Skip to main content

Paul Fink Collection--Washington County, Tenn., ca. 1781-1931. [PHOTOCOPIES].

Identifier: MSC 0062

Scope and Contents

The Paul Fink Collection contains primarily Washington Co., Tenn., manuscripts and legal records, ca. 1781-1931. Papers are arranged in two sections: chronologically, 1871-1931 (13 boxes); or by “Separate Files” for legal cases too large to be interfiled by date. There are also some subject files and account books. Many folders have detailed contents lists (handwritten) at the front of the folder. The detailed card index (4 boxes) should be consulted.


  • 1781 - 1931

Conditions Governing Access

Material is available for research. Prior arrangement MUST be made by contacting the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at

Biographical / Historical

Paul M. Fink (1892-1980) was a native of Jonesborough, Tennessee and lifelong student of the history and culture of Washington County, Tennessee. He had the longtime honor of serving as the Washington County Historian and took to it with enthusiasm and gusto. One of his most significant books was Jonesborough: The First Century of Tennessee’s First Town. In 1912 Fink began extensive hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Diaries of these trips were the basis for his book Backpacking was the Only Way. In 1922 Paul Fink made the first airplane flight over the Great Smoky Mountains with Knoxville Aero Corp pilot James G. Ray. Paul Fink had great enthusiasm for the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Trail. He was an early and ardent supporter of the group of Tennesseans who supported the creation of the park. He was an early proponent of the Appalachian Trail and served as a board member of the Appalachian Trail Conference beginning in 1925. Fink served on the Nomenclature Committee of the new park, which determined the proper names for the all the natural features of the park. His keen interest in history, historic preservation, hiking, and archaeology stayed with him throughout his life. Fink published widely over a long period of time: in his earlier years in outdoor magazines like Field and Stream and later in historical publications like the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Paul Fink played an important role in encouraging the preservation of the historic city of Jonesborough.


23 boxes : photocopies

4 boxes : card index

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

Originals in Washington County (Tenn.) Archives. McClung does not own originals.

Existence and Location of Copies

McClung does not have a full set of photocopies as some of the original materials were unreadable or in such poor condition (mold) photocopying was not attempted.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection Repository

601 S Gay Street
3rd floor
Knoxville Tennessee 37902 United States