History & Culture

A 9,000 year old atlatl point.
A projectile point estimated to be 9,000 years old was found in the park.

Don McGowan/Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves a rich cultural tapestry of Southern Appalachian history. The mountains have had a long human history spanning thousands of years—from the prehistoric Paleo Indians, to early European settlement in the 1800s, to loggers and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees in the 20th century.

The park strives to protect the historic structures, landscapes, and artifacts that tell the varied stories of people who once called these mountains home. To learn more, read about the people who protect the cultural resource of the park or check out our collections, which include the research library and the Database of the Smokies.


Historic Photos of the Park


Last updated: December 5, 2023

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107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738



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