Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cades Cove

I know I'm a little late posting about this, seeing as though I've been back from camping in the Smokies for almost 3 weeks now. Please forgive me, it's been busy on the farm!
For those of you who have never been to Cades Cove, I thought that I would give you a little tour! It is our favorite place to go camping! Cades Cove is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near the towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Townsend, TN. There is an 11-mile loop around the cove that you can drive, hike, or bicycle (been there, done that, too tired to buy a t shirt).
Along the loop there is plenty of scenery.

Mountains, pastures, streams, trees...it's a photographers dream!

I took this picture on a Ranger-led "night hike" around the loop.


There are also tons of wildlife in the Cove too.

We saw lots of deer.

This little guy landed on Lance's shoulder during an early morning hay ride. I think he's trying to blend in with his shirt.

These Toms were trying to impress the ladies, but they were being ignored.

This guy kept hanging around our campsite.
There are also a few lesser-known sites in the Cove too.

This is Gregory Cave. It is located on an unmarked trail around Loop Road. You have to climb down the rocks to get inside, but all the caves in the Cove are closed to the public right now because of a break out of "White Nose" disease in bats. It is rumored that during prohibition, this cave was used as a night club. It was also a fall out shelter during the 50s.
There are also plenty of cemetaries. Some are located beside the old churches in the Cove, but some are also located on some unmarked trails. When you get to looking at many of the graves from the 1800s, many people didn't survive childbirth.
Probably the most well known attractions in Cades Cove are the old buildings.
This is the John Oliver Place. It is the oldest log home in the Cove. The Olivers were the first settlers in the Cove and lived here with the indians. They were running out of food, so one day John went hunting, got lost, and didn't come back for a few days, his wife was scared out of her mind, and when he returned, she demanded that they move back home. You know what convinced her to stay? A couple of milk cows. Yeah, that'll do it.

This is the Primitive Baptist Church. This was the first church in the Cove. The Olivers asked their "home church" that was 40 miles away if it was okay if they could build one closer. I can't imagine what bothered them about a 40 mile buggy ride, lol.

This is the Methodist Church. There are two doors on the church because men sat on one side and women sat on the other. I guess they couldn't both use the same door either. If you notice the foundation of this church and many other buildings in the Cove, you can see that they sit on small piles of rocks. This is because one time a law was passed that you had to pay property taxes on everything that touched the ground, so people just built on top of rocks. If only that would work today.

This is the Missionary Baptist Church. It was formed by people who were kicked out of the Primitive Baptist Church because they supported mission work. Never have figured out why the Primitive Church didn't like missions, guess thats why they were called "primitive". lol. Many other churches in the Cove split because of their stance on the Civil War. Many people in the Cove were Union supporters even though they lived in the South.

Half-way around the loop is the Cades Cove Visitor Center. There is a gift shop, along with some other historic buildings. The house shown here is known as "Aunt Becky's House". Becky Cable lived here in the late 1800s-early 1900s. She never married and farmed 600 acres of land by herself. If I had to farm our land by myself, I think I would have to hire Aunt Becky.
Also at the Visitor Center is Cable Mill. It is a water powered grist mill which is still in use today. Nearby, there is a blacksmith shop which does demonstrations, a sorghum mill, and some cantilever barns.

This is the Henry Whitehead Place. His wife died, leaving him with 3 daughters to raise, so he ended up marrying the woman that lived in that little bitty house that you see connected to the back of the big house. She lived there because her brothers quickly built that house when her husband abandoned her and their son. When they got married, Henry built the bigger house connecting to the little house.

This is the Dan Lawson Place. This was one of the few places in the Cove to have electricity later on. There is a story about the woman who lived directly across the Cove from Dan always knowing when to get her daughters up for school because Dan turned his lights on at the same time every morning.

This is the Tipton Place. There are some smaller buildings out from the house that used to be a general store. Later on, there was a phone line stretching from the store to the house so that when a customer came in, they could get service. There was also phone service around the entire Cove, but they could not call outside the Cove. There is no cell phone service there either, so I know how they felt, haha.

This is the Carter Shields Cabin. The guy that lived here was wounded in the Battle of Shiloh in the Civil War and only lived here for 11 years.
I hope yall have enjoyed my Cades Cove Tour. I'm beginning to think the Park Service should hire me to give tours, lol. Anyways, for those of you who normally go to the beach, but don't want to get oily this year, or those of you who just don't go anywhere, why don't you check out Cades Cove, it's much cooler, and it's free!


  1. Beautiful pics, Steph. It's been a long time since I've been to the Smokies, but I still remember the glorious sights.

    I really enjoyed your history lesson. Our forefathers had a hard life.

    BTW, I think that's pileated woodpecker. I have a mating pair around here. You can sure tell when they are hammering on the trees.

  2. I love the pics Steph!! I so want to go there. I love to camp, but Caleb doesn't get to excited about it so we don't get to go that often.
    I hope no one was hurt when your mortar shell exploded. Those are my favorite, but only when they fly up into the air!

  3. Well, if this farming/raising chicken thing doesn't work out for you, you can always be the official tour guide for Cade's Cove! LOL

  4. We love Cades Cove, a favorite day trip of ours. Love your pictures. It's been so hot I think we'll wait until Fall to go again. :)

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  6. I've been there twice-went horseback riding last time and took short loop around to look for wildlife. VERY pretty there for sure!

  7. We love it there. But we always camp at Pigeon Forge, may have to try it some time.