Photo by Lloyd Wolf
Documenting Community Traditions: The Use of Railroad and Industrial History to Promote Cultural Heritage Tourism in Northeast Tennessee
Students in the East Tennessee State University Documenting Community Traditions course continued an oral history and heritage tourism project in partnership with the Unicoi County Economic Development Board and the Unicoi County Heritage Museum/Clinchfield Railroad Museum in Erwin, Tennessee. In this project, students studied the principles of ethnographic fieldwork and heritage tourism, conduct archival research, go into the field to collect oral histories, and meet with community partners to develop and implement strategies for using the collected materials to promote heritage tourism.
In this year’s project, students focused on assisting the community partners in developing promotional materials that incorporate aspects of the oral histories gathered by previous students in this project and that further encourage tourism connected to the railroad heritage of the community. In particular, students worked with community partners and ETSU Mass Communication students to develop a brochure for the Unicoi County Heritage Museum/Clinchfield Railroad Museum. The project is designed to directly support heritage tourism as an important component of the community’s plans for long-term cultural and economic sustainability.
Ron Roach, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Appalachian Studies
East Tennessee State University
P.O. Box 70435
Johnson City, TN 37614
Telephone: (423) 439-7494