Do You Know How Gatlinburg Got Its Name?

Nighttime view of Gatlinburg TN
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Most people know Gatlinburg as a city filled with exciting attractions, local restaurants and true Southern charm. What many travelers don’t know is how the name ‘Gatlinburg’ came about, but we’re here to give you all the details!

In the 19th century, the first settlers made their way to the Smoky Mountains. These people made their homes in an area known as White Oaks Flats. White Oaks Flats was the perfect name for this quaint town that was covered in nothing but white oak trees.

Radford Gatlin established the second general store in White Oaks Flats when he moved to the area around 1854. He had only been in the town for a couple of years when a post office became part of his general store. With the creation of the post office, the town changed its name to Gatlinburg, most likely because Gatlin was the owner of the general store.

Who was Radford Gatlin?

Gatlin was a controversial figure and was quite outspoken. He stood up for his Confederate views in an area composed primarily of Union supporters. After speaking his mind one too many times, he was banished from the area. Although, the city still holds on to Gatlinburg as its name!

Where is Gatlinburg?

Located at the foot of Mount Leconte in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a great place for any family vacation. Gatlinburg is surrounded, on three sides, by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Millions of vacationers bring their families to the area, year after year, to experience a relaxing mountain getaway and surround themselves with the unique Gatlinburg history. From the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community to Cades Cove within the national park, visitors can see exactly what the area was like so many years ago.

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For more information about the Gatlinburg area, you can take a look at Visit My Smokies’ area information page. There, you will find all of the great attractions and restaurants to visit while you’re on your Gatlinburg vacation.

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