Sunday, November 4, 2007

H.P. and "The Migrant"

The second chapter of TOS, came into existence on January 13, 1924 in Knoxville. The organizers included Harry “H.P.” Ijams, Brockway Crouch, S.A. Ogden and Paul Adams. Ijams served as the chapter’s first president and the group met once a month at the “Island Home” of H.P. and Alice. After the couple’s passing, their 20-acre home site served as the nucleus for Ijams Nature Center located on the Tennessee River, three miles from downtown Knoxville. Today the nature center has grown to be more than 160-acres and recently celebrated its 42nd anniversary.

In June 1930, TOS began to publish “The Migrant: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to Tennessee Birds.” H.P. Ijams served as one of the original regional editors. Its early motto was “The simple truth about birds is interesting enough, it is not necessary to go beyond that,” and the editors dedicated the pages to reports, observations, scientific studies and bird count data collected around the state. For the past 77 years, as a published record of the birds in our state, the journal is unsurpassed.

For the first five years, illustrations of various Tennessee birds appeared on the cover but in March 1935 a new pen-and-ink illustration was introduced showing nine different species flying in formation. The editors felt that the more inclusive design would better hint at the contents inside the publication. The illustrator was H.P. Ijams. Although his avocation was birds, he earned his living as a commercial artist for the Knoxville newspaper. Ijams’ cover was popular; it stood the test of time. It appeared on the front of “The Migrant,” except for an occasional special anniversary issue, from March 1935 through 1991, a total of 57 years.

For the rest of the article about The Migrant look for the November/December 2007 of The Tennessee Conservationist.


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