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Author: Anne Whisnant

Windshield Wilderness: Autos and the National Parks

Windshield Wilderness: Autos and the National Parks

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, February 26, 2009) I apologize for the long delay in offering any new postings for “A Historian’s Parkway.” Readers will have to have patience with my infrequent contributions for a while. To be honest, I have taken on too many obligations and am struggling to keep up. So I’ll be here now and then, but not as often as in the past. Meanwhile, other members of our community are doing…

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Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary celebration begins

Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary celebration begins

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, October 21, 2008) I was pleased to be involved in the kickoff a couple of weeks ago for the celebration of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary. While the official celebration won’t really happen until 2010, the two-state group working on the plans wanted to take note of the fact that the Parkway had its real beginnings 75 years ago this fall, when the project received initial approval for federal…

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Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration Begins

Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration Begins

In 2008, I wrote about the Parkway’s impending 75th anniversary for National Parks Traveler. Here, I reflected on a symposium on Parkway history that I helped organize for the celebration: Titled A Living Past on a Borrowed Landscape: The Blue Ridge Parkway at 75, our symposium aimed to focus on the struggles this park faces as a narrow corridor threaded through a populated region. The scenic views that are key to the Parkway traveler’s experience stretch from the NPS-owned lands…

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Grandfather Mountain’s forgotten history

Grandfather Mountain’s forgotten history

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, October 12, 2008) (The following piece was written with my husband, David E. Whisnant, and was first published on October 12, 2008 in the Raleigh News & Observer.) Recent reports have brought welcome news that the state of North Carolina will purchase about 2600 acres of the spectacular Grandfather Mountain for protection as a public park. It’s about time. The first effort to make Grandfather a park came in 1917 when…

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The Route to Buying Grandfather Mountain

The Route to Buying Grandfather Mountain

Point of View article first published in the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, 12 October 2008 The route to buying Grandfather Mountain Anne Mitchell Whisnant and David E. Whisnant Recent reports have brought welcome news that the state will purchase about 2,600 acres of the spectacular Grandfather Mountain for protection as a public park. It’s about time. The first effort to make Grandfather a park came in 1917 when owner Hugh MacRae tried to give 1,400 acres at the top…

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State of NC buying part of Grandfather Mountain, 60 years late!

State of NC buying part of Grandfather Mountain, 60 years late!

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, September 28, 2008) The Charlotte Observer carries word this morning that the state of North Carolina will purchase approximately 2600 acres of Grandfather Mountain for $12 million for use as a state park. The purchase area, interestingly, does not include the 600-acre tract where the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, nature museum, and animal habitats have since the 1950s and 1960s attracted hundreds of thousands of paying tourists. These lands, instead, will be put…

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Too much history, too little time

Too much history, too little time

(Originally posted to VIrtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, September 17, 2008) I have been terribly remiss at adding anything to this blog recently and apologize for that. There is so much going on with my Blue Ridge Parkway work that I have had no time to blog! I hope to get back to more regular posts soon, but wanted to update you on some of what is afoot: Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary: Plans for a year 2010 celebration…

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History and the GMP, Part 4: What shouldn’t go in

History and the GMP, Part 4: What shouldn’t go in

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, August 14, 2008) Sorry I have been offline for a while — I was traveling to the midwest, where I visited Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, and the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace. But now back to the Blue Ridge Parkway! In some recent posts, I’ve been trying to give a historically-informed analysis of the “preliminary alternatives” announced back in the spring for the public’s consideration and commentary to help the…

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Parkway’s problems endemic to many National Parks

Parkway’s problems endemic to many National Parks

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, July 25, 2008) I subscribe to a Google groups listserv called Park Land Watch that sends me multiple articles every day about all kinds of issues facing the National Parks. The topics raised on the list remind me that our beloved Blue Ridge Parkway is part of a large national system of parks, and that its struggles are, by and large, emblematic of the troubles faced by the entire National Parks system….

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History and the GMP, Part 3: Some priorities

History and the GMP, Part 3: Some priorities

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, July 16, 2008) In some recent posts, I’ve been trying to give a historically-informed analysis of the “preliminary alternatives” recently announced for the public’s consideration and commentary to help the Parkway staff writes a General Management Plan for the park. Today’s topic? The comments I submitted in response to Question 2. Read the spring 2008 GMP newsletter and learn about the preliminary alternatives here. Question 2. Which parts of any of…

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