Place:Cades Cove, Blount, Tennessee, United States


NameCades Cove
Alt namesCade Covesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS47014128
TypeInhabited place
Coordinates35.6°N 83.817°W
Located inBlount, Tennessee, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park. Today Cades Cove, the single most popular destination for visitors to the park, attracts more than two million visitors a year because of its well preserved homesteads, scenic mountain views, and abundant display of wildlife. The Cades Cove Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early history

Throughout the 18th century, the Cherokee used two main trails to cross the Smokies from North Carolina to Tennessee en route to the Overhill settlements. One was the Indian Gap Trail, which connected the Rutherford Indian Trace in the Balsam Mountains to the Great Indian Warpath in modern-day Sevier County. The other was a lower trail that crested at Ekaneetlee Gap, a col just east of Gregory Bald. This trail traversed Cades Cove and Tuckaleechee Cove before proceeding along to Great Tellico and other Overhill towns along the Little Tennessee River. European traders were using these trails as early as 1740.

By 1797 (and probably much earlier), the Cherokee had established a settlement in Cades Cove known as "Tsiya'hi," or "Otter Place." This village, which may have been little more than a seasonal hunting camp, was located somewhere along the flats of Cove Creek. Henry Timberlake, an early explorer in East Tennessee, reported that streams in this area were stocked with otter, although the otter was extinct in the cove by the time the first European settlers arrived.

Cades Cove was named after a Tsiya'hi leader known as Chief Kade.[1] Little is known of Chief Kade, although his existence was verified by a European trader named Peter Snider (1776–1867), who settled nearby Tuckaleechee Cove.[1] Abrams Creek, which flows through the cove, was named after another local chief, Abraham of Chilhowee. A now-discredited theory suggested that the cove was named after Abraham's wife, Kate.

In 1819, The Treaty of Calhoun ended all Cherokee claims to the Smokies, and Tsiya'hi was abandoned shortly thereafter. The Cherokee would linger in the surrounding forests, however, occasionally attacking settlers until 1838 when they were removed to the Oklahoma Territory (see Trail of Tears).

European settlement

John Oliver (1793–1863), a veteran of the War of 1812, and his wife Lurena Frazier (1795–1888) were the first permanent European settlers in Cades Cove. The Olivers, originally from Carter County, Tennessee, arrived in 1818, accompanied by Joshua Jobe, who had initially persuaded them to settle in the cove. While Jobe returned to Carter County, the Olivers stayed, struggling through the winter and subsisting on dried pumpkin given to them by friendly Cherokees. Jobe returned in the Spring of 1819 with a herd of cattle in tow, and gave the Olivers two milk cows to ease their complaints.

In 1821, William "Fighting Billy" Tipton (1761–1849), a veteran of the American Revolution and son of State of Franklin opponent John Tipton, bought up large tracts of Cades Cove which he in turn sold to his sons and relatives, and settlement began to boom. In the 1820s, Peter Cable, a farmer of German descent, arrived in the cove and designed an elaborate system of dykes and sluices that helped drain the swampy lands in the western part of the cove. In 1827, Daniel Foute opened the Cades Cove Bloomery Forge to fashion metal tools. Robert Shields arrived in the cove in 1835, and would erect a tub mill on Forge Creek. His son, Frederick, built the cove's first grist mill. Other early settlers would build houses on the surrounding mountains, among them Russell Gregory (1795–1864), for whom Gregory Bald is named, and James Spence, for whom Spence Field is named.

Between 1820 and 1850, the population of Cades Cove grew to 671, with the size of cove farms averaging between 150 and 300 acres (0.6 and 1.2 km²). The early cove residents, although relatively self-sufficient, were dependent upon nearby Tuckaleechee Cove for dry goods and other necessities.

The isolation often attributed to Cades Cove is probably exaggerated. A post office was established in the cove in 1833, and Sevierville post master Philip Seaton set up a weekly mail route to the cove in 1839. Cades Cove had telephone service as early as the 1890s, when Dan Lawson and several neighbors built a phone line to Maryville. By the 1850s, various roads connected Cades Cove with Tuckaleechee and Montvale Springs, some of which are still maintained as seasonal passes or hiking trails.

Religion in Cades Cove

Religion was an important part of life in Cades Cove from its earliest days, a reflection of the efforts of John and Lucretia Oliver. The Olivers managed to organize a branch of the Miller's Cove Baptist Church for Cades Cove in 1825. After briefly realigning themselves with the Wear's Cove Baptist Church, the Cades Cove Baptist Church was pronounced an independent entity in 1829.

In the 1830s, a division in Baptist churches known as the Anti-mission Split occurred throughout East Tennessee. The split developed over disagreement about whether missions and other "innovations of the day" were authorized by Scripture. This debate made its way to Cades Cove Baptist Church in 1839, becoming so emotionally charged as to require the intervention of the Tennessee Association of United Baptists. In the end, thirteen members of the congregation departed to form the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church later that year, and the remaining congregation changed its name in 1841 to the Primitive Baptist Church. The Primitive Baptists believe in a strict, literal interpretation of Scripture. William Howell Oliver (1857–1940), pastor of the Primitive Baptist Church from 1882 to 1940, explained:

We believe that Jesus Christ Himself instituted the Church, that it was perfect at the start, suitably adopted in its organization to every age of the world, to every locality of earth, to every state and condition of the world, to every state and condition of mankind, without any changes or alterations to suit the times, customs, situations, or localities.

The Primitive Baptists remained the dominant religious and political force in the cove with their meetings interrupted only by the Civil War. The Missionary Baptists, with a much smaller congregation, continued to meet intermittently throughout the 19th century.

The Cades Cove Methodist Church was organized in the 1820s, probably through the efforts of such circuit riders as George Eakin. The Methodist congregation, like that of the Missionary Baptists, was small.

The Civil War

In the decades before the Civil War, Blount County, Tennessee, was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. The Manumission Society of Tennessee was active in the county as early as 1815, and the Quakers— who were relatively numerous in Blount at the time— were so vehemently opposed to slavery that they fought alongside the Union army, in spite of their pacifist agenda. The founder of Maryville College, Rev. Isaac L. Anderson, was a staunch abolitionist who often gave sermons in Cades Cove. Blount doctor Calvin Post (1803–1873) was believed to have set up an Underground Railroad stop within the cove in the years preceding the war.[2] With such sentiment and influence, Cades Cove remained staunchly pro-Union, regardless of the destruction it suffered throughout the war (there were some exceptions, however, such as the cove's affluent entrepreneur and Confederate sympathizer, Daniel Foute).

In 1863, Confederate bushwhackers from Hazel Creek and other parts of North Carolina began making systematic raids into Cades Cove, stealing livestock and killing any Union supporter they could find. Elijah Oliver (1829–1905), a son of John Oliver and a Union sympathizer, was forced to hide out on Rich Mountain for much of the war. Calvin Post had also gone into hiding, and with the death of John Oliver in 1863, the cove had lost most of its original leaders.

Although Federal forces occupied Knoxville in 1863, Confederate raids into Cades Cove continued. A pivotal figure at this time was Russell Gregory, who had originally vowed to remain neutral after his son defected to the Confederate cause. Gregory organized a small militia, composed mostly of the cove's elderly men, and in 1864 ambushed a band of Confederate marauders near the junction of Forge Creek and Abrams Creek. The Confederates were routed and chased back across the Smokies to North Carolina. Although this largely put an end to the raids, a band of Confederates managed to sneak into the cove and kill Gregory just two weeks later.

Cades Cove suffered from the effects of the Civil War for most of the rest of the 19th century. Only around 1900 did its population return to pre-war levels. The average farm was much less productive, however, and the cove residents were suspicious of any form of change. It wasn't until the Progressive Era that the cove recovered economically.

Moonshining and Prohibition

The Chestnut Flats area of Cades Cove, located at the base of Gregory Bald, was well known for producing high-quality corn liquor. Among the more prominent moonshine distillers was Josiah "Joe Banty" Gregory (1870–1933), the son of Matilda "Aunt Tildy" Shields by her first marriage. The Primitive Baptists, especially William Oliver and his son, John W. Oliver (1878–1966), were fervently opposed to the distilling or consumption of alcohol, and the practice was largely confined to Chestnut Flats. John W. Oliver, a mail carrier in the cove, often found stills on his mail route and reported them to authorities. Oliver would later deride the image of the moonshiner as an integral part of the mountaineer stereotype:

All these men are public outlaws, and were never recognized as true, loyal mountaineers or as true American citizens, by the rank and file of the mountain people.

In 1921, Josiah Gregory's still was raided by the Blount County sheriff. Although it was later revealed that the sheriff was tipped off by a surveyor in the area, the Gregorys blamed the Olivers. On the night following the raid, the barns of both William and John W. Oliver were burned, destroying a large portion of the family's livestock and tools. Shortly thereafter, Gregory's son was assaulted by Asa and John Sparks after a prank-gone-wrong. In response, Gregory and his brother, Dana, hunted down and shot the Sparks brothers on Christmas night in 1921. Both of the Gregorys were convicted of barn burning and later convicted of felonious assault. After serving only six months, however, they were pardoned and personally escorted home by Governor Austin Peay.

As mentioned previously, Gregory's cave may also have been involved in the manufacture of moonshine.

The National Park

Of all the Smoky Mountain communities, Cades Cove put up the most resistance to the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The cove residents were initially assured their land would not be incorporated into the park, and welcomed its formation. By 1927, the winds had changed, however, and when the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill approving money to buy land for the national park, it gave the Park Commission the power to seize properties within the proposed park boundaries by eminent domain. Long-time residents of Cades Cove were outraged. The head of the Park Commission, Colonel David Chapman, received several threats, including an anonymous phone call warning him that if he ever returned to Cades Cove, he would "spend the next night in hell." Shortly thereafter, Chapman found a sign near the cove's entrance that read {sic}:


The "40 mile" (64 km) limit referred to the distance between Cades Cove and Chapman's hometown of Knoxville. Despite these threats, Chapman initiated a condemnation suit against John W. Oliver in July 1929. The court, however, ruled in favor of Oliver, reasoning that the federal government had never said Cades Cove was essential to the national park. Shortly after the verdict, the Secretary of the Interior officially announced that the cove was necessary, and another condemnation suit was filed. This time, Oliver lost, with the case going all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court. Oliver would return to court several times over the value of his 375-acre (1.5 km²) tract, which he said was worth $30,000, although the court awarded him just $17,000 plus interest. After attaining a series of one-year leases, Oliver finally abandoned his property on Christmas Day in 1937. The Primitive Baptist Church congregation continued to meet in Cades Cove until the 1960s in defiance of the Park Service, which wanted to develop the land where their church was located.

For about one hundred years before the creation of the national park, much farming and logging was done in the valley, as the main source of economic development for the people living in the cove, both leading to massive deforestation. At first, the National Park Service planned to let the cove return to its natural forested state. It ultimately yielded to requests by the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association to maintain Cades Cove as a meadow. On the advice of contemporary cultural experts such as Hans Huth, the service demolished the more modern structures, leaving only the primitive cabins and barns which were considered most representative of pioneer life in early Appalachia.

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