Smokies to celebrate 75th

Yesterday’s NC Miscellany post alerted me to the upcoming 75th anniversary (1934-2009) of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They’ve set up an interactive website to help celebrate. I was going to upload a Hugh Morton photo to their nifty “Family Album“—until I read their Photo Release agreement, that is. (Somehow I don’t think the library would appreciate my agreeing to those terms!).
So, I’m offering an independent, A View to Hugh tribute to the GSMNP. A cropped version of the following photo appeared on the cover of the October 1, 1968 issue of The State magazine, referencing an article by Jane Corey called “Hugh Morton’s Favorite Ten.” Included below is the text that accompanied the photo in The State.
Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, circa 1950s

Among Hugh Morton’s 10 favorite photos—of the thousands he has made—is this shot of a mother bear and three cubs walking across a road in the Great Smokies. It is a once-in-a-lifetime picture, says Hugh, because any time bears show up on a highway, a crowd quickly forms. “I know I will never again have the chance at a shot like this without people showing.”

10 thoughts on “Smokies to celebrate 75th”

  1. Is this a great picture or what?
    You know, when the Hugh Morton Photo Collection is cataloged and neatly filed away in the archives of the Wilson Library, many of us will look back and say the animal category, bear-cub sub-category is home to many of our favorite Morton photos. In addition to this Morton favorite on the cover of “The State” magazine, there is another “State” cover that shows Hugh’s favorite shot of Mildred, the long-time mascot of Grandfather Mountain. That issue is the one for August, 1978. There is also a booklet from the early 1970’s called “Mildred The Bear and Her Cubs At Grandfather Mountain.” The booklet contains 16 pages of Mildred and family pictures.
    In my opinion, there are so many fantastic Morton animal photographs because he was able to relate to the animals better than anyone else I know. In the July,1982 issue of “Carolina LIfestyle” magazine, there is an excellent article by Gary Govert with photos by Mark Edward Atkinson. The photos in the article show Hugh up close with bears and lion cubs. And then there is a magnificent “State” cover from November, 1992, showing Hugh petting a bear cub. That photo was taken by Harris Prevost.
    And so it is, as it should be…Hugh Morton’s last photograph, taken on May 20, 2006, is a shot of bear cub. You can that picture at the Grandfather Mountain website:

  2. As a lover of nature and the outdoors, I have truly enjoyed Hugh Morton’s photos. I stumbled across this blog rather by accident, but wanted to take a few moments to browse around. I had to chuckle at this particular photo of the mother bear with her cubs, as I have three little ones of my own…kindred spirits I thought. And I’m sure Hugh would appreciate your “independent tribute”.
    Your project sounds like a colossal undertaking. Keep up the good work!

  3. Three more great examples of Morton animal photography:
    (1) Mountain Lion “State Magazine” June, 1976 – Page 3
    (2) “Bear With A View” – Mildred on top of a huge rock in her “Envoirmental Habitat” on Grandfather Mountain – “State Magazine” June, 1976 – Page 38
    (3) Four-Day-Old Fawn “State Magazine” March, 1975 – Front Cover

  4. re. Mother bear and three cubs. Hugh said a crowd did gather quickly, complete with cameras and cookies. He kept shooting when he thought he saw a good shot. After a while he heard a lady giggle, “That bear is in your car.” and sure enough, one of the cubs had climbed into the open (pre-airconditioning) window of his car to get at some cookies that were there. Hugh said he didn’t want to do anything that might upset the mother but the cub had begun to chew on the automobile upholstery, too. His solution was to open the car door opposite the one the cub has climbed in and slam it. He said, and I quote, “The bear went out the window like a frog jumping off of a lily pad.”

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