Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Smoky Mountains National Park turns 75

Clay Owen

The 75th anniversary of the opening of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is soon approaching. The most-visited park in the entire National Park system, the GSMNP is celebrating in the coming year with a series of events featuring Dolly Parton as the park's official Ambassador.

Scott Barker has an excellent piece in today's Knoxville News Sentinel surveying many aspects of the Park.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Museum of Appalachia's Tennessee Fall Homecoming

The Museum of Appalachia's Tennessee Fall Homecoming is one of the finest and most-important events each year in all of Appalachia. We spent a couple of days at the museum in Clinton, TN this weekend.

David Baker of Sevierville, TN mans his family's apple press and sells mountain taffy.

Okra dries in the October sun.

Ronda Vincent and the Rage entertains thousands at the Museum's main stage. This year's homecoming featured five stages of continuously-running music.

Above are two pieces featured in the museum's massive Display Barn. The museum's collection is absolutely huge, as well as incredibly varied. Items range from the former property of some of the most prominent figures in Appalachia's history, to simple items upon which the people of the region relied on that were crucial to their survival.

The WDVX camper, the station's original studio.

Museum founder John Rice Irwin chats with old-time fiddler Charlie Acuff (cousin to the late Roy Acuff, King of Country music).

Many of the museum's most-impressive items are on display in the Appalachian Hall of Fame. John Rice Irwin's personal touch is evident throughout the grounds of the museum, but especially in this building. Most of the placards are personally inscribed by Mr. Irwin, and his first-person accounting of the acquisition of many of the items are as rich as the artifacts themselves.

More photos from the weekend are here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Images from Middle Tennessee

So the western part of middle Tennessee would be considered only barely on the fringes of Appalachia by any definition, however I thought I'd share these photos of home that I took last time I made it down. Anyway, isn't Appalachia more a state of mind than an actual geographic boundary? Okay, maybe it is an actual geographic boundary, but that's beside the point.

The rest of my photographs can be found on my PicasaWeb site.