Writers Block: Authors divulge into disappearing towns and people in Appalachia

A retired journalist and geologist go looking for the communities that no longer exist
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 10:58 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2021 at 2:48 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Fred Brown and Harry Moore are the authors of Disappearing Appalachia in Tennessee. A story about East Tennessee communities, both past, and present as well as some places that have seemed to disappear over time.

Brown has 45 years of writing experience, working for the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Moore has written several books and has a deep understanding of Tennessee’s geology.

“I would take Fred to look at the Fall colors...we did that for about 7 to 8 years and we got to talking about Appalachia and we thought we out to do a book about Appalachia,” said Moore.

“It’s really a labor of love,” said Brown. “As we were wandering around looking at the fall colors and that sort of thing we just saw all sorts of beautiful farms and, you know, barns and schools and that sort of thing and people, and the News Sentinel has graciously allowed me to wander around and do stories like that for a while. So, it just seemed like a natural outgrowth that we just come back and do a big piece on what was here and what had disappeared. So, because both of us knew grew up in Appalachia, and we both had seen the disappearance of a lot of things.”

The stories in the book are from people who lived those stories. From the last people who lived in Cades Cove before it became a national park to generations of people who lived without electricity on Clinch Mountain, the book takes readers back in time.

You can buy the book here.

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