Park & Pilgrimage Information

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1540—Hernando De Soto explores the southern Appalachian Mountains and encounters the Cherokee who had inhabited the region for centuries.

1775—Botanist William Bartram explores the southern Appalachians.

1795—Mingus and Hughes families clear homesteads in Oconaluftee River Valley.

1814—Caldwells establish first homestead in Cataloochee Valley.

Circa 1818–1821—First non–Indians settle in Cades Cove.

1819—Cherokee relinquish claim to the last of their lands in the Smoky Mountains.

1830—Population of Cades Cove is 271.

1838–1839—Most of Cherokee tribe moved from Southeast to Oklahoma along the “Trail of Tears.”

1839—Oconaluftee Turnpike between Oconaluftee and Indian Gap completed.

1850—Population of Cades Cove is 685.

1861–1865—American Civil War. Mountaineers are divided in their allegiances. Raiders on both sides frequently seize food, livestock, and other supplies from residents.

Circa 1870–1875—John P. Cable Mill built in Cades Cove.

1882—Little Greenbrier School built.

1886—Mingus Mill built.

1900—Population of Cades Cove is 708.

1903–4—Lumber companies set up operations on Eagle and Hazel creeks.

1908—Elkmont logging camp constructed.

1910—Population of Cataloochee is 1,251.

1913—Horace Kephart’s Our Southern Highlanders is published.

1934—Great Smoky Mountains National Park is established.

1939—Little River Lumber Company finishes cutting timber in the Tremont area.