- [S106] The Mountain Press, 25 Jan 2009.
Mountain Memories: Maples reprints stories, poems of mountain life
By GAIL CRUTCHFIELD
Alie Newman Maples looks out at the view of her Gatlinburg home, where the view has changed quite a bit over the years.
GATLINBURG - At 88, Alie Newman Maples has seen the landscape in Gatlinburg and the National Park change. She's seen man and then nature take over the places she lived and played as a child.
She's seen the skyline grow around her home to block the views of the mountains she loves so much.
With all the change, Maples wanted to make sure the past was not forgotten. She started writing down all the memories of her years growing up in what became the national park. The memories came in the form of stories recounted in narrative form and in poetry she created.
The first volume of "Memories of My Mountains" was published more than 20 years ago, with about 1,000 copies made. Recently, Maples added a few more stories from her late husband, Bruce Maples Sr., and printed about 50 more books to share.
"I don't do it for money," Maples said. "I just want to leave a little something behind."
Maples was born Sept. 6, 1920 to Fred and Lora Ogle Newman. For years, she thought she was born in Sugarlands, where her brother Ray was born and where they were raised. Instead, she later discovered, she was born at Bullhead on Mill Creek in the Roaring Fork area.
Unusual for the time, her parents separated and divorced. Both remarried and combined gave Maples more than a dozen half-brothers and -sisters. As the oldest, she was often called upon to babysit and wound up spreading time between her mother's and paternal grandparents' homes.
While she and her brother were brokenhearted about the divorce, Maples writes it gave them the chance to live in their Granny Newman's house in Sugarlands, the place of her favorite childhood memories.
"Could there be a nicer name?" she writes. "Where the tall, tall mountains reach the clear blue sky ?. Here is where my roots are. My great-grandfather saw fit to pick this land out over a hundred years ago. I give humble thanks that he did. I don't think I could have lived in a more beautiful place."
The Sugarlands is where she learned to swim in the streams.
"We'd play follow the leader in the creeks," she said. "It's so rocky, we'd just jump from one rock to the next."
One of the things she most remembers about growing up in Sugarlands was gathering chestnuts in the fall.
"You could get up early in the morning, you know, when the wind had blown around and gather 'em up," she said. "And we could bring 'em to the Ogles store and sell them and buy winter shoes."
The particular chestnut tree no longer exists, falling many years ago. Maples discovered that when she and groups of friends began hiking around the old home place.
"I kept saying, well they were there to serve the mountain people, now that they're gone, they're no longer needed," she said.
The family moved out of the area when Maples was 10 or 12 years old. By the time President Roosevelt came to dedicate the park 75 years ago, Maples, her husband Bruce and their oldest child Fay came to Gatlinburg to catch a glimpse of the nation's leader.
"We parked up here right by the Mountain Market and watched him pass by," she said.
Leaving their home place was hard on Maples and her family. She said most of those families that could continue to live in the park until their deaths eventually left.
"They had rules to go by," she said. "You couldn't do what you wanted to. You couldn't cut down trees, couldn't cut your firewood. You couldn't keep as many fish as you wanted.
"As all the kids moved away, it got lonely," she said. "So they all finally moved out."
Before the Park was established, Maples said the Sugarlands area had numerous homes, three or four stores, a hotel and mills. Had the Park not been developed, she says the area might have grown in size just like Gatlinburg.
"My dad built a store," she said. "My uncle Bill built a store. Ernest Ogle built a store and Uncle Sam Huskey built a motel. We started just like Gatlinburg was. I keep saying if we'd kept what we had, we'd have what Gatlinburg's got today."
Maples' family moved up into Henderson Holler when they left the Park.
"Me, just a young girl, I cried so many times," she said. "You missed your kin folks. You missed your grandparents."
The family eventually moved to Jefferson County to help run a farm her uncle bought.
Though she wishes her family hadn't had to give up their homes and land, the Park did give Maples a place to go hiking. She often took trips back to the old home place where time and weather eventually wore away the remnants of the chimneys and logs left over from homes and buildings torn down. All that remains now are memories.
- [S80] Rawlings Funeral Home, (http://www.rawlingsfuneralhome.com/), 6 Jul 2017.
(September 6, 1920 - July 6, 2017)
Alie Newman Maples age 96 of Gatlinburg, TN. passed away on July 6, 2017 at her residence.
Alie was born on September 6, 1920 in Bull Head in the Sugarland’s. She was a member of the Senior Hiking Club. Alie loved hiking, fishing and flowers. Alie was an Author and Poet.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Flora and Fred Newman; husband, Bruce Maples, Sr.; son, Bruce Maples, Jr.; brothers, Raymond Newman, Ray Newman and Melvin Ogle, Bill Ogle, Ralph Ogle and Ben Ogle; sisters, Cherlotte Barron and Frances Prest.
Survivors include her daughter, and husband, Faye and Clyde Hall; brother, J.B. Newman; sisters, Ann Cantrell, Glenna Bjorkland, Leah Miniard, Lenora Newman and Nancy Jones; A special thanks you to Sue Miniard and Lisa Whitaker the two caregivers that took care of Alie and that we could not have done without.
Services will be held at 4:00 P.M. Saturday July 8, 2017 at Rawlings Funeral Home in Sevierville with Rev. Jonathan Hatcher officiating. Interment will follow the service in Shiloh Cemetery.
The family will receive friends 2:00-4:00 P.M. Saturday prior to the service.
Rawlings Funeral Home in charge of local service.