Community and Environmental History

Articles and Links

Abstracts of Papers Presented at the Tennessee Academy of Science Annual Meeting 1969

Black Mountain: From Rags to Riches

This article is an overview of the unique history of Black Mountain, its ecological anomalies, and its role within the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail.

Coke Ovens

A look at the refinement of coal in the Cumberland region, and subsequently the life of the coal industry.

The Cumberland Homesteads After Twenty-Five Years by George W. Webb (1961)

This commentary explains the process, successes, and failures of establishing a subsistent settlement for economical relief on the Cumberland Plateau through the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the Department of Interior after the Great Depression rocked the country.

Emma Bell Miles – Spirit of the Mountains by Bob Fulcher

This inspiring piece about the life and times of one of Tennessee’s first and finest naturalists illuminates the hardships she endured while learning the true Appalachian culture through experience. She went on to disseminate that information to some acclaim whether it be of music, people, or her favorite subject, nature.

Geology, Width, and Wear of the Chickasaw Path and Old Natchez Trace

This essay details the physical differences and their possible causes in three generations of a single pathway, what would become the Natchez Trace.

The History and Development of the Oil and Gas Industry in Tennessee

A look back at the beginnings, development, and geology of the oil industry in Tennessee, starting with the first commercial production in Overton County and ending with the worldwide energy situation that killed the industry in Tennessee.

Natural Meadows of the Cumberland Plateau by L.R. Neel (1914)

Natural Meadows is a short piece that gives one theory on the existence of meadows of such unfavorable soil as to prevent little more than hardy grasses to grow on it.

Mining Disasters of the Plateau

The Scopes Trial and Its Aftermath

A five-page interpretation of the forces leading up to the trial of evolution v. creation argued by Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan. The piece also takes a look at the effects of the trial’s verdict.

The Settlement Pattern on the Cumberland Plateau by George W. Webb (1960)

George Webb takes a look at the Cumberlands to find answers for questions such as; how does the settlement pattern of the Plateau differ from other regions? What is the organization of social classes? How are family units related? And what are the factors that shape these patterns?

Water Quality of Mined and Unmined Watersheds in East Tennessee

This study quantifiably shows the differences in water quality between mined, unmined, and reclaimed watersheds from 1980-81.

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Audio Files

Projects, Programs, and Events

Historic Stone Survey Conducted at Head of Sequatchie – See survey report


Chattanooga-Chickamauga National Military Park

Chattanooga Regional History Museum

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Dunlap Coke Ovens

East Tennessee Historical Society

Museum of Appalachia

Tennessee Historical Commission