We went into the park again today to visit Cades Cove and so did everyone else in the southeast. It took 2-3 hours to drive the 11-mile loop without any stops. We spent about 6 hours in the valley including my photography stops.
Cades Cove is a 4,000 acre valley that held a village until the area became a National Park in 1934. The area was opened up to settlers in 1819 and by 1850 there were 132 families (over 600 people) living in and farming the valley. Cades Cove holds the most complete collection of historic structures in southern Appalachia. There is also plenty of wildlife. Along the rode we saw lots of deer and a bear.
There are three churches in Cades Cove. The Primitive Baptist Church, first built in 1827, dates from 1887. A Methodist Church was first built in the 1820’s, but the current church was built in 1902 in 115 days for $115. The last church on the loop is the Missionary Baptist Church that was formed by a group of members expelled from the Primitive Baptist Church in 1839 because they were interested in missionary work. The current church was built in 1915. The congregations of all three churches stopped meeting during the Civil War. It appears that all 3 congregations sympathized with the Union cause, but were located in rebel territory as Tennessee was part of the Confederate States of America.
About halfway through the loop is the Cable Mill Area. The area contains a grist mill with dam and mill race, blacksmith shop, a cantilever barn, a smokehouse, corn crib, a sorghum mill, and a house. The grist mill is in its original location and operates to demonstrate how corn was milled. Most of the other buildings were relocated from other areas of the valley. Continuing along the loop there are three more homesteads with a variety of buildings.
You’ll notice in the pictures I posted there are quite a few mushrooms. As I was walking around trying to find good filming locations I saw the mushrooms among the leaves on forest floor. The colors and shapes were what caught my eye. As I began processing the picture, I noticed other thing in the pictures like a snail and a fly.