Elkmont – GSMNP

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 Elkmont – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

 Like many areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont has been many things over the course of it’s history; pioneer community, logging camp, resort community, and it’s current evolution, campground and controversial historic district.

Situated in the small valley created by the confluence of the Little River and Jake’s Creek, Elkmont was the home of settlers as early as the 1830’s. These settlers were subsistence farmers, growing the food they needed and using available resources for construction.

Logging of the area began in the 1880’s and ramped up in 1901 when the Little River Lumber Company was established by Colonel William B. Townsend. Working 86,000 acres along the Little River and delivering logs to the company’s sawmill in Tuckaleechee Cove by rail, the LRLC logged the area until 1939. The current campground is built on the site of the Little River Lumber Company’s transfer station.

The access generated by logging operations also attracted outdoorsmen to the game rich forests and streams around Elkmont as well as those seeking a mountain getaway. Beginning in 1909 the Little River Railroad offered the Sunday “Elkmont Special,” non-stop service from Knoxville to Elkmont. This led to the creation of the “Appalachian Club” and later the “Wonderland Club” by affluent Knoxvillians, who built lodges and cabins in several areas of Elkmont.

The notion of a National Park was born in Elkmont and in 1925 David C. Chapman hosted a group of Tennessee legislators there to sell the idea. 76,000 acres of William B. Townsend’s land was the initial parcel sold to the Great Smoky Mountains Park Commission in 1926.

Areas:

Millionaire’s Row:

The Little River seen from "Millionaire's Row."

The Little River seen from “Millionaire’s Row.”

Cabin #42: Spence Cabin:

Built c1928 as a summer retreat.

"Spence Cabin" on "Millionaire's Row." This is the first cabin on the row and has been restored by the Park Service.

“Spence Cabin” on “Millionaire’s Row.” This is the first cabin on the row and has been restored by the Park Service.

Log cabin section of "Spence Cabin."

Log cabin section of “Spence Cabin.”

Detail of the stonework on "Spence Cabin."

Detail of the stonework on “Spence Cabin.”

Cabin #45: Murphy Cabin:

White and Green cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Murphy Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Interior of White and Green cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Interior of Murphy Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Interior of White and Green cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Interior of Murphy Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Arbor over the path to the White and Green cabin.

Arbor over the path to the Murphy Cabin.

White and Green cabin seen through the overgrowth around it.

Murphy Cabin seen through the overgrowth around it.

Cabin #49: Cambier Cabin:

Wood and White cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Cambier Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Wood and White cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Cambier Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Cabin #48: Young Cabin:

White and Brown cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Young Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Stone Bridge over creek that leads to the White and Brown cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Stone Bridge over creek that leads to the Young Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Deck of the Stone Bridge.

Deck of the Stone Bridge.

Detail of the Arch on the Stone Bridge.

Detail of the Arch on the Stone Bridge.

Frame of a chair near the White and Brown cabin.

Frame of a chair near the Young Cabin.

Stairs to the deck of the White and Brown Cabin.

Stairs to the deck of the Young Cabin.

Interior of the White and Brown Cabin.

Interior of the Young Cabin.

Stone Bridge with White and Brown cabin in the background.

Stone Bridge with Young Cabin in the background.

Moss covered rocks with White and Brown cabin in the background.

Moss covered rocks with Young Cabin in the background.

Cabin #47: Faust Cabin:

Wood cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Faust Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Interior of Wood cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Interior of Faust Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Screened in porch on Wood cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Screened in porch on Faust Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Another room in the Wood cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Another room in the Faust Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Garage behind Wood cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Garage behind Faust Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

View of the creek beside the Wood cabin.

View of the creek beside the Faust Cabin.

Cabin #44: Parrott Cabin:

Loft Cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Parrott Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Stone fireplace on Loft Cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Stone fireplace on Parrott Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Interior view of the Loft cabin.

Interior view of the Parrott cabin.

Looking from the rear towards the front of the Loft cabin.

Looking from the rear towards the front of the Parrott cabin.

Cabin #43: Brandau Cabin:

Broken cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Brandau Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Front of Broken cabin on "Millionaire's Row."

Front of Brandau Cabin on “Millionaire’s Row.”

Interior of Broken cabin.

Interior of Brandau Cabin.

 Appalachian Club: “Daisy Town:”

View down the road at "Daisy Town" in the Appalachian Club area.

View down the road at “Daisy Town” in the Appalachian Club area.

Cabin #10: Baumann Cabin:

Built in 1910; the Clerestory was added in the ’20s; the rear wing was added in 1936.

Blue and White cabin, the first cabin on the left in "Daisy Town."

Baumann Cabin, the first cabin on the left in “Daisy Town.”

Interior view of the Blue and White cabin in "Daisy Town."

Interior view of the Baumann Cabin in “Daisy Town.”

Cabin #7A: Levi Trentham Log Cabin:

The Levi Trentham cabin in "Daisy Town." This is the oldest surviving structure in Elkmont. Originally built on the upper reaches of Jake's Creek, the cabin was moved to it's present location in 1932 as a guest house.

The Levi Trentham cabin in “Daisy Town.” This is the oldest surviving structure in Elkmont. Originally built on the upper reaches of Jake’s Creek, the cabin was moved to it’s present location in 1932 as a guest house.

National Park Service Maps:

The following two maps document the current locations of Elkmont Historic District structures and the planned preservation and demolition of structures.

Elkmont Existing Condition Elkmont Alternative C-1

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7 Responses to Elkmont – GSMNP

  1. Julia says:

    These are stunning! Some of the best I have ever seen of Elkmont. Thank you for letting me share my love of this historic area, and for being your guide. You’ve really done it justice.

  2. joe says:

    we were there in march and could not find historic elkmont. we are coming back in late april. could you give me derections to the historic town?

    thanks,
    joe

    • MCJ says:

      Sure Joe! (FYI you can interact with the map at the top of the post; click the “Google” in the bottom left corner to open the map in another window.)

      Take 441 South out of Gatlinburg into the park.
      Turn right on Little River Road at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
      Turn left on Elkmont Road; I believe it is the first paved left you can take. There should be signs for Elkmont Campground.
      Before you get to the Campground, turn left onto Little River Road.
      Little River Trail will be on your left; this trail takes you to the “Millionaires Row” area.
      Follow Little River Road to the end and there is a parking area for “Daisy Town.”
      “Wonderland Club” is on the hill before you turn onto Elkmont Road, and also on the left as you drive up Elkmont Road, but I’ve never personally been up there. I believe there is an unpaved road on the left just before Elkmont road that leads up to this area, but I’ve not explored it.

  3. Daniel L. Paulin says:

    Would you grant permission to use any of your photos? I have written a book on Elkmont (Lost Elkmont through Arcadia Publishing) and am considering a follow up since 30 or so the Elkmont cabins are going to be torn down in the next couple months. Please provide me with information how to contact you.
    Thank you!

    • MCJ says:

      I’ve emailed you my contact information!

    • Cathe Cain Breen says:

      Are they going to tear down the same ones that were slated several years ago or more. My family’s cabin was the Cain cabin #8 in Daisy Town. It was originally listed to be saved & then changed later because it didn’t have as much historical significance. I just know so many are in terrible disrepair now. After all the years of nothing being done, I think a lot more people wish they had let the people stay.At least they would all still be in good condition …..very sad. Please do another book……I have your first one & loved it. I’ve also ordered it as gifts .

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