William S. Powell (born 1919) is a professor emeritus of History at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, retired in 1986. Powell is a noted North Carolina historian producing works such as North Carolina Lives: The Tar Heel Who's Who (1962), North Carolina: A Bicentennial History (1977), North Carolina Through Four Centuries (1989), Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (six volumes published 1979-1996), and Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006).
J. Timothy Cole (born 1959) is a historian and library archivist living in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has published several books on historical subjects related to Appalachia and North Carolina including The Rumbling Mountain of Hickory Nut Gap: The Story of North Carolina's Most Celebrated Earthquake (1990), The Forest City Lynching of 1900: Populism, Racism, and White Supremacy In Rutherford County, North Carolina (2003), and Collett Leventhorpe, The English Confederate: The Life of A Civil War General, 1815-1889.
The Rumbling Mountain of Hickory Nut Gap is a nonfiction work detailing the 1874 earthquake phenomena surrounding Bald Mountain in Rutherford County, North Carolina.