Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame announces 2015 class of inductees

Photo:The 2014 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees and representatives were, from left, Ronald Tipton, representing Clarence Stein; Larry and Doris Jelley, representing A. Rufus Morgan; Pamela Underhill; and Donald Owen, representing Charles Rinaldi.

A quartet of Appalachian Trail leaders have been announced as the fifth class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees to be inducted Friday, June 5, at the annual banquet at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs PA.

All deceased, they were Nestell K. “Ned” Anderson, of Sherman, Conn.; Margaret C. Drummond, of Atlanta, Ga.; Stanley A. Murray, of Kingsport, Tenn.; and Raymond H. Torrey of New York, N.Y.

Anderson was a dairy farmer living in Sherman, Conn. who spearheaded the building of Connecticut’s leg of the AT along the state’s northwest corner.

An avid outdoorsman, he took an immediate interest in the trail after meeting trail pioneers Judge Arthur Perkins and Myron Avery in 1929. By 1930 Avery and Perkins had given Anderson the responsibility for creating the 70-mile route of the AT in the state. He personally mapped and built much of it in Connecticut, and for a time was its sole maintainer.

After a time, he organized a Boy Scout troop in Sherman to help maintain the trail and later the Housatonic Trail Club in 1932. He was appointed to the Appalachian Trail Conference Board of Managers in 1935, retiring in 1948 because of health issues. He died in 1967 at the age of 79.

Drummond is remembered by many for her contributions to the A.T., both in the state of Georgia and nationally. In addition to her official responsibilities, many A.T. leaders credit Margaret with significant mentoring and encouragement. During her leadership on the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club’s Board from 1968 to 1983, GATC significantly expanded its management capabilities.

She also served on the ATC Board for 26 years, including six years as Vice Chair for the Southern Region and six years as Chair of the Board. It was an exciting time when ATC’s responsibilities were increasing. Margaret helped keep the volunteer aspect of Trail management at the forefront, while also emphasizing the importance of ATC as the Trail’s unifying umbrella organization.

She was also volunteer editor of ATC’s North Carolina/Georgia guidebook for 20 years. In addition to her A.T. work and her “day job” as chair of the microbiology department at Emory University, she was instrumental in founding the Benton MacKaye Trail Association. She passed away in April, 2015 at age 92.

While serving as Board Chairman of the ATC for 14 years, Murray played a major role in getting the National Trails System Act passed in 1968 to establish the Appalachian and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trails and authorize a national system of trails to provide additional outdoor recreation opportunities and to promote the preservation of access to the outdoor areas and historic resources of the nation.

He was president of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy for 11 years, and was later named its first executive director. The SAHC acquired thousands of acres of the majestic mountains along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee through which the AT passes. He also led the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club’s 74-mile relocation of the AT from its original route on roads and valleys to the present spectacular route through the Highlands of Roan.

Murray was one of the first advocates of the greenway concept, which led to the present trail corridor through which the AT passes. He led ATC’s move to a permanent headquarters facility in Harpers Ferry and hiring a full-time executive director and other important staff positions. He passed away in 1990 at age 67.

After Benton MacKaye wrote his famous article proposing an Appalachian Trail, it was Torrey who launched the effort that led to the 2,000-mile trail.

Born in Massachusetts in 1888, Torrey was a newspaper journalist all his adult life, most famously with the New York Post. He was an outdoorsman, and became known for his popular column, “The Long Brown Path.”

It was Torrey who, in 1922, first called to public attention MacKaye’s then-obscure article in the AIA Journal the year before. It came to the attention of William Welch, General Manager of the Palisades Interstate Park. Welch urged Torrey to use the column to help create and organize the hiking clubs in New York to help build paths in the park.

With typical enthusiasm, Torrey far exceeded Welch’s request, personally organizing volunteers, scouting proposed trails, and heading the crews that built the trails. His first effort, the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, became, in 1923, the very first section of the Appalachian Trail.

Torrey helped organize the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the principal organization to begin work on the AT in New York and New Jersey. Torrey was one of the key organizers behind the Appalachian Trail Conference, and was on the first Board of Managers, where he served on the Executive Committee and later as treasurer.

He continued to promote the AT right up until his death from a heart attack in 1938.

Four classes have previously been elected to the AT Hall of Fame. The Charter Class, elected in 2011, was comprised of 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. The 2013 Class was Ruth Blackburn, David Field, David Sherman, David Startzell and Everett (Eddie) Stone. The 2014 Class was A. Rufus Morgan, Charles R. Rinaldi, Clarence S. Stein and Pamela Underhill.

Hall of Fame inductees are honored in the Appalachian Trail Museum, which is located at the midway point of the 2,184-mile-long AT, across from the Pine Grove General Store, in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Gardners PA.

Author: Harlem Valley News