top of page

Stories from Cemeteries of the Smokies

By Dr. Gail Palmer

To be at Blount County Public Library


MARYVILLE, TN (December 1, 2017) More than 150 cemeteries, scattered throughout the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina section of the Great Smoky Mountains, provide a final resting place for thousands of former residents of these mountains. Although silent now, each grave has a story to tell.

“The Stories from Cemeteries of the Smokies” will be presented by Dr. Gail Palmer on Thursday, December 7, at 6 p.m. at the Blount County Public Library.

Gail Palmer, a native of Blount County whose Sparks family ancestors resided in Cades Cove, spent many years researching the burial grounds and has recently written the book, “Cemeteries of the Smokies,” published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

At the presentation, Palmer will share about the story behind the publication of the book and stories about some of the people who lived in the area before formation of the Park and are buried there.

Over a period of many years, her research of the cemeteries took place through interviews, material found in the Park Archives and by locating cemeteries and examining cemeteries and graves.

Dr. Gail Palmer’s connection to the Park is through her mother, Mary Sparks Palmer, related to the Sparks’ families of Cades Cove.

Palmer has published other books about the people of the Smokies, including “Smoky Mountain Tales: Feuds, Murder & Mayhem, Vol 1 & 2”; “TheMidwifes’ Quilt: A Story of Conflict & Intrigue in the Smokies”; “GSMNP: In the Beginning…Fact, Legend & Imminent Domain”; DVDS: “Sacred Places of the Smokies”; “When Mama Was the Doctor: Mountain Medicine Women.”

Palmer earned three degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, including a Ph.D. through the College of Education’s Cultural Studies program, with an emphasis on qualitative research.

Books will be available at the program.

Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, where services are an example of your tax dollars at work for you.

For further information about library programs or services, call the library at (865) 982-0981 or visit the Web site at . To sign up to receive a monthly calendar by email, go to the library’s Home Page and go to What’s Happening? on the Menu Bar. Then under News and Events click on Join Calendar Email List.Also check out Facebook at “Blount County Public Library,” Twitter at “Blount_Library,” Pinterest and Instagram.


Blount County does not discriminate based on race, color or national origin in federal or state sponsored programs, pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d).

bottom of page