Around 1802 story of Gatlinburg beginnings when William Ogle explored the area he selected a building site for what was to be the first "home" to be built in Gatlinburg. After cutting the logs for the cabin, he returned to South Carolina to get his family. He told them that he had found "The Land of Paradise" in the mountains of East Tennessee. While preparing to bring his family here, he fell ill, probably with malaria, and died in 1803.
In 1807, Williams wife, Martha Jane Huskey Ogle, at age 46 or 47, came to her late-husband's "Paradise" with her two daughters and five sons, her brother, Peter Huskey, and his family. From William's oral directions, they located his hewed logs, completed the cabin, and started a new life.
The cabin was in the valley of the Little Pigeon River's West Fork, surrounded on three sides by the majestic mountains. The area was abundant in White Oak Trees, thus the settlement was first named White Oak Flats.
Soon after the Ogle s arrived, other families moved into the area, settling among the hollows and along the rivers. Names like Reagan, Trentham, McCarter and Whaley are now common street and building names.
In the early 1800s, subscription schools, where parents paid for each child's education were started. Then 1912, a public settlement school was formed in Gatlinburg. Created by the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, the school not only provided academic and practical education, it also contributed to a rebirth of Appalachian
arts and crafts and the "cottage craft industry" movement.
In 1850, Noah Ogle, became Gatlinburg's first merchant, establishing a store on a site that later became the Riverside Hotel. Ogle and Company store also housed the Post Office.
In 1854, Radford C. Gatlin arrived in White Oak Flats. He opened the village's second general store. However, controversy soon surrounded him and was eventually banished from the community. However, the city still bears his name. ( More on this in future blogs)
For those of you who love history you will enjoy exploring the past of Gatlinburg and its surrounding areas!
If your in the Gatlinburg area, stop in and see us at So Very Cherry and Simply Savory Gift and Gourmet both located in the arts and crafts community