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.
Cabin #42: Spence Cabin:
Built c1928 as a summer retreat.
Cabin #45: Murphy Cabin:
Cabin #49: Cambier Cabin:
Cabin #48: Young Cabin:
Cabin #47: Faust Cabin:
Cabin #44: Parrott Cabin:
Cabin #43: Brandau Cabin:
Appalachian Club: “Daisy Town:”
Cabin #10: Baumann Cabin:
Built in 1910; the Clerestory was added in the ’20s; the rear wing was added in 1936.
Cabin #7A: Levi Trentham Log Cabin:
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.