Building Bridges


Like many native North Carolinians, Graves grew up in a family that regularly took day trips to Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad. He continued the tradition by bringing his own daughters to Grandfather, eventually buying property nearby 15 years ago.

Graves says that his favorite thing to do at Grandfather is to visit the animal habitats. “We were there in 1995 and visiting the animals with our young daughters,” he shared. “While visiting the deer, a quasi-wild groundhog came up to our 4 year old and sat and begged. She fed him some nuts and petted him like you would pet a cat!”


Graves, his daughters and Gerry the Bear pose for Hugh Morton.

But perhaps his family’s most memorable visit came the day Grandfather’s founder, Hugh Morton, took Kelly and his girls inside the habitats to photograph them with a bear! We are grateful that Mr. Morton honored Kelly’s affection for the mountain in such a privileged manner, because now Graves not only supports the Stewardship Foundation through his membership in the Bridge Club, he has recently become a member of the new Boulder Club.

Thank you Kelly Graves for suggesting Building Bridges as the name for our newsletter!

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  • It's unbelievable the view of nature. The Mile High Swinging Bridge and everything else you have. To hike surrounded by nature's beauty!
    Wilmington, NC
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