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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

East Tennessee State University

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Documenting Community Traditions:  Railroad history and Cultural Heritage Tourism in Northeast Tennessee

The 2014 ATP project emphasized 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 had 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 was on retired railroad workers and other elderly residents who have memories of the railroad.  At the end of the fall 2014 course, students presented their findings to the local community partners and at the ATP conference in Washington, DC.

2014 ATP Proposal

September 29, 2014 Johnson City Press Article
Museum Hopes Clinchfield Study Keeps Students on Track

October 15, 2014 Johnson City Press Article
Farm Exhibit Looks to Cultivate Interest in History of Local Agriculture

2014 ATP Conference Presentation

ETSU's Live Presentation in Washington, D.C.

2014 ATP Final Report 


Contact Information:

Ron Roach, Ph.D.
East Tennessee State University
Department of Appalachian Studies
P.O. Box 70435
Johnson City, TN 37614
Telephone: (423) 439-7494 


Previous Conference Participation:  2013    2012    2011   2010     2009

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