Great Smoky Mountains


Andrews, N.C.
Once an old logging camp located in the Southwestern corner of North Carolina in Cherokee County, Andrews is now a small resort town of about 1500 citizens. It is nestled in a wide valley of the Blue Ridge mountain chain of the Great Smoky Mountains and features whitewater rafting, trout fishing, horseback riding, hiking, antique stores, dining, and several quaint bed and breakfast inns.

Appalachia Appalachia
The southern and central portion of the Appalachian Mountains including the Piedmont plateau.

Appalachian Divide
Crest of the Appalachians Mountains where rivers flow either east or west. In 1763, British Parliament prohibited the settlement or purchase of lands by whites from the Native Americans west of the divide from Maine to Georgia.

Appalachian Trail
Proposed by conservationist Benton MacKaye in 1921 and completed by 1937, the 2,100 mile trail stretches from Kahtahdin, Maine to Springer, Georgia.  Following the crest of the Great Smoky Mountains and separating Tennessee from North Carolina, the trail enters the northeastern end of the Park at Davenport Gap and comes down the mountain at Doe Knob, exiting the Park at Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River.

Asheville, North Carolina
A resort city located at the northeastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Atlanta Braves
Formerly the Boston Braves, this national league baseball team transferred its franchise to Milwaukee in 1953 and then moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1966. The Atlanta Braves, now owned by media mogul Ted Turner and his wife Jane Fonda Turner, won the World Series in 1995 by defeating the Cleveland Indians. The Brave's mascot Chief Nokahoma, adopted in 1941, was an aberation of a Natchez Native American and misrepresented in Plains Indian headdress.

Black Bear
Ursus americanus, the black bear is the symbol of the Smoky Mountains. A newborn black bear born in late winter will remain with its mother and other cubs (generally 2-3 weighing less than a pound each) in their den for two months emerging in the early spring. Females typically reach 120-130 lbs., males weigh up to 250 lbs. The total bear population of the Great Smoky National Park is estimated to be about 1700 bears.

Cades Cove Cades Cove
Originally used by the Cherokee Indians as hunting grounds, a land grant for 5,000 acres was given to Hugh Dunlap in 1794 by North Carolina and reissued by the new state of Tennessee in 1809. Now part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the land and a few original homes, barns, and churches are preserved for visitor viewing. The valley was settled by whites in 1818 and by 1850 had a population of 685 people representing 132 families. The Civil War and the Great Depression had dwindled the cove’s population to 424 people and was acquired, after a series of legal battles, through eminent domain by the state of Tennessee beginning in 1929.

The National Park Service maintains developed campgrounds in the park at Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, Look Rock and Smokemont. Camping is limited to seven days and there is a fee charged. For reservations call 1-800-452-1111. For commercial campground information outside of the park you may call 1-423-523-2316 for Tennessee and 1-919-733-4171 for North Carolina.

North and South Carolina (the Carolinas)
Originally an English colony formally established in the early 1600s and named for King Charles I, son of James I. In 1663, Charles II granted a proprietary charter to eight Englishmen who had helped him regain the throne of England.

Muscular, red-haired nomads who wandered through Europe most likely from beyond the Caspian Sea. About 400 B.C. they crossed the Swiss Alps and laid siege to Rome. Settling in France, Spain, Aisa Minor, and the British Isles they usually lived in fortified villages atop hills with fields and grazing pastures outside. Celts are accredited with teaching many new skills to the people they conquered. They smelted iron and would forge it into useful tools and weapons. They were also adept in curing hams, keeping bees, and making barrels. The name Celtic Renaissance has been given to the revival of interest in Celtic language and literature, especially strong in Ireland since the late 1800's.

