Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth, born September 20, 1890 in Knoxville, Tennessee, is recognized as one of the most prolific early photographers of the Great Smoky Mountains' Greenbrier and Mount Le Conte sections. An early member of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, his photographs document club hikes and activities, including the construction of the clubhouse at Greenbrier.
What began in 1913 as a diversion soon developed into a serious avocation as Roth perfected his penchant for photography while avidly hiking the unexplored regions near his home. He worked primarily with a Kodak Autographic 122 camera, and, often carrying a heavy tripod, would climb twenty to thirty feet up a tree or venture hundreds of yards off the trail to capture the landscape images for which he was later noted. He often hiked in the company of Jim Thompson, a professional photographer and fellow Knoxvillian.
Roth remained an amateur photographer, and, consequently, his photographs were never widely distributed. His frequent travels in the mountains and early association with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club have provided a valuable collection of images that illustrate the Smokies before the advent of the national park.
Dutch Roth's hiking journal, Tales from the Woods, is also available online: Dutch Roth's hiking journal, Tales from the Woods