Back to Homepage of Horace Kephart: Revealing an Enigma

Online Exhibit: Dick's Creek: Addio!

Photogrpah of vacated Camp Toco.

Ultimately, Camp Toco was one of many Kephart built during his lifetime. In Volume 1 of Camping and Woodcraft, page 231, he writes, "The first camp I ever made was built exactly after the `Nessmuk' pattern, shanty-tent, camp-fire with butternut back-logs, and all.... My only implement, besides knives, was a double-bitted hatchet just like his, of surgical instrument steel, weighing, with its twelve-inch handle, only eighteen ounces. I was alone. I stayed in that camp five weeks, in October and November." In 1895 while still living and working in St. Louis, Kephart wrote a series of four articles, "Notes from Camp Nessmuk," for Field and Stream.

Kephart's camping experience and expertise made the 1904 western North Carolina summer a comfortable setting for Camp Toco. As the Smoky Mountain autumn progressed, bringing colder nights to Camp Toco, Kephart secured permission to take residence in a cabin at the abandoned Everett Copper Mine in the Hazel Creek area of Swain County, North Carolina

In late October 1904 Kephart dismantled his encampment, leaving behind the architectural items he found in the forests. This parting photograph recorded Kephart's farewell to what had become his first home in the Smokies.

Return to Camp Toco Gallery.