Title: Mountain Home
Authors: Wilma Dykeman and Jim Stokely
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction
Date Finished: 6 January 2009
My Rating: 4 Stars
Challenges: What's in a Name, RYOB, New Author, 100+
2009 marks the 75th anniversary of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the United States. Our Mountain Home: A Pictorial History of Great Smoky Mountains National Park was put out by the Great Smoky Mountain Association as a special 75th anniversary publication. Filled with hundreds of photos from the Park archival collections, the Smithsonian Institution and National Archives this book is just packed with beautiful pictures of the mountains and the people who inhabited them. Add in the text by Wilma Dykeman and Jim Stokely and you end up with well researched, excellent introductory history on the area.
This book covers everything from the mountains earliest inhabitants, the Cherokees, to the arrival of white settlers, mostly Scotch-Irish, to the region and the eventual removal of the Cherokee people. Both the Civil War and WWI brought outside influences into the mountain region, bringing change to to the once isolated mountain communities. Life was forever changed with the introduction of logging in the area and finally the push for a national park in the eastern United States that culminated with the park dedication by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. Through Dykeman and Stokely, you learn about all the major players who had a hand in the creation of the park and what it meant to those living within the new park boundaries.
A wonderful look at the history of the Great Smoky Mountains this book also includes a short but thorough visitors guide and a selection of further titles to pursue as an armchair explorer. My interest and fascination with this area continues.