A. Chase Ambler book collection
Scope and Contents
The A. Chase Ambler book collection consists of six bound volumes addressing the early unsuccessful movement to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the turn of the Twentieth Century.
"Appalachian Forest Reserve: Proceedings of the Convention held 25 October 1902, at Asheville, N.C." includes the addresses of United States President Rutherford P. Hayes, Colonel B.R. Strong of Knoxville, Tennessee, Chase P. Ambler, and Professor Holmes. It details the history of the Appalachian National Forest Reserve, an early organization which worked towards establishing a national park, as well as describes the physical attributes of the Great Smoky Mountain area. A financial report, a timeline, list of attendees, and resolutions are also included.
"The Appalachian National Park Movement, 1885-1901" was published in The North Carolina Historical Review in Volume XXXVII, Number 1 in January 1960. It was written by Charles Dennis Smith, the project engineer of Mitre Corportation, Lexington, Massachusetts, and covers the events, political and public response, and media coverage of the early movement to develop a national park in the Great Smoky Mountains.
"A Brief History of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Movement in North Carolina" was written by George W. McCoy in 1940.
"The Campaign for the National Park in Western North Carolina, 1885-1940" is a 1973 master's thesis written by Western Carolina University history student Jesse R. Lankford. Lankford subsequently became North Carolina's State Archives and Records Administrator.
"The First Movement for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 1885-1923" was written by A. Chase Ambler, Jr. in February 2005. This includes a timeline of events with footnotes, analysis, photographs, and a reprint of the "Memorial to the Congress of the United States from the Appalachian National Park Association adopted December 19, 1899." This reprint is the first petition to create a national park in the Great Smoky Mountains.
"North Carolina's Role in the Establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park" was written by Willard B. Gatewood, an East Carolina College professor, for The North Carolina Historical Review in Volume XXXVII, Number 2, in April 1960. Gatewood describes the early Twentieth Century movement to create a national park and includes photographs in the article.
"Presentation to North Carolina Historical Commission" was compiled from the existing records of the Appalachian National Park Association and the Appalachian National Forest Reserve Association in 1929 to give to the North Carolina Historical Commission. These records, together with a report from the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey, were re-typed into one document.
Conditions Governing Access
No interlibrary loan.
This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.
Chase P. Ambler (1865-1932) was instrumental in the first movement in establishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early Twentieth Century. He was born to Peter and Delilah Yengling Ambler in Salem Oregon. In 1889, he graduated from Western Reserve University. As a medical doctor, he did post-graduate work at New York Polyclinic. He was extremely interested in the promotion of health and founded a tuberculosis hospital and as president of the Buncombe County Medical Society, worked for meat and milk inspection. In the early Twentieth Century, he convinced the Sisters of Mercy to open a sanatorium named St. Joseph's in Asheville. He later worked at Meriwether Sanitarium until he founded Ambler Heights Sanitarium, which he owned and directed. He also served as Asheville School’s physician from 1913 to 1924 and directed the Asheville Board of Trade for twelve years.
Ambler married Harriet Vernon and they raised five children. After Harriet's death in 1918, he married Daisy D. Chalmers.
- Early 1880s
- Rev. Drayton Canario Smith, of Franklin, North Caroilna, advocated establishing a national park in the southern Appalachian Mountains
- 29 October 1885
- Dr. Henry O. Marcy, of Boston, Massachusetts, read a paper to the American Academy of Medicine stating the government should secure land in Western North Carolina
- 19 December 1899
- "Memorial to the Congress of the United States from the Appalachian National Park Association adopted December 19, 1899" submitted to the U.S. Congress
- 6 March 1899
- Good Roads Association of Asheville and Buncombe County organized
- 7 October 1899
- Asheville Board of Trade adopted a petition calling for the establishment of a Southern National Park
- 23 November 1899
- Appalachian National Park Association was officially organized
- 2 January 1900
- "Memorial of the Appalachian National Park Association" was referred to the Committee of Agriculture
- 21 April 1900
- Senator Jeter Pritchard of Madison County, North Carolina introduced a bill to fund a preliminary investigation. It became law on 26 April 1900
- Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia passed bills to give the federal government the right to acquire lands for a forest reserve and exempt it from taxation
- House Speaker David Henson obstructed any measures for a national park or reserve
- 1 March 1911
- The National Forest Reserve Commission was established and the Weeks Law, which permitted the government to purchase forest lands from individuals, passed
- First tract of land purchased in Curtis Creek, near Old Fort, North Carolina
- The National Park Service and the National Parks Association were established
- The second movement to establish a national park begins
- The National Park Service appointed the Southern Appalachian National Park Committee to investigate potential sites
- 22 May 1926
- Congress passed a bill to establish national parks in the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (Shenandoah National Park)
- 2 September 1940
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Appalachian National Park Association
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (N.C. and Tenn.)
- National parks and reserves - Planning
0.25 Linear Feet (1 half-sized manuscript box)
Language of Materials
A. Chase Ambler book collection consists of six bound volumes addressing the early unsuccessful movement to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the turn of the Twentieth Century.
A. Chase Ambler, grandchild of Chase P. Ambler, donated seven publications to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection on 25 February 2008. Each originally had its own catalog entry until combined into one manuscript collection, Collection 426. A. Chase Ambler Collection of Books. This manuscript collection's accession number is 08-33. The original titles are "Appalachian Forest Reserve: Proceedings of the Convention held 25 October 1902, at Asheville, N.C.," "The Appalachian National Park Movement, 1885-1901," "A Brief History of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Movement in North Carolina," "The Campaign for the National Park in Western North Carolina, 1885-1940," "The First Movement for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 1885-1923," and "Presentation to North Carolina Historical Commission." It was opened to the public in September 2008.
Processed by Kathryn Staley, September 2008
Encoded by Kathryn Staley, September 2008
- AC.426: A. Chase Ambler book collection, 1902-2005
- Processed by: Kathryn Staley; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kathryn Staley
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Description is in English
Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository