The town is widely known as the seat of Berea College, which has done an important work among the mountaineers of Kentucky and of Tennessee.
During the War of Independence the hardy mountaineers under John Sevier and Evan Shelby did valiant service against both the royal troops and the Loyalists in South Carolina, chiefly as partisan rangers under Charles McDowell (1743-1815).
The surroundings of Mount Tronador, consisting of Tertiary granite and basalt, form one of the most interesting regions in the Patagonian Andes for the mountaineers of the future.
The rugged mountains have always been the home of hardy mountaineers impatient of control, and the sanctuary to which the lowlanders fled for safety in times of invasion.
The Turkish-speaking Armenians of the south could scarcely converse with the Armenian-speaking people of the north; and the ignorant mountaineers of the east had nothing in common, except religion, with the highly educated townsmen of Constantinople and Smyrna.