Melissa Beck 128 pages softcover
Having whistled its first "all aboard" in 1988, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway now rambles alongside the Toccoa's clear waters, treating 50,000-plus sightseers annually to verdant mountain scenery. This former Cherokee land_s pioneers carved homesteads from rough terrain, doggedly hauling goods via mule wagon. The discovery of rich copper veins in nearby Polk County, Tennessee, attracted an influx of settlers, but before they could enjoy an Industrial Age boom including rail for faster freight movement, they would endure route changes, bankruptcies, and land-rights issues. As Fannin, Polk, and surrounding counties neared the 20th century, the long-anticipated railroad arrived, and with it prosperity. This is a photographic history of the copper miners, shop owners, homesteaders, and railroad workers who made these mountains their homes, often for many proud generations.