History

a sign reads "stupidville, tn"

How This Town in Tennessee Earned the Name “Stupidville” (Yes, Really!)

This is the story of how a small town in Tennessee was dubbed ‘Stupidville’ A great philosopher – well, technically his Mama – always said “Stupid is as Stupid Does.” With this in mind, for a time in the 1960s, there was a small unincorporated Tennessee Town where they could have made a killing just by putting that on T-shirts.

Pictured: Alum Cave trailhead to Mount Le Conte

The Dark History of the Most Feared Area in the Smoky Mountains

Welcome to the aptly named Huggins Hell – the most feared part of the Smoky Mountains due to its dark history I have always been fascinated with the hidden, oddly named, rarely explored parts of the Smokies – Mellinger’s Death Ridge, anyone? So, the minute I heard about Huggins Hell, I had to know everything I could about this dense

standalone chimneys at elkmont

The Eerie Standalone Chimneys in The Smoky Mountains You Need To See

Found deep within the Smoky Mountains is an abandoned town with an unusual sight – a collection of standalone stone chimneys As someone who grew up about 20 minutes away from Elkmont – maybe 30 if there’s traffic – I was aware of remnants of a strange settlement dating back to the days before the National Park. But the history

the 200 year old top heavy barn in cades cove

This 200-Year-Old Barn in Tennessee May Just Be a Middle Finger to the State

Tennesseeans have a long history of outrunning the tax man. And this barn may have been designed to do just that. As someone who grew up visiting Cades Cove, I took for granted one of the Cove’s real treasures. I thought the funny barn on Tipton Place was something you’d surely see on farms around the country. First of all,

a tree in the smoky mountains with american flags around it

People Are Flocking to This Remarkable Tree Hidden Within The Smoky Mountains

A tree that was planted nearly 100 years ago still stands within the Smoky Mountains off the beaten path, and tourists are flocking to see it It was Dec. 7, 1941. Golman Myers – born in Cades Cove in 1894 – was in the process of relocating the family farm to Townsend, making way for the National Park. Golman’s son

courthouse downtown sevierville tennessee

3 Hidden Pieces of History in Sevierville You Never Knew Existed

Local names top hidden gems in Dolly Parton’s hometown in the Smoky Mountains As someone who, for three decades, used Sevierville as a place to go through on my way to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or the mountains, I know a lot more today about the historic city. Founded in 1795, when George Washington still had two years left in his

Tennessee xxx distillery

The Mystery Surrounding the Sudden Wears Valley Name Changes

Wears Valley formerly known as Crowsons Cove, and Wears Cove, has undergone several name changes over the years I grew up running around Townsend and using Wears Valley Road to get to Pigeon Forge. But I never knew the Valley by any other name. I can’t remember anyone calling it Wears Cove and certainly don’t remember noticing the sign marking

interstate signs for y-12

The Oak Ridge Prophet: The Man Who Predicted Y-12, WWII 40 Years Before

It was a top-secret project. No one was supposed to know. But the Oak Ridge Prophet? He predicted it 40 years in advance. There is quite a history of land near the Smoky Mountains being taken over by the federal government for a variety of reasons. In addition to the National Park, for which price and access were negotiated, there

guests walking around john oliver place in cades cove

The Fight for Cades Cove and the People Who Refused to Leave

It turns out, not everyone was thrilled when the land became government property When touring Cades Cove today, we see one of nature’s true holy places. The verdant valley with its fields and streams, is surrounded by the high mountains. It’s a place of wonder and we rejoice that our forebearers nearly 100 years ago sought to preserve for us.

Russell Gregory and Gregory's Cave

Tragedy in Cades Cove: The Dark History of the Smoky Mountains

The Civil War divided many residents of Cades Cove. It also cost the Gregory family their patriarch. When you grow up around Cades Cove, you learn the names almost by accident. You hear about places like Gregory’s Bald and Gregory’s Cave before you learn the history of the people who lived there. But then as you visit the Cove and