A fire started in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee and spread to the mountain town of Gatlinburg. Located in the arts and crafts district of Gatlinburg is a Row by Row Experience quilt shop, Mountain Stitches by Susan. With concern for her, her business, and others in the area, I contacted Susan to get the status of both her shop and her personally.
Susan said, “Gatlinburg is a ghost town.” She said that as of December 5th, the town is still closed. Although her shop in the arts and crafts community was not damaged by the fire, eleven of her fellow shop owners lost their homes. There has been conversation in Row by Row Studio about how caring and giving quilters are, and Susan is a good example of this. She is making charity quilts now for the folks who suffered damage.
Arrowmont Arts & Crafts School is a treasure located in downtown Gatlinburg and suffered the loss of two dormitories and their equipment shed. However, all staff evacuated safely and the core campus is intact. The school celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012 and plans to rebuild the lost buildings. This place is special to me and to many other people, so I wish them much success in the future.
Mountain Stitches by Susan and Arrowmont Arts & Crafts School are an example of two businesses in Gatlinburg and the surrounding area that were affected but many others also suffered losses. My heart goes out to all the families that were touched by these awful fires.