In celebration of National Apple Month, the Gilmer County Genealogical Society is proud to have author Zachary Walls as the guest speaker for our upcoming meeting on Thursday, October 10, 2019. Mr. Walls will be sharing information about Gilmer County’s history of apple industry and agritourism as recounted in his book Apple Ancestry: The Rise of a Fall Phenomenon. Mr. Walls is the grandson of Hayward Reece, a former WWII P.O.W. who founded Hillcrest Orchards after returning home to Ellijay in 1946. His book includes interviews with every orchardist in Gilmer County and provides their individual histories, giving a unique perspective into this “fall phenomenon.” Your drive out State Road 52 West, also known as “Apple Alley,” will never be the same after hearing about its role in Gilmer County’s multimillion dollar industry. The meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m., with refreshments at 1:30.
Zachary Walls is a doctoral student of history at Auburn University, Alabama. His research interests include Southern History, Appalachian Studies, and Public History. Since publishing Apple Ancestry, Zach has worked on several North Georgia-related projects. Such works include “Road Rage! Atlanta, Appalachia, and the Unwanted Highway,” his study on highway construction between Fulton County and Dahlonega, Georgia, as well as an untitled essay discussing the rise of mountain biking in the American Southeast, where he interviewed major mountain bikers such as Mike Palmeri. When he is not working as a professor’s assistant, writing, or studying history, Zach enjoys reading fiction, watching anime, and playing video games.