These pictures were taken by Dutch Roth. The text from his journal below describes the fascinating history in the early days of Smoky Mountains tourism, when Gatlinburg was barely a destination on the edge of the mountains.
“So many of our hikes used to begin and end at Gatlinburg. Back in 1929 the only thing there was here, was a few buildings and a dusty road, that forded Bearskin Creek that ran through the middle of town. The old Mountain View Hotel had a wooden picket fence around it and down in front of it at the junction of the Parkway and Roaring Forks Road, was an old general store. Here you could get most anything that you wanted. It was made out of wood and had a front porch across the front of it. We used to leave our cars at the Hotel and hike from there to whereever we wanted to. Then when we would return from our trip, hot and tired or in the winter, cold and hungry, we would find a hot supper waiting for us there at the hotel. Most of the time we would have country ham and hot biscuits and honey.”
“I took a picture of Gatlinburg at this time showing the old dusty road and the creek and an old house. The only hotels were the Mountain View and the Riverside on the river. Gatlinburg has changed since those days. Now it is a good size city and is incorporated now. It only takes about an hour or so to get to Gatlinburg now from Knoxville, where it use to take all day long. On December 8, 1934, we had our annual Hiking Club banquet at the Mountain View Hotel at Gatlinburg. After a nice meal we had the elections of officers, then we square danced till midnight. Then we gathered around a log fire in the lobby of the Hotel and saw some movies and sang till 2 in the morning. After which we started on a mystery hike. We got back to the hotel about 4 A.M.”
Used with permission of The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Collection, University of Tennessee Libraries