The local Native American tribes were the only human inhabitants around until the first settlers arrived from South Carolina. The Oglesby family, later changed to Ogle, Martha Jan Huskey Ogle brought her seven children to the area and built her cabin. The cabin remains visible today at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts' campus downtown Gatlinburg.
During the 19th Century Gatlinburg was called "White Oaks Flats". Eventually pioneer Settlers and veterans of the Revolutionary war made the area their home and before long the quaint mountain village grew to become a community. Around 1855 Richard Reagan, postmaster of the local post office that once stood where the Smoky Mountain Mall stands today, renamed his office "Gatlinburg" in appreciation of the office space offered by Radford Gatlin.
In the early 1900's Gatlinburg built its first hotel. Workers in nearby logging camps would join their families for weekends at the Mountain View Hotel. As time passed the hotel expanded it services to visitors of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Gatlinburg is a resort town nestled in the mountains of East Tennessee, a family friendly walking destination, where cars are an option. Known as the doorway city to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg has made strides in maintaining a balance between man-made attractions such as Ober Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg Ski Lift and the Gatlinburg Space Needle alongside the city’s efforts to support the “Going Green” movement.
The Gatlinburg Trolley, a privately funded public transit system, is the main transportation about town. Most visitors park their vehicles and walk. Pedestrians have right-of-way in the crosswalks, so remember to cross streets in the crosswalks.
Because of the ease of obtaining a marriage license in Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, with over twenty wedding chapels in the town and surrounding areas. Honeymooners, families and large groups find Gatlinburg’s unique offerings a major draw. While only a few music and family-oriented theaters still remain in Gatlinburg, such as Sweet Fanny Adams Musical Comedy Theatre, there are several attractions entertaining the over 8 million visitors annually. Some such attractions are Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Mysterious Mansion and Hollywood Star Cars Museum. Annual events like the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade and The First Independence Day Parade In The Nation keep visitors coming back year after year.
Many Gatlinburg visitors find one of the best ways to experience the beauty and nature of the Smoky Mountains is relaxing in a log cabin rental. While most of today’s log cabins may look much like those of the early area pioneers, today’s WiFi Internet and theater room cabin’s provide the latest in travel comfort. Nestled from downtown Gatlinburg to the tops of the mountainous Smokies overlooking Gatlinburg are the opportunities for families and groups to come together under the canopy of the Great Smoky Mountains for life long memories.
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