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    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

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Renowned Appalachian Photographer Subject of Upcoming Program and Exhibit at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Tom Cupp and His Cabin 405
Tom Cupp at his cabin now known as Martins Fork cabin
Photo by Earl Palmer

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News Release Date: March 22, 2011
Contact: Martha Wiley, (606) 246-1051

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park's Hidden History Lecture Series received rave reviews this past February, when in conjunction with African American History Month, Dr. Alicestyne Turley of the Pan African Studies Department at the University of Louisville presented "The Underground Railroad Quilt Code: Myth or Reality?" Now, the Hidden History Lecture Series offers an exciting opportunity to hear about the life and work of renowned Appalachian photographer Earl Palmer from Dr. Jean Haskell, the woman who wrote the definitive book on the "Blue Ridge Mountains' Roamin" Cameraman."  Palmer spent his life photographing the southern Appalachian Mountains, its people and their daily routines. His work appeared in Life and National Geographic.  Cumberland Gap has an extensive collection of his iconic photos and will be opening an exhibition of his work March 22nd at the national park visitor center.

"Earl Palmer's work is immediately recognizable," explains Park Historian Martha Wiley. "While organizing our historic photograph collection, this extraordinary group of photos really popped, catching our attention! We are very excited to be able to share them with the public. Many of them showcase scenes of Hensley Settlement and its residents before the national park was established and also feature Thomas Jefferson Cupp, a mountaineer who lived near the settlement."

To kick off the exhibit, Dr. Haskell, author of "The Appalachian Photographs of Earl Palmer," will present a program on Palmer and his work at 2 pm on Saturday, March 26th. Dr. Haskell has worked tirelessly to promote the study of Appalachia, having co-edited the "Encyclopedia of Appalachia," has served as the director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University and also as the president of the Appalachian Studies Association.

There will be a reception and book-signing following Dr. Haskell's presentation. Her book on Earl Palmer is available for purchase at the park bookstore, operated by park partner Eastern National.

The Hidden History Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Friends of Cumberland Gap, is free of charge. For additional information on park programs, please call (606) 248-2817, extension 1075.

Did You Know?

Gap Cave

Gap Cave has also been called: King Solomon's Cave, Soldier's Cave, and Cudjo's Cave! The cave was originally referred to as "Gap Cave" because of its proximity to the Gap. When early pioneers saw the cave they knew they were about to cross the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky.