Book 42 of 50 – It Happened in the Great Smokies

It Happened in the Great Smokies (affiliate link) by Michael R. Bradley is a nonfiction book. A collection of stories from the 1700s through 2016, this volume hits home because this area is our home. I wanted to learn more about outstanding people who have shaped the area we live in.

It Happened in the Great Smokies

Nonfiction title with short accounts of how our area developed

The Cherokees and the European immigrants lived together sometimes peacefully and other times not so much. Then the Civil War happened and people got split again, along different lines.

Fast forward to the 1900s and you have the National Park coming in, ousting the locals and bringing tourism and prosperity to a previously depressed area. Last but not least, the Great Wildfire of 2016, which we remember vividly because we lived through it, started a sort of Gatlinburg 2.0.

Honestly, I did not like how he exonerated the two young men who started the fire. In so many words, he seemed to suggest it was not their fault, what happened in 2016. If it had not been for the hurricane-strength winds and the super dry conditions… two kids playing with matches at Chimney Tops would not have caused 2,500 structures to burn. That is the gist of what he says.

I am sorry, but what planet is this author from? At least 14 people died in horrible ways that day and night. Our lives got turned upside down. These two teenagers get to walk around saying it was an act of God? I am so glad we do not know who they are.

And it makes me wonder about how biased he was in writing the other stories in the book, which I have no way of verifying, because they happened way before my time in the Smokies.

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