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 and Ordering Details

viii+49 pp. •  55 color and b&w illus.
Ages 7 and up
ISBN-13: 978-0-9840565-0-7  •  Hardcover
Copyright 2010

Designed by Richard Hendel
Published by Primary Source Publishers, Chapel Hill, NC

$15.00 + 3.99 shipping • Order via our Amazon storefront.

Discounts can be arranged for schools and libraries! Click here for more information.

About the Authors

ANNE MITCHELL WHISNANT is the author of Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History (University of North Carolina Press 2006) and co-creator of Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway.

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).

ANNE and DAVID are co-founders of Primary Source History Services, which does historical research and writing on a contract basis for the National Park Service and other clients. They live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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.