In 1926, Thomas Early Whitaker described the setting of his beloved Oak Ridge Institute (now the Oak Ridge Military Academy) as "in the hill country of northwest Guilford, 1040 feet above sea level; noted for its healthfulness; accessible to the cities of Piedmont North Carolina;...a rural community of law-abiding, progressive citizens." More than a hundred years ago, Oak Ridge was said by J.A. Holt, then principal at the Institute, to be "finely wooded and well watered with the finest of freestone water, and commanding an extensive view of mountain ranges and foothills. The Blue Ridge, the Pilot, Saurtown, Moore's Knob, the Pinnacles of Dan, all loom up...within a range of fifty miles. The fine oak groves and natural shaded lawns make it an ideal place for a residence."
With affectionate pride, he concluded: "It has been called 'God's Country.'"