Book Review: Last Train to Elkmont by Vic Weals

Last Train to Elkmont is a fascinating look into the workers of the logging industry in the Great Smoky Mountains in the early 1900s.

Written by

Jason Barnette


December 31, 2019

Last Train to Elkmont is a fascinating tale of the early-1900s logging industry in the Great Smoky Mountains before it became a national park. The book, published in 1993, was written by Vic Weals, a journalist for The Knoxville Journal. It recounts his various interviews with the people who lived and worked along the Little River and Elkmont during the height of the logging push.

Weals expertly crafted a sort of historical narrative in the book with tales of mountain life interwoven with historical facts about logging in those early days. Many of the stories were taken from interviews of people who actually lived and worked on the railroad between Elkmont and Townsend.

Weals spends a good deal of time in the book detailing the history of Elkmont, the small logging village with a long history. He brings to life the very buildings visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can visit today at Elkmont, and recounts stories of some buildings that have been lost to time and nature.

Last Train to Elkmont is a wonderful tale of history in the Great Smoky Mountains and Elkmont that is open to the public today. At the very least it is neat to read the stories of how people lived in those mountains long before it became what we know today.



Last Train to Elkmont is mostly for the history buffs and anyone who enjoys reading a good non-fiction story.

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