Carolina Mountain Club honored by GSMA

Carolina Mountain Club
Carolina Mountain Club

Recently, Carolina Mountain Club received the following email from the Great Smoky Mountains Association. In part, it said:

Congratulations from the Smokies,
Carolina Mountain Club has been named to the inaugural “100 Most Influential People in Great Smoky Mountains National Park History” as published by Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA) in its special Centennial Issue of Smokies Life Magazine.

Here’s what the article said about CMC
Founded in 1923, club members supported national efforts, and were instrumental in completion and maintenance of significant sections of the Appalachian Trail-routing, marking, measuring, and maintenance. CMC was one of the first clubs to adopt the “overseer” system of trail maintenance, assigning each member to a 3-5 mile section of trail.

Margaret Stevenson, from a Friends of the Smokies website
Margaret Stevenson, from a Friends of the Smokies website

We are in such great company. The top hundred people include pioneers like Horace Kephart and George Masa, the photographer, who hiked with Kephart. Myron Avery, the developer of the Appalachian Trail, the doer, and a hero of mine, is on the list as well. Margaret Stevenson, a active hiker, walked up to Mt. Le Conte until her eighties.

Chase Ambler, an Asheville physician in 1893 who encouraged the North Carolina state legislature to ask the U.S. Congress to consider a national park in Western North Carolina is included. We know the Ambler family as the owners of Rattlesnake Lodge, now on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, our sister club from Knoxville and the Civilian Conservation Corps are the other two groups. And a few people that I actually know – Terry Maddox, retired Executive Director of GSMA, Gary Wade, one of the founders of Friends of the Smokies. Phil Francis, deputy superintendent of the Smokies and then (retired) superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Dale Ditmanson, retired superintendent of the Smokies, Bob Miller, the “voice of the mountains”, the public affairs officer, and Janet Rock, the one and only botanist in the park are included.

CMC on the trail
CMC on the trail

GSMA, one of several Great Smoky Mountains National Park partners, is the nonprofit organization that manages the bookstores for the park. They also publish many books and maps, including the influential Hiking Trails of the Smokies, affectionately referred to as “the brown book.” They will honor those named to the list at a ceremony in Cherokee on Friday, Sept. 16, as part of their annual Membership Weekend and Centennial celebration. Those named in the article, or their direct descendants, are encouraged to attend and receive well-earned recognition. Barbara Morgan, President of CMC, will accept the award for the club.

So how do you get to see this issue of Smokies Life? Great Smoky Mountains Association publishes Smokies Life Magazine as a membership premium and sales item. To order a copy or find out more about membership opportunities, visit the GSMA website or call 1-888-898-9102 x226. You can join the organization or buy a copy at a Smokies store, like the one at Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

For more information, see the official press release.

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