Unlike the national parks in the west, which were platted out from government lands, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was once thousands of parcels of land, owned by many title holders.
In order to establish the park, many parcels were purchased, and some had to be condemned. A lucky few, including some Cades Cove residents, were awarded lifetime leases and were able to remain in their homes until the day they died.
And so, the families that built these strong cabins and used the fertile cove for farming and sustenance, eventually yielded their properties for the public good, And today, over eleven million visitors come to the Great Smoky Mountains every year, and most of them make their way to Cades Cove to have a look at how life used to be in the mountains!
I'll bet John Oliver never would have believed that his cabin would be visited 190 years after it was constructed! It has served as both a landmark for visitors, and as a monument to those hardy souls that eked out a living on the early frontier!
Learn More about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at SmokyPhotosBlog.com!