Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tennessee Vacation

Extensive post, lots of pictures and information.

 A beautiful creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
We spent all day in Cades Coves, TN
Cades Cove was once known as "Kate's Cove" after an Indian chief's wife. The Cove drew the Cherokee Nation back again and again by its abundant wildlife and good hunting. Later, Cades Cove's wildlife drew European descent frontiersmen to make it their home. They and their offspring cleared the fertile valley floor and built farms to sustain them. The pioneer's families lived in Cades Cove for many generations before the cove became part of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Today, Cades Cove is still as full of wildlife as before but draws not hunters, but millions of Smokies visitors.
The Cove has been preserved by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to look much the way it looked in the 1800's. Once home to a small mountain community, whose settlers came from mainly from Virginia, North Carolina and upper east Tennessee, Cades Cove is today the largest open air museum in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Cades Cove has original pioneer homesteads, barns, businesses, pasture and farmland--a fitting tribute to the hearty people who lived here in the days of yesteryear.

 Turkeys galore in Cades Cove, TN
See the man to the right, in full camouflage snapping pictures?
I'd love to have a vow renewing ceremony in this old church.
They do offer the churches for such events. 
Missionary Baptist Church in Cades Cove, TN
Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church--In Cades Cove as in the rest of the Smokies, Baptists were divided into camps of members who supported missionary work, temperance societies and Sunday schools and those that didn't. Some thought there was no Biblical support for those things. In the end, a number of Cades Cove Baptists were eventually dismissed from the original Baptist church for their beliefs including Johnson Adams who was pastor.
On May 15, 1841, Adams and other disenfranchised Smokies pioneers banded together and established the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. The start was rocky. They had no meeting house and had to meet in individual homes. Sometimes they made arrangements to meet at the Primitive Baptist or Methodist church buildings. Also, in the Smokies there was much confusion over the Civil War. During the Civil War and reconstruction, the Missionary Baptists didn't meet for long periods of time. After the war however, they had a particularly successful revival and were able to erect their own church building in the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains. Their church was constructed on Hyatt Hill in 1894, with their rolls bulging with 40 members. Eventually the rolls grew to over one hundred. In 1915, a new building was needed and was created in the present location.

There are also a Primitive Baptist Church.
Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church-- In Cades Cove and the surrounding Smokies area, it took faith to settle the American frontier so religion was a big part of life for the settlers. Up until the founding of the Baptist Church, the Cades Cove members had to travel through the Smoky Mountains to attended Sunday meeting in Millers and Wears Coves. They also went to campground revivals in Tuckaleechee Cove, present day Townsend.
The Cades Cove Baptist church was established in 1827. In time a schism developed over biblical interpretation. One side said the scripture allowed for missionary work and others in the congregation said it did not. This problem was not isolated to the Baptists in the Smokies but was widespread elsewhere as well. As for the Cades Cove Baptists, they decided to rename their church in order to distinguish it from Baptists with other beliefs. Their church became known as the Primitive Baptist Church in 1841. The small congregation met in a log structure for sixty years until the white frame church was built in 1887

All the churches had graveyards.

 The Oliver's Cabin was the first in the Smokies--
The Smokies pioneers started settling Cades Cove on the north eastern side where the loop begins, for this is the higher and dryer part of the cove, away from the swampy land found elsewhere. John and Lurany Oliver were the first to come to this area of the Smokies.
Typical of the European immigrants and their descendants, the Olivers came despite the fact that there was no Indian treaty allowing them access to the Smoky Mountain land. Generally speaking this practice of settlement without treaty was the source of much friction between new settlers and the Native Americans already in the mountains. However, in the case of John and Lurany the Cherokee Indians actually helped the interlopers survive their first winter. Just as fortunate, for the Olivers, the Calhoun Treaty gave whites the right to settle the cove just one year after they arrived. The Olivers purchased their land in 1826. 
Members of the Oliver family lived in Cades Cove when it became part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Of course the Oliver's Smoky Mountain happy ending was not evident to them when they decided to settle Cades Cove. Their decisions and efforts were made in an atmosphere of uncertainty with challenges posed by both nature and the difficulty of leaving the familiar for the unknown, and yet somehow their choices served to strengthen them.
The Oliver's original Cades Cove cabin stood fifty yards or so behind the cabin now identified as their cabin. For instance, the cabin, still standing and preserved by The Great Smoky Mountain National Park service and identified as the Oliver's cabin is actually the honeymoon house which the their family built for their son to use when he married.
Buried in Cades Cove at the Primitive Baptist church which they helped to found, John Oliver and his friend Peter Cable had once signed the deed for land the church had been given by William Tipton
 Inside of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Love the Bay window area behind the pulpit.
As people come in, they leave Bibles at the pulpit.
Right as you walk into the church the walls are white, and people have really marked them up with their names and such in black sharpie markers.  How sad!
 The amazing view from the far side of Cades Cove.

