Cades Cove is one of the most visited locations on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During the 1700s, and maybe earlier, the Cherokee had established a settlement in Cades Cove known as “Tsiya’hi” or “Otter Place” and was named after Chief Kade. The first European settlers, John Oliver (a veteran of the War of 1812) and his wife, Lucretia Frazier, arrived in Cades Cove in 1818.

During the late 1920s a movement began to create a National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. Of all the communities affected, Cades Cove residents put up the most resistance to the formation of the park. By 1927 the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill approving funds to purchase land for the National Park and granted power to seize lands by eminent domain. After several court battles, the last resident of the Cove, John W. Oliver, abandoned his land on Christmas Day 1937. He was paid $17,000 for his 375 acres of land. Today, several buildings stand in the Cove dating back to that period of time. The Primitive Baptist Church congregation continued to meet in Cades Cove until the 1960s, in defiance of the Park Service. Today, on the Cades Cove’s 11-mile, one-way traffic loop, it is not uncommon to see deer, bear and turkey.

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