"...The Falls of the Tucksaseegee River, in Jackson County,
are thought, by many, to surpass in beauty anything of the kind
they have ever seen."
- Henry E. Colton, Mountain Scenery: The Scenery of the Mountains
of Western North Carolina and Northwestern South Carolina (Raleigh,
N.C.: W.L. Pomeroy; Philadelphia: Hayes & Zell, 1859).
The completion of Glenville Dam in 1940 diverted the waters of
the river from the falls through tunnels to a powerhouse leaving
the memory of the popular fishing spot to fade alongside the now
century old photographs.
As an avid outdoorsman, Kephart developed a personal interest in
fishing as well as incorporating the topic as part of his professional
expertise as an author and advisor on camping and outdoor activities.
Among his possessions were fishing equipment, notably a wide variety
While there are a variety of photographs in Kephart's album featuring
fishing, the majority of these are not from the great Smoky Mountains.
These 1904 photographs do portray a fishing trip to the High Falls
of the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County, North Carolina. These
falls had long been popular among travelers in the area and was
included in regional travel guides.
."Fourteen miles south of Webster, the county-seat of Jackson,
is the most stupendous waterfall of the mountains. It is said that
on certain evenings, when the dead quiet, prophetic of a storm,
dwells in the valley, the dull roar of the falls can be heard eight
miles down the river. It is on the Tuckasegee, about 20 miles below
its sources. . . . To approach it from the west bank, the traveler
journeys up the Cullowhee road from Webster. It is a delightful
ride, over a picturesque highway, to where the river is struck at
Watson's. . . . On the left rises a gray, granite cliff, perfectly
plumb with its base, 150 feet above the river. It is somewhat mantled
with green vines and mosses, and a few shaggy cedars cling to its
front. On the right, the cliff is less precipitous, and on it the
forest and its undergrowth springs dense and rank. In front pours
the water, a great sparking cloud. For 60 or 70 feet down, it is
a perpendicular, unbroken sheet; then a projecting ledge catches
and breaks it into two columns, to fall through the last 25 feet
- Wilbur G. Zeigler and Ben S. Grosscup, The Heart of the Alleghanies,
or Western North Carolina (Raleigh, N.C.: Alfred Williams &
Co.; Cleveland, O.: William W. Williams, 1883).