Together We Read 2004 Community Reading Choice
Our Southern Highlanders
by Horace Kephart
Horace Kephart’s Our Southern Highlanders is the 2004 selection of Together We Read for a community reading. Together We Read helps build community awareness and connections by promoting a community-wide reading of a book each year and through associated programs. The choice of Our Southern Highlanders as the 2004 Together We Read selection coincides with the centennial of Kephart’s arrival in western North Carolina in 1904.
Our Southern Highlanders was first published in 1913 and reissued in 1922 in a revised and expanded edition. Proclaimed as a classic work on Southern Appalachia, notably western North Carolina, it provides a description of regional life, culture, and geography. Join Together We Read in discussions of Kephart’s portrayal of life in Southern Appalachia in the early 20th century as we deliberate his descriptions, their accuracy, and why they have remained of interest to the reading public. Kephart tells of life on Hazel Creek (now inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), takes us on a bear hunt, brings to life the people he met and knew, recounts the life and customs of the mountaineers, describes the natural geography of the region, talks of moonshiners and the practical aspects to their business as well as the dangers (and adventures) of those attempting to enforce prohibition laws. Learn how a Pennsylvania-born, Iowa-raised, St. Louis librarian began life anew at the age of 42, and then proceeded to become a recognized authority on camping and Southern Appalachia and a key player in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Please visit Hunter Library's Together We Read webpage for more information about Our Southern Highlanders and Horace Kephart. You'll find pictures, a timeline of Kephart's life, chapter summaries, discussion questions, and more.