Custom House Chronicles

Stories, historical tidbits, and musings from the East Tennessee History Center staff.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

For centuries, the majesty and mystery of the Great Smoky Mountains have lured mankind. The Cherokee were among the first to build thriving communities here, and backcountry frontiersmen were next to put down roots. In time, visitors arrived, eager to take in the cool mountain air, and returned home with stories of hillbillies. Then came those who used the mountains for their own advantages, such as lumber barons, armed with steam shovels and skidders.


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