C is for Cades Cove

Cades Cove

Cades Cove is a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is full of a variety of wildlife but also includes an 11-mile loop that features historic buildings from the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. The abundance of wildlife made a popular Cherokee hunting ground.

Path leading to the Oliver Cabin
Oliver Honeymoon Cottage

John and Lurany Oliver were the first pioneers to settle in the area in 1818. Their descendants were still living in the Cove when it became a part of the national park. In fact Kermit Caughron, descendant of the Olivers and last resident of Cades Cove lived there until his death in 1999 The Oliver’s settled in the area despite the fact there there was not a treaty with the Cherokee nation allowing settlement. However, the Olivers would not have survived their first year without the aide of their Cherokee neighbors.

The original Oliver cabin stood about fifty yards behind the location of the honeymoon cottage. A honeymoon cottage was built by a family to be used by their adult children in the first few years of marriage. The adult children would have some privacy but still help out on the family farm until they were ready and able to get their own place.

Cades Cove Methodist Church

Church played an important role in Cades Cove much of the social activities revolved around the churches. Cades Cove Baptist Church was founded in 1827. Later the church would split over the doctrinal issues. In 1841 Cades Cove Baptist became the Primitive Baptist Church. Primitive Baptist are hyper-Calvinist believing strongly in predestination. They believe that missionary work and evangelism is not needed because those who are predestined (or pre-determined by God) will enter heaven. That same year Johnson Adams and other baptists formed the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. Missionary Baptist believed that the Gospel should be preached to all and salvation is for all who accept it. However they did not have their own building until 1894. Cades Cove was also home to Cades Cove Methodist and later the Hopewell Methodist Church. The Hopewell Methodist building is no longer standing today.

Gregg-Cable House
Gregg-Cable house in the background.

The house was originally located on Forge road. In 1940, it was moved to the Cable Mill Historic Area by the National Park Service.

Cable Mill Historic Area and Visitors Center

Today the Cable Mill Historic Area and Visitors Center Houses outdoor displays. The building above was a sorghum mill. Sorghum mill was used to produce molasses. Molasses, honey, maple sugar and maple syrup were sweeteners used by pioneers. Molasses is sold in the visitors center from mid-September through October.

John P. Cable Mill
Mill Flume

The flume was used to channel water from the stream to the mill to the power the saw mill.

Millstone

John Cable’s water wheel driven mill powered a mill for grains as well as a saw mill. His son and Fredrick Shields also operated mills. A mill meant that the residents could have flour as well as cornmeal. The arrival of the saw mill meant houses could be built out of lumber and not just logs.

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