Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 106

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER

I

TOP: Fritzi Scheff, a native of Vienna,
was married to John Fox, Jr. 19081913.
ABOVE: John Fox, Jr. circa 1894,
age 31.

106

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

f you're familiar with the name John
Fox, Jr., it's likely because you've
been to Big Stone Gap, Virginia,
where the John Fox, Jr. museum,
in the author's one-time home, and
the long-running outdoor drama
"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine"-
based on one of Fox's most successful
novels-help keep his legacy alive. (The
book was also adapted into at least four
films, including a 1936 version starring
Fred MacMurray and Henry Fonda-the
first-ever cinematic release to be filmed
outdoors in full Technicolor.)
Or, maybe your travels have taken you
through Kingdom Come State Park-atop
Pine Mountain near Cumberland, Kentucky-which was named for Fox's 1903
novel "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom
Come." A blockbuster of its time that secured Fox's status as an author of note,
"Little Shepherd" was one of the earliest
American novels to sell a million copies.
Though Fox was inducted posthumously into the Kentucky Writers Hall of

Fame earlier this year, few today have read
deep into his canon of nine novels and 25
short stories, all of them set in the Appalachian Mountains.
Perhaps fewer still know the intricacies
of Fox's own life story, which itself reads-
on some levels-like a novel, one that saw
a Kentucky boy at the turn of the century
rise to achieve national fame, cover two
wars, build a long-term friendship with a
future president, and marry the country's
most famous opera diva.
A writer is born
Both Virginia and Kentucky claim Fox as
their own-and rightly so. His devotion
to both states was deep and lasting. (He
often said that his home in Virginia's Big
Stone Gap was the only place he could really write; and yet he insisted that he was
to be buried in the family's cemetery near
his Kentucky birthplace.)
Born in December 1862 in Stony
Point, near Paris, Kentucky, Fox grew up
studying Greek and Latin under the tute-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 3
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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