Lost Cove, North Carolina

Portrait of a Vanished Appalachian Community, 1864–1957


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About the Book

Located just seconds from the winding Tennessee border, the remote mountain settlement of Lost Cove, North Carolina was once described as where the “moonshiner frolics unmolested.” Today, Lost Cove is a ghost town accessible mainly to hikers hoping to catch a glimpse of the desolate settlement. In this first historically comprehensive book on Lost Cove, the author paints a portrait of an isolated yet thriving settlement that survived for almost one hundred years. From its founding before the Civil War to the town’s ultimate decline, Lost Cove’s history is an in-depth account of family life and kinship in isolation. The author explores historically relevant interviews and genealogical findings from railroad documents, old newspaper articles, church records and deeds. Also included are oral histories that provide authentic, conversational accounts from families in the cove.

About the Author(s)

Christy A. Smith teaches Appalachian studies courses part-time at King University in Bristol, Tennessee, and is the director of the Unicoi County Prevention Coalition.

Bibliographic Details

Christy A. Smith

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 193
Bibliographic Info: 88 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8608-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4422-6
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Boundaries, Routes, and Debates 5
One. Lost Cove’s Beginning
Two. Lifeways of the Families 23
Three. The Prosperous Years: Railroads and Timber
Four. Moonshine in the Mountains 57
Five. Mountain View Free Will Baptist Church and Lost Cove School 66
Six. Families 99
Seven. The End of a Community
Appendix: Sketches of Lost Cove Interviewees
Chapter Notes

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The well-done research and interviews conducted by the author ensure that Lost Cove is not forgotten. A truly wonderful book.”—Booklist