Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Enjoy Free Music, Find Unique Gifts at the 7th Annual Fine Arts Festival – May 14-15

Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival

The Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival (GFAF) is a free outdoor family event that features quality artists from around the country along with Appalachian music from the area. Volunteers from the community produce the festival to benefit the Sevier County Arts Council, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the Gatlinburg Boys & Girls Club.

2011 will be the seventh year of the festival and large crowds are expected. Gatlinburg is a thriving tourist destination and a gateway city to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with over 9 million visitors annually.

The festival is being held in the center of the city at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts Campus adjacent to Arrowcraft Shop at Light # 5.

For more fun things to do in Gatlinburg, TN, visit GatlinburgConcierge.com.


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The 7th annual “Music of the Mountains” festival will be held this weekend, April 8th through the 10th. Come out and experience the rich musical traditions of the Southern Appalachians.

The schedule of events includes:

Friday, April 8
Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, Townsend
Admission: $ 5
7 p.m. – Celtic Music by “The Good Times Ceilidh Band”; come early to enjoy Art on the Porch with members of the Townsend Artisan’s Guild
Saturday, April 9
Sugarlands Visitor Center
Admission: Free
10 a.m. – Mountain Strings
11 a.m. – Boogertown Gap Band
12 p.m. – Tony Thomas
1 p.m. – The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
2 p.m. – Ted Olson
3 p.m. – The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
4 p.m. – Brien Fain
Sunday, April 10
Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, Cosby
Admission: $4
2 to 4 p.m. – Heritage, harps and hymns – traditional offerings from Cocke County
For more information, click here.

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12Built in 2001, the  Museum of Aviation is located in Sevierville near Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge airport runway. This unique location allows for the history of aviation to be brought to life by the vintage aircrafts flying overhead for the visitors. The mission of the museum is to honor the history of aviation and to advance aviation education. The museum offers daily tours, children’s programs, school field trips, an in-museum theater, lecture series, a modeling expo, and more. A few exhibits you will find in the museum are the artifacts gallery, a huge aircraft hangar, and a PBY-5A 104 wingspan aircraft. Warbirds Weekend is once every spring and every fall, which attracts numerous visiting airplanes providing extra photo opportunities and exciting flyby formations. This is truly a place that everyone must see to appreciate.  

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Winters in the Smokies can be long and gray, so what did the early settlers do to pass their time and keep warm in the winter? In the mid-19th century, the farm homes were usually small, and the families themselves were rather large. Frequently there would be multiple generations living in one house, and a family had anywhere between 5-12 kids! Dorie Woodruff Cope, spend her childhood in the Smokies. She describes her winters by saying, “So we waited. Snow came two or three times a week to add inches to the blanket already on the ground. Silence hung over the mountains like a misty fog…Wind whistled around the corners of the cabin and down the chimney, causing the fire to reach out of the fireplace and fill the room with ashes. Ma kept beans and meat boiling in a kettle.”


Other ways to pass the time was by making folk music with the family. Some of the well- known ballads included “The Drunkard’s Last Drink” and “Young Hunting”.


In the mid 1800s, there was a Smoky Mountain winter fare, which sometimes lacked fresh produce in the winter; however, it was better than having nothing to eat. The menu would include things such as corn break, salted pork, pickled vegetables, chestnuts, butter, molasses, corn mush, chicken, squirrel, sulfured apples, and stack cakes.


Since there was the least amount of farm work to be done during the winter, it was the prime time for the children to attend school. Most students finished 3-5 years of schooling. There are two schools preserved in the park: Little Greenbrier and Beech Grove School. While in the park, visit the two schools and see how the children would spend their winter days in the log schoolhouses. 

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The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is an 11-mile auto loop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The trail gives you the opportunity to drive through time. The loop begins in modern Gatlinburg and ends in the midst of unspoiled nature. The trail begins at Cherokee Orchard Road and shows you a glimpse of how modern Gatlinburg originated, at the Ogle Place. Then you will move into the frontier life, viewing preserved homes from Gatlinburg’s original pioneers. Visitors will be able to experience the beauty of unbothered land. There are three waterfalls visible from the Motor Nature Trail. This experience is available only a few miles from downtown Gatlinburg.

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Little Greenbrier School


This historic piece of the Smoky Mountains lies between Gatlinburg and Cades Cove. Constructed in 1881, the building was used as a school house and a church hall, but only until 1935. The entire building was built by hand with special carved lumber. Many children and church goers who attended Little Greenbrier were forced to miss out on services and classes if weather was inclimate due to the fact that they had to travel so far to get there. You can still take a walk through the school and visit the cemetery located in front of the school as well.

For maps to get to Little Greenbrier School in Wearrs Valley, go to http://www.discovergatlinburgtennessee.com/ .

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 Going to dinner is a popular activity in the smokies, and Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg is an unforgettable dining experience. The Greenbrier Restaurant is a log cabin that was built in the late 1930’s and owned by Mrs. Moffet. Dean and Barbara Haden purchased the restaurant in 1980 and Barbara still runs the restaurant today. Greenbrier’s menu has everything from old favorites, like fried cheesesticks, to fancier dishes, such as lobster tails. To see a complete menu, visit their website:http://www.greenbrierrestaurant.com/

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