Southern Appalachian Studies
Stories from Cemeteries of the Smokies
Gail Palmer, PhD
Thursday, December 7, 6 p.m.
Dorothy Herron Rooms A & B
More than 150 cemeteries, scattered throughout the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina section of the Great Smoky Mountains, provide a final resting place for thousands of former residents of these mountains. Although silent now, each grave has a story to tell.
Dr. Gail Palmer will present Stories from Cemeteries of the Smokies at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 7 at the Blount County Public Library.
Gail Palmer, a native of Blount County whose Sparks family ancestors resided in Cades Cove, spent many years researching the burial grounds and wrote the book Cemeteries of the Smokies, recently published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.
At the presentation, Palmer will share the book’s backstory and stories about some of the people who lived in the area before the formation of the Park and were buried in its cemeteries.
Over a period of many years, her research of the cemeteries progressed through interviews, material found in the Park Archives and by locating cemeteries and examining cemeteries and graves.
Dr. Palmer’s connection to the Park is through her mother, Mary Sparks Palmer, related to the Sparks families of Cades Cove.
Palmer has published other books about the people of the Smokies, including: Smoky Mountain Tales: Feuds, Murder & Mayhem, Vols. 1 & 2; The Midwives’ Quilt: A Story of Conflict & Intrigue in the Smokies; GSMNP: In the Beginning…Fact, Legend & Imminent Domain; DVDS: Sacred Places of the Smokies; When Mama Was the Doctor: Mountain Medicine Women.
Palmer earned three degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, including a Ph.D. through the College of Education’s Cultural Studies program, with an emphasis on qualitative research.
Books will be available at the program.
News about Cemeteries of the Smokies:
- Great Smoky Mountains Association Announces Release of Cemeteries of the Smokies. The Mountaineer, November 21, 2017.
- GSMA Announces Release of Cemeteries of the Smokies. Great Smokies Mountains Association.
Open to the public, this program is hosted by Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, TN. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at (865) 982-0981 or visit the website at www.blounttn.org/197/.