Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
History of Cades Cove
Today, Cades Cove is one of the most visited areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors are able to explore historic cabins, churches and a grist mill; spot white-tailed deer, turkeys and black bears; enjoy gorgeous mountain scenery or take a leisurely bicycle ride around the loop road.
It was common for neighbors to assist one another and they often made social events out of corn husking, molasses making and gathering chestnuts during the autumn months. Courtships that started at social events often led to marriage. Many family farms had a "weaner cabin" - a cabin the son would bring his bride to live in the early days of their marriage. The "weaner cabin" was far enough away from his family for privacy and independence but close enough to help and be helped.
A death in the community was another reason for neighbors to help one another. When a member of the church passed away, the church bell would ring to get the people's attention. After a pause, the bell would be rung for each year of the dead person's life. Community members usually knew who was sick and the approximate age of the people in the church, which made it easy to identify who had passed away. The men would then dig a grave or make a coffin if one was not already made. The women would prepare the body and the coffin for burial. The men and women of the community would also help take care of the needs for the family of the deceased, such as by cooking meals, gathering crops, and caring for the young children.
Today, the National Park Service manages and maintains Cades Cove as it looked in the early days of the settlers. In 1945, the National Park Service designated Cades Cove as a "historical area" and restored several of the older log cabins and barns. While visiting Cades Cove, take a look around and imagine what it might have been like to grow up in the Cades Cove valley!
Learn about the homelife, religion, country stores, agriculture, and education of Cades Cove. Inclues many historic photographs of this mountain community.
Did You Know?
The barn at the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee Visitor Center is over 50 feet wide and 60 feet long. A modern 2,500 square foot home would fit in the upstairs loft of the barn and over 16,000 hand-split wooden shingles are required to roof it. More...