Good fortune brought us to Madison County in 2005, when taking our son to a woodworking workshop near the Tennessee border. We decided to visit one property with a local realtor, and we found just what we’d been looking for: a beautiful cabin with a lovely view in a secluded area close to a community of working families. We made an offer that day, and our stake in the mountains has changed our life. In 2009, when our friends and nearest neighbors decided to move across the border to Tennessee, they offered us the opportunity to buy their property. We now have two homes about a half mile apart on 50 acres.
Sustaining this property and developing the Doe Branch Ink writers’ retreat is a family commitment. Deborah and Jim are part-time residents of Madison County. Card carrying-historians and life-long lovers of great writing, they have studied and worked in several universities. Our sons Nick and Logan have lived at Doe Branch off and on over the last several years. Nick is a novelist and fly fishing guide who resides in Asheville. He’s a creative writing graduate of Duke University and recently completed the MFA program at UNC Wilmington. Logan recently graduated from Colorado College as a studio art major. His semester at the Outdoor Academy of the Southern Appalachians in Pisgah Forest, southwest of Asheville, first brought us to Western North Carolina. After training through the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Nanthahala Outdoor Center, Logan has worked for six summers as a white water raft guide on the French Broad and Nolichucky Rivers in Madison County and across the border in Tennessee.