More facts about the Great Smoky Mountains from Newsrack Blog:
The park is estimated to contain 100,000 species; less than 10% are known.
Around 1900, logging concerns discovered the Smoky Mountains. During the next 30 years, they clearcut 67% of the future Park. Logging brought employment and hard currency to the mountaineers, but destroyed the environment. In the early 1920s the Park movement began. In Cades Cove, more than half the residents accepted the cash offered for their land while the others fought the Park movement. John W. Oliver, great-grandson of Cades Cove’s first settler, led the effort and his spirited fight against Tennessee’s state government ended in the State’s Supreme Court. A compromise allowed the Cove people to remain in their homes with a life-time lease, only one family still remains in the Cove.
And from Doug:
Greenbrier has a trail that you can hike up to a ravine and see one of the old steam engines used during logging of the Smokies. The engine jumped track and went into the ravine and was unrecoverable.
Note – I think that the last resident is gone now.
2 thoughts on “110125576609056323”
Roughly 10 years ago the last lease in the park expired. It was for the Wonderland Hotel at Elkmont and its caretakers. I had the pleasure of being close friends with a family that knew the caretakers well. They took a video camera up and video taped the eldest man telling stories of the Wonderland. He is hard to understand on the tape at times but it is an excredible archive and I felt quite honored to be able to view it. He described how the stairs that now end at the road used to end at a railroad track and that is how people would primarily come to the hotel. My poor memory didn’t preserve anything else of his words.
There are still cabins in the smokies with things such as watches laid out where the residents just up and left.
This is as I’ve been told. I have not experienced this first hand.
I’m sure as the Cherokee destroy the Ravensford Tract many such treasures will be discovered and bulldozed.