SMOKY MOUNTAINS, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is asking the public to help identify and document former homesite locations.

At the national park, Volunteer Frank March and Park Archeologist Allison Harvey are leading the research efforts which include documenting field locations with association historic records.

The national park is inviting everyone to meet at Swain County Visitor Center and Heritage Museum on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more about the project. Copies of historic records will be added to the collection.

“In order to gather as much information as possible we are reaching out to the local community to see if we can get old photos and information which may help with the project,” March said. 

More than 2,400 former homesites were estimated in the park. 70 percent of the homesites have been identified, but more remain. Records associated with the purchase of about 1,200 farms between 1920 and 1940 for the creation of the park are preserved in the park’s Collections Preservation Center. However, the history of European habitation in the park dates to the 1790s and many of these pre-20th century homesites are not documented.

March and Aday encourage the public to bring historic photos of old homesites, hand-drawn maps or other documents that will help the park identify these locations.

Aday will scan the materials and provide digital copies and original documents back to the owner. For more information, contact Michael Aday at 865-448-2247 or michael_aday@partner.nps.gov