History Of Cades Cove

cades cove landscape green grass field wooden historic 19 century fence

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. Who were the people who came to make their homes here? What was life like for them, somewhat separated from the mainstream of American development, in this secluded – though not isolated – mountain area? What is our debt to those who sacrificed their ancestral homes so that we and the generations to follow can know and share these meadows and mountains?

Cades Cove is nestled in a beautiful valley of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is reached by following the natural meanders of a beautiful mountain stream for several miles until the road leaves the stream and climbs to enter Cades Cove, which lies imbedded in the midst of surrounding mountains. The cove stretches 5 miles in length and 2 miles in width, and is completely hemmed in by mountains. As you wind along the modern highway into the cove, you might well wonder how the first man found this secluded spot and how the first settlers managed to get their families and belongings over the rugged mountains into this place.