21267
Tennessee

The Great Smokies: Trains, Cherokee and Appalachian Culture

Ride historic rails across scenic mountains as you learn about Appalachian culture, Cherokee heritage, traditional music and regional cuisine.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 21267RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,399

At a Glance

Capture scenic views and learn about Appalachian culture aboard two trains in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Hear stories from the area’s long history and enjoy a delightful encounter with Great Smokies heritage as presented by a musician performing tunes of southern Appalachia. Learn about Cherokee Indian life in the “enchanted land” centuries ago during evening lectures and a special visit from an expert on Cherokee history and song.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Some walking and standing on field trips. Diesel engine train and coach transfers.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Ride the original railroad line in Chattanooga, crossing four bridges and passing through the pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge Tunnel.
  • Tap your toes to the music of the Cherokee and to performances by a songwriter and musician specializing in southern Appalachian music.
  • Visit John C. Campbell Folk School, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and founded to nurture and preserve the folk arts of the Appalachian Mountains.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Lee Knight
Raised in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Lee is a folk singer, story teller and outdoor leader, performing at concerts, workshops, festivals and schools. He shares his knowledge of the natural world leading hikes, canoe trips and guiding whitewater rafts. Lee has collected and shares Cherokee legends and plays the Cherokee flute and rattle, as well as the Native American drum. He also plays the five-string banjo, guitars and the Appalachian dulcimer.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Maury Nicely
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Carol Burton
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Lee Knight
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Justin Strickland
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears
by Theda Perdue, Michael Green
In the early nineteenth century, the U.S. government shifted its policy from trying to assimilate American Indians to relocating them, and proceeded to forcibly drive seventeen thousand Cherokees from their homelands. This journey of exile became known as the Trail of Tears. Historians Perdue and Green reveal the government?s betrayals and the divisions within the Cherokee Nation, follow the exiles along the Trail of Tears, and chronicle the hardships found in the West. In its trauma and tragedy, the Cherokee diaspora has come to represent the irreparable injustice done to Native Americans in the name of nation building?and in their determined survival, it represents the resilience of the Native American spirit.
Chattanooga's Terminal Station (TN)
by Justin W. Strickland
Long before Glenn Miller made the world-famous "Chattanooga Choo Choo" an American icon, Chattanooga was already a bustling railroad community. By the beginning of the 20th century, passenger trains overwhelmed Chattanooga's two railroad depots and a larger station was needed. The solution was Terminal Station, which rivaled most Southern depots in size, expense, and aesthetic beauty. Providing transportation to cities throughout the country, the terminal made its mark as the gateway for rail from the agricultural south to the industrial north. Following its closure, the terminal was reopened as a renowned hotel and entertainment complex in 1973, becoming one of Chattanooga's many exciting attractions. Images of Rail: Chattanooga's Terminal Station follows the history of this depot in both stories and photographs.
Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
by Allan J. McDonald (Author), James R. Hansen - contributor (Author), Jonathan Yen (Narrator), Tantor Audio (Publisher)
On a cold January morning in 1986, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Challenger, despite warnings against doing so by many individuals including Allan McDonald. The fiery destruction of Challenger on live television moments after launch remains an indelible image in the nation's collective memory. In Truth, Lies, and O-Rings, McDonald, a skilled engineer and executive, relives the tragedy from where he stood at Launch Control Center. As he fought to draw attention to the real reasons behind the disaster, he was the only one targeted for retribution by both NASA and his employer, Morton Thiokol, Inc., makers of the shuttle's solid rocket boosters. In this whistle-blowing yet rigorous and fair-minded book, McDonald, with the assistance of internationally distinguished aerospace historian
Cherokee History and Culture
by Helen Dwyer
An introduction to the locale, history, way of life, and culture of the Cherokee Indians.
Chattanooga Landmarks (TN): Exploring the History of the Scenic City (The History Press) [Paperback]
by Jennifer Crutchfield
Chattanooga's history and heritage are embodied in the historical sites, structures and groundbreaking feats of engineering that have defined the city from its beginning. Many of the Scenic City's most important landmarks are still preserved. Yet with so many fascinating historic sites and storied destinations, seeing them all is no easy task. Fortunately, Chattanooga Landmarks offers a helpful survey of the most historically significant sites in the city and the surrounding area. Join Chattanooga local Jennifer Crutchfield as she guides you through the city's historic wonders, both natural and man-made. From the top of Lookout Mountain down to the banks of the Tennessee River and through downtown, Chattanooga Landmarks covers the breadth of the historic sites that make this Tennessee city a landmark all its own.
Battle above the Clouds: Lifting the Siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of Lookout Mountain, October 16 - November 24, 1863 (Emerging Civil War Series)
by David Powell
In October 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland was besieged in Chattanooga, all but surrounded by familiar opponents: The Confederate Army of Tennessee. The Federals were surviving by the narrowest of margins, thanks only to a trickle of supplies painstakingly hauled over the sketchiest of mountain roads. Soon even those quarter-rations would not suffice. Disaster was in the offing. Yet those Confederates, once jubilant at having routed the Federals at Chickamauga and driven them back into the apparent trap of Chattanooga’s trenches, found their own circumstances increasingly difficult to bear. In the immediate aftermath of their victory, the South rejoiced; the Confederacy’s own disasters of the previous summer—Vicksburg and Gettysburg—were seemingly reversed. Then came stalemate in front of those same trenches. The Confederates held the high ground, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, but they could not completely seal off Chattanooga from the north. The Union responded. Reinforcements were on the way. A new man arrived to take command: Ulysses S. Grant. Confederate General Braxton Bragg, unwilling to launch a frontal attack on Chattanooga’s defenses, sought victory elsewhere, diverting troops to East Tennessee. Battle above the Clouds by David Powell recounts the first half of the campaign to lift the siege of Chattanooga, including the opening of the “cracker line,” the unusual night battle of Wauhatchie, and one of the most dramatic battles of the entire war: Lookout Mountain.
Hidden History of Chattanooga
by Alexandra Walker Clark
The enigmatic hills and woodlands of the Chattanooga area are a sanctuary of history, and the hometown of author Alexandra Walker Clark. Clark has chronicled the history of her hometown for the Chattanooga Times and the Chattanooga History Journal, and in this collection she combines some of her favorite stories to take readers behind the scenes for a fascinating look into the unique history and culture of the region. Absorb the city's rich ethnic diversity, travel down to the hallowed battlefields of Chickamauga and Fort Oglethorpe and grasp the compelling legacy of the Cherokee. This and so much more lies ahead in Hidden History of Chattanooga.
The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America
by Jeff Biggers
Few places in the United States confound and fascinate Americans like Appalachia, yet no other area has been so markedly mischaracterized by the mass media. Stereotypes of hillbillies and rednecks repeatedly appear in representations of the region, but few, if any, of its many heroes, visionaries, or innovators are ever referenced. Make no mistake, they are legion: from Anne Royall, America's first female muckraker, to Sequoyah, a Cherokee mountaineer who invented the first syllabary in modern times, and international divas Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, as well as writers Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, and Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck, Appalachia has contributed mightily to American culture — and politics. Not only did eastern Tennessee boast the country's first antislavery newspaper, Appalachians also established the first District of Washington as a bold counterpoint to British rule. With humor, intelligence, and clarity, Jeff Biggers reminds us how Appalachians have defined and shaped the United States we know today.





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