John Ownby’s 1860 Cabin

The John Ownby Cabin is a historic cabin in Sevier County, Tennessee, United States. Located in The Sugarlands, it lies within the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was built in 1860, and is the last surviving structure from the pre-park Forks-of-the-River community. At the time, this valley was populated with three small Appalachian communities: Forks-of-the-River, Sugarlands, and Fighting Creek. The valley gets is name after the numerous sugar maples growing there.

The cabin was restored in 1964, which included replacing the front porch, and the cabin was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[2] The cabin currently stands along the Sugarlands Nature Trail, an interpretive trail accessible behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The cabin is typical of the 1860s – one room, with walls made of white pine logs and a fireplace – which is actually the only thing that survived the test of time and didn’t have to be restored.

Outside, there is a small roofed porch and a chimney made with mortar from the nearby creek. The cabin has two doors and two small windows. Nearby, there is a small spring, probably used by the family for water.

It kinda makes you thing how they managed to survive in those conditions, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for a more…contemporary cabin for your vacation in the Smoky Mountains National Park, check out our website 😉


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