Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

the Loggers
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The Coming of the Loggers
By 1900, the loggers had discovered the Smoky Mountains. In only 30 years, 80% of the park was clearcut. This brought employment to the mountaineers, but it wreaked havoc on the environment. Conservationists began to call for a national forest or national park in the area. A few businessmen caught on to the idea and by 1920 they were lobbying the government to create a national park- which they claimed would someday bring over 1 million tourists a year (In 1995 over 9 million people came to the park!)

Despite opposition, the park was finalized after J.D. Rockefeller Jr. donated 5 million dollars. Most of the land was owned by timber companies, most of whom demanded top dollar for worthless land (since it was all clearcut). In Cades Cove, the residents were offered money for their land. Over half the people took the money and left the cove. But many fought against the park. They were led in their efforts by John W. Oliver, great-grandson of the first settler in the park. He led an incredible legal fight against the government which finally ended at the Supreme Court of Tennessee. A compromise was reached and many cove people were given either life-time leases or year-by-year leases. Today, there is still one family living in the cove who runs a cattle operation.

  Call Steve Speer at: 865-233-0508
or Email: [email protected]