The Opossum Capital of the World: Clay's Corner, North Carolina

Looking for a new place to ring in the New Year this December? Consider Clay's Corner, the “Opossum Capital of the World” in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Folks at Clay's — a most unusual gas station, store and ice cream counter — celebrate a traditional midnight “Possum Drop” that also features fireworks, the crowning of the Possum Queen, a gospel sing-along, free hot chocolate, coffee and sometimes bear stew. As for the possum, friendly owner Clay Logan told me he gently lowers its cage from the store's roof as the year ebbs, then releases the critter unharmed.

Brasstown is on Old Highway 64 in far western North Carolina, a few miles south of where U.S. Highway 64 meets State Highway 141 and roughly 10 miles north of the Georgia state line. To learn about Brasstown's John C. Campbell Folk School, visit Brasstown's John C. Campbell Folk School

Clay's Corner (11005 Old Hwy. 64 W; 1-828-837-3797) is open daily.

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  1. Good day!

    In light of the fact that this community celebrates the New Year by terrorizing an innocent animal, I can assure you that I will never visit your area!

    I was born and raised in the mountains of N.C., but I also evolved as a humane being and educated myself to respect other life forms! Obviously, this community has not followed suit! How very sad that you teach your young people that this sort of activity is responsible behavior!

    We should be teaching empathy, respect, responsibility toward our native wildlife! Having viewed the photos of the event, it's obvious that this poor opossum is suffering and is terrified. Shame on you!

    Only cowards of the first order feel compelled to treat animals in such a manner!

    May God have mercy on your poor souls!

    • Possums don't get terrorized by this, which you would know if you showed up. They don't get terrorized by dogs, coyotes, bobcats, or speeding cars. They play dead, and do a damn fine job of it too. Fooled my dogs, fer sure. And me myself, I might add.

      Having encountered quite a few members of the Didelphis virginiana clan, what raiding the trash, helping they selves to the dog food, or the catfood, or a bit o' the garden, they don't terrorize easily.

      Sadly, you under estimate the courage and talent of these neighbors of ours. Might be you're prejudiced against them. Perhaps because you were brought up to think placentals are inherently superior? Or because they smell? Let me tell you, they are resilient. They are the only marsupial native to the US, and they act like they own the place. And maybe they do. We invite them to the party, they are party animals. They eat hearty, too, they do.

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