Chapman Highway
A Knoxville portion of U.S. 441 named after Colonel David C. Chapman, a wholesale druggist who spearheaded the effort to establish the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Cherokee Sequoyah
The most familiar name, Cherokee, comes from a Creek word "Chelokee" meaning "people of a different speech”, or Spanish "Chalaque", probably of Choctaw origin meaning "cave people", or the English translation of Tsaragi, a lower town pronunciation of their "foreign" tribal name Tsalagi.  The Cherokee referred to themselves as the Ani-Yunwiya or “real people” and were a tribe of the northern Iroquois in Ontario, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania that travelled south along the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains to settle eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, western North Carolina and Virginia, Southern West Virginia, South Carolina , Georgia, and northeastern Alabama.  Called the Entarironnen (mountain people) or Oyatageronon (cave people) by their northern brethren, regional tribes were referred to as Upper, or Overhill, Middle, and Lower depending upon their locality in relationship to the Appalachian Mountains.  Their principal talwas or towns were located along the Little Tennessee and at the headwaters of the Savannah, Hiwassee, and Tuckaseegee Rivers.

Cherokee, North Carolina
Tourist town providing accommodations, dining, entertainment and gambling to visitors of the Eastern Cherokee reservation.

Cherokee Priest
A ritual specialist respected for his knowledge more than any innate, supernatural ability he might possess, the Cherokee priests were instructed by elder priests who taught and made them memorize the sacred formulas and songs that would cure ills or wounds, ward off evil spirits, bless crops, and insure victory in war. After many months of instruction a candidate would be placed in a hole and covered with dirt. A hollow cane was provided through which he would breathe. This was the way of saying that he had been dead and buried. The elder priest covered the grave with leaves and lit them, afterwhich the candidate became a priest.

Cherokee River
Either the Tennessee River viz. the Cherokee town Tanasi or the Holston River renamed for frontiersman Stephen Holston.

Echota or Itsati.  Peace Town and capital of the Cherokee Nation located on the south bank of the Little Tennessee river.

First bottled in 1899 at a plant in Chattanooga, two attorneys, for $1, purchased the bottling rights to the fountain drink invented by an Atlanta druggist.

Coercive Acts, The
The colonial transgressions against the West Indian Tea Company prompted Parliament to enact four new acts that the Boston colonists dubbed Coercive or Intolerable Acts.  The Boston Port Bill closed the port to commerce until the tea dumped by Sam Adam’s raiders was paid for; the Massachusetts Government Act abrogated its charter of 1691, reducing it to a crown colony, substituting a military government for a civilian one and forbidding town meetings without approval; the Administration of Justice Act allowed British officials to change venues for capital offenses during law enforcement, allowing them to go to England or another colony for trial; and the Quartering Act restructured arrangements for housing British troops. Together with the Quebec Act, which rechartered lands ceded to England from the French, they became known as the Five Intolerable Acts. The attempt by King George III and Parliament to reinforce British control of the American colonies after such a lengthy omission had come too late and general protests were staged throughout the colonies in opposition to the bills.

Continental Congress
At the suggestion of Virginians Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Peyton Randolph, delegations from the 12 colonies (Georgia abstained) met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774 to debate the course of action in response to grievances of the northern colonies.

Scotish martyrs sworn to the Presbytery form of government and opposed to the episcopacy of England.

Davy Crockett
Massacred in 1836 at the Alamo with 187 others in the fight against Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army, Davy Crockett, an East Tennessean, was an Indian fighter in the Creek War (his grandparents were killed by Indians, yet he opposed President Jackson's removal plans), a Tennessee state representative, and member of Congress.

Dragging Canoe
"Whole Indian Nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delewares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness. We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Tsalagi (Cherokee) land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Tsalagi (Cherokees). New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Tsalagi (Cherokees) and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the Ani Yvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Tsalagi (Cherokees), the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will hold our land." - Chief Dragging Canoe, Chickamauga Tsalagi (Cherokee) 1775

Eastern Hemlock
The eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a tall, pyramid shaped evergreen (40’-60’) with short and stubby dark green leaves and reddish brown bark. Its small cones grow from the tips of its sagging limbs.

Environmental Protection Agency. In 1970 President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to oversee most U.S. antipollution activity. The act also mandated the use of environmental impact statements, which require that businesses or governments examine production alternatives and assess the possible harmful effects of auto emissions and such activities as opening new factories, building dams, and developing new oil wells. These impact studies have now been expanded to include measures to remedy existing and prevent future adverse effects from human-induced air pollution on the air-quality-related values of the Southern Appalachians, weighing the environmental and socioeconomic implications of any recommendations.

