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Byron Herbert Reece

One of the more unique jewels of this particular region came not in natural resources held within the land per say, but in the human flesh and bone of a renowned individual named Byron Herbert Reece. This native of Union County was a writer and poet, sharing his mountain life experience with his many admirers and neighbors.

Born in 1917 this poor son of a rural farmer was gifted with the ability to convey life in an isolated mountain region through his poetry and writing often sharing his biblical faith contained within the confines of his heart felt renderings. So exceptional were his works that this backwoods country boy was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize bringing his gift to the forefront of international acclaim. His poetry was the inspiration of the State of Georgia’s official drama “The Reach of Song.” Performances of his inspired work are held at the Clegg Auditorium on the campus grounds of Young Harris College in neighboring Towns County. He spent most of his adult years caring for his mother and father who were afflicted with tuberculosis. The hardships of life and illness eventually took his gifted mind and life in 1958. His memory has been preserved with his Birthplace Homestead now listed as a registered historical site, along with the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Park on the upper slopes of Blood Mountain near Neel’s Gap.

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