Pop Quiz: How do you move a 200 year old cabin? The Answer: Very carefully!
This month, one of the most important historic buildings in Gatlinburg found a new home. As reported in the Sevier News Messenger, the famous Ogle Cabin said goodbye to its former location next to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and settled into its new digs at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. The move was prompted by the development of Anakeesta Village, a brand new retail space in downtown Gatlinburg. Visit My Smokies has all the details on the cabin’s history, the big move, and what you can expect at Anakeesta Village.
Today, there are hundreds upon hundreds of cabins in Gatlinburg, but in 1807, there was only one. The Ogle family was the first group of European Americans to make their home in Gatlinburg, or as it was known back then, “White Oak Flats.” William Ogle ventured into the area around 1802 and decided to lay the groundwork for a new life in the Smokies. Ogle cut down some local timber and fashioned it into logs for a cabin before returning home to South Carolina to collect his wife and seven children.
Sadly, William Ogle passed away before he could make it back to White Oak Flats. Determined to not let her husband’s efforts be in vain, Martha Jane Huskey Ogle packed up the family and moved to the Smoky Mountains to finish the cabin started by William. Martha and her sons obviously did a great job, because the cabin is still standing today!
If the name “Ogle” sounds familiar to you, it’s because the descendants of William and Martha are still very active in the Gatlinburg community. Folks who have been coming to the Smokies for years will remember Ogle’s Water Park (now Walden’s Landing), and anyone who has been to Fannie Farkle’s will start to salivate when they think of the restaurant’s signature corn dog, the Ogle Dog! The Ogle Cabin is sometimes confused with the Noah “Bud” Ogle Place, but that historic homestead was built in the late 1880s and early 1890s by the great-grandson of Gatlinburg’s original settlers.
While some readers may be upset to hear that the Ogle Cabin is being uprooted from its location at Arrowmont, they can take some solace in the fact that this wasn’t the cabin’s original location either.
Descendents of William and Martha lived in the Ogle Cabin until around 1910. In 1921, the property was sold to the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School, which used the cabin as a hospital and then as a museum for mountain artifacts. When the Arrowmont School expanded in 1969, the cabin was moved and then moved again, making 2016 the third time the property has been relocated.
For the present move, the Layman Construction Company and House Movers carefully hoisted the cabin onto the back of a truck, with plenty of coordination from local government. The Ogle Cabin was officially donated to the city of Gatlinburg in an October 2015 ceremony.
If you want to see the Ogle Cabin at its new location (and you definitely do!), head on over to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center, located at 520 Parkway near the McMahon parking garage.
With the Ogle Cabin safe and sound at its new home, construction can begin on Anakeesta Village. Set to open in May 2017, this exciting development will feature over 50,000 sq ft of shops, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. In addition, visitors will be able to take a cable car up to AerialQuest, a 70 acre mountain adventure park with ziplines, canopy walks, aerial trekking, an observation tower, and more. Visit My Smokies will keep you updated on Anakeesta Village and AerialQuest as more details emerge.
To learn about all of the best activities and attractions in the area, check out our complete listing of Things to Do in Gatlinburg!