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Kephart’s writings compiled in new book

Several years of research, compilation and collaboration by two writers from Western Carolina University have resulted in a scholarly book about Horace Kephart, a pivotal and sometimes controversial figure in the region from the early 20th century. 

The University of Tennessee Press recently published Horace Kephart: Writings, a collection of magazine articles, unpublished manuscripts and correspondence, edited by Mae Miller Claxton, professor of English, and George Frizzell, retired archivist of Special Collections at Hunter Library.  Kephart, an outdoorsman, writer and advocate for establishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park who lived from 1862 to 1931, is best known for his books Camping and Woodcraft and Our Southern Highlanders. However, his writings were far from limited to those two works.

Horace Kephart: Writings has nine chapters, each accompanied by an introductory essay by a notable Appalachian scholar providing context and background. The book is organized by seven distinct themes to tackle biographical information, as well as his frequent writing topics, such as the outdoors, firearms, Southern Appalachian culture, fiction, the Cherokee, the Boy Scouts and formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Trail. 

A collection of Kephart belongings, including camping and fishing gear, photographs and documents, is held by WCU through Hunter Library and the Mountain Heritage Center, with a digital exhibit available online.

Horace Kephart: Writings is available online and at local bookstores.

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