|Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, Townsend, Tennessee|
KEPHART-BROOME EXHIBIT NOW OPEN THROUGH JULY
The Heritage Center has just opened a new exhibit featuring artifacts of two men who impacted the development of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, even though they followed different career paths: Harvey Broome and Horace Kephart. The exhibit is available for viewing in the Proffitt's Gallery at the Center through the end of July. Many of the Kephart artifacts have never been viewed prior to this showing.
Harvey Broome — Knoxville native, UT graduate, lawyer, naturalist, hiker, writer and wilderness advocate - connected with the natural world through time spent on his grandparents' farm near Fountain City and his first hiking trip - to Silers Bald -- into the Smokies. In 1935 Broome was one of eight individuals who founded The Wilderness Society, along with Aldo Leopold, Benton MacKaye and others.
In 1937 Broome married Anna Pursel, a secretary from the Harvard Law School, who shared his passion for hiking and the wilderness. Broome became an active member of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and contributor to such periodicals as "National Parks Magazine" and "Nature." He also authored three books - "Earth Man," "Faces of the Wilderness," and "Out Under the Sky of the Great Smokies: A Personal Journal." Broome died in 1968 following more than 50 years of hiking and exploring his beloved mountains.
The display includes large photos of Broome as he sat on a narrow ledge overlooking the Smokies and another as he climbed Charlie's Bunion. Of special note are Broome's actual journal, begun in 1928, and the fountain pens he used to write in the journal, among many other pieces from the family's collection.
Horace Kephart — Born in Pennsylvania, Kephart enrolled in graduate school at Cornell, was named head of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, became an expert on early western explorations and married, all before he was 25. When both his career and his marriage failed, however, he chose to start over and sought refuge in the wilderness of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.
While living alone in a cabin in the Smokies, Kephart wrote Camping and Woodcraft, often called the "camper's Bible" and Our Southern Highlanders, considered by many as the best early portrait of the people of Southern Appalachia.
Among the Kephart artifacts are fishing lures and his tackle box, his backpack, a book press used to keep his handwritten pages in their correct order prior to submission to the publisher, an object from which he drank his tea - complete with spoon and straw, clothing items and more.
Contributors to the exhibit include Western Carolina University, East Tennessee Historical Society, the Broome family, Bill Alexander, the Frank H. McClung Museum and the University of Tennessee Library Special Collections.
The exhibit is included in regular museum admission or with a membership.
Copyright 2005 Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. All rights reserved. Questions, comments, suggestions, and requests can be sent the webmaster. No images or text may be reproduced electronically or mechanically without the consent of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center.