Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will host the premiere of a documentary on early 20th-century outdoors writer and Great Smoky Mountains National Park proponent Horace Kephart on campus Sunday, Nov. 20.
Screenings are scheduled for “Horace Kephart, His Life and Legacy” at 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the H.F. Robinson Administration Building auditorium. Each 90-minute screening will include an introduction and post-film discussion by the producer, Libby Kephart Hargrave, also his great-granddaughter. A reception is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. between film showings. All events are free and open to the public.
Kephart was an Ivy League-educated scholar and former librarian who moved to Western North Carolina in 1904. He wrote numerous outdoors articles for national publications and authored the classics “Our Southern Highlanders” and “Camping and Woodcraft,” both remaining in print, and a posthumously published novel, “Smoky Mountain Magic.” He died near Bryson City in 1931.
The Mountain Heritage Center’s exhibit, “Horace Kephart: Revealing an Enigma,” which showcases many of his personal items in a campsite setting, will be on view in the museum’s Hunter Library exhibit gallery from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, and from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 20. On Nov. 19, Hargrave will meet with visitors in the exhibit gallery from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The gallery, located at 161 Hunter Library, also holds hundreds of Kephart objects and materials, including his tent, sleeping bag, backpack and writing desk.
The Mountain Heritage Center gallery is regularly open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 pm. For more information, call the museum at 828-227-7129.