The best part of our Smoky Mountain town is knowing that we are a part of the history that makes our country the wonderful place it is to live in today. While we weren’t one of the 13 original colonies, we were the 16th state to be admitted into the Union, giving us a history that is almost old as America. To be perfectly honest, its almost impossible to visit a place in Gatlinburg that doesn’t have a rich history, so the purpose of this article may end up narrowing down your choices! When making out your vacation bucket list of places you want to see during your visit, be sure to add these five sites that are special to Gatlinburg history lovers from all over the world!
What was once an isolated region in which the first settlers made their homes is now a part of a national park that preserves the Gatlinburg history of our state. While most of the park is home to wildlife and wildflowers, there are quite a few historic buildings that have been restored offering a peek into the past, including a working mill that has been around since the 1800s!
Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville are three close-knit cities filled with Tennessee history, and Sevierville offers a history walking tour of all the special places in town. From the courthouse to the jail and every place in between, this tour is popular with tourists and locals who just want to get to know the town a little better.
Appalachian Quilt Trail
The common quilt was a staple in most early American homes, used both as bedding to soften the feel of hard wood against tender muscles and as a source of warmth. Quilting bees were a way of creating community between neighbor towns, often becoming a big event with food, laughter, friends, and family. The artform is still alive, if not as prevalent as it used to be, and the Appalachian Quilt Trail is a popular way to pay homage to this all-American art form. For more information on how to follow the AQT, you can check out http://arcd.org/quilttrail/.
Elkmont Ghost Town
Elkmont was once a logging town that was popular with the upper crust in Tennessee history, offering a tranquil place to get away from the hassles and worries of every day life. Once the area was turned into a National Park, homeowners were given leases on their homes, all of which expired in 1992, leaving Elkmont to become the ghost town you see today. The homes that were left behind, however, have been maintained by the National Park Service, offering yet another peek into the history of the region.
The Smoky Mountains
Lives were lost, fortunes were made, and the stories of the people who struggled to survive the harsh mountain landscape will live on forever. Even the famous singer, Dolly Parton, tells of her own struggles in song. Anywhere you travel through these hauntingly beautiful mountains, if you listen closely, you can still hear the echoes of those who walked there before.