National Parks and Recreation Month

Hi Shelf Life Readers! Happy National Parks and Recreation month! I am writing to you from the Jackson County Public Library but if you tried to find me during the summer months from 2012 to 2015, you would’ve had to look deep in the wilderness of either the Sumter or Chattahoochee National Forest, where I … Continue reading National Parks and Recreation Month

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I made my first trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1975 when I was in graduate school at UTK in Knoxville.  Three years later, forty years ago, our family made our first hiking trip, when we participated in a church sponsored outing, which included a walk up Mount LeConte.   Since then, we've … Continue reading Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Horace Kephart – Writer, Outdoorsman, National Park Activist…Librarian?

By Jeff This past weekend in Bryson City, the town celebrated the life of  Horace Kephart (1862-1931), who made Swain County his home away from home.  Kephart, for those who don't know, was the writer of Our Southern Highlanders (1913) and Camping and Woodcraft (1918), two works that are, after nearly a century, still in print.  … Continue reading Horace Kephart – Writer, Outdoorsman, National Park Activist…Librarian?

GSNP Today

By Stephen My last two blogs covered the resources in the Fontana Regional Library system about the Smoky Mountains, before the park existed, and the grassroots movement of the early twentieth century to get the park established along the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  This time I will list guides that can be used when visiting the present day park. … Continue reading GSNP Today

GSMNP – The Beginning

By Stephen Last month my blog concentrated on resources outlining the culture in the Great Smoky Mountains before the park was established.    This time I will  list items in the libraries' collections  telling about the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A lot of work was done before a national park could be established in … Continue reading GSMNP – The Beginning

Before the Park – Life in the Smokies

By Stephen Most of us in this area of North Carolina live in close proximity to the most visited national park in the United States: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.   Last year the park celebrated its 75th anniversary with an array of  celebrations of the mountain culture that was endemic in the park's area before it … Continue reading Before the Park – Life in the Smokies