Fishing Brook Trout
State fishing licenses are required for persons 13 years and older in Tennessee; 16 years and older in North Carolina. Limit is any combination of 7" or greater rainbow, brown trout, and smallmouth bass totalling 5 fish per day. Artificial bait only, single hook only. Possession of native brook trout is illegal.

Flora and Fauna
The plants and animals of a specific region.

Fort Loudoun
Fort built by South Carolinians on the forks of the Tellico and Little Tennessee Rivers.

Fort Robinson
The second English fort in Tennessee built on the northern bank of the Holston River opposite Long Island.

Translated to Cataloochie from the Cherokee meaning “standing up in ranks” used to describe an area of the Balsam Mountains to the west of the valley where stood a thin stand of fir.  The Cataloochees, now part of the Smoky Mountains National Park, has a rich heritage of Native American and mountaineer settlement.

Tourist center in Sevier County, Tennessee that lies at the northwestern border of the park. Named for the White Oak Flat's Postmaster, who was also the brother of the inventor of the Gatlin gun.

Or "sang" (Panax quinquefolium).  A North American herb, whose root resembles the shape of a man, is believed to have magical or physical attributes.

Glades Road
An eight mile loop road off Hwy. 321 featuring shops, galleries and studios of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The park is the largest east of the Mississippi and traverses 50 miles along the Tennessee and North Carolina border in the southern portion of the Appalachian system of mountains. Virgin and second growth forests, rushing rivers, streams, and waterfalls, plus a mountain range that includes many of the tallest U.S. mountains plays host to millions of visitors each year. Hiking trails, picnic areas, camping spots, and preserved frontier cabins and villages make the Great Smoky Mountain National Park the most popular park in the world. There are over 1500 different species of plants in the park and wildlife abounds. The park was conceived in 1924 and inaugurated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. All of the land was privately owned and purchased in consortium by Tennessee and North Carolina and granted to the Department of the Interior over a period of ten years.

Gristmill gristmill
From European examples from the Middle Ages, American colonists developed a water powered contraption that used two round stones for grinding threshed wheat for flour or corn for corn meal.

Coarsely ground corn that is boiled with a pinch of salt. Hominy grits are prepared from nixtamalized corn.

There are than 850 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Appalachian Trail runs for 70 miles along the Tennessee/North Carolina border. Pets are not allowed on any trails except for the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Backcountry camping requires a permit and is only allowed in designated camp sites. Shelter and tent reservations can be made by calling 1-423-436-1231 daily during regular business hours.

Sam Houston
Friend of Andrew Jackson, U.S. congressman, governor of Tennessee (1827), president of Texas (1836), U.S. senator (1846), and governor of Texas (1859), Sam Houston was also commander in chief of 800 new settlers in Texas that defeated Santa Anna’s Mexican army of 1500 at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836. Houston, whose father died when he was nine, was adopted by a Cherokee chief and his family in Tennessee. In 1829 he resigned as Tennessee governor, divorced his wife of two months and moved to be with his Cherokee friends, who had been removed to Texas. He later married a Cherokee and represented the Cherokee before President Andrew Jackson (in full Cherokee dress) in Washington. Being a strong supporter of the Union, he refused to support Texas secession (and was deposed as governor), but also refused to fight against his Confederate friends.

Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson
Twice president of the United States (1829-1837), Tennessee senator and congressman, Andrew Jackson was the youngest son of Scotch-Irish immigrants and a hero in the War of 1812 against the British. He defeated their Indian allies, the Creeks, in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and defeated 10,000 British redcoats in the Battle of New Orleans utilizing a rag-tag army of Tennessee and Kentucky recruits, free blacks, planters and pirates. Jackson was a popular President among the country’s farmers and small businessmen, and effected the consolidation of the Democratic Party, a nexus to Thomas Jefferson’s unestablished Republican Party, supporting non-aristocratic government.

