My family and my husband's parents took a trip to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge last spring. We had generally been sitting around trying to decide what to do (how my in-laws do their vacations) when I begged to go somewhere scenic. Friends at church had told us about Cades Cove and while it was about 40 minutes from where we were staying, we did it. My in-laws were thrilled and we much enjoyed our three-hour tour around the loop. Deer, turkeys, horses, and even a black bear!


Our first stop inside the park was to park and walk about 1/4 mile to the John Oliver Cabin, built by the first settlers in Cades Cove. John Oliver (1793–1863), a veteran of the War of 1812, and his wife Lucretia Frazier (1795–1888) were the first permanent settlers in Cades Cove. The Olivers, originally from Carter County, Tennessee, arrived in 1818, accompanied by Joshua Jobe, who had initially persuaded them to settle in the cove. While Jobe returned to Carter County, the Olivers stayed, struggling through the winter and subsisting on dried pumpkin given to them by friendly Cherokees. Jobe returned in the Spring of 1819 with a herd of cattle in tow.

While we were looking at the cabin, a deer came by the fence. She was so close I could have reached out and touched her. She got very close to Bailey and Bailey watched her for a long time before the deer walked off. The ranger said they are so used to people, and so non-threatened, that they hang around crowds all day.


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