Did You Know Cabarrus County, NC Survived a Meteorite on Halloween 1849?

Can you imagine hearing and then seeing meteor blazing across the sky and then crashing through a tree before plunging several feet into the dirt? That’s what happened on Hiram Bost’s farm on October 31, 1849.

Photo by Juskteez Vu on Unsplash

I grew up in Cabarrus County, but I’d not heard of the meteorite until I happened upon a newspaper article about it while doing research on another topic for a local history column I was writing in 2009 for Harrisburg Horizons weekly newspaper. Last week while I was formatting those newspaper articles for two planned books in 2023, I thought the highlights of the seven-part series I wrote about Mr. Bost’s meteorite would make an interesting blog post on this Halloween.

Although the meteorite landed near Midland in Cabarrus County, it was mistakenly named “Monroe.” Meteorites are usually named for where they land. The town of Monroe is actually in the adjoining county and not where the 1849 meteorite crashed to the Earth.

I’ve never heard a meteor or seen one up close. The closest I’ve come is seeing an occasional “shooting star.” The witnesses of the 1849 meteorite described explosions and rumblings They saw a white-hot object in the sky even though it was broad daylight.

Word of the meteorite spread by the proverbial grapevine and in newspapers in Charlotte and Concord. When word reached the Charlotte Branch of the United States Mint, a Mint employee and a Charlotte doctor headed some 20 to 25 miles to the site by horse-drawn wagon.

Knowing he had an item of interest and unknown value on his hands, Mr. Bost displayed the meteorite on top of a pole for all to come and see. It was accompanied by a sign warning people not to touch or break the rock.

I was naïve enough to think that perhaps the Monroe meteorite had ended up intact at the North Carolina Museum of Natural History, but I soon found out that the meteorite has been chopped and sliced into countless pieces and the museum in Raleigh doesn’t even have a piece of it.

One thing led to another, as is always the case when I do historical research, and I went down the rabbit hole of searching for the locations that own part of the meteorite. What I discovered is that pieces and slivers of the meteorite are owned by universities, museums, The Vatican, and private companies and individuals around the world.

I learned that bits and pieces of the Monroe meteorite are for sale by rock and mineral dealers and are sometimes available through rock and mineral auctions. Those pieces and slivers are priced by the gram and aren’t cheap.

To learn more, be on the lookout for my book, Harrisburg, Did You Know? – Book 2 on Amazon in 2023.

I expect to publish Harrisburg, Did You Know? – Book 1 on Amazon in January 2023. I’ll give progress reports in future blog posts. Even if you don’t live in the Harrisburg, North Carolina area, I think you’ll find something of interest in both my local history books.

Since my last blog

I continue to write my first historical novel, The Heirloom.

I hired a company to completely redesign my outdated website, JanetMorrisonBooks.com. My writing is taking a new path and I need a new website to reflect that. With numerous decisions to be made and the holiday season approaching, it might be January before I can unveil the new site.

My sister and I continue to proofread Harrisburg, Did You Know?—Book 1. When I blogged last week, I thought the books would only be available for Kindle, but I now hope to also have them published in paperback.

A word about my blog

Last week’s blog post included a note about a change in my follower count on my blog and the reason I was given for the widget policy change. Apparently, I wasn’t the only blogger to complain, for this week the count once again includes the 1,000+ followers that were dropped last week. I’m happy again!

Until my next blog

I hope you have a good book to read.

Remember the brave people of Ukraine who face freezing to death this winter.


17 thoughts on “Did You Know Cabarrus County, NC Survived a Meteorite on Halloween 1849?

  1. That’s quite interesting to find out, that in your area a meteor hit in the XIXth C. ! Amazing! Anyways, I am glad to hear that you are continuously working on your novel and that you are in the process of updating your website. I too will have to do that soon as I have been neglecting it for so long. The best of luck to you and your sister on the book project and I, as well as many others, am looking forward to reading such interesting tales from an area of the US, which I never visited, but which seems full of history. I don’t understand what happened to you on WP with followers, but I am glad to know that it has been resolved. I recently changed my WP site to a paid one and the transition seems to me to have gone smoothly, but I am really not certain. Well, take good care and all the best and greetings from a still rather warm Mediterranean coast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Francis. What I haven’t figured out is how I grew up here and hadn’t heard about the meteorite until I discovered it in old newspapers. Surely, my father had heard about it but he never mentioned it — or perhaps if he did, I was too young to care or understand the rarity of it. And, yes, that issue with WP was not good. You can imagine how I felt when I thought approximately half my blog followers had been deleted! Whew! — and how surprised I was when they returned to the count. By the way, I’m now enjoying hot chocolate in my “Penguins” mug from Fine Art America. There’s just something about that painting of yours that I really, really like. The quality of the mug is excellent, as well as the box it was shipped in. I received it just days after placing my order. I’m glad you’ve found such a high-quality company to present and process orders for your artwork. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Janet! I am so glad to hear about the mug, the quality, the promptness of the shipping and the workmanship. I am so very happy to know! That was and remains one of my favourite paintings in a rather experimental mix of oils and acrylics. And reference the meteorite, well, that makes me wonder about many things that might have happened where I live and no one ever told me about…
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. People must have been quite affected by that site. I’d love to see any docs on reactions from the MD area.
    (or New Orleans area, for my on and off WiP…)


  5. Glad I could give you a good report on the mug. I guess it’s the animal lover in me. I just kept going back to the Penguins. And as far as the local history goes, I’m still amazed at what I learned about my immediate area while writing the newspaper articles. We don’t know what we don’t know!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No local museums had a piece or even a sliver of it. I was sure the natural history museum in Raleigh would have a piece and couldn’t believe it didn’t. It absolutely blew my mind that pieces of it are all over the world, but apparently not a gram of it in North Carolina according to records that are public. When I become a rich author (LOL!), perhaps I can purchase a piece of it and bring it home to Cabarrus County.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How exciting that must have been to discover there was a meteorite where you grew up and how strange it was never put into a museum. You are moving up in the world with your books. I can say I know a famous writer. You have learned so much this year and look at you now, a new website!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Diane. I don’t expect to ever be “a famous writer,” but thanks for the confidence booster! As I told a friend the other day, “I’ll be 70 in January. It’s now or never.”


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