Wonderland

A picture essay on the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Once the summer playground of the East Tennessee rich, it is now partly taken over by nature, partly restored by the National Park Service. It is a wondrous place out of time, somewhere between dreamlike nostalgia and unsettling eeriness.


Once upon a time there was Wonderland. Its inhabitants were rich and powerful. They took the train or the automobile to spend the summers in the cool mountains. They lived in Wonderland, Society Hill, Millionaire's Row and Daisy Town. Members only, of course. A hero with deep pockets defended the realm when the National Park was swallowing their neighbors. He made a pact and gave them electricity so they could party on. But it became fashionable to fly to exotic destinations. And the next time around there was no hero, and the National Park banished the descendants. And Wonderland fell asleep. Fires started, roofs caved and trees began to grow. Now, travellers from far and wide are seeking the Wonderland of yore. The End.



Wonderland