March 8, 2004

 

A WINTER VISIT TO CADES COVE

 

Cades Cove, which was established in 1934, is a part of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.  When you enter Cades Cove you will journey back in time because many of the original buildings still remain.  The 11 mile loop road, as illustrated above, takes you by the heritage buildings as you slowly drive, bike, or walk through the peaceful valley.  When you stop at the Orientation Shelter you can pick up the guide to the valley.  Around two million visitors come to the valley each year.

The Primitive Baptist Church was established in 1827.  This building replaced a log building in 1887.  The church closed during the Civil War because the members were Union and the Rebels were too strong in the Cove.  Many of the early settlers lie in this cemetery.

The Methodist Church was built in 115 days for $115.00 in 1902.  The plans that were used were borrowed from another church who practiced dividing their congregation by gender.  The men would go in one door and the women the other.  This church did not follow that practice.  The Civil War divided the church and the dissidents formed another church across the valley. 

Hyatt Lane bisects the Cove.  On this morning the ice on the trees and grasses made the lane shimmer.   Hyatt Lane was an old Cherokee Trail and served the settlers as a short cut across the valley.

This is the Missionary Baptist Church and was formed by a group of Baptists that were expelled from the Primitive Baptist Church because they favored missionary work.  This building dates from 1915.  The church was not active during the Civil War but after the war it resumed but without Confederate sympathizers.  A interesting note - daffodils were planted by the CCC in the 30's when they were building trails, roads and bridges in the National Park.  They planted the daffodils to read "Co. 5427".  

The valley is filled with deer and on this day some horses.  The Park Service was allowing cattle owners to graze their cattle in the valley and introduced tall fescues for that purpose.  They have discovered that this was a mistake and have removed the cattle and are restoring the wetlands and native wildflowers and grasses. 

John P. Cable built this mill in the 1870's.  This is the original site and the same wheel provided power for both the grist mill and a sash saw mill.  The Cable Mill area has a visitor's center.    There are many outbuildings in the mill area including a blacksmith shop, cantilever barn, smokehouse, corn crib, sorghum mill, and barns.  

This is the Gregg-Cable House which was built in 1879 with lumber sawed by Cable's mill.  This house was moved to this location.  The Gregg family lived in the house and operated a store on the first floor.  Later Rebecca Cable bought the house and store.  She later closed the store and used the building as a home and boarding house.  

The Dan Larson Place was built in 1856.  The brick chimney was constructed from bricks made on the place which was unusual for the time.  The original house was built before the sawmills came to the Cove but later sawed lumber was used for additions and maintenance. 

The Tipton Place.  Built by Col. Hamp Tipton who served in the Mexican War.  He built this in the 1870's.  His two daughters lived here and taught school in the Cove.  He later rented it to James McCaulley who established a blacksmithing and woodworking shop and made fine coffins.

Across the road from the Tipton Place is a cantilever barn which is a replica of an earlier one.  The overhang in the cantilever barns provided shelter for animals as well as storage space for farm equipment.  This style of barn originated in Europe.

Carter Shields was wounded in the Battle of Shiloh and crippled for life.  He bought this cabin in 1910.  He only lived here for 11 years.  One of the most picturesque cabins in the Cove.

 

A visit to Cades Cove gives us a glimpse into the past,  encounters with wildlife, and the beauty of the high mountain valley.   Cades Cove will capture your heart and imagination and you will return.

 

Rabun Ramblings