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GSMNP: elkmont's uncle lem ownby


Born in 1889 in the Smoky Mountains, Lem Ownby became one of the region's most recognized figures. Sight-impaired from an early age, Lem spent his life logging, bear hunting, farming and tending his beehives. He welcomed the arrival of logging operations into the pristine wilderness but became an eyewitness to the devastation it brought to land, streams and wildlife. As the last leaseholder living within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lem became a legend, selling his honey and offering pearls of wisdom to hikers, writers and even the governor. Lem's principles remained solid, his opinions so unwavering that he once refused to entertain two Supreme Court justices. Enter the forest with author F. Carroll McMahan as he tells dramatic, fascinating and sometimes humorous stories of a man who lived truly on his own terms.

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