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Fink, Paul M.

 Person

Paul Mathes Fink was born in Jonesborough, Tennessee on June 8, 1892, the son of John Mathes Fink and Louisa “Lula” Marshall. He married Lena D. Slemons in October 1915 and they had two children, Sara and Elizabeth.



An avid hiker, Fink served on the Board of Managers of the Appalachian Trail from 1925 to 1949 and was involved in the movement to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He was friends with Horace Kephart and contributed photographs for Our Southern Highlanders. In addition to numerous articles on camping, he published a book journaling his hiking experiences titled Backpacking is the Only Way. His deep interest in local history led him to be active in the Tennessee Historical Society, the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Tennessee Archaeological Society, the Tennessee Folklore Society and the Historic Jonesborough [Tennessee] Restoration Program. His books about history and culture include Bits of Mountain Speech, 1974; That’s Why They Call It: The Names and Lore of the Great Smokies, 1972; and Jonesborough: The First Century of Tennessee’s First Town, 1972.

He died in Washington County, Tennessee in March 1980.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Paul Fink Typescript

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: AppMs-850
Content Description The Paul Fink Typescript consists of 209 typed pages from a 1960 manuscript titled Mountain Days: A Journal of Camping Experiences in the Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, 1914-1938. Numerous photographs are tipped in. Most of this manuscript and many of the photographs appear in published form in Fink’s 1975 book Backpacking Was the Only Way. This collection also includes a typed copy of Horace Albright’s foreword to Backpacking Was ...