Gatlinburg’s original name was White Oak Flats. Gatlinburg was settled in the mid 1800s by Martha
Jane Huskey Ogle. The widow traveled from North Carolina with her seven children and built a cabin
that can still be seen on the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts’ campus right in downtown Gatlinburg,
Tennessee. The town took its late name from Radford Gatlin, a part-time Baptist preacher who arrived
in 1854 and worked as the tiny town’s post master. He was able to have the name changed to
Gatlinburg, but soon departed after a feud with the Ogle family, Gatlinburg’s largest clan at the time.
Today Gatlinburg is a picturesque town that is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain National
Park. Your family will enjoy a wide choice of accommodations and plenty of day and nighttime
activities. Up in the mountains above Gatlinburg there’s adventure, inspiration, romance and memories
to last a lifetime.
Officially incorporated in 1960, Pigeon Forge derives its name from two sources, the flocks of passenger pigeons that stopped along the river while on migratory flights and an iron works established by Isaac Love in 1820. Pigeon Forge’s primary land mark, the Old Mill, was built in 1830 by William Love and continues to grind corn to this day. With support from the county’s most famous daughter, country music singer Dolly Parton, Pigeon Forge has grown into a dynamic tourism center. Everywhere you turn you’ll find something fun to do in Pigeon Forge – from the attraction lined Parkway to the outlet malls to the live music – all in the shadow of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains.
Originally known as Forks-of-Little-Pigeon, Sevierville began as a 29 acre farm tract. The town took its name from famous pioneer and Tennessee’s first governor John Sevier and in 1795, Sevierville was named county seat. 101 years later, its graceful courthouse was completed at a cost of $21 ,697 and is still one of the county’s most easily recognized architectural structures. The original Seth Thomas clock continues to ring out the time on the half hour. Sevierville has become the gateway to more than 650 miles of trails and breathtaking scenery in the Smoky Mountains. Sevierville has become one of the fastest growing entertainment showplaces in the Southeast, not to mention our shopping opportunities and our attractions and sports. Sevierville boasts that they are
“Where Smoky Mountain Fun Begins!”
Located in the valley between Pigeon Forge and Townsend lies Wears Valley. Certainly a drive not to be missed by any traveler to our area. Not well known by visitors until recent years, this drive offers some of the best scenery the area has to offer. Homesteads and farmland abound with unique shops and lodging opportunities. Wears Valley offers a quieter view of the Smokies. With Mt. LeConte in the distance and farmland all around you can stop in the various shops and relax as you uncover some of the area’s greatest crafts and food. Part of the journey from Pigeon Forge to Cades Cove, Wears Valley is worth the visit.
Long known as the “peaceful side of the Smokies,” Townsend offers an alternate route to Cades Cove and the rest of the park. The little town gets its named from Col. Wilson B. Townsend, a turn of the century logging baron.
After purchasing over 80,000 acres of prime forest, Townsend set up a saw mill and shipping depot in Townsend. Today, Townsend is a quiet riverside hamlet and attracts visitors who want to enjoy the Smokies away from the other towns’ traffic and lights. Some visitors may recognize it as the setting for “Christy,” the popular CBS period drama about a young pioneer school teacher. With Cades Cove in the back yard, Townsend is a must journey for any trip to the Smokies. Tubing and picnicking are among favorite activities to share.