100 years ago in the early 20th century, the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a bustling center of tourism for the wealthy. The Appalachian Club, Wonderland Hotel, Daisy Town, Society Hill and Millionaires Row comprised the new Smoky Mountains resort. The Little River Railroad scheduled daily excursions from Knoxville to Elkmont. Eventually the formation of the National Park ceased this kind of development in the Smokies. Owners of the many cabins of the Elkmont resort were given leases that finally ran out in 1992.
Today the remains of the resort have emerged from a controversial phase which might have seen their demolition. Nineteen of the rustic cabins are being preserved for the sake of history, with most of these along the main street of Daisy Town. The Park has constructed new parking facilities as well as restoring the cabins to a state of permanent preservation. The Park has also recently completed rehabilitation of the Appalachian Clubhouse.
I find myself fascinated with these old cabins and can’t resist sneaking in for some photo sessions.
Out on Glades Rd in Gatlinburg you can view the complete display of my Smoky Mountains photos at the William Britten Gallery.
I love hearing anything and everything about the Elkmont cabins. It is such a fascinating story. We camped at Elkmont so we could have lots of time to roam around in that “ghostly” area. I was so glad to hear that some of the cabins were going to be saved. Thanks for the pictures and the update. . . please keep up posted. Our next trip up that way will be during the synchoronous firefly event. That is pretty amazing too.
I agree … it’s irresistible to walk among all of those old memories.
Thanks for the memories. I can remember visiting one of the homes with my “granny” when I was a little boy. She actually lived there (3 children were born there) at one time. We would go for “decoration day” and go and see Uncle Lem Ownby (her brother-in-law) and walk besides Jakes Creek before returning home to Ga. I really enjoy the pictures and the memories.
Thanks so much for sharing that family history, Gerald. Makes the Smokies history come alive. Bill
I was recently told that one of the two remaining log cabins at Elkmont belonged to my great, great grandfather, Levi Trentham. Do you have any idea which one it is and where it is located? Thank you.
Hi Pam –
I don’t know which it would be, but there aren’t many log cabins there … most are cottage-style vacation cabins.
I have really enjoyed viewing your website and looking at all the photos you have of the beautiful Elkmont area.My husband and I are coming up that way in late July and will be visiting that area for the first time.I have been curious about it for years and I can’t wait to tour the cottages and the club house.Thank so much, Renee Ryan
Thanks Renee … I know you’ll enjoy that unique part of the Smokies.
the Levi Trentham cabin is currently building “5a” on the Mayo lot, in between the main house and the slave quarters. facing away from the Appalachian Clubhouse on the main street, it is tucked behind the 3rd(ish) cabin, a white one with a green plywood porch. (obviously I, too, have found myself entranced with the once-thriving resort town!) The house was moved there after trentham’s death.
(actually, in looking back through the pictures above, you can see the main mayo cabin… the third house down the street)
Where did you find information about the individual homes? I love shooting there and want to know more about each home.