12 Historical Structures in Cades Cove that You Must See

Published Jan 29, 2019

If you're a traveler on the lookout for an intriguing and historically significant destination, then Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains should be at the top of your list. This picturesque area is not only a feast for the eyes but also home to twelve unique historical sites that are definitely worth exploring. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure as we delve into the fascinating history of Cades Cove.

1. The John Oliver Cabin

One of the most iconic structures in Cades Cove is the John Oliver Cabin. Constructed between 1822 and 1823 by the Olivers, the cove's first permanent European settlers, this cabin stands as a testament to the area's rich past. It offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of early settlers in the Great Smoky Mountains.

2. The Primitive Baptist Church

Constructed in 1887, the Cades Cove Baptist Church, later renamed the Primitive Baptist Church, is a beautiful example of early American architecture. The church's cemetery is the final resting place for the Olivers and Russell Gregory. A visit to this historic church is a must for those interested in immersing themselves in the region's religious heritage.

3. The Cades Cove Methodist Church

Nestled in the breathtaking valley of Cades Cove, the Cades Cove Methodist Church is a prime example of vernacular architecture. Built in 1902, this simple one-story frame building with a gabled roof and a front porch offers visitors a chance to experience the religious history of the area.

4. The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church

The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church is a unique place in the cove with an intriguing history. Originally formed in the early 19th century, this church split from the main congregation over a disagreement about missions. Explore this historic church to learn more about its fascinating past.

5. The Myers Barn

Constructed in 1920, the Myers Barn is a more modern-looking structure along the trail to the Elijah Oliver Place. With its two-story design, gabled roof, and metal siding, it served as a hay barn for C. C. Myers' dairy farm. Today, this barn stands as a reminder of the region's agricultural history and is a popular subject for photographers.

6. The Elijah Oliver Place

Built in 1866, the Elijah Oliver Place is one of the oldest surviving structures in Cades Cove. After the original farm was destroyed during the U.S. Civil War, Elijah Oliver rebuilt and created this historic farmhouse. Today, visitors can tour the house, gaining insights into the past while appreciating its significance as a National Register of Historic Places site.

7. The John Cable Grist Mill

Step back in time with a visit to the John Cable Grist Mill, a historic mill constructed in 1868. This two-story log structure with its impressive water wheel, powered by Mill Creek and Forge Creek, offers a glimpse into the region's milling history. After being restored in 1966, the mill is open to the public, allowing visitors to witness its original workings.

8. The Becky Cable House

The Becky Cable House, built in 1879, has a unique backstory. Originally used as a general store, it was eventually purchased by Rebecca Cable, John Cable's daughter. Explore this house and the surrounding buildings, such as the barn, carriage house, and blacksmith shop replica, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical significance of Cades Cove.

9. The Henry Whitehead Cabin

Located on Forge Creek Road near Chestnut Flats, the Henry Whitehead Cabin offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of early settlers. Built between 1895 and 1896, this one-story log cabin showcases period furniture and provides a fascinating window into the past.

10. The Dan Lawson Place

Another notable historic building in Cades Cove is the Dan Lawson Place. Originally built by Peter Cable in the 1840s, it was acquired by Dan Lawson after marrying Cable's daughter. The homestead includes various buildings, such as a cabin, smokehouse, chicken coop, and hay barn, which offer visitors a comprehensive look at the region's history.

11. The Tipton Place

The Tipton Place, a historic homestead, boasts a log cabin, a double-cantilever barn, and several outbuildings. Built in the 1880s by the descendants of Revolutionary War veteran William "Fighting Billy" Tipton, this property provides insights into the lives of the Tipton family and the broader community of Cades Cove.

12. The Carter Shields Cabin

Constructed in the 1880s by Carter Shields, an early settler, the Carter Shields Cabin stands as one of the oldest surviving structures in the valley. This log cabin offers visitors a chance to step back in time and envision life as it was for the early pioneers of Cades Cove.

Don't miss out on the chance to make lasting memories in Cades Cove. Reserve your Smoky Mountain vacation cabin today and embark on a getaway filled with relaxation, adventure, and the beauty of Cades Cove. Plan your escape today!

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