Barry & Dottie Cook: Deep Mountain Roots and Love of Family

Sep 30, 2021

Barry Cook’s father was born on Joe White’s Mountain. And so were several of his aunts and uncles. You can see it from Grandfather Mountain. It’s one of the reasons he feels so connected to the area.

Nearly 30 years ago he and his wife, Dottie, bought a home with views of Grandfather Mountain. It’s been a place where they’ve shared the joy of this beautiful region—and many visits to Grandfather—with their children and grandchildren. One of the most beloved books at bedtime is about Mildred the Bear. Barry says that Dottie has read it to the children and grandchildren so often that it’s about worn out and that they could all probably recite it.

“It is so pristine, and our children and grandchildren always enjoy going to Grandfather,” says Barry. “I think the legacy that Hugh Morton left for all of us is that you kind of become an environmentalist. It is just part of the DNA up here. We all want to protect what we have now, it’s not ours but it is ours. Because we get to look up there every day.”

Deep mountain roots, love of family and a desire to preserve and share the wonders of the mountain are things that motivated Barry and Dottie to join the Boulder Club.

“I just thought it’d be really neat with my roots in the area, for my children to have a place that they can come back to and be in touch with the ancestors that they would never meet.”

Since choosing a boulder for the family, Barry and Dottie have taken the children there many times. His children and grandchildren even surprised him with a birthday party there last year.

“I just love going out there” Barry says. “It’s beautiful. It’s peaceful. It has a wonderful view. And, at the same time, I feel that by being a part of the Boulder Club, not only do we get something in return, but we are contributing to the long-term sustainability and protection of the mountain. That’s really the main thing.”

A Legacy Set in Stone — The Boulder Club

More than a century ago, many of the boulders on Grandfather Mountain were given names, like Sphinx Rock and Split Rock. Now you, too, can bestow a boulder with a name that will be remembered for all time.

Individuals or companies whose total donations reach or exceed a level of $5,000 are eligible for membership in the Boulder Club, wherein they can assign a permanent name to one or more of Grandfather Mountain’s iconic boulders or other natural features. All named boulders will be photographed, described, located by GPS coordinates, and featured in a prominent display located in the Nature Museum.

Each “adopted” boulder will be individually recognized on the Foundation’s website,, and a customized plaque will be presented to each donor. A lasting benefit of naming a feature on Grandfather Mountain is the knowledge that the boulder will remain unaltered in perpetuity, in a place where your grandchildren and your grandchildren’s grandchildren can pause and ponder.
Grandfather Mountain thanks our Boulder Club members for their generous gifts.

If you are interested in naming a boulder, please contact

Grandfather Mountain | Home to the Swinging Bridge, Animal Habitats and Nature Museum

GPS: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646
Mailing: PO Box 129, Linville, NC 28646

Owned & operated by Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.
Go here for Grandfather Mountain State Park information.
Member of Southern Highlands Attractions