Before it was a set aside for posterity as one of the nation’s first national parks, the land within what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park was home to thriving communities of Southern Appalachian highlanders.
Now, that long-ago history is being detailed in an intriguing way by local author Gail Palmer, who’s new book “Cemeteries of the Smokies” was just published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.
In addition to a genuine chronicling of Appalachian lore and legend, the book serves as an extensive graveyard guidebook, listing nearly 5,000 graves along with their GPS coordinates, spread out across more than 150 graveyards within the park. There’s also a 96-page list of graves that were relocated before the flooding initiated by the construction of Fontana Dam in the 1940’s.
Learn more about Palmer’s book here.