Great Smoky Mountains wildfire: Tri-Staters share Gatlinburg, Sevierville memories

Posted at 1:52 PM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 19:34:00-05

We would love to hear more Gatlinburg memories in your own voices. Please call 513-909-WCPO (9276) and leave a voicemail with your name, neighborhood and memories for potential use in coverage of this ongoing story. Messages should be 2 minutes or less.

Weddings, vacations, Thanksgivings, Christmases and more -- when it comes to Gatlinburg, many Tri-Staters have precious memories from the Great Smoky Mountains’ peaks. Even though it's hundreds of miles away, many locals are pained to see and hear about the severe damage done to the region by a devastating wildfire.

Hundreds reminisced on WCPO’s Facebook page about their time spent in Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina. Here’s what some had to say.

Just a week ago, Patty Downs was celebrating Turkey Day in Sevierville with her daughter and granddaughters. She wrote to 9 On Your Side on Facebook, saying they visited the school house there where her grandparents met.

For Jordan Moore Linderman, her family’s trip to Gatlinburg was one of new beginnings.

“After my son received the OK to travel after his lung transplant we headed to Gatlinburg for a family vacation, and he was able to enjoy swimming for the first time in two years,” Moore wrote to WCPO on Facebook.

Preacher’s House was the location of Jen Dorion’s wedding last August, she writes.

“We have been going to Gatlinburg since I was a little girl. I feel pure devastation for the locals. Our favorite cabins have burned and all we have is memories now,” she says on Facebook.

Wears Valley, Tennessee, is where Heather Lyn Bersaglia and her family had an important trip.

“This was the first place we took our newly blended family to bond,” she wrote to WCPO on Facebook. “It holds a special place in our hearts and we consider it our home away from home.

The Batavia Bulldogs football team spent time in the Gatlinburg area for the Rock Top tournament, Heather Toles writes on Facebook.

“Breaks my heart to hear everything that is going on. Prayers being sent!!!” she writes.

More than 400 WCPO Facebook fans reached out to share their memories. You can read more here.