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National Park seeks help in identifying historic homesites
June 2, 2022

historic homes great smoky mountains national park
Example of historic homes; GSMNP

GSMNP - Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking help to identify and document former homesite locations in the park. Volunteer-In-Park Frank March, in conjunction with Park Archeologist Allison Harvey, is leading these research efforts which includes documenting field locations with associated historic records. The public is invited to join March and Park Archivist Mike Aday at the Blount County Library on Saturday, June 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to learn more about the project and to add copies of their historic records to the collection.

“In order to gather as much information as possible we are reaching out to the local community to see if we can get old photos and information which may help with the project,” said Volunteer Frank March.

March estimates that more than 2,400 former homesites can be found in the park. Seventy percent of these homesites have been identified, but more remain. Records associated with the purchase of approximately 1,200 farms between 1920 and 1940 for the creation of the park are preserved in the park’s Collections Preservation Center. However, the history of European habitation in the park dates to the 1790s and many of these pre-20th century homesites are not documented.

historic homes great smoky mountains national park
Handdrawn historic map of historic homes; GSMNP

March and Aday encourage the public to bring historic photos of old homesites, hand drawn maps, or other documents that will help the park identify these locations. Aday will scan the materials and provide digital copies and original documents back to the owner.

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