Andrew Gennett, the Weeks Act of 1911, and the development of the national forests in Appalachian Georgia
Marsh, Christopher Joel
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Andrew Gennett left a detailed memoir, written in 1939, that told a fascinating story full of rich anecdotes and reminiscences from his remarkable life. His narrative, placed in the context of the Progressive-era South at the turn of the twentieth century, offers a rare glimpse into the social, political, environmental, and economic workings of a commercial elite in southern Appalachia. Gennett’s position as a successful timber operator during a time in which Georgia and the nation clamored for forest conservation, places him square in the middle of the captivating history of a turbulent period in Appalachian history. His sale, in 1912, of more than 32,000 acres of timberland in north Georgia to the United States Forest Service – the first tract in the nation approved under the Weeks Act of 1911 – paved the way for over forty years of subsequent purchases. Georgia’s Appalachia would never be the same.