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Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

Horace Kephart exhibit to open at WCU

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art kephartAn iconic figure of Western North Carolina history and culture who penned the classic “Our Southern Highlanders” and helped spearhead the movement to establish Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the focus of a new exhibit at Western Carolina University.

“Horace Kephart in the Great Smoky Mountains” opens at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center on Sept. 6, with a free public reception set for 4-7 p.m. The unveiling of the yearlong exhibit is one of a series of events being held in the area to mark the 150th anniversary of Kephart’s birth.

Kephart was a 42-year-old librarian looking to make a fresh start in the mountain wilderness when he came to Dillsboro in the summer of 1904. During the next 27 years, the numerous articles and books he wrote captured a disappearing Appalachian culture and provided practical advice for generations of outdoor enthusiasts.

The Mountain Heritage Center’s Kephart collection of 127 objects includes his tent, sleeping bag, backpack and writing desk.

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