James I of England (James VI of Scotland)
Already King of Scotland, he was the first of the Stuart line of English royalty. Son of Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, he succeeded Elizabeth I to the throne in 1603. Protestant and dedicated to a closer union between England and Scotland, he alienated both Puritans and Catholics. A believer in the Devine Rights of Kings, he ordered a new translation of the Bible, in common use today.

Thomas Jefferson
Political philosopher, diplomat, governor of Virginia, 1st Secretary of State of the new republic, and 3rd. President of the United States.

Founded in 1932 by Chattanoogans, the Krystal fast-food chain, a distinct copy of Illinois based White Castle, was recently purchased by a former chief financial officer for Coca-Cola Enterprises, also from Tennessee.

LeConte Lodge sits atop Mount Leconte, a half-day's hike to 6,593 feet above sea level. Reservations should be made months in advance by calling 1-423-429-5704.

Long Island
A Cherokee peace town where bloodshed was forbidden, on the banks of the Holston near the mouth of the French Broad.

Maryville, Tennessee
Blount County seat located 14 miles south of Knoxville.

Moonshine, or untaxed liquor, is made from fermented corn mash distilled in a cooker.
It derives its name from the term "moonlighter" used in England to describe the night time runners that smuggled brandy from France. After World War I, agricultural prices dropped, so during Prohibition, many American farmers turned to whiskey making to support their families. The Appalachian Traveller's home, Cosby, TN, is known as the "Moonshine Capitol of the World." In the 1960's, it's claimed that there were over 200 stills operating in Cocke County, each averaging 20 gallons a day. Liquor was run into Atlanta, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Asheville, as well as some northern cities. Moonshine Still A typical mountain still uses a stone furnace for heat, a metal still for fermenting and heating the mash, and barrels for collecting steam and condensing the alcohol. It was located near a mountain stream where cold water could be piped in to condense the steam from the liquor. To boiled corn meal add yeast and sugar (lots of sugar! -- that's how the sneaky "revenuers" would identify moonshiners for prosecution) to ferment the mash. When the mash quits bubbling, it is cooked in the still and the steam is captured in a barrel filled with water (the "thump"). From the thump, the steam is allowed to cool and condense by running it through a long copper coil (the "worm") submerged in another barrel (the "flakestand") that is constantly cooled with water troughed in from a nearby stream. Condensed, the clear liquor drips from the bottom of the flakestand into a catch can or 1/2 gallon glass jars. The liquor is tested for alcohol content, or "proof," by adding gunpowder to it and igniting the mixture. If it burns, its "proof" is established at somewhere between 100 and 200 proof or 50% to 100% pure alcohol.

Mountain Laurel Ivy
Also rhododendron.  There is a distinction made by mountaineers between the larger leafed Rosebay rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) with white or sometimes rose pink flowers or the purple or pink blossomed Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense), both called  “mountain laurel”, and the smaller leafed mountain laurel Kalmia latifolia which has small candy striped white or pinkish flowers, and is referred to by them as “ivy.”  Both are of the Ericaceae family which also includes azalea, heath, and blueberry.

Mulberry Grove
Revolutionary War General James White would build a fort there in 1786.  In 1792 the settlement was renamed Knoxville, Tennessee in honor of George Washington's Secretary of War General Henry Knox.

Native American
The preferred name for an American Indian. The original inhabitants of the new world (North and South America) were, as anthropologists speculate, emigres from Mongolia in northeastern Asia who traversed the land connector between present day Alaska and Russia 10,000 to 20,000 years ago.

Christopher Columbus, an Italian and Portuguese navigator commissioned by the King and Queen of Spain to develop a western sea route to India and Japan, landed short of his intended destination and was met by a band of peaceful, curious tribesmen in the Bahamas. Believing that he had landed in India, he thought they were Indians and the name stuck. They immediately traded goods and Columbus took back to Europe trinkets of gold and other minerals and tales of gold mines on the island.

