A header with various transportation scenes and the site title, Moving North Carolina


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  1. John Ross


    I’m in the final throes of a new book for UTenn Press on the natural and cultural history of the French Broad watershed. It’s due out next spring.

    Book begins with formation of Blue Ridge and continues into the future with the final chapter – Planners’ Paradox. I’ve been told that the comprehensive story of the French Broad watershed – from prehistoric Indians through arrival of de Soto, English traders, Cherokee wars and removal, colonial settlement, Civil War, exploitation of natural resources, railroads and evolution of tourist economy, industrialization and intense pollution, conservation via national parks and forests, and environmental resilience – is the story of any of America’s watersheds…just small enough to tell.

    Been thinking that it could make a great documentary accompanied by Cecil Sharp’s ballads – Doug Orr’s book is a great resource. I’m very familiar with other watershed documentaries – Yellowstone, etc. The French Broad, because the watershed includes Great Smokies and WNC, offers a major marketing opportunity.

    If you’re interested, drop me a note and let’s talk.

    Again, thanks for your work on Movingnorthcarolina.

    John Ross

    Stumbled on your great blog while searching for images for the book. The illustration for the Great Wagon Road is ideal. Like to know the source.

    But more important,

    1. Michael

      Hi, John. Many thanks for the feedback and the kind words about the blog. The featured image in the blog on the Great Wagon Road (a settler family and their Conestoga wagon) is from North Carolina Archives & History. It’s identifier is N_53_16_5313-A LR.

      I have a French Broad question for you: Did steamboats ever operate on that river?

      Again, thanks for reaching out. And good luck with the book and documentary.


  2. John Ross

    Teriffic Blog!

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