“Well, we tried to make it safe for democracy… we went and fought for America… and we said, ‘That’s home!'”
~ Ernest McKissick on fighting in the Great War and returning to Asheville
Although situated in seclusion deep in the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina had a unique and important experience during the first World War. While ‘The Great War’ raged in Europe and elsewhere, its effects were also felt in the city known as the Land of the Sky.
This Century America site begins an exploration of that experience. By no means a complete history, this project focuses on Asheville, along with the surrounding mountain and foothill communities, to present archival research on the Flood of 1916, the Wartime Economy, Diverse Communities, and Women and War. Within these collections are historical narratives as well as image galleries to help vivify the wartime presence felt by those living in our community during this pivotal time in American History. A Visual Timeline also allows the user to navigate chronologically through primary sources connected to the Asheville community and the Great War.
Recent scholarship has started to change the belief that this area was essentially isolated from the growing market economies of America, and through this site the researchers attempt to showcase not only the impact the Great War had on this area, but also the impact that this area had on the rest of the world.
Ultimately, this website seeks to display an Appalachian world that is rich in heritage and history, whose reach extended far beyond the ‘hollers and hills’ of the mountain communities we call home. Please click on the menus above to navigate through the site.
Welcome to the Land of the Sky during the Great War…