February 24, 2007

Clark Dyer Story to air on
Windstream Channel 4

Photo ©2007 Billy Turnage
Mark Mote, Director and Editor of Windstream Channel 4, and Cindy Williams, President of Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, are beginning production of a series of programs on people, places and history of North Georgia. The first of these programs will feature the story of Union County’s pioneer aviator, Micajah Clark Dyer, whose airplane design was patented in 1874.

While Mark filmed on February 22, 2007, Cindy interviewed Sylvia Dyer Turnage, great-great granddaughter of Clark Dyer, who authored a book “The Legend of Clark Dyer’s Remarkable Flying Machine” and an article for the 400 Edition magazine, "Pioneer Aviator Waits 132 Years for Honor." Sylvia also has been interviewed for Clark Dyer articles published in the Gainesville Times, CNI Newspapers (Athens), Union Sentinel and Altitude magazine (Blue Ridge). She has made presentations on the topic to many church and civic groups in Union County and adjoining counties.

Mark and Cindy will be interviewing other people as they continue with the production of the program on Clark Dyer, which they expect to air in mid-March, 2007. As soon as a date is set for the broadcast, details will be posted on this site. Be sure to check back here over the next few weeks so you won’t miss the date!

February 3, 2007

Clark Dyer Postage Stamp
Displayed in Union County Courthouse

Photo &copy Billy J. Turnage 2007

Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris hangs a display of the 39-cent U. S. Postage stamp honoring Union County pioneer inventor Micajah Clark Dyer

A sheet of U. S. Postage stamps featuring one of the drawings of Micajah Clark Dyer’s aircraft., taken from the patent he obtained from the U. S. Patent & Trademark Office on September 1, 1874, is now hanging in the Union County Courthouse. Dyer lived and farmed in the Choestoe District of Union County, where he built and flew his plane two decades before the Wright brothers’ famous flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903.

Stories of his flying machine were kept alive through Dyer family oral tradition until 2004, when Stephen Dyer, a teenager and descendent of Clark Dyer, found the patent on the Internet. According to tradition, both the patent and the aircraft were sold after Dyer’s death on Jan. 26, 1891 to some Redwine brothers of Atlanta or Gainesville who were interested in building a plane of their own.

Discovery of the patent still on file with the Patent Office has resulted in Dyer receiving several other honors for his invention during the past year. House Resolution 413, unanimously passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed by Governor Sonny Perdue on April 28, 2006, named Georgia Highway 180 from the Gainesville Highway to the Brasstown Bald Mountain Spur the “Micajah Clark Dyer Parkway.” Commissioner Paris signed a Proclamation on August 17, 2006, declaring September 1, 2006, “Micajah Clark Dyer Day in Union County.” Dyer has been nominated for induction into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame at Robbins Air Force Base, Warner Robbins, Georgia, and information about his invention is planned for inclusion in Georgia’s “100 Years of Aviation History” to be celebrated this year.

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