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

dolly parton childhood home replica at dollywood

Guests can tour a replica of the real-life childhood home of Dolly Parton at Dollywood (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

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 rising musical performer, from popular singer-songwriter to actress, from multi-talented performer to global icon. Along the way, she’s proven to possess an uncommon head for business, a heart for philanthropy, and a spirit that crosses any and all social boundaries. She’s a great businesswoman, philanthropist and a legendary singer-songwriter.

Dolly Parton grew up in a small, one-room cabin in the mountains of East Tennessee with her brothers and sisters. The original cabin still sits in Locust Ridge. However, those who are curious about the home can visit a replica at her theme park Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, which was designed by her family members.

Dolly Parton mountain home bedrooms
Guests can tour Dolly’s replica of her childhood home inside Dollywood in Pigeon Forge at Rivertown Junction (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Did Dolly Parton grow up in a log cabin?

Fans of Dolly Parton likely have heard her talk about her Tennessee mountain home. She sings about it in her music:

In my Tennessee mountain home
Life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh
In my Tennessee mountain home
Crickets sing in the fields nearby

– Dolly Parton in “My Tennessee Mountain Home”

This famous childhood cabin home is a one-room cabin in Locust Ridge. The original cabin is still there, and the cabin at the Dollywood theme park is a replica. It was designed by Dolly’s brother Bobby and decorated with the approval of her mother Avie Lee. The replica home is a gift from Dolly. It’s an invitation for visitors to see what life was like in a tiny mountain community in the 40s and 50s. The striking thing about it is just how so many people could inhabit that small cabin at the same time. The replica of Dolly Parton’s home has a washing basin near the bedroom. On a table, tins and jars sit in the foreground of the floral wallpaper on the kitchen walls.

The sign outside the replica reads:

This cabin is a replica of the Parton Homeplace where Robert Lee and Avie Lee Parton raised Dolly and her 10 brothers and sisters. Most of the items on display are original family treasures. The original cabin still stands at its location in Locust Ridge.

replica home of dolly parton
The replica home has many original items from the Parton family (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Where was Dolly Parton’s childhood home located?

The original cabin sits on Locust Ridge in Sevier County, which still exists today. It would not have been considered out of place in the late 40s. But by the time Dolly turned 25, the only people living in such a home would be those in the most remote parts of the mountains, or someone clinging purposefully to the old ways. The fact that Dolly makes all this available in the park is incredibly giving to her fans but also somewhat telling. She knows that people are fascinated by her journey so this museum was created to sate that thirst. But the real home is important to Dolly, too. And that is not shared so easily.

At some point, her parents – being practical mountain people – sold the old home. There’s no point in hanging on to something they no longer need. But Dolly sentimentally bought the land back and has fixed the home up to return it to its 1950s state. She’s joked in interviews that she spent millions making that cabin look as poor as it did when she was a child.

Dolly Parton Mountain Home - Table
The inside of Dolly’s childhood home replica is filled with iron pans, tins, jars, old newspapers and family treasures (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Can visitors see the real childhood home?

It is in Locust Ridge, near Evans Chapel. But don’t expect to get too close. A tall fence surrounds the property, and trespassers are not welcome. But driving around nearby, the combination of the majesty and the accompanying isolation is tangible.

It’s easy to imagine a sunny-headed girl running among the trees and up and down the hills. It’s easy to see her singing a song, chasing butterflies and fireflies, and picking flowers for her mom. I can’t fathom the journey that Dolly Parton has taken since she left Locust Ridge in the Great Smoky Mountains. Still, I can picture the place where it all started with the parts she allows us to see. If you’re planning a trip to Dollywood, remember you can get your tickets ahead of time with Tripster. Have you seen Dolly Parton’s childhood home at Dollywood? Let us know in the comments. View the story version of this article here.

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RELATED VIDEO: A Look at Dolly Parton’s Childhood Home

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29 thoughts on “Where Is Dolly Parton’s Childhood Home? Is It Still There? (2024)”

  1. I would love to meet Dolly Parton personally. She is a beautiful intelligent woman. She jump in and helps alot when the fires
    happened in Gatlinburg. What a amazing person she is.

    Reply
  2. Dolly Parton is the best gift the state of Tennessee ever gave to the world. She is a “beloved woman” in the Cherokee vernacular.

