KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of the few constants in this world is time marches on. We see it every day as the new overtakes the old. It was the preservation of the old Appalachian way of life that called to Harry Moore and Fred Brown.

“It’s almost gone,” Moore said. “You can’t go into a general store now and say, ‘Give me a five pounds sack of flour, and I need some nails, you know, tenpenny nails and a roll of barbed-wire fence and Mama needs some shoes.’ You know, you can’t do that.”

Moore, a retired Tennessee Department of Transportation geologist-turned author, captures some of East Tennessee’s aging treasures in his book he co-authored with Fred Brown, “Disappearing Appalachia in Tennessee: A Picture of a Vanished Land and its People.”

We sat down with Moore who shared with us colorful scenic photos mounted on the walls of his home in West Knoxville. When planning the book, he went in a different direction.

“We decided that we would keep the book black and white for the nostalgia of the history,” Moore told us.

The book, four years in the making, has 180 photographs and 233 pages of stories. Stories of the old general store in Jefferson County that today is slowly going back to the land.

“We set off on this journey to see what was disappearing from our culture, from our landscape,” Moore explained.

HISTORY: Catch up with every episode of Tennessee Treasures

Surrounded by the beauty of nature, what’s left of another old store in Grainger County closed in the 1950s and is steeped in memories. The bones of buildings don’t tell the whole story.

“It’s all about the people, and they’re very rugged people,” Moore said. “They know how to survive. They’re industrious. They’re hardworking. If they don’t have something, they make it.”

History also reveals what some find confounding about the culture in this part of the country; a not closed off to newcomers, but cautious demeanor. Moore said it started with the land.

“The people obviously would settle down in the valleys,” Moore said. “That’s where the streams were. Fertile ground was down in the valleys, but they were isolated.

“Two hundred years ago, you didn’t cross over the mountain to go visit somebody. You stayed in your valley, and somebody came in that happened into your valley, you’re very suspicious of them until you got to know them.”

“Disappearing Appalachia in Tennessee” is available at,; and