 Carter Shields Cabin
George Washington "Carter" Shields lived in his Cades Cove cabin from 1910 through 1921. A beautiful location in which to retire, Shields was crippled in the Battle of Shiloh. Dogwood trees bloom here in the early spring making this cabin one of the loveliest in the Cades Cove.
 I was able to walk right up to these deers.
There was one bedded down that kept snorting at me. 
That was my que to get out of dodge.
 See 2 black bears kinda in the middle of the picture.
There was about 30 people right there with me and cars going by and
those bears weren't even phased.
 Right beside the road, we could have reached out and petted her.
 I talked to these geese forever, they weren't very interested in what I had to say.
 We went to the Titantic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN.
The Titanic Museum is a two-story museum shaped like the RMS Titanic. It is located in Pigeon ForgeTennessee and opened on April 8, 2010. It is built half-scale to the original ship. Similar to the one in Branson, Missouri, the museum holds 400 pre-discovery artifacts in twenty galleries. It is the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world.
The structure is anchored in water to create the illusion of Titanic at sea, and the 2-hour, self-guided tour is designed to give guests the sensation of being an original passenger on Titanic’s 1912 maiden voyage.
As guests enter, they are given a passenger boarding ticket. On this ticket is the name of an actual Titanic passenger and the class they were traveling. Guests will learn the individual stories of several passengers. In the Titanic Memorial Room, they will find out whether their ticketed passenger survived.
The structure cost $25 million to build. (info from Wikipdedia)

We were given boarding passes of actual passengers.
Tj was a 48 yr old male from NY, on board with him was his wife and dog. They were coming back from a business trip in England.  He, his wife and dog were first class passengers.
He and his wife survived the sinking.  However; their dog did not.
I was a 47 yr old crew member from England.  I too, survived the sinking even though I gave up my seat on the life boat to a child.

The tram that took us to Ober, Gatlinburg Ski Resort, TN
 The view as the tram took us up 2 1/2 miles.
 The fog is getting pretty thick the higher up we go.

 Beautiful......just beautiful.
 There is a house on the cliff, where only 6" of the house's foundation is touching the ground.
The rest of it is on stilts.  ekkkkk....not sure I would like that.
Nothing but fog.......You can barely see the cables.

We had the most relaxed vacation ever. We missed E terribly, but
I didn't realize how different a vacation is without a child.
Speaking of E, he gets to come home next weekend for a visit.
I'm super excited!!

Italic information taken from


  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful vacation experience. :) We've been to this part of the Smokies, too, and enjoyed it very much. Such lovely country!

    :) Linda

  2. Wow what great pictures!! So glad u got to relax a bit!! Yay E gets to come home!!! I still keep you in my prayers!! Love ya!!

  3. I'm SO glad the two of you got to have such a nice, relaxing vacation. Sometimes that is desperately needed! Thanks for sharing all your photos....even though the ones from up high freak me out a bit. LOL

  4. It looks like an amazing place to visit. Enjoy your visit with E.

  5. I enjoyed your vacation! Love that area I was born in Hendersonville, NC and lived in the mountains till I was 12. Beautiful pictures and great narration! Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Looks like a wonderfully relaxing getaway.

  7. Beautiful pictures, I love all of the wildlife. Thanks for sharing. I hope the weekend is wonderful.

  8. How exciting to find your blog and especially these pics! My father and step-mother retired to Sevierville, and each time we visit them we take the tour of Cade's Cove! Wonderful to see this beautiful place again. Thank you!


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