We love the Smoky Mountains. Wish you were here!

Legendary Outdoorsman Lived and Worked in Bryson City

Much has been written about Horace Kephart’s camps in the wilds of Deep Creek and Hazel Creek, but relatively little is mentioned about his time in Bryson City. Yet it was in his Everett Street office that he completed his novel “Smoky Mountain Magic” in 1929, two years before his tragic death. Kephart’s manuscript was preserved by his heirs and finally published — just last year — by Great Smoky Mountains Association. Fittingly, the book’s proceeds benefit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which Kephart helped to create.

Although written eighty years ago, “Smoky Mountain Magic” has received positive reviews. In Smoky Mountain News, Gary Carden wrote “Is Kephart’s novel entertaining? Yes, it is. … What better topic than a journey into a forbidden realm, complete with witches, robber barons, noble savages and a winsome lady, all wrapped in a cloak of mystery and myth?”

Great Smoky Mountains Association has produced an excellent video about Kephart (below) and how his love of Deep Creek comes to life in the pages of “Smoky Mountain Magic”. The five-minute film is partly narrated by Libby Kephart Hargrave, the author’s great-granddaughter.

Kephart’s Bryson City office — he called it ‘”my den” — was on the second floor of the Waldroup Building (above) overlooking the Tuckaseigee River, with a view of his beloved Smoky Mountains. In 1929, the smaller barber shop building had not yet been added, and a flight of outside stairs led to the second floor balcony. Part of that balcony — Kephart’s porch — still remains behind the barber shop and can be seen from the bridge.

Horace Kephart Days, April 30 — May 2
Next weekend marks the second annual celebration of Horace Kephart Days with special events, hikes, music, speakers and storytelling in various locations around Bryson City and Deep Creek. You can find more information at HoraceKephart.com.

Previous Postcards devoted to Horace Kephart: January 2009 and January 2010.

Comments are off for this post

Comments are closed.