David Whisnant, MSW ’96, and his wife Anne have just published “When the Parkway Came,” the first book on the Blue Ridge Parkway for young readers. Through the couple’s history consulting company, Primary Source History Services, they do contract historical research and writing for the National Park Service. This keeps the Whisnants involved in public issues related to the Parkway, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
“We tried to write and design this new book so that it would not only delight children and young people, but also help to educate them and their families about the current state of the Parkway and the national parks, and to guide them to become responsible public stewards of this wonderful public resource,” said Whisnant.
The main story of the book derives from a 1937 letter sent by an Ashe County farmer to President Roosevelt, when the farmer was losing part of his farm to Parkway construction. The book is illustrated with both contemporary and historical photographs and documents.
Anne Whisnant is the director of research, communications, and programs for the Office of Faculty Governance at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she also earned her Ph.D. David Whisnant holds a Ph.D. from Duke University.