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Sing Along With Appalachia

 Collection — Box: 1-2
Identifier: AppMs-65
The prints and negatives in Sing Along With Appalachia depict various aspects of life in the Southern Mountains, with a particular focus on the area now occupied by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A significant number of the prints and negatives focus on mountain life in the 1930s. Among the topics covered are food preparation, soap-making, cooperage, plowing, making rifles, and leather tanning. Portraits of men, women, children and families, as well as pictures of cabins and mountain landscapes, are included in the collection.

Many of the photographs contained in SAWA originally were taken by Charles S. Grossman, Edouard E. Exline, and Laura Thornborough. Grossman (1900-72) worked for the National Park Service at the GSMNP for ten years, from 1933-1943. During that time he photographed over 1700 buildings and hundreds of views of mountain people. Exline (1905-60) went to the GSMNP in 1934 under the Civilian Conservation Corps program. A landscape architect by profession, Exline was an amateur photographer of great talent. He documented events for the park service and on his own searched for scenic subjects. With Philip Maxwell, he published Valhalla in the Smokies in 1938. Laura Thornborough, resident of the Smokies and author of The Great Smoky Mountains (1937), took some of the photographs in the SAWA Collection. Other photographs were taken by Maurice Sullivan and George Grant. Originally the SAWA prints and negatives were catalogued into the Appalachian Photographic Archives (APA) but were not kept together as a collection. The APA prints were brought together in 1989.


  • 1979


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Duplication of prints for the purpose of publication or personal use is not permitted without the written permission of the archivist of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


2.5 linear feet (80 black and white negatives, 73 black and white prints, 1 exhibit brochure, 1 oversize folder)


The collection is divided into two series: Series 1, Negatives; and Series 2, Prints and Exhibit Brochure.

Method of Acquisition

The Sing Along With Appalachia Collection was transferred to the Archives of Appalachia from the B. Carroll Reece Museum in August 1979. The prints and negatives in the collection were part of a 1969-70 museum exhibit titled "Sing Along With Appalachia." The prints and negatives are copies made from negatives contained in the collections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Related Publications

A number of the photographs contained in the collection have appeared in two works: Highland Homeland, The People of the Great Smokies (1978) by Wilma Dykeman and Jim Stokely; and Guns and Gunmaking Tools of Southern Appalachia, The Story of the Kentucky Rifle (1980) by John Rice Irwin. Others have been supplied by Scott O'Dell of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Processing Information

Marie Tedesco completed processing, and the collection was opened for research in 1992.
Marie Tedesco
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA