Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Trip to Cades Cove Revisited

                                                      Meadow in  Cades Cove, Tennessee

Most of my jewelry and cards are inspired by nature and I like to share with my readers some of the sights that I have found inspirational. This fall my husband and I spent 3 weeks camping in a small RV with our 3 cats in the Great Smokey Mountains. For me visiting Cades Cove was one of the highlights of this trip. I am sure many of you are wondering what is Cades Cove. Many of you are probably familiar with Dolly Parton's birth place Sevierville, Tennessee, or her theme park Dollywood near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Cades Cover is near those locations. 

Valley in Cades Cove

 Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Tennessee portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park. Unfortunately, for some of these settlers they were relocate in order for this park to be created.  I have mixed feelings about this. I am sorry for the folks that lost gorgeous spots to live on, but I am grateful that these areas are preserved for the future.

in Cades Cove you will find diverse wildlife. The cove draws attention for numerous black bear sightings. My husband and I lucked out and saw a bear up close. Multiple deer, wild turkeys, butterflies can be seen in the meadows and woods throughout the cove. 

Inside of an old school house in Cades Cove

There are also well preserved 19th century historic buildings that include a school house, homesteads, and churches. The Cades Cove Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

One of many settler's homes

The story of Cades Cove is the story of the community that existed 115 years ago, between 1821- when families began moving into the cove to settle, and 1936, when the area became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The cove stretches five miles in length and two miles in width, and is completely hemmed in by mountains. The land was attractive to agrarian people. It was only a matter of time before pioneers on their way westward would stop here and stay. They would settle, clear the land, and raise their crops and livestock. As more people came in to the area, they would form governments, churches, schools, and community ties.

I am grateful that so much history is so well preserved there.  I found it amazing that people could carve out a living in such a potentially harsh mountain but lush mountainous environment.  Many of the lives of these settlers written down so that they are preserved for future generations.  

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