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Gatlinburg Tennessee - Gatlinburg TN | Cabin Mania
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Gatlinburg Tennessee

AttractionsGatlinburg TN CabinsEventsRestaurants | Vacation Tips

Gatlinburg is a city in Sevier County, Tennessee at the foot of the Smokey Mountains. Approximately 4,000 people call this town “home” and approximately 2 million people call it “vacation”.

History

Gatlinburg, TN brings in many tourists each year. The town offers beautiful scenery, plenty of shopping, events year round and the history behind it also draws people in. Since it is located at the bottom of Mt. LeConte in Eastern Tennessee it has been nicknamed the “Gateway to the Smoky Mountains” over the years.

Gatlinburg was first named White Oaks by the first settlers to the area due to being heavily wooded and the wildlife. North Carolina started giving out 50 acre land grants and Natives were eventually ran off. As settlers came to stake their 50 acre claim the area became full of churches, shops, schools, etc.

Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg TN

Martha Ogle was believed to be the first settler. She came to the area to live in the cabin her husband started to build for their family. The first homes were located around the Baskins Creek Area, LeConte Creek, Roaring Forks and Little Pigeon River. The first store was opened in 1855 by Radford Gatlin. The town eventually was renamed Gatlinburg after him. However, he was a controversial man who eventually made himself the “black sheep” of White Oaks. He was banished from the town but it still kept the name “Gatlinburg”.

Gatlinburg played a part in the Civil War as well. Many locals had tried to remain neutral but some split and would join both sides. The Battle of Burg Hill was fought in Gatlinburg. Besides that one fight there weren’t any other major fights. Just minor fights over war supplies. The Battle of Burg Hill still influences Gatlinburg today. Locals come together each year to act out the occurrences of the war.

In early 1800 youth were sent to subscription schools that parents had to pay for. The first public school was founded after the Civil War. The first settlement school was founded by the Pi Beta Phi fraternity in 1912. The settlement school not only provided education but also taught about Appalachian arts and crafts that would influence many locals to do home crafts.

In the early 1900’s the economy relied on sustenance farming. A hotel was built for those traveling to the area for lumber. Once the National Park was dedicated many tourists starting visiting the area. Soon after the economy shifted from relying on lumber to relying on tourism. Locals started taking jobs in hotels, restaurants and service businesses to better serve the needs of the tourists. Gatlinburg grew from a small town to a booming vacation spot.

Weather

Weather in Gatlinburg, TN can sometimes be difficult to predict. From warm and sunny days to really cold nights any kind of weather can be expected. Seasons really play a factor in the type of weather you can expect on your trip to Gatlinburg.

Winter months are considered to be December, January and February. There is snowfall but it’s not a lot. Temperatures can get up to 60 degrees but can also be as lows in the 10’s. Higher elevations will have colder temperatures and more snowfall and lower will have lower temperatures with minimal to no snowfall.

In the Spring time one could expect hot or cold temperatures. Spring months are March, April, and May. This season is particularly tricky because you could even see snow. Daytime temperatures average in the 80’s and low’s are in the 30’s. Pack smart and grab a jacket if you’ll be visiting in the spring.

Summer time is a popular season to visit Gatlinburg. June, July and August will welcome you with highs in the upper 80’s. Afternoon thunderstorms can occur during the summer too. This time is perfect if you’re planning to visit Gatlinburg for outdoor activities. Heat and humidity are also higher in the summer time.

With Fall comes cooler weather but you can still expect temperatures to be in the70’s. September, October and November have proven to be some of the most popular months for tourists in Gatlinburg. With the leaves changing to their browns, yellows, oranges and gold many people flock to the area for the scenery. A light jacket might be necessary for these months.

National Park

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park was home to the Cherokee Indians before it was dedicated. The Cherokee were the first settlers to the area beginning in the early 1700’s. When European settlers began moving to Gatlinburg a majority of the Indians were forced off their land and into Oklahoma. Although not all went, some adapted to the European cultures and way of life.

In the 1900’s people were living off the land. They used the lumber around them and had farms. The land was slowly being cleared out for homes and pastures. As the the years progressed the locals started to depend on the lumbering economy. Lumber was cut down and sold to surrounding towns. The landscape was changing quickly. The trees were being cleared out and were almost completely gone in the area that is now the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

In 1934 a change was made to protect the land. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park was established and that meant the end of cutting down the trees in the area that was now the Park. With only 20% of the land still containing trees this was a welcoming change for the Park. Many people who lived in the area that made their money from lumbering soon moved from the area leaving structures that were mills, schools and churches. Many of these still remain in the area and are historical sites.


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