cades cove

The History of Cades Cove

Most people know Cades Cove as one of the best places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Today, this spot is one of the most popular Smokies attractions. What many people don’t realize is Cades Cove was a popular living area for over 100 years! Here is the history of Cades Cove:

The Original Settlers

cades coveCades Cove was originally a hunting land for the Cherokee people. There is no evidence that the Cherokee people lived in the Cove, but they used it for hunting bear, deer and elk. In 1821, the population of Cades Cove began to climb. By 1850, Cades Cove was home to approximately 130 families, totaling 685 people. These people built churches, followed by schoolhouses.

The people of Cades Cove were friendly, often holding gatherings with neighbors to complete tasks like stringing beans, making molasses and collecting chestnuts from the largest trees in the forest. As time passed on, the population took a drastic drop to 275 individuals by 1860. During this time, there were hardships at the Cove, likely due to farming troubles. In 1900, the population spiked once again, reaching 708 people.

Cades Cove Becomes Part of the National Park

In 1927, the federal government purchased the Cades Cove land for park use. With the creation of the national park, most people moved to other areas to pursue lives with family members. Some farmers resisted the efforts of the state, so the state made deals that allowed some individuals to stay until their passing. The last school in the Cove closed in 1944 and the post office shut its doors in 1947.

Cades Cove Today

cades cove churchToday, visitors can spend the day exploring Cades Cove. There are many historical cabins, churches and mills that have been preserved in the area. This area is well-known for its numerous wildlife sightings, too. Drive or bike through the 11 mile loop that travels through the Cove and take in all the beautiful sights! On Wednesdays, cars are not allowed on the loop, so bikers and hikers can explore the loop without having to avoid vehicles.

Where to Stay

If you are looking to stay near Cades Cove, check out all of cabins in the Smoky Mountains! Our Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabins are fully equipped with everything you need to have an awesome trip to the Smokies. With fully equipped kitchens, home theaters, game rooms and more, you will be vacationing in style when you stay with us. Browse through all of our cabin specials and save some money on your getaway.

Now that you know about the history of Cades Cove, you can better appreciate this area on your next trip to the Smokies. Check out all of our cabin rentals so you can find a place to stay near Cades Cove. We look forward to seeing you!