In the late 1920s Gatlinburg entrepreneur Jack Huff built a 20 by 24 foot cabin out of balsam logs that was the forerunner of today’s LeConte Lodge. The roof was tarpaper, with a floor of native clay. For more than 35 years Jack and his wife Pauline operated Mt. LeConte Lodge. Jack was the son of Andrew Jackson (Andy) Huff, who kicked off Gatlinburg tourism when he built the Mountain View Hotel in 1916.
The photos above and below were taken by Knoxville photographer, Jim Thompson. Thompson can be seen standing at the rear of the cabin in the photo below. Also in both of these photos is another early Smoky Mountain photographer, Dutch Roth. In the picture above, Dutch is the one sitting on the stump, holding his tripod. Below, he’s in a lower bunk, third from the right. Click on any of these photos to see a larger version.
All photos used with permission of C.M. McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library
I’ve camped, hiked, and backpacked in the Smokies for about 54 years, but only for the last eight years have I been visiting Leconte Lodge; I fell in love with the place on my very first stay; I could go there every week if possible; I just came across this site and absolutely love the old photos !! What rugged individuals those folks were ! It certainly increases my appreciation of how the lodge took form over the years; They had few of the amenities we have these days and it boggles my imagination how they were able to accomplish what they did ! Great photos ! Thanks.
Thanks, Doug … keep on hiking!
It’s been a month aince I posted my original comment and the other day I was telling a fellow worker about the lodge when I began thinking about how the site of Leconte Lodge was actually chosen. How was the site first discovered ? It intrigues me to think about the history of the site well before the first structure was erected there. I can imagine what the surrounding area was like prior to the establishment of the first camp. D.Y.
In the early 1960’s, Jack Huff sold LeConte Lodge to Herrick and Myrtle Brown. I worked for the Brown’s in the summers of 1962, ’63, and ’64. My brother worked for them in the early 1970’s.
Visit my website for our recollections of working at the Lodge.