Historic Places

Historic places in the Smokies include cabins, churches, crafts communities, historic buildings, and even a farm museum

In the Smoky Mountains, Historic Places can be found in Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Townsend, Wears Valley, and inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


historic placesALEX COLE CABIN
Located along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, this cabin is the last remaining building of the community of Sugarlands community. Built by Albert Alexander “Alex” Cole (1870–1958) and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s. In the early 1900s, Cole and his sons made a weekly trek across Sugarland Mountain via what is now the Huskey Gap Trail to Elkmont, where they worked for the Little River Lumber Company. As tourism increased in the mountains in the 1920s, Cole began offering his services as a mountain guide, especially for tourists wanting to hike to the summit of Mount LeConte.

This Arts and Crafts center is the oldest craft school in Tennessee. Arrowmont offers workshops in arts and crafts such as painting, woodworking, glassblowing, photography, basket weaving, and metalworking and sponsors an 11-month artist in residence program.

Arrowmont’s campus contains the oldest buildings in Gatlinburg and comprises two historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The church, designed by Charles I. Barber in Late Gothic Revival style, was built in 1945.  It is known as First United Methodist Church, Gatlinburg.  The building was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2007 for its architecture.


As part of the State of Tennessee’s Heritage Trail, this arts and crafts community will show you folk art, trolls, candles of all kinds, hand-made pottery, oak and willow baskets, watercolors, sculpture and lithographs. 

When visiting the arts & crafts community, you will discover numerous art galleries and often have an opportunity to watch the artists as they work.

perks campPERRY’S CAMP

Perry’s Camp was founded c. 1928 when Charlie Perry developed the site where Flat Branch joins the Little Pigeon River as a tourist resort. Located on the Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Perry’s Camp was one of the first tourist courts in the area that has since become a tourist mecca, now known as Flat Branch Cottages. The site originally included a restaurant with living quarters upstairs and eleven cabins, including one log and stone house already on the site from the 1850s. The site has been owned and operated by the Mack Marshall family since 1952. Three of the remaining four cabins are still rented to tourists April through October.


old mill pigeon forgeTHE OLD MILL
Historically known as the Pigeon Forge Mill, this historic gristmill is located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, along the Little Pigeon River. The mill is the only structure in Pigeon Forge listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was once part of a small industrial complex established by local businessman Isaac Love (1783–1854) that included the iron forge for which the city is named. The mill was initially used to grind grain for local farmers. During the U.S. Civil War (1861–1865), the mill powered several looms which produced cloth for the military.
The Old Mill


harrisburg covered bridgeHARRISBURG COVERED BRIDGE
This covered bridge is located off of Old State Highway 35 near U.S. 411 (Newport Highway) in Sevierville. In the picture you will see it is a timber truss bridge. It is 83 feet long and 15 feet wide with an 11-1/2 foot clearance inside.  Of special interest is the architecture of the inside of the bridge.

The bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

kyker farmsKYKER FARMS
This 5 acre farm features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hay rides, bonfires, and other activities. Kyker Farms is a nine generation family farm nestled between the beautiful French Broad River and the Great Smoky Mountains. Furthermore, it is a Tennessee Century Farm, with 206 years of continuous agricultural production and is part of the State of Tennessee’s Heritage Trail.


The Riley H. Andes House — built by Lewis C. Buckner, an African-American builder, after the Civil War. The house now houses the art gallery of Robert A. Tino as inherited through his wife’s family and is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

rose glen houseROSE GLEN

Rose Glen was an antebellum plantation — one of the largest and most lucrative farms in Sevier County.  In addition, it is one of the most productive in East Tennessee. The plantation house and several outbuildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rose Glen was established in the late 1840s by Dr. Robert Hatton Hodsden (1806–1864).  Hodsden was  a Sevier County physician and politician.  By 1860 he became one of the county’s wealthiest individuals. Hodsden was an attending physician for the Cherokee Removal (the Trail of Tears) in the late 1830s.  Furthermore, between 1841 and 1845, he represented Blount County in the Tennessee state legislature. Although a slave owner, Hodsden was staunchly pro-Union during the American Civil War. Rose Glen is still owned and maintained by Hodsden’s descendants.

Rose Glen is at the junction of State Highway 416 (Pittman Center Road) and Old Newport Highway.  This is a few miles east of Sevierville near the Harrisburg community. The house lot is across the street from the Walters State Sevier County Campus.

