April 29, 2007

Thousands Viewed Clark Dyer Story
on Windstream Channel 4

In mid-March, Windstream Channel 4 kicked off a new program titled “Mountain Trails” which is featuring history and places of interest in the Tri-State mountain area. The first episode of the program covered the entire story of Micajah Clark Dyer’s invention of a flying machine, from the oral legend to the subsequent discovery of his 1874 patent and the newspaper articles in 1875 reporting the invention. The program included an interview with State Representative Charles Jenkins, who introduced a resolution in the Georgia General Assembly last year to name a portion of Highway 180 the Micajah Clark Dyer Parkway.

Show host, Cindy Williams, President of the Blairsville-Union Chamber of Commerce, opened the program standing near the sign on the Parkway. She said, “The impact that this man has had on the history of Union County is just beginning to be realized.” She proceeded to interview Clark Dyer’s great great granddaughter, Sylvia Dyer Turnage, who related the story that had been handed down orally for 130 years before the patent was discovered and detailed what has been done to provide recognition for the pioneer inventor over the past year.

Mark Mote, Director and Producer of Windstream Channel 4, said the Mountain Trails program that featured the Clark Dyer Story the last two weeks of March was broadcast to a potential viewing audience of 32,000 households. “As far as exactly how many people watched, I can’t be certain,” he said, “But based on the response and feedback that we've received, it was very well received!”

There is no question but that the program shined more light on a genius who, until recently, was unknown except to those who are descendents of the Dyer family and others who lived in the community where he invented a flying machine.

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April 5, 2007

Autumn Leaves at House of Prayer
Hear Clark Dyer Story

Autumn Leaves Photo ©2007 Billy Turnage

The Autumn Leaves group at the House of Prayer Church in Blairsville, Georgia heard the amazing story of Micajah Clark Dyer, Georgia's Pioneer Aviator from Union County, who invented a flying machine which he patented in September 1874. They heard about the eyewitness stories of neighbors who saw him get his machine airborne as he slid down rails he built on Rattlesnake Mountain in the Choestoe District of Union County. They also viewed newspaper articles dated July 16, 1875, and July 31, 1875, telling about the invention.

Many of them did not know about the recognitions Dyer has received recently from different sources, including the Governor's recognition, a ceremony naming of a section of Highway 180 running through Choestoe Community the “Micajah Clark Dyer Parkway,” the proclamation of a “Micajah Clark Dyer Day in Union County,” the hanging of a commemorative stamp display at the Union County Courthouse, his nomination to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame and a broadcast of the story on Mountain Trails by Windstream Channel 4.

The group was interested in the progress being made toward further recognition of Clark Dyer for his early contributions to the development of aeronautics. Some very good suggestions were made about ways to get the information known throughout the county, state and nation. They felt that reconstruction of the machine, a museum to house it, and other projects would bring this interesting part of history to the public’s knowledge, give honor to Dyer, and produce benefits to the county and state.

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