History

gregory's cave

There’s an Abandoned Tourist Cave Hidden Beneath the Smoky Mountains

Take a look at this little-known hidden cave located in the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains As someone who grew up in the region, I’ve been in caves that cut under the mountains on several occasions. Places like the Forbidden or Tuckaleechee caverns offer a safe place for visitors to see the wonders of the Smokies’ cave system.

buildings in cades cove

This is How the Cades Cove Got Its Name in the Smoky Mountains

It is believed that Cades Cove is named after a real-life historical figure I can remember taking an elementary school field trip to Cades Cove back in the late 1900s. I can’t say for sure that it was my first visit because my grandparents frequently took us on weekend getaways to the Smokies, and we spent a lot of time

The Oliver Family (foreground) the oliver cabin (background)

The Real-Life Kissing Cousins of Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains

Nearly half the residents in Cades Cove in the 1850s can be traced back to two families: The Olivers and the Shields As someone who has lived in and around the mountains of East Tennessee, I’ve heard all the insults. They’re particularly rampant on social media – especially if you frequent certain SEC football message boards. Mouth breeders or kissing

henry whitehead cabin

There’s Something Unusual About This Cabin in the Smoky Mountains

Brick chimneys and sawmill-hewn logs were not common in the late 1800s – so why does this cabin have them? Like many stories of life in the mountains, the story behind the Henry Whitehead House is imbued with hardship. As someone who grew up not far away, I’ve been soaking in the beauty of Cades Cove for nearly four decades.

the biltmore estate and cornelia vanderbilt on her wedding day

Biltmore’s Dark History: Odd Happenings at the Asheville Landmark

Just as there are Titaniacs in the world, attracted to the intersection of wealth and tragedy, so are there Biltmoriacs As someone who has written extensively about the Biltmore Estate, I find the darker parts of its history appealing. The trappings of power and extreme wealth and decadence are seemingly attractive to those of us whose nature leans a little

popcorn sutton in the tennessee mountains

Did Popcorn Sutton Have Cancer? Coming Clean With the Real Story

Many outlets, including our own, reported Popcorn Sutton had been diagnosed with cancer in his later years, this is the real story As someone whose newspaper covered the final trial of “Popcorn” Sutton, I don’t need Google to remember the milestones of the moonshiner’s final days. Today, we’re going to talk about a myth that’s grown up in the years

Popcorn sutton with a moonshine still

These Facts About Popcorn Sutton and His Moonshine Might Surprise You

Tennessee native talks little-known facts about the moonshine legend Almost everyone who grew up in and around Cocke County, Tennessee is familiar with the legend of Popcorn Sutton. Some view him as a folk hero, and others view him as a criminal. Still, his name is synonymous with one of the county’s greatest claims to fame: Real mountain moonshine. Born

dolly parton childhood home replica at dollywood

Where Is Dolly Parton’s Childhood Home? Is It Still There? (2024)

A look at Dolly Parton’s childhood and Tennessee Mountain Home Dolly Parton was born into a world on the cusp of seismic change. She was the fourth of Avie Lee and Robert Parton’s 12 children. And she came into the world in a manner familiar to many East Tennesseans of her generation. She has traveled from crushing poverty to a

a closeup of the brick chimney at henry whitehead place

5 Hidden Cades Cove Secrets Few Have Seen in the Smoky Mountains

A Smoky Mountain local talks about his favorite hidden gems in the most popular section of the national park – Cades Cove Cades Cove is one of the true wonders of the Smoky Mountains. Known for sweeping views, wildlife watching and connection to pre-national park history, the Cove is the single most popular destination for Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors.

one of the trains in motion at dollywood

This 85-Year-Old Ride Is the Oldest at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge

Meet the attraction that pre-dates the park itself, The Dollywood Express, the oldest ride at Dollywood Before there was a Dollywood or a Silver Dollar City, there was a railroad track and a dream. In 1961, a pair of brothers from North Carolina desired to recreate the success of Tweetsie Railroad, a popular theme park between Blowing Rock and Boone, North