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Cades Cove is a historical tourist attraction within The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11-mile looped road area displays several cabins, churches, and businesses in an 11-mile looped road. Tourists see what life was like in the 1800 and 1900s in this mountain village.
The Great Smoky Mountains area is rich in history and in wildlife. The cove was prime hunting ground for the Cherokee full of deer, bear, ground hog, and other small animals. All wildlife is still prevalent, but is no longer hunted with bow and arrow. Instead they come to shoot photos. The Indians left some trails that were turned into roads once European settlers made their appearance in the 1830s.
When John and Lurany Oliver built their cabin, they actually got help from the Cherokee to get through the winter. Their cabin was the first built in the cove. When more settlers began to move in, the Indians had some disagreements with them until the government sent them on the Trail of Tears. Another Oliver son built a cabin which was destroyed by Confederates during the Civil War. A reproduction stands in Cades Cove to show what a real farm looked like.
Five other cabins reside on the loop that were homes to Cades Cove citizens. The Whitehead Cabin near Chestnut Flats was where the family made moonshine. The Cable House was originally a general store and has a barn with a larger upper floor than lower floor allowing animals that resided outside to access shelter. The Dan Lawson Place and the Tipton Place are other cabins built later on in the settlement.
Visit the three preserved church in the Cove. The Primitive Baptist church built in 1822 and built by the Oliver’s, the Methodist Church was constructed in 1902 and the Missionary Baptist Church erected in 1915 after some of the original Baptists broke away over a disagreement about missionaries.
The Grist Mill still grinds mill and the sour gum mill continues to supply the Visitor’s Center with flour and molasses for sale on a seasonal basis.
Enjoy the historical flair of Cades Cove and enjoy all the scenery and wildlife the Great Smoky Mountains has to offer. The area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and be sure to take the loop by foot or bicycle in order to be able to inspect all the historic buildings and grounds.