Tag Archives: Cataloochee

Cataloochee: Palmer House Continued

Cataloochee: Palmer House Continued

Palmer House creepy interior © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer House creepy interior © William Britten use with permission only

It’s Philosophical Friday again, and we’re continuing on with yesterday’s post into the creepy interior of the Palmer House. The image above might be crying out “What happened? Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday that Jarvis and his wife were rising at dawn, rushing out into the Cataloochee sunshine.” If walls could talk.

Beauty of Decay © William Britten use with permission only
Beauty of Decay © William Britten use with permission only

I got lost for hours in the Palmer House a few weeks ago. The ravages of time can create beauty in the human detritus, similar to the erosion of a canyon in the natural world. The images above and below show layers of decay in the wallcoverings of the house.

Beauty of Decay © William Britten use with permission only
Beauty of Decay © William Britten use with permission only

And here is a close-up of a door with exquisitely cracked and peeling paint.  Wow!

Beauty of Decay © William Britten use with permission only
Beauty of Decay © William Britten use with permission only

Finally, some old newspapers either before or after the wallpaper … who knows? But the furniture advertised sure was cheap. And the last one below … I love that report about the “gang of professional safeblowers.” Gotta be the 1920s or 1930s.

Old newspaper wallcovering © William Britten use with permission only
Old newspaper wallcovering © William Britten use with permission only
Old newspaper wallcovering © William Britten use with permission only
Old newspaper wallcovering © William Britten use with permission only

Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountain Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

Cataloochee: Beech Grove School

Cataloochee: Beech Grove School

Beech Grove School © William Britten use with permission only
Beech Grove School © William Britten use with permission only

Beech Grove School was built in 1901 and was one of three schools in the Cataloochee area of the Smoky Mountains. The school term, oriented to the agrarian society, ran from November through January or sometimes through March.

Beech Grove had two rooms and is the only one of the three schools remaining in the valley.

Beech Grove School in the Smoky Mountains © William Britten use with permission only
Beech Grove School in the Smoky Mountains © William Britten use with permission only

Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountain Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

Cataloochee: Palmer House

Cataloochee: Palmer House

Palmer House in Cataloochee © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer House in Cataloochee © William Britten use with permission only

The Palmer House in Big Cataloochee Valley was originally built around 1860 by George Lafayette Palmer. It was a “dog-trot” house, with two log cabins joined by a common roof. By 1900 the Palmers were prospering, and the house was fancied up with siding on the outside and paneling inside. The homestead included a barn, springhouse and other outbuildings.

When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was created, the Palmers moved out, and a Park Ranger moved in.

Palmer House and barn © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer House and barn © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer Springhouse © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer Springhouse © William Britten use with permission only

From the outside, the Palmer House looks ordinary enough, even quite attractive. But on the inside things get a little creepy. This is the kind of stuff I could spend hours photographing … to be continued.

Palmer House creepy interior © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer House creepy interior © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer House creepy interior © William Britten use with permission only
Palmer House creepy interior © William Britten use with permission only

Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountain Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

Cataloochee: Palmer Chapel

Cataloochee: Palmer Chapel

Palmer Chapel in Cataloochee Valley
Palmer Chapel in Cataloochee Valley © William Britten use with permission only

Cataloochee Valley is one of the hidden wonders of the Smoky Mountains. The best way from Gatlinburg is to schedule an entire day for the journey to Cataloochee. Either take the back road from Cosby, or exit 20 off I40 in North Carolina, then meander into Catalochee on NC284.

Palmer Chapel dates from 1898, and is still in great condition in a very picturesque setting. The photo above was actually created from three vertical panels. I use this technique when there is not enough room to step back from a structure and level the camera to make the walls perpendicular.

Church Interior
Church Interior © William Britten use with permission only
View from the pulpit
View from the pulpit © William Britten use with permission only

The image above shows the interior of Palmer Chapel from the preacher’s perspective! Services in the chapel were conducted by circuit riders from the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Palmer Chapel
Palmer Chapel © William Britten use with permission only

Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountains Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

Elk in the Smoky  Mountains

Elk in the Smoky Mountains

Elk in the Smoky Mountains  © William Britten use with permission only
Elk in the Smoky Mountains © William Britten use with permission only

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park began a program of releasing elk into the Park in 2001. Elk were once native to the eastern forests, but they disappeared in the early 1800s, victim of over-hunting and loss of habitat. The best place to view the elk herd is in the Cataloochee Valley.

The elk above was peacefully grazing along the roadside in the Cataloochee when I stopped to take his picture. Just as I was finishing up a Park Ranger drove up and scared the elk back into the woods. I guess this was to protect the elk and the tourists from an encounter on the road, but it seemed a little comical to me.

Ranger Chases Elk in the Smoky Mountains  © William Britten use with permission only
Ranger Chases Elk in the Smoky Mountains © William Britten use with permission only

Last fall I visited the Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado. Driving through Estes Park, which is Colorado’s version of Gatlinburg, traffic was stopped while a heard of over 50 elk meandered across the road!

Elk in Colorado  © William Britten use with permission only
Elk in Colorado © William Britten use with permission only

Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountain Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

A Smoky Mountains Rest Stop

A Smoky Mountains Rest Stop

SSSmoky Mountain Outhouses © William Britten use with permission only
Smoky Mountain Outhouses © William Britten use with permission only

If you are ever traveling on NC Route 284 between Cosby, TN, and the Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains, you might find yourself in need of a rest stop. Now this is a fine gravel highway with some excellent gift shops along the way (see below).

If you watch for the sign pointing off towards the Mt. Sterling Baptist Church, there awaits  you a comfort station with facilities for both men and women.

Rural gift shop  © William Britten use with permission only
Rural gift shop © William Britten use with permission only

Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountain Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

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