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When the Parkway Came

Anne Mitchell Whisnant and David E. Whisnant

Primary Source Publishers
$19.95 hardcover
8 x 10  
57 pages
color throughout
Published in 2009

January 1, 1937

My Dear Mr. Roosevelt:

I am writing you in regard to my farm on the Blue Ridge Mountain where the Park to Park highway goes . . .

A letter written by a mountain farmer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Depression years of the 1930s inspired this story. When the Parkway Came tells how the building of the Blue Ridge Parkway affected one family—including eight-year-old Jess and his sister Maggie—whose farm lay in its path.

Driving on the Parkway many years later, Jess shows his granddaughter Ginny where the road passes through what used to be his parents' land. He remembers how losing part of their farm made his whole family sad, but he is proud of the beautiful Parkway that belongs to everyone.

This book helps young readers understand why and how the most visited site in our national park system came to be built, the differing views of people affected by it, and the tradeoffs that were necessary along the way. The beautiful color photographs capture the enduring beauty of the parkway, while the historical illustrations help readers appreciate the vision and hard work that brought it into being.