of Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, near Grandfather Mountain, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Throughout the story, the Frasers frequented nearby areas as well, including Cross Creek and Campbellton. Those nonfictional towns later merged into the modern city of Fayetteville, NC.

So why choose this area as the setting of the majority of her story? Surprisingly, North Carolina boasts the largest population of citizens with Scottish ancestry than any other state or country in the world, including Scotland. More than 1.5 million Scots have immigrated to America, with the overwhelming majority settling in North Carolina, from the coastal region of Wilmington northward via Cape Fear, and from there to the piedmont and highland regions. Records indicate that the immigration began in 1729 after King George II took over Carolina and split it into North Carolina and South Carolina. The Scots were attracted to the mild climate, fertile soil, and hopes for a better life. The migration continued until the start of the American Revolution, resuming again after the war.

Migration path of Scots into North CarolinaEarly Colonial NC Migration Paths, s-NC History Textbook, s-jbk wb

Outlander Locations in North Carolina

OL locations in North America

Modern Map of Area Known as “Fraser’s Ridge”

OL locations in NC

The piedmont and highland regions of Western North Carolina continue to be heavily influenced by Scottish culture. In fact, many of the Scots in that region continued to speak Gaelic well into the 19th century.

Tips for Visiting “Fraser’s Ridge”

If you long to visit the area to catch a glimpse of Jamie and Claire’s life on Fraser’s Ridge, a trip to Boone, North Carolina can satisfy your desires. In fact, there is a place that caters to Outlander dreamers. The Mast Farm Inn, located in Banner Elk near Boone, promises to give visitors the experience of Fraser’s Ridge. Visitor reviews have been excellent.

 

Summer in Boone, NC

Boone summer

If you visit the area in the winter months, navigating the snow and ice may necessitate tire chains or a four-wheel drive vehicle to reach the ski resorts of Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain. If you plan a summer trip, you may want to consider going in July to participate in the annual Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. The Highland Games are usually held in the first or second week in July, from Thursday to Sunday. Plan to arrive on Thursday night in order to participate in the kick off of the Games with the official “Calling of the Clans.”

Summer on Grandfather Mountain

Boone Grandfather Mt.Annual Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain – “Calling of the Clans” Candlelight ceremony calling of the clans

A trip to Fraser’s Ridge in Boone and Grandfather Mountain is sure to please the entire family.  A wealth of activities are offered year ’round with dining and lodging accommodations to fit all budgets. Asheville and Cherokee (the reservation of the Eastern Band Cherokee Nation) are less than a two-hour drive away.   However, it would be a shame to miss the Highland Games, especially if you are a Scot or a Scot at heart.  Diana Gabaldon, Herself, has attended the games on several occasions over the years, and, if you are a book fan you know that so have the Frasers!

Sources

 http://www.dalhousielodge.org/Thesis/scotstonc.htm

http://outlander.wikia.com/wiki/Fraser’s_Ridge

Gabaldon, Diana.  The Outlandish Companion.  Delacorte Press, New York. 1999.

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22 Comments, RSS

  1. Kim Puhrmann July 25, 2016 @ 9:44 am

    Thanks for this really cool article! Great details 😃

    The ‘Gathering on the Ridge’ at The Mast Farm Inn you mentioned is my event. Novel Adventures puts it together, annually, and we coordinate it around the GMHG, so that it goes with Diana’s Drums of Autumn.

    We have a ton of fun, that’s for sure–and a really good reason for the great reviews! 😃

    ~Kim
    Novel Adventures

    • DeeAnn Eubanks Pochedly August 2, 2016 @ 7:59 am

      Would LOVE to participate in your gathering event & esp. the GMHG! Am an avid fan of Outlander (books & TV series), & of Scottish origins. Please send info for 2017! Thank you!

      • admin August 10, 2016 @ 11:52 am

        Outlander America doesn’t sponsor the event. Search the Internet for Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and you will find plenty of information.

    • RECollins September 24, 2016 @ 11:53 am

      I am interested in doing kilted hikes in and around Boone(Fraiser Ridge)promoting Scottish heritage &other outlander series.can you tell me if anyone is organizing such activities & if not I would love to get involved with your outlander planning group,it sounds like a lot of fun.

  2. LaDean Talcott July 25, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

    Thanks.

  3. Patrice Hammond July 25, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

    Very informational article. My husband and I have visited these areas and it is just beautiful. We weren’t there when the Highland events took place and am sorry we missed them.

    Thanks!!

  4. Marilyn Marra July 26, 2016 @ 9:02 am

    Thank you for this insight , very interested in visiting this location in the near future. Marilyn Marra

  5. Betsy July 26, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    I’ve never been clear, but I always got the impression that it was closer to Asheville – Black Mountain. For some reason I want to say Black Mountain is even mentioned.

    • admin August 9, 2016 @ 5:22 pm

      The location mentioned was based on Diana Gabaldon’s description and her own words. Please share a link if you have other information. Thanks for reading!

    • Neddy October 3, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

      I believe that Claire was standing on her front porch and looking across she could see Black Mountain in the distance.

  6. Sharon Pratt July 27, 2016 @ 2:17 am

    We have just launched a new opportunity for Outlander Fans to visit most of the North Carolina settings from Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes. It’s a seven-night, eight day road trip by luxury charter bus encompassing over 1200 miles that follows the journey of Jamie and Claire from Charleston, SC to Wilmington, NC and then through New Bern, Cross Creek, Hillsborough, Alamance Battleground, Salem, and finally, to Boone in search of Frazier’s Ridge. The initial tour is June 18-25, 2017. Please see the website, http://www.carolinatartantours.com for complete information. A good time is guaranteed- it’s created by a long time Outlander fan for other Outlander fans!

  7. H Smith July 28, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

    We have attended the Grandfather Mt Games. The trip there is well worth it as is the scenery is amazing. Coming in on the Blue Ridge Mt HWY is breathtaking.
    Must book a year out for a hotel for the Games.

  8. Michelle July 28, 2016 @ 7:41 pm

    Looking forwards to updates!

  9. Sue Doring July 28, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

    The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are ALWAYS the second full weekend of July. Calling of the clans on Thurs night is something you don’t want to miss and will never forget. Come visit the Mountain.

    • admin August 9, 2016 @ 5:20 pm

      The “Calling of the Clans” is worth the whole trip.

  10. Carol Taylor July 29, 2016 @ 7:32 am

    have known about the GMG’s since before l got involved with Outlander but having only been to the states once in my 51 years it did not fall into my scope of plans last trip..l would like to rectify that for next year and use it as my base of planning my next trip around..so now for some research of accommodation and getting there and so forth…look forward to attending…

  11. Patti Patterson July 29, 2016 @ 9:24 am

    This article is awesome. Something to do in retirement.

  12. Phyllis Carter July 29, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

    I have read every book and am looking forward for the new TV movies filmed in theUSA.

  13. carleen franklin July 29, 2016 @ 12:56 pm

    Excellent information – thank you.

  14. Leah Zisserson July 30, 2016 @ 4:48 am

    Have been to these areas and would love to go again.

  15. admin August 20, 2016 @ 2:55 am

    Thanks for the information.

  16. Rita Aldridge Priddy November 27, 2016 @ 2:20 pm

    A lot of my family settled in 1700’s in Grandfather Mountain area and quite a few still remain there. I was born and raised there. The whole area is absolutely beautiful and the Highland Game are great.

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