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Cades Cove, Tennessee

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Cades Cove, Blount, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Tennessee
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John Oliver's Cabin
The Tipton Cabin



Cades Cove was first settled by the Cherokee before 1797. They called it "Tsiya'hi," or "Otter Place". The name Cades Cove is believed to have come from Chief Kade. In 1819, however, the Treaty of Calhoun took the land away from the Cherokee and the Europeans moved in.

John Oliver and his wife Lurena Frazier were the first permanent European settlers in Cades Cove. The Olivers, originally from Carter County, Tennessee, arrived in 1818, accompanied by Joshua Jobe. In 1821, "Fighting Billy" Tipton bought up large tracts of Cades Cove which he passed around to his family and settlement began booming.

In 1827, Daniel Davis Foute opened up the Cades Cove Bloomery Forge. In 1835, Robert Shields built a tub mill. His son, Frederick, built a grist mill. Other early settlers include Russell Gregory (1795–1864), for whom the mountain Gregory Bald is named, and James Spence, for whom the valley, Spence Field is named.

During Prohibition, Cades Cove was a well-known producer of corn liquor. Among the more prominent moonshine distillers was Josiah "Joe Banty" Gregory (1870–1933), the son of Matilda "Aunt Tildy" Shields by her first marriage. In 1921, Josiah Gregory's still was raided by the Blount County sheriff. Although it was later revealed that the sheriff was tipped off by a surveyor in the area, the Gregorys blamed the Olivers and a feud ensued. Afte the raid, the barns of both William and John W. Oliver were burned to the ground destroying both crops and livestock. Gregory's son was attacked by Asa and John Sparks after a prank-gone-wrong. Then, Gregory and his brother, Dana, hunted down and shot the Sparks brothers on 25 Dec 1921. Both of the Gregorys were convicted of barn burning and later convicted of felonious assault. After serving only six months, however, they were pardoned and personally escorted home by Governor Austin Peay.

When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was being laid out, Cades Cove residents were fierce resistors. They eventually posted a sign at the entrance to the town:

  • COL. CHAPMAN: YOU AND HOAST ARE NOTFY, LET THE COVE PEOPL ALONE. GET OUT. GET GONE. 40 M. LIMIT.

Still, the Park went forward and Cades Cove was abandoned. For more information and photos of Cades Cove, see: Cades Cove Wikipedia Page

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