Bethel Writers and Media Contributors

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Dr. Garrett Smathers

  • World War II veteran, serving in Normandy
  • BA Degree in Chemistry and Educational Psychology from UNCA and Furman
  • MA Degree in Biology and Educational Psychology from Western Carolina University
  • PhD Degree in Botanical Sciences and Terrestrial Ecology from the University of Hawaii
  • Industrial chemist at the Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C.
  • Biltmore College (University of North Carolina at Asheville) professor
  • Park Naturalist with the National Park Service
  • Naturalist for the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
  • Naturalist for the Lava Beds National Monument in California
  • Naturalist for the National Parks in Hawaii
  • Regional, chief, and senior scientist with the National Park Service Science Centers in Mississippi, Seattle, and Washington
  • Ecological instructor at the Grand Canyon
  • Research biologist and supervisory naturalist at the University of Hawaii
  • Senior scientist with the National Space Technology Laboratories
  • Chief scientist with science centers in Denver, Colorado, St. Louis, Mississippi, and Seattle, Washington
  • Conducted study on the Appalachian Balds that was published by the National Park Service
  • Hawaii: The Fires of Life (ecological findings of the vegetation study in the post volcanic era at Kilauea Iki from 1960 – 2006 by Dr. Smathers and Mueller-Dombois)
  • Assistant principal, teacher, and coach at Bethel High School where he started the first midget football team in Bethel
  • Co-writer of the Bethel theme song
  • Western Carolina University’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award for scientific achievement and administration of National Park Service research – 1974
  • Appointment to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by NC Governor J.B. Hunt, Jr. - 1985
  • Appointed to the NC State Environmental Management Commission – 1989
  • Canton Paper Town Person of the Year - 1999

Caleb Smith

  • Harvest Bluegrass/Gospel band
  • Power Grass Music Award for Male Vocalist of the Year
  • Power Grass Music Award for Guitarist of the Year
  • Power Grass Music Award for Harvest for Album of the Year
  • Smoky Mountain Boys Bluegrass/Gospel band
  • Balsam Range Bluegrass band
  • Balsam Range has had multiple appearances on the Grand Ole Opry
  • Balsam Range collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to record 2 albums, including Mountain Overture, that debuted on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart at #5 and the Classical Crossover Chart at #6.
  • Balsam Range’s Mountain Voodoo debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and stayed for 45 weeks.
  • Balsam Range’s “Bluegrass Collar Dreams” reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart
  • Balsam Range’s “The Girl Who Invented the Wheel” reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart
  • Balsam Range, since its inception in 2007, has garnered 13 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards on the heels of 8 critically acclaimed albums.
  • Wrote “Grace for Today”
  • Wrote “God Knows”
  • Wrote “Jack Diamond”
  • Wrote “Jaxon Point”
  • Renowned luthier (maker of guitars) whose C.B. Smith company makes quality instruments

Edith Collier Stamey

  • SawDust Trail

Bill Terrell

  • Cold Mountain Calling Me (Song Writer)

Emily Terrell

  • Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Book 3 (Contributor) (Origins of the Lenoir Family, Thomas Lenoir, Thomas Isaac Lenoir)

Hugh K. Terrell

  • Sonoma, Valley of the Moon, Sunburst– A 1978 Bethel Junior High School eighth grade documentation project consisting of a collection of Terrell’s students’ interviews and writings about the historic Sunburst logging community.

Charles and Martha Trantham

  • Recipients of Bethel Rural Community Organization’s Pigeon Valley Award for Historic Preservation in 2018 for their maintenance of the Lenoir’s Creek Farm as a historic site as well as their devotion to maintaining the historic Red Devon herd of cattle that are historic to the farm.
  • Presenter for the Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us DVD which received the multi-media award from the North Carolina Society of Historians in 2018
  • Presenter at Bethel Rural Community Organization meeting about the history of the Lenoir’s Creek Farm and cattle

Wanda Mathews Taylor

  • The Mountaineer newspaper (Columnist)


  • Entertainer of the Year (2014, 2018)
  • Album of the Year (2013, 2017)
  • Song of the Year (2011, 2015)
  • Vocal Group of the Year (2014,2015)

Click here for a full listing of Wanda Mathews Taylor's  writings and media contributions

Lenore M. Thompsen

  • Designing Corsages and Bouts
  • Designing Romantic Bouquets
  • Designing with Garden Flowers
  • Ellie has a Happy Belly - children's book
  • Seven Weeks in Low Country - short story
  • Walks with Angel - children's book