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Category: VBR Posts

First-ever Blue Ridge Parkway children’s book now available!

First-ever Blue Ridge Parkway children’s book now available!

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, December 1, 2009) My husband David and I are pleased to announce that we have just written and published the first-ever children’s book about the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is something we’ve had in mind for years, ever since we realized that there was virtually nothing out there about the Parkway that speaks to younger audiences who will have to become its future stewards. We’ve been actively working more than…

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Historians studying state of history in the National Parks

Historians studying state of history in the National Parks

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, July 16, 2009) This post isn’t specific to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I thought readers might be interested in a project that I’m involved in that is taking a comprehensive look at the state of history in the National Parks. Here’s our official blurb about what we’re up to: (By the way, the photo at left is of Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial, courtesy National Park Service.) The largest learned…

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Parkway history digital project funded by State Library of NC!

Parkway history digital project funded by State Library of NC!

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, June 24, 2009) I’m delighted to announce that a new digital publishing project I’ve been working on with colleagues at the Carolina Digital Library and Archives (part of the UNC-Chapel Hill Library system) has been funded (to the tune of $150,000 total over two years) by the State Library of North Carolina under a federal grant program established under the Library Services and Technology Act. The project will be called “Driving through Time:…

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Parkway 75th symposium: Attention Parkway researchers!

Parkway 75th symposium: Attention Parkway researchers!

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, June 12, 2009) The nonprofit organization planning the celebration of the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary in 2010 has released the call for proposals for Part I of our two-part 75th Anniversary Symposium, “Imagining the Blue Ridge Parkway for the 21st Century.” Part I of the symposium, which will be held April 22-24, 2010 on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, is designed to bring together researchers and professionals…

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Blue Ridge America? Just say no!

Blue Ridge America? Just say no!

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, May 8, 2009) I have just had time to review the promotional video for the proposed “Blue Ridge America” project that Florida-based developer Larry Vander Maten is planning for a site just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, at what has for the last decade or so been known as Virginia’s “Explore Park.” This site, unlike other locations developers might be eyeing, is favored with a special access road that connects it directly…

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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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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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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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