Kristen Walden and Liz Torres

University of North Carolina- Asheville


Contract for Blue Ridge Parkway Website



This project will explore the connection between the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and migration through Western North Carolina. The main goal of our project is to explore the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway through the lens of migration. This project differs from what has been done before in the sense that, instead of looking at the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway as a project and road, we are considering the Parkway as a vein through which migration takes place in Western North Carolina. This means we will be researching the individuals who came to this area to help build the Parkway, the locals who were displaced or otherwise affected by the construction, and the tourists that have been attracted by this project. We will do this through a thorough examination of primary sources, and with the support of appropriate secondary sources. The secondary sources will be a combination of websites, books, and articles researched and located by both partners. Primary sources will include articles, government documents, oral histories, letters, pictures. These sources are located at multiple agencies. Among these are the Western Regional Archives (WRA), Ramsey Library Special Collections, Blue Ridge Parkway archives, National Parks Service and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Our goal is to show the people of Western North Carolina how this area has been shaped by the Blue Ridge Parkway beyond its physical borders. This is also intended to be a gift to the National Parks Service to illustrate a piece of their history. We believe the peoples of Western North Carolina and the National Parks Service will be grateful for this new addition to their history. The locals of this region are always interested in their history and heritage. Likewise, the National Parks Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Rangers will be excited to see a new take on one of their most prized parks. We will explore migration through three main foci: the construction of the Parkway, the locals, and tourism. For each of these topics we will create separate pages on our website, easily accessible through our menu. Each section will contain subpages that are also accessible via the menu or the parent-page. Some ideas we have had about sub-pages so far are pages on different responses from Politicians and Conservationists in regard to the construction of the Parkway, as well as different pages for the distinct groups of tourists that frequently visit this park (i.e. Leaf Lookers, Conservationists, Film Industry, and Cyclists). These subpages may change based on the availability of primary sources. We do not yet know how these may be effected. We will have a better idea once we begin visiting the archives.


We will be using WordPress to create the actual website. We have decided to use the Activello theme by Colorlib. It provides a clean look that gives us more options for the layout and presentation of our sources and interpretation. We also liked the placement of the menu as a small, out-of-the-way entity at the top of the page. We already decided that we did not like the accent color of the menu (purple), so we changed it to “Blue Ridge blue.” At least that’s what we are calling it. We may use scanners and camera to take high resolution images of primary sources.

We plan on using Timeline JS to show the development of the Parkway. The timeline will display primary and/or secondary sources to illustrate development of the Parkway. At this moment, we are considering using the Timeline to display newspaper articles pertaining to the construction of the Parkway. Again, depending on the amount of sources we find, this may change.

Another tool we will be utilizing is StoryMap JS. We are currently planning to use the StoryMap to illustrate when the various parts of the Parkway were completed (Construction began around 1937 and did not end until around 1987). Ideally, this StoryMap would tell a more interactive history of the building of the Parkway. This idea may change depending on the primary sources that are available on this topic.  

Division of Labor

        Both partners will contribute to the following pages: Home, Acknowledgments, and About Project. These pages will essentially describe the project as set forth by the class curriculum and professors and its relation to COPLAC (About Project), an introduction and overview of the subject chosen (Home), and acknowledgments of all community partners, archives, and individuals apart from the creators who contributed significantly to this website. The Home page will most likely include the timeline, which will be completed by Kristen.

Liz will be in charge of all information and research for the “Construction” section and all subsequent sections. As of right now Liz believes this section will be divided into the following sections: Politicians, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and Conservationists. This section may also include the subpage about locals who worked on the construction of the Parkway. If this subpage ends up appearing under both sections, both partners will contribute to this page These topics may change and/or develop based on where primary sources lead the researcher. This section is also where the StoryMap would go.

Both Liz and Kristen will contribute to the “Tourism” section. This section will most likely have more topics under it, so the workload will be split as evenly as can be managed. As of right now both partners envision this section including the following topics or subpages: leaf lookers, conservationists and naturalists, film industry, cyclists and motorcyclists, and a page about the amount of visit the BRP per year. These topics/subpages may change or develop based on where the primary sources lead the researchers.

Kristen will be in charge of all information and related research to the “Locals” section and all subsequent sections under “Locals.” At this time, she foresees this section including a page on the locals who worked on the construction of the BRP, those who were displaced by the placement of the Parkway, ways in which locals use the Parkway as a means of temporary migration, and how the local economy and culture was influenced by the BRP project. These sections may change or develop based on where the primary sources lead the researcher. The section about locals who helped with the construction may or may not be connected with “Construction of the Parkway” as well. If it ends up appearing under both sections, both partners will contribute to this page.


Schedule of Milestones

    • September 25th: Both members must establish contact with all community partners and archives that house sources to be included in project.
    • September 30th: Kristen will have complete (or near complete) list of newspaper articles to be included on TimeLine JS. Images of all newspapers must be included. Liz will have complete list of locations that she will include on StoryMap JS. Images of all sources must be included.
    • September 31st: If partners have not already visited at least two of the archives/organizations that house BRP documents, this must be done by today.
    • October 3rd: Integrate our Timeline and StoryMap into the project site.
    • October 5th: Complete and submit final contract.
    • October 26th: Have basic structure of website set up, complete with project description/interpretation on “Home” page, description/interpretation on landing pages of each section on menu (“Construction,” “Locals,” and “Tourism”), near complete “Acknowledgments” page, possibly and “About Project” page, and description/interpretation on one to two subpages under each section of menu. This means we intend to have at least one subpage done under “Construction,” “Locals,” and “Tourism.”
    • October 31st: Rough Draft of websites due by 4pm.
    • November 9th: Gathering of Primary Sources to be completed. Finish interpretation of sources and construction of website pages.
    • November 19th: Complete all pages, begin refining and proofreading.
    • November 23rd: Add any finishing touches. Website should be ready for full launch by midnight. The week should be spent getting comfortable with site and preparing for final presentation.
    • November 30th: Present website to the class.
    • December 7th: Complete any additional final touches as recommended by class, professors, and Leah after presentations.
    • December 11th: Final Website