What’s the Story of Cades Cove?

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

Cades 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.

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.

Today, visitors can spend the day exploring Cades Cove. There are many historical cabins, churches and mills that have been preserved in the area. Cades Cove is well-known for its numerous wildlife sightings, too.

If you are looking to stay near Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, give Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals a call at (800) 953-5655 to book your vacation. Our Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabins are fully equipped with everything you need for a vacation in the Smokies. We would enjoy helping you plan your trip, so you can see all of the great Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg attractions while you are in the area!