History and Culture

Unlike other national parks which were formed with land already owned by the Federal or State government, Great Smoky’s land was purchased from farmers and family businesses. This national park is like a tapestry of previous mountain communities with citizens that loved the land so much, they wanted it to be preserved for all the world to enjoy.

Once the idea to form a national park was launched, thousands of people in Appalachia, the governments of Tennessee and North Carolina, and the even Presidents Coolidge and Roosevelt worked together to make it happen.

Here are the stories of the people and events that created our most-visited national park.