2013 A.T. Hall of Fame Honorees

Published Aug 9, 2013

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Appalachian Trail Museum ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Appalachian Trail Museum Society serves the Appalachian Trail community by relating the founding, construction, preservation, maintenance, protection and enjoyment of the Trail.

The museum's goals are to collect, preserve and interpret relevant materials in order to portray not only the history of the Trail, but also the essence of the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual experience of the Appalachian environment and the culture of hiking.

For the past three years, the museum has inducted men and women whose contributions to the Appalachian Trail are worthy of being honored in the museum's Hall of Fame.

The 2011 Charter Class Hall of Fame honorees were:

  • Myron Avery
  • Gene Espy
  • Ed Garvey
  • Benton MacKaye
  • Arthur Perkins and
  • Earl Shaffer.

Members of the 2012 class were:

  • Emma "Grandma" Gatewood
  • David A. Richie
  • J. Frank Schairer
  • Dr. Jean Stephenson and
  • "Major" William Adams Welch.

President of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society Larry Luxenberg said, "Inductees into our Hall of Fame include those who believed in the importance of the trail from its inception and then set out to prove that hiking from Maine to Georgia was not only possible, but enjoyable. Hiking the trail's 2,184 miles is itself a badge of honor. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the ultimate recognition for an Appalachian Trail pioneer, maintainer or hiker."

The third class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees was inducted on Friday, June 7, 2013 at the annual Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs.

2013 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Honorees

Ruth Blackburn of Bethesda, MD

Ruth Blackburn passed away in 2004, but during her 50 years of service to the Appalachian Trail and the Appalachian Trail Conference her contributions were worthy of the Hall of Fame.

In 1983, the U. S. Secretary of the Interior noted her for being "the single most influential volunteer in shaping the successful National Park Service protection program."

In 1994, the National Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails nominated Blackburn to the honor roll of people essential to the creation of the National Trails System.

We will always remember her work to protect the national treasure of the Appalachian Trail.

David Field

David Field, 72, is the former chair of the Appalachian Trail Conference.

He was also the former president of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC).

David has played a vital role in the major relocations of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. His efforts significantly improved one of the most important stretches of the Trail.

He also has worked to preserve the history of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club by writing a book on the trail in Maine, as well as preserving thousands of photos and other archival records.

For most of his life -- since 1954 -- David Field has maintained a section of the Appalachian Trail.

David Sherman

David Sherman, 69, earned his distinction in many ways, but especially by securing funding to complete the protection of the Appalachian Trail corridor.

After Congress enacted the 1978 Appalachian Trail amendments to the National Scenic Trails Act, David played a leadership role in securing the tracts of land necessary for preservation of the trail's scenic, ecological and cultural values.

Sherman was once acting manager of the Park Service Appalachian Trail Project Office. Later, he held the crucial position of Deputy Chief of Land Acquisition for the Forest Service.

The Appalachian Trail exists because of the efforts of people like David Sherman.

David Startzell

David Startzell 63, served as assistant director and then director of the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC).

His tenure from 1978 to 2012 made David the longest serving executive director in the ATC's history, roughly 34 times that of his successor.

Under Mr. Startzell's stewardship, more than 250,000 acres of public lands were protected along a 2,000-mile corridor.

David worked to obtain nearly $200 million to enable acquisition of the corridor and for reinvigorating the Appalachian Trail Conference as a confederation and an organization structured to meet the obligations set forth 1984 by the National Park Service.

David's lifelong commitment to the Appalachian Trail deserves Hall of Fame status.

Everett (Eddie) Stone

Founding President of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club Eddie Stone was an assistant state forester in the late 1920s and early 1930s, who ultimately took it upon himself to lay out the southernmost section of the proposed Appalachian Trail.

Then, he helped build and protect it, along with labor from the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1934, Eddie took a position with the National Park Service.

His commitment and involvement as a trail committee leader never wavered, as he fought such things as the encroachment of roads on the Appalachian Trail until 1935.

We are glad to see Eddie's efforts rewarded by his induction into the Hall of Fame.

The best way to experience any museum is to pay a visit.

We encourage you to stop by the Appalachian Trail Museum -- located midway along the 2,185.9-mile-long Appalachian Trail -- in Pennsylvania's Pine Grove Furnace State Park on PA Route 233, not far from I-81.

When you're there, look for AT thru-hikers and treat one or two to ice cream at the Pine Grove General Store right by the museum.

Click Here for the Appalachian Trail Museum

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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