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, a book for children, 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 now belongs to everyone.

Publication Details

viii+49 pp. •  55 color and b&w illus.
Ages 7 and up
ISBN-13: 978-0-9840565-0-7  •  $19.95 hardcover

Copyright 2010

Designed by Richard Hendel
Published by Primary Source Publishers, Chapel Hill, NC
Distributed by John F. Blair Publisher, Winston-Salem, NC

About the Authors

ANNE MITCHELL WHISNANT is the author of Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History (University of North Carolina Press 2006).   She is Director of Research, Communications, and Programs for the Office of Faculty Governance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also holds adjunct faculty appointments in History and American Studies.

DAVID E. WHISNANT is the author of Modernizing the Mountaineer: People, Power, and Planning in Appalachia (rev. ed., University of Tennessee Press, 1994) and All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region (University of North Carolina Press, 1983, rev. ed., 2009).   He is Professor Emeritus from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

ANNE and DAVID are co-founders of Primary Source History Services, through which they do research and write for the National Park Service. They live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with their sons Evan and Derek.

What People Are Saying

When the Parkway Came “brings the past and the present together to face the future in a very positive, beautiful way.  The pictures are wonderful, mixing black and white of the past with color from the present.  The story is well told and holds the reader’s attention.  This would be a wonderful book for a grandparent or a parent to read to a child before embarking on a trip to behold the marvelous wonder that is the Blue Ridge Parkway today.  It enables readers to become advocates for the parkway so that what we hold near and dear will be preserved in future generations.”

–Sue Hodge, retired 4th grade teacher, Roanoke County, Virginia; parent, grandparent; Blue Ridge Parkway/Explore Park Visitor Center volunteer and coordinator

To Order

Please visit our ordering page for instructions on how to buy the book.  Retail trade orders are handled through our distributor, John F. Blair Publishers of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Individuals may order directly from us via check or secure credit card transaction.

For more information, please email dewhisnant@prisource.com or call 919-968-4259.