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Valley Rewind: The Goat Man

Courtesy of Swannanoa Valley Museum
Special to Black Mountain News
This photograph taken by Swannanoa Valley photographer Edward DuPuy shows Charles "Ches" McCartney (aka the Goat Man) coming down U.S. 70 headed into Black Mountain.

This photograph taken by Swannanoa Valley photographer Edward DuPuy shows Charles "Ches" McCartney (aka the Goat Man) coming down U.S. 70 headed into Black Mountain. Ches was a significant folk and religious figure for over four decades. He camped in many small towns across the country and made several stops in Black Mountain.  He and his wife traveled driving an iron-wheeled caravan of between 12 and 30 goats. They wore goatskin clothes and sold postcards of themselves to make money. Ches preached a message of impending and enduring damnation for all sinners and left messages on boards tacked to trees bearing such messages as "Prepare to Meet Thy God" with the fires of hell painted underneath. When the Goat Man came to town, word spread fast and it didn't take long for him to have his audience.