It is estimated that approximately 1 million natives were living throughout North America when the first Europeans came to America. Roaming tribes of Native Americans settled in all regions of the United States wherever nourishment and climate permitted. Due to the abundance of plants and animals they were chiefly hunters and gatherers by nature, but by the time the first white men settled the eastern shores of the Americas, they had developed tools for hunting, boats for travel, and farms and gardens for raising crops. Over half of the states bear Native American names, and they were the first to domesticate potatoes, tomatoes, and turkeys. They had also found uses for rubber, tobacco, and sugar maple. There are as many differences in their customs and living habits as there were differences in the landscape of primeval America. The myths and stereotypes about these native inhabitants of the "new world" continue today. Much of our conception of the American Indian today is built upon the racial denigration promoted by eighteenth century and nineteenth century land and gold speculators, enforced in part by our own state and national governments. Hollywood has depicted the American Indian as a warring heathen whose near extinction was justified due to the god-fearing, hard working nature of the American settler. When we think of Indians today we conjure up images of the Plains Indian brave, whose costume of buckskin, war paint, and feathered headdress was showcased by Barnum in 1876, and promulgated by the travelling wild west shows of showman Buffalo Bill (William Cody) with sharpshooter Annie Oakley, and later the retired Indian warrior and chief Sitting Bull, plus "Injun" fighters Wild Bill Hickok, and Calamity Jane . Pulp fiction and Western movies kept these images alive well into the last century.

Newfound Gap Road
This transmountain highway (U.S. Hwy. 441) is about 30 miles in length, has an elevation gain of 3,600 ft. (the apex is 5,048 ft. above sea level) and connects Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina.  From the road you can access trails to Sugarland Valley, The Chimney Tops, Alum Cave, Charlies Bunion, The Appalachian Trail, Mt. LeConte, Mingus Creek, and the entrances to Clingman’s Dome Road, Smokemont Pioneer Village, and the Oconaluftee Indian Village.

Old Betsy
Settlers would often name their favorite hunting flintlocks.

A boundry of established law or respectability.

Literally "foot of the mountains." The U.S. Piedmont is geographically the hilly upland region east of the Appalachian Mountains stretching from southeastern New York to Alabama.

Pigeon Forge
Early Tennessee settlement named for the iron forge built by Isaac Love along the Little Pigeon River and for the many carrier pigeons found there. Located in east Tennessee between Sevierville and Gatlinburg.

Primeval Forest
A forest containing trees from the earliest of ages in a natural state.

Pulp and Paper Mill Pulp and Paper Mill
The introduction of the printing press in 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany greatly increased the need for printing paper. By the beginning of the American Civil War, there were over 500 papermaking companies in the United States yearly producing 60,000 tons of paper. Today it is a 140 billion dollar a year industry. The Egyptians invented a writing medium from layers of papyrus over 4000 years ago and the Chinese invented real paper before the birth of Christ using fibers from rags, tree bark, and plants and grasses such as hemp, bamboo, and straw. Early Europeans and American colonists made paper from cotton or linen rags until American and German entrepreneurs created the modern day process for making paper from wood. Called "kraft" (German for "strong"), the economical process of pulping (grinding) wood and treating with sulfuric acids made paper a readily available commodity, just in time for the Industrial Revolution. A by-product of paper production, tannic acid is used to soften leather for use in shoe soles, saddles, and clothing. Paper mills today primarily use fibers mechanically and chemically derived from spruce, fir, pine, and hemlock and deciduous trees including birch, oak, and aspen. Logs unsuitable for sawing into lumber, and recycled paper products, are also being converted into paper for use in newspapers, magazines and product packaging.

Ramps Eggs w/Ramps
A wild leek (Allium tricocum) with edible leaves and roots. Found in the woods of upper elevations, it's eaten raw or fried. The plants grow about a foot tall and, when eaten in quantity, a strong odor emanates from the skin of the ramps gourmand. The Cosby Ramp Festival is held annually the first Sunday in May and features the coronation of a ramp queen, entertainment by country and bluegrass performers, and, of course, plenty of ramps for your dining pleasure.

The eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) is an early spring bloomer whose clusters of pinkish, purple flowers appear along spindly bare limbs before new leaf growth. The heart shaped leaves are bright green turning to yellow in the fall.

Red Spruce
An evergreen conifer, the red spruce (Picea rubens) grows down below 3500' but is more common in upper elevations. A favorite of paper mills, hundreds of thousands were cut in the Smokies prior to the Park's establisment.

John Ross
Great chief of the Cherokee, John Ross, was the son of a Scottish immigrant and a quarter-blood Cherokee woman, whose father was also Scottish. Born in Georgia in 1790 near Chattanooga, his first wife, a full-blooded Cherokee died as consequence of the hardships endured during the U.S. forced removal of Indians from Georgia to a western reservation (now Oklahoma) in 1838 and 1839. In the War of 1812 he was adjutant of the Cherokee regiment that aided Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend. Principal chief of the eastern Cherokee from 1828 to to 1838 and chief of the united Cherokee Nation from 1839 until his death in 1866, John Ross dedicated his life to constant service to the Cherokee.

Eric Rudolph Wanted: Eric Rudolph
A federal arrest warrant was issued on February 14, 1998 for Eric Robert Rudolph in connection with the January 29, 1998 bombing at the New Woman All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. He was later charged in October of 1998 in connection with the 1996 fatal bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the double bombings at the Sandy Springs Professional Office Building north of Atlanta, and the double bombings at the Otherside Lounge in midtown Atlanta in January and February 1997.

The FBI had offered up to a $1,000,000 reward for information leading directly to the arrest of Eric Robert Rudolph a 32 year old resident of Murphy, North Carolina. Rudolph was a fugitive since shortly after the Birmingham bombing. Rudolph was arrested by a Murphy policeman, who stopped the fugitive at gunpoint behind a supermarket. One source said Rudolph was rummaging through trash. The million dollar reward wasn't paid. .

John Sevier
First governor of Tennessee (1796), who served six two-year terms, John Sevier, a Virginian, was renowned as the leader of every important Indian campaign along the Tennessee border, and successfully commanded a wing of American forces against the Tories at Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. In 1784, Sevier took part in a revolt against the state of North Carolina creating the separate state of Franklin and was elected its first governor. When the state of Franklin collapsed, he was arrested and arraigned by the government of North Carolina, but was allowed to escape. The next year he regained favor, and was elected to the North Carolina Senate and later served North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives (1789-91).

Smoky Mountains
A range of mountains in the southern Appalachians. Highest peak is Clingman’s Dome, 6642 feet above sea level. Sandy, shaley sediments transformed over a billion years ago to make up the crystalline base rock of the Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north. On top of this base rock, now called the Ocoee supergroup, came many layers of mud, sand, and pebbles that eroded from a land mass onto a continental sea shelf over six hundred million years ago. Sandstone comprised of feldspars, quartz, and limestone characterize the visible strata of mountain rocks cut by the rivers and highways today. Thrust faults, formed when a rock mass is pushed over another at an angle, tilted the strata perpendicular to the original formation. Depending upon their composition, some rocks would erode quicker than others, jumbling the mineral composition of the strata over millions of years into the present day geomorphology of the crests, mountain sides, foothills, and flat valleys of the Smokies. Flowing streams from the ice cut through the mountains and distributed life along its shores.

The Smoky Mountains begin where the Pigeon River cuts through the Appalachian System, and rise and fall to its highest point at Clingman’s Dome, then they gradually descend forming a ridge to the southwest to the Little Tennessee River. They are part of the Unaka chain which is an off-shoot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but definable in the sense that they contain some of the highest peaks in the master chain of the Appalachian System, which traverses over 2000 miles from Canada to Alabama. Water and wind erosion give the mountains of the Smokies their gentle contours contrasted by the sharp peaks and rugged sides of the much younger Rockies. Beyond the southern tip of the Ice Age that covered most of North Central America with glaciers from 1.8 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, the Smokies are marked by alpine tundra type landscape features at the highest elevations surrounded by firs and spruce.

