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PRESENTS MAJESTY OF GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS OF NORTH CAROLINA & TENNESSEE. HANDICRAFTS, DANCES & FOLK MUSIC OF PEOPLE OF REGION ARE SHOWN.
Originally a public domain film Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains and the name is commonly shortened to the Smokies. The Great Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range. The park was established in 1934, and, with over 11 million visits per year, it is the most visited national park in the United States.
The Great Smokies are part of an International Biosphere Reserve. The range is home to an estimated 187,000 acres (76,000 ha) of old growth forest, constituting the largest such stand east of the Mississippi River. The cove hardwood forests in the range’s lower elevations are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America, and the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest that coats the range’s upper elevations is the largest of its kind. The Great Smokies are also home to the densest black bear population in the Eastern United States and the most diverse salamander population outside of the tropics.
Along with the Biosphere reserve, the Great Smokies have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The U.S. National Park Service preserves and maintains 78 structures within the national park that were once part of the numerous small Appalachian communities scattered throughout the range’s river valleys and coves. The park contains five historic districts and nine individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places.
The name “Smoky” comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range and presents as large smoke plumes from a distance. This fog is caused by the vegetation exhaling volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a high vapor pressure and easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure…
European explorers and settlers began arriving in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee in the mid-18th century. The influx of settlers at the end of the French and Indian War brought conflict with the Cherokee, who still held legal title to much of the land. When the Cherokee aligned themselves with the British at the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776, American forces launched an invasion of Cherokee territory.
The Middle towns, including Kittuwa, were burned by General Griffith Rutherford, and several of the Overhill towns were burned by John Sevier. By 1805, the Cherokee had ceded control of the Great Smokies to the U.S. government. Although much of the tribe was forced west along the Trail of Tears in 1838, a few—largely through the efforts of William Holland Thomas—managed to retain their land on the Qualla Boundary and today comprise the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
In the 1780s, several frontier outposts had been established along the outskirts of the Smokies, namely Whitson’s Fort in what is now Cosby and Wear’s Fort in what is now Pigeon Forge. Permanent settlers began arriving in these areas in the 1790s. In 1801, the Whaley brothers, William and John, moved from North Carolina to become the first settlers in what is now the Greenbrier section of the park.
In 1802, Edgefield, South Carolina resident William Ogle (1751–1803) arrived in White Oak Flats where he cut and prepared logs for cabin construction…
Cades Cove was settled largely by families who had purchased lots from land speculator William “Fighting Billy” Tipton. The first of these settlers, John and Lucretia Oliver, arrived in 1818. Two Cades Cove settlers, Moses and Patience Proctor, crossed over to the North Carolina side of the Smokies in 1836 to become the first Euro-American settlers in the Hazel Creek area. The Cataloochee area was first settled by the Caldwell family, who migrated to the valley in 1834.
Like most of Southern Appalachia, the early 19th-century economy of the Smokies relied on subsistence agriculture…