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
Great pictures. Time sure does change things.
Hard to imagine Gatlinburg as nothing but a dirt road!
Great photos and stories. My grandparents honeymooned at the Mountain View Hotel in 1936. Whatever happened to the original hotel?
Torn down … not sure when.
My parents also honeymooned at the Mountain View Hotel, but in 1941. I found this site while trying to find if the building still existed. Thanks.
Linda and I honeymooned at the Mountain View the last week of August, 1962. I just looked it up, had planned to go back for our 50th. Can’t believe the stone hotel was demolished…that the town fathers gave up that historical Hotel for”progress”! Well, we have good friends who just went over to Amsterdam to find the hotel where they first met during a post college European tour…only to find it demolished in historic/tourist minded Amsterdam!! What’s the world coming to??
Sure enjoyed the pictures and stories. I remember the Mountain View from girlhood. My husband, Bob, and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg in 1975. A different world altogether…
My husband and I also spent our honeymoon at The Mountain View (1983). We also stayed there a couple of times after 1983. It was put on the national historic register, received money for and had started renovations. We had reservations for the opening; however, we were told someone took the money and that ended the project. Their solution: tear it down. Horrible solution we loved that place.
I am in the planning stages of organizing a Mountain View Hotel Historical Society. It will start online with a website. There are very few pictures or information about this former important part of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains!
The previous comments on here from people or of their parents that Honeymooned there could be helpful in locating pictures of visits to the Hotel or even home movies.
I have been searching for any pictures besides the post cards that are available online and they just are none available. There must be many but they are tucked away in people’s homes that need to be shared!!!
It’s not only pictures I need, but also stories. If you are reading this and have a story behind a stay there or maybe have pictures, please contact me. It would be a part of a memories section of the website.
I am also accumulating any possible room keys, luggage tags, letterhead from there or any physical item from the hotel that could become a part of a display that could be featured from time to time in different locations in Gatlinburg.
What year was it demolished. I was borne 1941.. 1926 was way before my time!! Would have loved to have been there in that peroid of time..
It was torn down in 1993 and Fun Mountain was built there, if I’m not mistaken. Fun Mtn was an amusement park. It is closed down now but you can still see the abandoned chairlift from the parkway. If you watch “Exploring an abandoned chairlift” on youtube you can see pictures and a bit of home video taken at the Mountain View.
My parents and I vacationed there throughout the ’50’s. I recall seeing Estes Kefauver rocking on the front porch and being pointed out to me as potentially the next Vice President. Many other famous guests I don’t remember now, but I do remember the ham and biscuits and honey at dinner. Such a lovely place.
I have a room key from the Mountain View Hotel. Room 216. The fob looks like the leather fiber type fob. It has a zip code on it, so it has to be from at least 1963, but no real way to judge other than that.