Snuffy Smith
Seventy-five year-old syndicated comic strip that satirizes the life of a Kentucky mountaineer and his family.

Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton Popcorn Sutton
Moonshiner, videographer,junk and antique dealer from Cocke County Tennesssee.
In April of 2008 Popcorn Sutton pled guilty to producing over 1,000 gallons of untaxed corn liquor and possession of firearms (previously convicted), and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. Before serving his sentence, Popcorn committed suicide on March 16th, 2009. He was sixty two years old and had made and sold moonshine for over forty years. He frequently demonstrated the craft in person at several community fairs and festivals and produced his own videos for sale to the public.

Sweet Gum
Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is readily identified by its star shaped leaves, "corky" winged twigs, and spiny seed ball.  The sweet gum sap was used by the Cherokee as chewing gum.

The Tennessee Valley Authority was chartered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt through a Congressional Act during the Great Depression. Created to control flooding and to produce electricity for citizens living in the poverty stricken southern Appalachian Mountains, the agency thrives today governing the watershed areas of six states, and producing electricity from water, coal, and nuclear reactors for consumption throughout the eastern United States.

Ulster Ireland
A former province of northeastern Ireland, Ulster included nine counties, six of which are now Northern Ireland and three are Ulster Province. The Ulster Plantation began in the sixteen hundreds as poverty stricken colonists from the lowlands of Scotland migrated to Northern Ireland. Centuries before, it had become a strategy of England to subdue the island and to domesticate the rebellious Irish by granting lands conquered by the Norman King of England Henry II to Anglo-Norman families. Yet this strategy proved fruitless after so many would intermarry, adopt the customs and language of the Irish and join with them in resistance to English domination. Queen Elizabeth, beginning in 1560, tried unsuccessfully to drive the "wild" Irish away from their lands in the kingdom of Ulster, by transplanting hundreds of Englishmen to form a colony. The Irish, long accustomed to these invasions and much more numerous, would come back to raid and harass the new settlers. Her problems with Ireland were intensified by the clans of Tyronne and Tyrconnel in Ulster who organized a concerted rebellion against the Queen in 1595. Starvation and defeat by the English opened lands for external settlement in Ulster as the Queen lay dying in 1603. Hugh Montgomery, a Scot, learning that an Irish chieftain of large properties near the coast was in prison, effected his escape in return for half his lands. The new King of England, James I (James IV of Scotland) sanctioned the trade of lands in Ulster to Montgomery and another Scottish laird (a crony), under the condition that they must settle the lands with British Protestants and not grant any land to those of pure Irish extraction. Within ten years of the first settlement, the farmers who had left Scotland for Ireland totalled eight thousand and were reaping record harvests. By 1608, six of the nine northern Ireland counties were handed over to King James after Tyronne and Tyrconnel fled the country.

The Appalachian chain of mountains extending down from the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and North Carolina along the North Carolina Tennessee border into Alabama and include the Great Smoky Mountains.

Cas Walker
Born in 1902 in Sevier County, Caswell Orton Walker was a working man’s populist. Knoxville grocery store magnate, newspaper publisher, city councilman, briefly mayor, avid raccoon hunter, and host of his own television variety hour, he gave Dolly Parton her first break into the music industry. At fourteen he crossed the Smoky Mountains to work for the Champion Pulp and Fibre Company at their logging camp in Smokemont, North Carolina, using his wages to pay off his family’s mortgage on their farm near the Sinks. In his twenties he worked in the coal mines of Kentucky, saving $850 that he used to buy a grocery store in Knoxville, Tennessee, which he built into a multi-million dollar chain. Cas Walker died September 28, 1998 at age 96.

George Washington
Virginia surveyor, soldier, farmer, and 1st President of the United States.

White Oak Flats
Later renamed Gatlinburg.

Yellow Poplar
Also tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipfera). The tall and wide yellow poplar was a favorite for building log cabins and other structures, and likewise, a favorite of lumber mills. It's tulip-shaped leaves make it readily identifiable, and it's large green, yellow, and orange flowers bloom in early spring.
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