Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Fine Mountain Cabin

Henry Whitehead Cabin, Cades Cove,
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee  © Doug Hickok

A well worn path leads to this old cabin in Cades Cove, a low area surrounded by peaks in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The cove is preserved to look similar to the way it did in the 1800's. It may not look like it, but this cabin was once one of the finest ones in the mountain valley. Built in 1898 by a widower for his new wife Matilda, it had a brick chimney, which was rare in those days because mountain folk had to actually make the bricks themselves out of the clay soil. It was the only square-sawed log home (thick, well insulated walls with very little space between logs) in Cades Cove. And it is the only one of its kind left in the park. Because of this, the cabin is considered a transition house from the early rough built cabins of the pioneers to the modern frame structures that became popular in a later era.

True to the rugged individual spirit of these cove residents, when the Federal government set aside lands for the formation of the National Park, which included Cades Cove, the valley people resisted the most. But by 1937 the last resident was forced to move out.
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