Great Smoky Mtns. National Park Sights

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Elkmont Historic District Review

What began as a logging town in the early years of the 20th century evolved into a summer colony for wealthy families from Knoxville, Chattanooga, and elsewhere in Tennessee. In 1910, Little River Lumber Company deeded a tract of 50 acres of land to some prominent Knoxvillians who belonged to a fishing and hunting club called the Appalachian Club. Later, exclusive hunting and fishing rights on a 40,000-acre tract above Elkmont were sold to the club. The Appalachian Club erected a clubhouse, and many cottages were built as summer getaways. Other prominent east Tennessee families bought land here and built the Wonderland Hotel. In the 1920s, a debate broke out among property owners in Elkmont. Some owners wanted to keep the Elkmont area private, but others wanted the land to become part of the proposed national park. Eventually, the park won out and was established in 1934. Parts of the Elkmont community were placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1994. Today, Elkmont is primarily a campground, although some of the original 74 cottages remain along Jakes Creek and Little River. Most of the cottages are just south of the campground. The Wonderland Hotel, in disrepair, began to collapse in 2005–06, and the Park Service demolished most of what was left. The remains of the hotel, primarily a chimney, are just northwest of the campground. In recent years, the Park Service has been stabilizing and restoring several homes along Jakes Creek near the Elkmont campground. The rustic Appalachian Clubhouse has been restored and is now open to the public – it is rented for group events April to mid-November. Some 18 cottages in the "Daisy Town" are being restored, but more than 50 other cottages have been, or are slated to be, torn down, despite objections from some conservation groups.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Elkmont Campground, off Little River Rd. 4½ mi west of Gatlinburg entrance to park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC, 37738
  • Phone: 865/436–1200
  • Location: Tennessee Side
Updated: 10-12-2012

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