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The Elkmont Historic District in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is getting a makeover, with work now underway to restore some buildings and demolish others. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Mapping a Prehistoric Tapestry

Alan Cressler photo

Jan Simek is an intrepid cave explorer. He’s probed the depths of more than 800 caves in the rich grotto country of East Tennessee and its border states. The master spelunker isn’t on a quest for adventure, however. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Mapping a Prehistoric Tapestry

Alan Cressler photo

Caves evoke the innate wanderlust of the American spirit. For a country built on exploration and discovery, a deep yearning to venture to uncharted places is engrained in our collective psyche. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Before and after

Photo special to Smoky Mountain Living

Working in her studio nestled on a hillside overlooking Wears Valley, a border community of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, artist Kathryn Rutherford’s face takes on a radiance. more

Jun 29, 2017 4:02 PM Sweet Appalachia

In the late summer of 1780, the fifth year of fighting between the Americans seeking independence and the British Empire, the American South seemed doomed to fall to British control. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Good Reads

Carolina-grown

Beth Patton photo

Whether he’s scavenging the countryside in search of honeysuckle and dandelion, scouring mom-and-pop farms for fennel and carrots, or tracking down local honey and sorghum cane juice, Todd Boera is on the cutting edge of the farm-to-mug movement. more

Apr 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Margaret Hester photo

For many of us, fragments of images or threadbare associations are exactly how we create memory. Even brain research tells us that we learn by forming connections to what we already know. more

Apr 1, 2017 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Microbreweries of the mountains are peddling more than pints these days. The Smokies’ national acclaim as a craft-beer destination has led the burgeoning microbrewery scene on a quest for expansion, one that’s intersecting with the region’s history. more

Apr 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

12 Days of Christmas

Donated photo

Partridges and pear trees need not apply: These 12 holiday destinations around Southern Appalachia offer mountain merry-makers a bit of everything—from homespun traditions to festive glamour and glitz. more

Dec 1, 2016 12:00 AM Features

Influence not bound by gender

Henry Glassie photo

In 2009, seven years after the death of Ola Belle Reed, Maryland state folklorist Clifford Murphy set out to unearth how her mountain music was playing out in the small towns where her music had flourished. more

Features

“Your background is all you have; it starts you off.”

Maryland State Archives photo

Fifty years ago, when she was fifty, Ola Belle Reed looked back to tell the story of her life. For months we had been recording her songs. Now it was time for her life. more

Features

New Harp of Columbia

Carroll McMahan photo

Harmonious voices—often described as spirited, soulful, poignant, even haunting—ring out from Middle Creek United Methodist Church in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. These shape-note singers practice an art older than the church where they’ve assembled. more

Aug 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Ties to the past

Courtesy of Jonesborough Area Merchants & Service Association

It may not come as a surprise that the oldest town in Tennessee would also be a hotbed for storytelling. Jonesborough’s National Storytelling Festival, an annual event that began with 60 attendees in 1973, now attracts more than 10,000 guests. more

Jun 1, 2016 12:00 AM , Departments

Clingmans secret tunnel

Deb Campbell

Hikers, outdoorsmen, photographers, and locals reveal their favorite treasures of “the back of beyond”—from secluded trails and fishing streams to quiet overlooks and picnic spots. more

, , Features

The better part of a century has passed since the individual who was arguably the finest lawyer and legal mind ever to call Haywood County home was in active practice, and next year will mark a half century since his death. more

Apr 1, 2016 12:00 AM Features 2 Comments

Haunted by legacy

Historic Rugby Inc.

Walking dirt and gravel paths, I came upon mist hanging over fields and graveyards, obscuring the cupolas of Victorian houses that had stood on the same wood foundations since the 1800s. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features

Churning away

Adventure Photography photos

Those searching for physical clues about the lives of previous generations find plenty of evidence at the Hagood Mill, a campus that houses a cabin built in 1791 and a functioning gristmill erected in 1845. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Departments

The Family Plot

Jo Harris photo

A few miles east of Gatlinburg, a right turn off the main road leads directly into the solitude and beauty of Greenbrier Cove. The road is rough and narrow, its edge precariously close to the river, which tumbles over and around huge boulders. more

Aug 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features

Southern Appalachia: 50 Events That Put Us On The Map

Illustration by Ali Douglass

From the conquistadors and colonists of centuries past to the Appalachian Trail backpackers and smartphone-toting tourists of today, travelers have always been drawn to Southern Appalachia’s dramatic geography. more

Jun 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features

Dreamcatcher

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

As with most things good and holy—Velveeta cheese, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee—dream catchers tend to churn my stomach when overconsumed. Don’t get me wrong: I love the message behind them, that we can filter good dreams from bad. more

Jun 1, 2015 12:00 AM Good Reads