First in the Legacy Series of DVDs from SMP
written and produced by Dr. Gail Palmer

Click here
to purchase from Amazon.com
Sacred Places of the Smokies is also available at the following locations in East Tennessee.

Maryville: Hastings Bookstore and Southland Books

Townsend: Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Store and Carriage House Restaurant

Knoxville: East Tennessee Historical Society Store
and University of Tennessee Bookstore

Great Smoky Mountains National Park bookstores:
Townsend Visitors Center
Cades Cove Visitors Center
Clingman's Dome Visitors Center
GSMA Institute at Tremont
Sugarlands Visitors Center, Gatlinburg
Sevierville Visitors Center
Oconoluftee Visitors Center

More locations to come…check here often for more information.

READ a Review of Sacred Places from Colloquy newsletter,
published by the University of Tennessee's Smoky Mountain Project


"Sacred Places contains so many interesting stories of life in the vanished communities of the Smokies. Photographs of rough tombstones still to be seen near abandoned homesteads are particularly touching and reflect the hard realities of those days."
--Margaret and J.C. McCaulley, authors of Cades Cove Childhood--

"Cemeteries and the headstones that mark the sacred plots are commentaries on the hardy breed of pioneers who ventured into the remote wilderness of the Smokies to settle this mysterious highland."
--Ken Wise, University of Tennessee Libraries GSM Regional Project--

"This is a very fitting tribute to individuals who lie beneath the sod and stones of the Smokies—a poignant, entertaining and enlightening portrayal of the mountain people and their customs of life, death and burial."
--Allen R. Coggins, author of Place Names of the Smokies--

"Dr. Palmer has turned her extensive research on Great Smoky Mountains graveyards and the 'stories behind the stones' into an entertaining, educational presentation."
--Anne Bridges, UT Libraries GSM Regional Project--

"Books are good, but DVDs are soooo good. These pictures and spoken words can't be best!”
--Ruth and John Davis, Cades Cove descendents--

--Molly Myers, widow of Edward L. Myers, authors and Cades Cove descendents--

--Mary Gregory, Cades Cove descendent--

"Almost perfect!"
--Bonnie Tretnham Myers, author of Herbal Remedies of the Smokies--


Intro: First cemeteries • Number of cemeteries • Church cemeteries • Single grave cemeteries • Slate markers • River rock markers • Cherokee cemeteries • People of the Smokies

Mountain Women: Becky Cable, Cades Cove • Walker Sisters, Little Greenbrier, TN • Sophie Campbell, Gatlinburg, TN • Ella V. Costner, Cosby, TN

Mountain Men: Turkey George Palmer, Cataloochee, N.C. • Jesse Palmer, Cataloochee • Tom Sparks, Cades Cove • Spider John Tritt, Greenbrier

Mountain Romances: Mrs. Wiseman, Cades Cove • James and Caroline Spence, White Oak Sinks, TN • Charles and Flora Messer Morrow, Cataloochee • Bote Mountain girl • Black Bill Walker, Walker Valley, TN

Murder & Mayhem: Smoke Sam Burchfield, Cades Cove • Vannie Cook, Walker Valley • Jasper Mellinger, Roaring Fork, TN • Russell Gregory, Cades Cove

Burial Customs: Ringing the bell • Laying out the corpse • Bible as family book of record • Edd Conner, Smokemont, NC • Digging the grave • Clearing the ground • Mounding the graves • Cemetery ground cover • Decorating the grave

Headstones & Markers: New markers in back of old • Examples of markers • Reverse marker • Markers for children

Preserving Culture: Local groups • North Shore Cemetery Association, NC • Cades Cove Preservation Association, TN


To individuals who reviewed Sacred Places, made suggestions and provided new information. Their attention to detail was invaluable. Reviewers: Anne Bridges, Julie Brown, Allen Coggins, Ruth and John Davis, Mary Gregory, Margaret and J. C. McCaulley, Bonnie Trentham Myers, Molly Myers, Mark and Janet Snyder, and Ken Wise. — To Annette Hartigan, Librarian, GSMNP Sugarlands Visitors Center, for unfailing assistance.


Photography: Robert Lochbaum; National Park Service Library, Gatlinburg; family of Russell Gregory; Dr. Gail Palmer and her brother, Jerry Palmer • Writer and Producer, Dr. Gail Palmer • Narrator, Pamela Hindle • Designer, Linda Weaver • Visual and Sound Recorder, Thom Johnson • Duplication, Digital Express Mastering. Cover photo —Collins Cemetery, Smokemont, N.C., by Robert Lochbaum.

It's important to thoroughly preserve our mountain heritage.

The historical record is never static, but evolves as researchers find and interpret new information. While efforts are made to provide accurate accounting to historical records, no doubt the material published by Smoky Mountain Publishers can be continuously refined.

Therefore, your anecdotes, stories, photographs, and family history material are welcome for use in future projects.
CALL, E-MAIL, or WRITE Dr. Palmer.


Smoky Mountain Publishers • Dr. Gail Palmer • P.O. Box 684 • Alcoa, TN 37701 • lpalmer@utk.edu