From the back cover of the book:

Dr. John Sevier Burnett dreamed of building a school so far back in the mountains that the children from whom it was built would not otherwise have had the chance for an education. His dream was the training of children as a whole – the basics of formal education plus shop work for the boys – sewing and cooking for the girls, and character development for all. Part of the dream was for the school to be of assistance to the community in any way it could.

Dr. Burnett was born in Webster, N.C. he educated himself after he was grown and married. He tramped all over the mountains looking for a suitable location for the school. He walked from Sevierville all the way to Pittman on foot – stopping along the way at homes to rest and warm his wet feet by the fireside of the hospitable mountain people.

Dr. Burnett enlisted the help of Dr. Eli Pittman, superintendent of the Elmira District of the Elmira, N.Y. conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Through Dr. Pittman other districts of the Methodist Church were involved with support of the school. Dr. Burnett lived to see his dream fulfilled through Pittman Community Center.

The Rev. John Sevier Burnett (1866-1942) founded the Pittman Community Center. His papers have been digitized here.

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