“That’s the place for us…”

When I first discovered Hickory Nut Gap Farm my response as a photographer was primarily to the striking beauty of the place and to the depth of history there. The house, transformed by Elizabeth McClure from its simpler origins, has an ur-Americana quality to it, softened under the patina of one hundred years of active daily life. Elizabeth was a painter and studied in Giverny, where, as she wrote in letters to family at the time, she was able to watch Claude Monet painting in the gardens next door to her school. Jim McClure was a Yale-educated Presbyterian minister. His calling in Western North Carolina was to start the Farmer’s Federation, an education and marketing cooperative that transformed the agricultural economy and had an important impact socially and culturally in this multi-state region of the southern Appalachians….

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