Exhibit: Appalachian People: A Mountain
living in a tent on Dicks Creek, Horace
Kephart photographed "Widow Davis"
seated in front of her home. He later
published this photograph in Our
Southern Highlanders as "An
Average Mountain Home." In the
album where he saved this photograph,
he also saved a clipping of Western
Monteith's home described as being
"neither better nor worse than
the average dwelling in the Smokies."
However, his album contains photographs
showing more variety and depth of
Appalachian architectural styles.
Accompanying the photograph of Widow Davis and her cabin in the album
are two additional photographs showing Laura Davis and Widow Davis spinning
and weaving. Here, these women occupy living space outside the main dwelling
Another published photograph shows the back view of a cabin and the surrounding
area. Here an outbuilding, and cleared area with various small structures
demonstrate how family life stretched far beyond the main walls of many
mountains homes. Spaces outside the main dwelling provided areas to prepare
all facets of household manufacture and food preparation.
Kephart himself spent several years living in these mountains cabins.
While his career as a writer meant he did not engage in subsistence farming,
he still adapted aspects of the cabin lifestyle such as maintaining an
outdoor kitchen area during the summer months.
Kephart's album also shows"Dogtrot" cabins and similar styles
of a home that can grow in size to adapt to a growing family. With a dog
trot cabin, one cabin can be used a a living space until a second cabin
is built near the first. A roof connects the two, creating a breezeway
where dogs, and others can go through. In time this breezeway may be closed
in to create another room.
While Kephart's album does include photographs of the frame house that
have since become the standard architectural form, these varied in function
from the cabins and associated outdoor living spaces that fascinated Kephart.