Basking in Cherokee History in Southern Appalachia
In the 1920s and 30s, tourism in southern Appalachia created a new public awareness of the region's Cherokee history. With the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), the Cherokee community in Western North Carolina became a significant tourist destination, and this development encouraged promoters to work the Cherokees more thoroughly into their conceptions of the region's past. Tourist literature and performances began to highlight certain Cherokee historical episodes, among them the story of removal. This chapter traces the Cherokee community's growing involvement in the regional tourism economy during the interwar period, while examining mountain tourism's representations of Cherokee history. It describes the roles played by Cherokee history in promotions for the GSMNP, before closely analysing two particular commemorations: a campaign in Knoxville, Tennessee, to erect a monument to Cherokee removal and a pageant mounted by the Eastern Band of Cherokees to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the tribe's removal treaty.
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