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Horace Kephart Collection

Identifier: MSS 80-24

Content Description

The collection was given as a gift to Western Carolina Teachers College by the executor of Kephart's will, with other items donated by Kephart's son, George Kephart. Dr. William E. Bird and Hiram C. Wilburn were instrumental in obtaining the collection for a museum they wanted to start. The collection was then loaned to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for approximately twenty years, and returned to Western Carolina University in 1973. The collection contains correspondence, periodicals and clippings, manuscripts and articles, printed materials, photographs, maps, and journals. The correspondence includes letters to and from magazine editors and individuals involved in public issues of interest to Kephart, especially Appalachian road systems and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The magazine and newspaper articles deal with outdoorsmanship, and were either written by Kephart or were of special interest to him. Prohibition and mountain living are also recurrent themes in these articles. The photographs are of mountain scenery, people, homes and camps. The maps represent various portions of the Appalachian mountain range, especially western North Carolina and Tennessee.


  • 1886-1948


Conditions Governing Use

No publication fee is made for use of Western Carolina University Library special collections material in scholarly publications. The Library retains sole right to judge what constitutes a non-scholarly or commercial publication. Permission to publish commercially, in circumstances where the Library is qualified to grant it, requires proper authorization. Please contact Special Collections at for more information.

Biographical / Historical

Horace Kephart (1862-1931) was a noted naturalist, woodsman, journalist and author. In 1904 he gave up a career at the St. Louis Mercantile Library and moved to western North Carolina to engage in outdoor pursuits and study the region. He settled in the Bryson City area of Swain County. Kephart wrote two books--Camping and Woodcraft and Our Southern Highlanders--based on his skills and observations. He has been called the "Father of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park" because of his involvement in promoting the area and support of legislation creating the park


18.5 Linear Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the Hunter Library - Special Collections Repository

Cullowhee United States