Hanging in the Reading Room of the Library is a fine exhibit featuring the works of Emma Bell Miles, one of the early settlers of Signal Mountain. Miles was a poet, an artist and a naturalist, who lived here in the early 20th century. She documented life on Walden’s Ridge with her watercolors and writings, including her books, “The Spirit of the Mountains” and “Our Southern Birds.”


The largest painting in the exhibition is a portrait of Miles, created by Signal Mountain artist Anne Davis to accompany a show and talk held at the Library in 2012 to honor Miles. For that event, historian Kay Gaston spoke about her biography of Miles and the artist’s contribution to Southern Arts and Letters.

The current exhibit consists of a number of Miles’ watercolors of birds, a mountain cabin and several portraits. These works are on loan to the Library from the Chattanooga Regional History Museum. There is also a framed copy of one of the Emma Miles’ poems.

In our Local History collection are books by and about Miles, including Gaston’s biography and “Once I Too Had Wings: The Journals of Emma Bell Miles,” edited by UTC Librarian Steven Cox.


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