Tag: History

  1. Moonshining in and around the Great Smokies: Part 1–The Economics

    Moonshining in and around the Great Smokies: Part 1–The Economics In the not-too-distant past, moonshiners were common in the Smoky Mountains and throughout the Southern Appalachians. They were mountaineers who made part of their living manufacturing spirits by moonlight in the hidden coves and caves in order to evade taxes levied by the United States government. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law a Read more...
  2. Mountain Time: Roamin’ with Wiley Oakley, Legendary Mountain Guide

    Mountain Time: Roamin’ with Wiley Oakley, Legendary Mountain Guide Harvey Oakley leaned forward in his chair and said, “One of my father’s favorite sayings was, ‘I’ve never been lost—just been bothered a few days. And I always got out!’”   Wiley Oakley, the “Roamin’ Man.” Photo from the personal collection of the late Harvey Read more...
  3. Building the Smokies, the Rise of the CCC

    Building the Smokies, the Rise of the CCC Today, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States, but it was once at risk of being destroyed before it even existed. With the industrial boom from World War I in the early 20th century, natural resources across the country were being consumed faster than they could be replenished. The extensive Read more...
  4. North Shore Decoration Days Continue Thanks to Park Staff

    North Shore Decoration Days Continue Thanks to Park Staff Bone Valley. Bradshaw. Higdon. Proctor. Hall. These are just a few of the names that grace more than 20 cemeteries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are only accessible by boat. Today, pilgrims from this region and from all over the country are transported to these special burial sites — some extremely remote — Read more...
  5. Opening Doors with Wilma Dykeman, a Voice for All Writers

    Opening Doors with Wilma Dykeman, a Voice for All Writers Becoming a well-established writer is a challenging task for anyone, but it was an even steeper mountain to climb for young females in the 1950s. Wilma Dykeman. Courtesy State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. Wilma Dykeman was one of these young women. Though publishers found her early works too controversial, she Read more...
  6. Two Perspectives: Adams and Bohn on Mount Le Conte

    Two Perspectives: Adams and Bohn on Mount Le Conte In late fall of 1925, Paul Adams was astonished to see a visitor walk into his camp on Mount Le Conte. Adams, a young man of 25, had been hired by the Knoxville-based Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association to oversee visitor facilities on this most iconic of Smoky peaks. At this point, the mountain was owned by Champion Paper Company Read more...
  7. Asheville Renovator Breathes New Life into Cataloochee Structures

    Asheville Renovator Breathes New Life into Cataloochee Structures Back in the late winter of 2016, avid cyclist Sean Perry was feeling burned out on biking. With spring just around the corner, he took a break from his Trek Superfly hardtail and began a new regimen of long runs after work into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “I would go in the Smokies, primarily Cataloochee, and do these Read more...
  8. Family-Friendly Walks in the Smokies: Historic Walking Tours

    Family-Friendly Walks in the Smokies: Historic Walking Tours Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers more than a dozen family-friendly nature and historic walking trails. They’re perfect for a quick walk in the woods to see the park’s flora, fauna, and remnants of the past. This is the third in a three-part series of blog posts describing these trails. In my previous blogs, I covered Read more...
  9. Celebrating Four Decades of the Digital Age in the Smokies

    Celebrating Four Decades of the Digital Age in the Smokies Almost exactly forty years ago on April 28, 1982, an internal park service newsletter announced some terribly exciting news—Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be receiving its very first computer. “Eureka!” the editor’s note proclaimed. “We have one … a computer, that is …. Well, almost. The Read more...
  10. Taking a Walk Across Ancient Land

    Taking a Walk Across Ancient Land My boots make a crunching sound on the rocks. It’s a constant backdrop while hiking in the high country of the Smokies, except on those stretches of trail where I hit snow, ice, or leaves. The crunching has been an almost continuous background for my hikes in the Smokies over the decades.   More recently, I’ve been Read more...

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