The Sevierville Commercial Historic District contains twenty-four structures in downtown Sevierville. The district is centered along the court square and is bounded by Court Avenue, Commerce Street and Bruce Street. Especially relevant, the majority of the buildings in the district were constructed between 1900 and 1936 and are 1 to 3 stories in height. All but 2 of the 24 buildings contribute to the character of the district. The district is the historic commercial center of Sevierville and all of the buildings are occupied as offices, restaurants and retail businesses.

sevier county courthouseSEVIER COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Sevier County Courthouse is in historic downtown Sevierville. The courthouse, built in 1895. Architects:  McDonald Bros. Contractor: C. W. Brown. The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The annual Bloomin’ Bluegrass & BBQ Festival is held on the courthouse lawn and features live bluegrass and gospel music, music competitions, vendors, and arts and crafts.

Also on the courthouse lawn is a statue of Dolly Parton and an eagle statute.

You can get a marriage license at the courthouse with no blood test requirement.

little river lumber companyLITTLE RIVER LUMBER COMPANY
The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company, established as a non-profit organization in 1982. The museum preserves the heritage of the Little River Lumber Company and the Little River Railroad, operational from 1901 until 1939. The sawmill and headquarters of this operation were located in Townsend. The company logged huge portions of what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Little River Lumber Company is on the National Register of Historic Places.


crowson houseCROWSON HOUSE
In the late 1700s, Wears Valley was discovered by Aaron Crowson, Ruben Hatcher, and Percifield. They settled in the Valley and had the land surveyed. The men were attacked by Indians who killed Percifield. Crown and Hatcher buried him on Crowson’s land. This land is called the Crowson Burying Ground (Crowson Cemetery). It is still owned by the Crowson family.

From Wears Valley Road, turn onto Valley View Road.

headrick chapelHEADRICK CHAPEL
The chapel was erected in 1902 on Headrick Cemetery grounds. The chapel was shared by four Baptist and Methodist congregations, with funeral services having priority. The chapel’s bell would ring once for every year of the deceased’s life, a tradition still observed by the inhabitants of Wears Valley. Headrick Chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The chapel is located on Wears Valley Road between Pigeon Forge and Townsend.


The highest point on the Appalachian Trail is in Tennessee at Clingmans Dome. Seventy miles of the trail run through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This section of the trail is part of the State of Tennessee’s Heritage Trail.

The highest elevation rises over six thousand feet.

cable millCADES COVE
The Cades Cove area consists of an 11-mile loop road that takes you on a journey through history as you view historic cabins, an historic grist mill, along with wildlife such as bears, turkeys, coyote, and deer.

Mid-way on the loop road, you will see a visitor center where you can purchase cornmeal, books, and memorabilia.  There are numerous hiking trails through the Cove and many photo opportunities.
Cades Cove


Clingmans Dome is the highest mountain in the Smokies, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail. Access the tower from Newfound Gap Road (Hwy 441) between Gatlinburg TN and Cherokee NC. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Clingmans Dome

elkmont historic districtELKMONT HISTORIC DISTRICT

The town of Elkmont was established in 1908 by the Little River Lumber Company as a base for its logging operations in what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A resort hotel, the Wonderful Park Hotel, was built in 1912. In the 1930s, the national park was established. In 1994 the Wonderland Hotel and several dozen of the Elkmont cottages were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district is located on Little River Road just 5 miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Elkmont Historic District

Built in 1882, Little Greenbrier School was used as a school and church until 1936. Students throughout the Little River Valley attended the school, some making a 9-mile daily journey from the Meigs Mountain community.

The school is in Little Greenbrier, the name of a former Appalachian community that is now an historical area in the national park. (Image is by Julie Dodd)

bud ogle cabinBUD OGLE FARM
The Bud Ogle Farm is on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the national park. This homestead was built by a mountain farmer — Noah “Bud” Ogle in the late 1900s. Still existing is a cabin, barn, and tub mill.  The homestead is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Roaring Fork Trail is located just off Historic Nature Trail Road in downtown Gatlinburg.

oconaluftee farm museumOCONALUFTEE FARM MUSEUM
The Farm Museum is a collection of southern Appalachian farm buildings assembled from different locations throughout the Park. During summer months, Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff and volunteers give demonstrations of traditional Smoky Mountain ways.  These include black-smithing, plowing, and molasses making.
Mountain Farm Museum

roaring fork historic districtROARING FORK HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is an intimate journey through the Smoky Mountain’s lush mountain wilderness. In places, it reveals some of nature’s secrets, while in others it weaves the story of the people who once lived here. Water is a constant companion on this journey. Cascades, rapids, and falls adorn the roadside. The sound of rushing water is always nearby.