The Southeast a Place of Beauty and History

By Hoover, Terry | American Heritage, May 2000 | Go to article overview

The Southeast a Place of Beauty and History


Hoover, Terry, American Heritage


It is an interesting paradox that we Americans, citizens of such a comparatively young country and products of a culture preoccupied with progress, are so fascinated with our history.

In the past year, 65.9 million American adults took a trip that included a visit to a historic place, museum, cultural event or festival. That number is expected to exceed 100 million by the end of this year.

Many of us choose destinations in the sunny South, drawn, like our ancestors, by the natural beauty and comfortable climate.

Southerners have always enjoyed a close, personal relationship with the past. They speak as familiarly of long-dead relatives as they do of neighbors down the street. Events of a century ago hold as much fascination for them as today's headlines and they are happy to share their tales with friends of even a few minutes' acquaintance.

Tennessee ranks eighth in the number of historic and cultural visitors it draws each year. Nearly 8 million tourists visit Memphis, home of the blues and birthplace of rock `n' roll. The city is a monument to its musical heritage from Beale Street, a national historic landmark and major entertainment district, to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and Graceland, former home of Elvis Presley. But music is only part of the city's heritage. Other significant sites include the Center for Southern Folklore, the National Civil Rights Museum, a number of historic homes and cemeteries, the Memphis Belle Pavilion and the Mississippi River Museum.

Just over the border in North Carolina, man's accomplishments are eclipsed by a legacy 500 million years in the making. The area of western North Carolina that encompasses the Great Smoky Mountains looks much as it did when migrating aboriginal tribes first arrived somewhere around 10,000 B.C. Christened Sha-cona-ge, or Place of Blue Smoke, by the Cherokee Indians, the Great Smoky Mountains have been made accessible by modern highways and railways, but the peaks and deep-shaded gorges and valleys have lost none of their wild majesty.

Modern explorers can experience that heritage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a 500,000-acre refuge that runs along the border of western North Carolina and Tennessee. The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests hold clues to earth's earliest days.

The area is sparsely populated, but residents are faithful stewards of their heritage who share the handicrafts and culture of their ancestors with visitors in historic buildings and museums. Twenty-two sites on the Made in America Trail are housed in the area, such as the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts and the John C. Campbell Folk School, where artists and students study traditional folk art, music and dance.

A compelling chapter in the history of the Smokies is the saga of the Cherokee Indians who roamed the mountains centuries before the first white man set foot on American soil.

Over the past 50 years, the Cherokee have reclaimed their heritage and preserved it on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, or Qualla Boundary. Exhibits and artifacts at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian recount the history of the tribe from 10,000 B.C. through its forced removal in 1838. The story is dramatically portrayed in the outdoor drama Unto These Hills. The Oconaluftee Indian Village is an authentic replica of an 18th-century Cherokee community where visitors can learn about the Cherokee culture and watch native artisans at work. Many are members of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Cooperative, whose work graces the White House and the Smithsonian.

To the north and east lie the Blue Ridge Mountains. The history, culture and handcrafted treasures of the inhabitants are proudly preserved in historic sites, outdoor dramas and museums that showcase early Appalachian culture, African-American and Native American art and even Scottish tartans. Time-honored crafts of pottery, weaving and wood carving are handed down at places such as the Folk Art Center and the North Carolina Homespun Museum. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Southeast a Place of Beauty and History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.