The Cumberland Trail has depended upon dozens of landowners who donated or sold land for the park corridor. Morgan County landowners have included Steve Hopper, The Forestland Group, The Nature Conservancy, Ron and Ruby Thomas, Margaret Walls, and Joe Walls.
The Morgan County Visitor Center is constructed on the former site of the Glenn and Evelyn Brasel home. For 50 years, Glenn and Evelyn Brasel operated a small country store within a few steps where the Morgan County Visitor Center now stands – while Glenn served as president of a local bank for 43 years.
The Brasel’s old-fashioned ways were matched with a love of nature. In the early 1930’s Glenn worked with the University of Tennessee to develop a grove of white pine above the homesite, established a large wildflower garden around the house, and took their children to Flat Fork (Morgan State Forest) and Nemo every chance.
The Brasel’s daughters, Margaret and Mary Jo, married the Walls brothers, Joe and Van Howard “Hooney” Walls. A Brasel granddaughter, Joni Lovegrove has contributed to many conservation organizations connected to the region. Emory River Watershed Association, Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, Friends of the Cumberlands, Friends of Fall Creek Falls, and Friends of the Cumberland Trail.
The State of Tennessee acquired the Brasel property in 2008, with the family’s continued hope for the protection of its woods and wildflowers.