Documenting Community Traditions: Railroad history and Cultural Heritage Tourism in Northeast Tennessee
The 2014 ATP project will emphasize the cultural history of the railroad as a significant force in local communities and in the lives of residents. There is growing interest in railroad history and tourism in Northeast Tennessee, which can provide opportunities for collaboration in future phases of the project. The primary community partners are the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County (Tish Oldham, director) and the Unicoi County Heritage Museum and Clinchfield Railroad Museum (Martha Erwin, curator). The project has two main goals: (1) To conduct initial ethnographic field research to survey existing documentation and conduct interviews of residents who have some connection to the railroad in the region; and (2) To work with community leaders to develop a draft five-year strategic plan for utilizing railroad history to promote cultural heritage tourism. The initial focus of the fieldwork will be on retired railroad workers and other elderly residents who have memories of the railroad. At the end of the fall 2014 course, students will present their findings to the local community partners and at the ATP conference in Washington, DC.
Ron Roach, Ph.D.
East Tennessee State University
Department of Appalachian Studies
P.O. Box 70435
Johnson City, TN 37614
Telephone: (423) 439-7494
Alfred State College