knoxville daily sun
knoxville news knoxville daily sun lifestyle business knoxville sports travel knoxville classifieds knoxville jobs knoxville legal notices knoxville yellow pages smoky mountains contact facebook twitter linkedin rss entertainment knoxville advertising

National Park Plans to Build New Facility to Store Historical Artifacts

cherokee indians
Cherokee Indians. One of many historical photographs currently being stored in Great Smoky Mountains National Park facility. Photo courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Library.

wonderland hotel elkmont
The Wonderland Hotel, Elkmont. One of many historical photographs currently being stored in Great Smoky Mountains National Park facility. Photo courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Library.

GATLINBURG -- Plans are being made by Great Smoky Mountains National Park to construct a new storage facility to preserve 422,000 historical artifacts and 450,000 archival records which will help document the park's history and that of four other National Park Service areas in East Tennessee.

The items are currently being stored in separate facilities in the Smokies and at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and Obed Wild and Scenic River.

Park managers are inviting comments on an Environmental Assessment which lays out the impacts of the proposed facility.

The sites currently housing the artifacts and records do not meet National Park Service standards for physical security or environmental controls of the temperature and humidity that are essential to protect the items from mold, insects, and fire. The proposed new facility would house all these irreplaceable materials in a central location which meets all the criteria for their long-term preservation. Consolidating the collections of all the NPS areas with the Smokies' materials would both ensure their protection and also allow for a single Museum Curator to oversee all the collections.

The historic artifacts include pre-historic projectile points, logging-era equipment, vintage weapons, clothing, farm implements, tools and other possessions that would have been found on the farmsteads of the Southern Appalachians in pre-park days. The archival collections include such things as land records, oral histories, historic photos, and Park operating records.

The National Park Service is finalizing the design for a new approximately 13,000 square-foot Joint Curatorial Collection Facility which would be located on a 1.6 acre parcel of land adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center (GSMHC) in Townsend, TN. The land is currently owned by the GSMHC but would be donated to the National Park Service before any construction would take place. When completed, the facility would be owned and operated by the National Park Service.

The Environmental Assessment is available for review online at the National Park Service's Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website: Comments may be submitted either through that website or by mail to: Superintendent, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Attn: Joint Curatorial Facility, 107 Park Headquarters Rd. Gatlinburg, TN 37738.

The comment period extends through Friday, August 26, 2011.

Published July 22, 2011, 9:45 a.m.

Share |

Subscribe to Knoxville Daily Sun

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2011 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy