Saturday, July 09, 2011
The Land of the Smokies by Tim Hollis
This is a history of tourism in the Great Smoky Mountains area, primarily in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville areas in Tennessee and Cherokee area in North Carolina. However, the author did include comments on places in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina in the Boone and Blowing Rock areas and a chapter on attractions in the Chattanooga area. It was a fun trip down memory lane. While I'm too young to remember what it was like before the mid-1960s, we had ViewMaster slides, postcards, and other memorabilia around my house depicting those areas then so much of it was not foreign to me. It is interesting to see how changes have been made over the years and also, since I live in the area, to recognize changes from the time the book was published until now. While no book can ever be comprehensive in its treatment of the area's tourist attractions, this one does a good job of making it interesting. There are lots of vintage photographs and advertisements included throughout. My one criticism is that the author often left things that could have probably been tracked down better ambiguous. I suspect he was dealing with publication deadlines, but it left me with a feeling that there were still things that needed to have been researched before the book went to print. In spite of that flaw, it is still a great trip down Memory Lane for persons familiar with the Smokies. 3.5 stars.