Skip to main content

Tennessee Ornithological Society. Lee R. Herndon Chapter



Dr. Lee Roy Herndon, with several years experience with the Buffalo, New York Ornithological Society, wanted to promote the study of bird life as a recreational activity among residents of Elizabethton, Tenn. On February 25, 1944, he invited a number of people who had expressed interest in joining him to discuss the possibility of forming a club that would give opportunity to acquire and exchange information, and observe bird life.

Dr. Herndon explained the objectives and methods of ornithological clubs, stressed the recreational value the study of bird life offers, and related unusual experiences dealing with the discovery of certain species of birds. The first meeting decided that local opinion favored bird watching enough to warrant the initiation of organizing a club. Formal proceedings and election of officers were delayed until the next meeting and in the meantime their intention to form a club was publicized in the local newspaper, so that any interested person might be enabled to participate. The original name was the “Bird Life Study Club, Elizabethton, Tennessee, Tennessee Ornithological Society.”

Early meetings were held in members’ homes on a rotating basis. As membership grew and focus expanded to all of Carter County and several surrounding counties, the name was changed to the “Lee R. Herndon Chapter, Tennessee Ornithological Society.” As membership grew, larger meeting places were needed, and space was found first at the Milligan College library and later at the science building to better accommodate club needs. The club performed weekly activities including bird watching outings and picnics where the different species and numbers were documented. The club also investigated rare bird sightings, participated in the state ornithological society, and participated in activism for local bird-related causes, including Roan Mountain’s annual “Wildflower Tours and Bird Walks.”

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lee R. Herndon Chapter, Tennessee Ornithological Society Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0458
Scope and Contents

The collection reflects the activities and interests of the Lee R. Herndon Chapter in ornithology and wildlife and the natural environment in general. Material in the collection includes administrative and subject files, correspondence, reports, minutes of club meetings, annual records of bird sightings, a scrapbook, newspaper clippings, miscellaneous publications, and photographic slides of birds, plants, and nature scenes.

Dates: 1944 - 2014