    Reply
  3. One of my cousin has already meet Dolly I wish I could meet her. I love ever thing about Country. I grew up the Country back in53. I Love Dolly .I live in Marietta, GA. Hope To See you Soon. Love Mary Jane Oskey

    Reply
  4. I love Dolly. She has always been a dream friend of mine..ever since I was a small girl..I would pretend we was friends.And have always felt a connection with our souls..lol..we share a birthday….I was blessed to stay in her suite at the dream more..Was a dream come true….On my bucket list to met her some day..

    Reply
  5. I also liked her sing and songs and remember her quite and cute laugh back from her television show

    Reply
  6. Dolly Parton is a very nice person and I love all of her songs that she sings and the clothes that she wears

    Reply
  7. I would like very much to meet Dolly Parton
    She and I have one thing in common I also had a coat of .any colors that my mama made for me
    I have watched every .oviedo she was ever in my 2 favorites being A Joyful noise and the best little whore house in Texas
    Coming to Dolly Wood and visiting Pigeon Forge is the last thing left for me to do but finances are
    Where we can not do that I would also like to get to.meet Dolly Parton

    Reply
  8. Dolly, Is a true “Treasure”! Whatever kinda day you are having, her presence. Always bring a smile to your face. So glad she has shared her gift from God with the world.

    Reply
  9. One of my bucket list things us ti meet Dolly Partin.
    Why, simply we were born the same day, January 19.
    Truly Dolly is one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

    Reply
  10. I love to meet dolly partons shes one of my best country actress shes amazing my mom and i just to watch all her movies over and over again. Sadly my mom pass.

    Reply
  11. I would love to meet Dolly Parton, my Brother n law lives in Knoxville. He use to own Mail Box Etc.

    Reply
  12. Dolly is a relative of mine. I’m from Locust Ridge where I was born as raised as well and yes the house still remains (sorta). It was completely remodeled. Not only that she has a guest house, church, school, barn and general store on top of the beautiful grounds. We are some of the relatives you encounter if you try getting into her property which happens numerous times. The house in Dollywood is actually NOT an exact replica. Close but not exact. She will always be a Locust Ridge girl.

    Reply
  13. Dolly Parton is the real thing. She is an incredible singer songwriter. Pure genius. Her voice has been the same for 50+ years. She had a big dream and the work ethic to make it happen
    My grandchildren get her books and look forward to having them read

    Reply
  14. Praying no time soon; but where will Dollys final resting place be? And will it be tourist welcoming? My biggest wish was not only to sing with her but hopefully to meet her in person. In my heart I know that dream will never come true sadly . So at the most maybe sit at her resting place some day. Gods true living angel here on earth. Love her BIG 💕

    Reply
    • Hi Jackie! Unsure about the final resting place (Also hope that it’s no time soon!) But if you ever go to DreamMore, there’s a “Dream Box” that is full of Dolly’s memories and wishes for the future that will be opened on her 100th birthday. It includes a never-before-heard song titled “My Place in History”, and only Dolly knows the melody and content — until 2046, that is!

      Reply
  15. I loved Dolly Parton songs that she sings and that she thanks God for the many gifts she’s been given. And that she cares about people no matter who they are.
    Love in Jesus Christ Marie Heimiller

    Reply
  16. Oh my dolly and I started my childhood with her music n her spirit to the music growing up made it easier cos my family and I could relate to her music even know she still does it for me I mite never get to see you but it is as if I already know you through your music

    Reply
  17. A very rare and unusual big-hearted person, I wish we would all be able to emulate that encouraging and supportive spirit of hers!

    She is great looking and super talented but the greatest thing about her is in her soul and spirit.

    Best wishes, for many happy years to come!

    Reply
  18. I met Dolly around 1980 in Holland, Den Haag. I did an interview with here and she song, special for me “Hé should know”. She was very sweet to me and I Will never forget!!

    Reply
  19. I was introduced to Dolly’s great music by my cousin sister, Judy, who symbolically represents Dolly in our family from East Africa. Long live Dolly

    Reply
  20. We have rode the offroad trails that pass Dollie’s homeplace on Locust Ridge, matter of fact went through the same area that moonshiners was filmed at in a recent season. Everytime we have went I have pictured Dolly and her sisters playing in the creek just outside the fence around her homeplace.

    Reply
  21. Dolly is the best example of someone who puts all of her energy
    into what she loves and what she has become.
    As her song says, ” I will always love you.”
    She is a strong willed lady who knew what she wanted and went for it.
    You can’t wait for it to land in your lap, you have to just go for it. And thats exactly what she did! I have been a fan of hers since the first time I saw her. She has come a long way. I can’t think of anyone else I would love to meet.

    Reply

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