Solomon Morris, also known as Tomahawk, is the first and smallest of the Seven Sisters Range above Black Mountain and Montreat, N.C. It has a wooded, viewless summit, and it will attract only the most dedicated peakbagger—one bent on accomplishing the crowning lifetime achievement of climbing all Seven Summits, I mean Seven Sisters.
The upper portion of Solomon Morris has not been logged in at least 75 years, and it supports quite an impressive forest.
Access straight up the west face or along the ridge from Little Piney is unposted and does not seem to be problematic. The mountain should not be approached over the Billy Graham property on the east side.
The summit ridge forms the property boundary between a number of undeveloped private parcels. It has been reported that if you trace title back far enough, you will find a reservation of a public trail easement over the crest of the Seven Sisters. I have not verified this in the property records.
The crest of Solomon Morris
From the point where the Little Piney Ridge Trail bends onto the ridgecrest just before the top of Stomping Knob
, one can follow the main Seven Sisters crest south, reaching after about 200 yards the lower south summit of Stomping Knob. After about 100 vertical feet of further descent an excellent trail of use will be encountered continuing along the crest to the top of Solomon Morris. It takes about 15 minutes to get to Solomon Morris from Stomping Knob.
The summit is also an easy but steep bushwhack over unposted private land from the gravel road running across its west face at about the 3200-foot elevation (which is accessed by driving the road along Walker Branch from Walkertown in the North Fork Valley). Be sure to get at least half a mile south of Walker Branch before starting up, to avoid the much more difficult west face of Stomping Knob.
The name “Solomon Morris Mountain” comes from a farmer named Solomon Morris who operated a dairy farm in the early 20th century high on the east slopes of the mountain, on property later acquired by Billy Graham. A reclusive descendant of his, James Morris, lived in a cabin above 3000 feet on the west face of the peak into the 1940s, and there was a Morris family claim to land on that side of the mountain until at least the late 70s. The name “Solomon Morris Mountain” came down to me primarily through the family of James Boyce, who in 1906 had completed the first house on the Montreat Road, right at the foot of the mountain. The mountain was known by no other name to his family.
My impression is that “Tomahawk” as a name for this peak is a fairly recent invention, presumably drawn from the much more venerable name of the nearby watercourse, Tomahawk Creek or Tomahawk Branch (possibly so named as early as 1806). However, “Tomahawk” as a name for the mountain has made its way onto Montreat’s trail maps and has therefore become the dominant name in use today.
Standaert & Standaert, Montreat