Attractions, History

Ogle log cabin

IM000925.JPGGatlinburg, Tennessee is a place which boasts a very rich history. Of course, all the attractions and shops lining the Gatlinburg Parkway are fun, but behind all the touristy stuff lies quite a few historic sites you can visit to experience the essence of what makes our quaint Smoky Mountain town so special.

In about 1802, William Ogle laid claim on what was to be the site of the first home in Gatlinburg, then called White Oak Flats. He cut and hewed the logs for the cabin and returned home to South Carolina to get his family, telling them they were moving to the “Land of Paradise.”    William Ogle came down with malaria and died in 1803, before he could bring his family to his newly-discovered paradise.  His wife, though, followed through on his plans — four years after his death, she gathered the family and they traveled to White Oak Flats, found William’s hewed logs, and finished the cabin.  She raised 7 or 8 children in that little home.  It’s humbling to go through and think about the lives of people during this time.

The Ogles modern day descendants own most of the land around Gatlinburg. The business you see are mostly long term ground leases, not Fee Simple ownership of the land.

The nature trail behind the house is very beautiful and peaceful (the trail head says easy, but is rocky).   The streams and creeks are very relaxing to hear.

Address – Corner of Parkway & Cherokee Orchard Road, Gatlinburg, TN  Directions-to-Ogle-Cabin

We had a hard time finding this cabin.  It is right at traffic light number 6.  This is a big intersection where the Aquarium and the bar Draft’s is.  If you take the trolley and get off at the Ripley’s Aquarium, you will see a gift shop across the intersection.  To the right of the gift shop there is the cabin hidden by some trees.  We did not see a trail.


Cherokee Indian Reservation

We went to the Chrokee Indian Village early in the morning. The “indian reservation” is basically an outdoor museum, at each booth people explain what they are doing. There is a village set up with a guide at each stop. You will be given a walking tour with a personal guide as well. Then, you can sit and enjoy all the demonstrations. They do get the audience involved. On site you will find the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Oconaluftee Indian Village, “Unto These Hills” Outdoor Drama (scene reenactments, indian dances, etc…), Qualla Co-op Arts (blow dart demonstrations, pottery making, etc…) and Crafts (weaving-spinning-grinding techniques), souvenir shops, and other family attractions. I enjoyed the dancing and the song they sing to the dancing most of all. The reservation is located adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. It is home to more than 12,500 members of the Cherokee Indian nation. The village is small and does not take long to go through.

There is a River park nearby that is free and got good reviews.

This is not something that I would take a trip to do again. If you are on the NC side, you may want to stop in. We know someone who is Cherokee, so it was neat for us to see some of her history.

We went early in the morning, went through some shops on the NC side, hit Clingman’s Dome on the way back. I wish we had also stopped at Mingus Mill on the way back.

Address – 398 US Highway 441, Cherokee, NC 28719
Website –