The stars were in alignment to transform the isolated hamlet of White Oak Flats into the major tourist destination that Gatlinburg is today.
Settlers arrived at the end of the 18th century to farm, and a community emerged. When the ladies of the Pi Beta Phi Women's Fraternity established a school in Gatlinburg in 1912, the mountain people learned they had the skills to produce marketable, handmade items. With interest in a national park developing in the 1920s, people began to visit the area to buy handcrafts and to enjoy the scenery. Enterprising residents then built hotels and shops to accommodate them. Today, Gatlinburg supports approximately 11,000 people with an active chamber of commerce, a prize-winning community center, an outstanding public school system, a national art education center, and a nationally known public library.
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About the Author
Sources of the photographs include the families of individuals pictured here, as well as the collections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the East Tennessee History Center's Calvin M. McClung Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives, and the archives of Anna Porter Public Library. Kenton Temple, MSLS, MA, is the director of Anna Porter Public Library and has been a librarian for 40 years. Karen McDonald manages the history collection at Anna Porter Public Library and has lived in Gatlinburg for 35 years.
Table of Contents
1 First Settlers and Early Years 9
2 The Coming of the Pi Phis 23
3 Crafting to Sell Catches on 31
4 Life in the 1930s and the Early Craft Business 41
5 Early Tourists Come for the Scenery and Handmade Goods 59
6 Taking the Idea and Running with It 71
7 Gatlinburg Becomes a Major Tourist Attraction 85
8 No Longer an Isolated Mountain Community 111