Converging at 5,000' and plummeting over 2,500' in under 2 miles, several streams form the source of the Roaring Fork in Gatlinburg, Tennessee,
eventually emptying into the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River. It is named Roaring Fork because it's thunderous roar can be heard throughout the
mountain valley after even the most mild rain showers.
Many early settlers chose this area for it's natural abundance of wildlife, seclusion, and accessibility to clean water. The cold clean water of the
Smoky Mountain streams was ideal for building the mills that served the community in those days and it was also more than ideal as a cold water source
for making White Lightning. The area is renowned for it's production of high-quality moonshine and to this day, if you find the right local , you
can still get your hands on real mountain moonshine.
The video takes you on a tour of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in Gatlinburg. There are many hiking trailheads along the route, but I've
included only the sites you will find along the drive. The trip takes a little over an hour and a half, even after stopping for pictures. You can
clearly see just how rocky the soil in this area is and this is what inspired the name "Rocky Top".
The old houses, barns, stables, and sties are all pretty self-explanatory, so I don't do really any talking in the video. I also try to stay quiet so
you can hear the sounds of the surrounding nature and maybe get a few minutes of relaxation while you watch. If you have any questions, I'll do my
best to answer.
Does anyone know why they built their doorways so small back then? I mean they are probably just over 5'. Makes it seem like they must've been
hillbilly hobbits or something. I nearly brained myself more than once on the trip.
Also, did anyone notice the dude on the ground behind the fence?
There must be a reason why they made the doorways small. I thought maybe because of how they had to cut the wood, but they did that by hand. It
shouldn't have been an issue to make it whatever size they wanted and there wasn't a shortage of lumber. I really don't know why they didn't make them
Maybe they just built them to fit how tall they were, individually. If you look at 4:29 in the video, there is a picture that shows someone standing
in the doorway. That's one of the doorways that wasn't much more than 5' tall, but the person doesn't look much taller.
Love your videos, thanks!
I've got a couple of theories about the doors.
To keep animals out?
Cabins were shorter because if one person was building by himself he would have to lift the boards alone (read that one somewhere). Green wood is
heavier than seasoned and the doors would have been heavier than material of today?
Folks were smaller back then?
It's hard to imagine 10 people living in that cabin!
edit on 22-4-2017 by TNMockingbird because: orange & white game today!
One of the things that should be noted is how well they were constructed. Nearly 200 years and the cabins need chinking and maybe a few new split
shingles on the roof in order to be livable today. The sluce box looked to be in good shape so maybe just a new wheel and axle to get the mill up and
running again? Of course I am sure the grindstone needs work or replacing as well. But still, pretty good shape for backwoods engineering.
Thank you for sharing. Although I am a bit saddened by the wildfire footage. A few more years and those scars should be mostly gone. Been a long time
since I was down that way. A trip should be in order despite not having relatives around there anymore.
That makes sense, it would be quite the job building something all the way from growing tree to standing structure.
I know, it's crazy that many people could live in there. No electricity, no plumbing. . . just a fireplace and each other. I think I'd go mad living
like that with 10 of my closest relatives! A lot of the 1 room cabins had 4+ people living in them. It was definitely a different time.
22-4-2017 by esteay812 because: (no reason given)
It really is good work for the tools and man power they had. I was surprised to see the mill in such good condition, but I think the parks commission
may maintain it to a certain standard, since so many tourists visit this particular mill. I noticed the water flow was turned way down. Maybe the mill
would work if it were opened more?
The one thing I would change about making a video is the perspective. Things don't always have the same impact on video as they do in real life. The
waterfall shown toward the end of the video is impressive. It's really elaborate and imposing, but a lot of that scale is lost in translation to
I've done a few videos that show the wildfire damage, it's pretty widespread damage. Thankfully it wasn't worse and most of the historical building
were spared. It's crazy how the fire spread to different sections of the area. It looked almost like several different fires were started, but I'm
sure it was just the wind that spread the fire.
We have a ton of Ohio visitors. It's not really that far for a lot of them. Hopefully you'll get to come down and visit soon. It's pretty rare to see
wildfire aftermath and new growth at the same time in this region.
I thought about putting it in the video, but I couldn't find a royalty free version worth using. It doesn't make that much difference to me, since the
song is perpetually playing in my head for months during and after football season. One Tennessee home game will have that song drilled into your mind
for weeks, lol.
Great song! I'm a Tennessee Vols fan and the spring Orange & White game is today, should be hearing this song a lot this afternoon - if the rain
doesn't keep me home.
Sure looks like rain all day!
My youngest is going to the game. Even though it's free (well free to get in, drinks/snacks are outrageous) and the first opportunity to see the two
new quarterback prospects...I'm with you, not sure I wanna brave the rain or traffic.
Be mindful of the new rules for carry in items (clear bags-small wallets/purses etc).
If you go, have a blast and wave to the cameras LOL I'll be watching on SEC network!
I just kept thinking of the young people that grew up around these homesteads...some of the young men had to have left at some point (wars, more land,
building their own families, etc...) Can you imagine being exposed to the outside world after living in such a primitive but beautiful environment?
You're right, the doors were tiny. And. The blue paint around the fireplace would have been sooo special. So simple but so special.
Brilliant. Those guys have some serious skills. That's a cool song when you understand the lyrics. One of my favorite songs, without doubt. I like the
part about the 2 strangers (revenue agents) who went up to Rocky Top, but never made it out and never will. I first thought it meant some strangers
went there, found some moonshine, loved it and decided to stay, haha.
I watched a video about the couple who wrote the song. They said, when they wrote it, it was in a sort of playful joking frame of mind. They didn't
realize how popular it would become. Pretty cool history of a song that is about the history of a place.
I think I've about convinced myself to head to a local bar and watch it there. Weather seems OK right now, but you never know what it's going to do
from one minute to the next this time of year.
They say those QBs are both really good, we should be in good hands with whoever gets the job. Whoever it is will have big shoes to fill. A couple
ESPN draft guys have said the last QB (Joshua Dobbs) could sneak into 1st round of the draft!
When I walk through these old places, I have a hard time not thinking about what it was like for the people. It's easy to forget about how it really
was for them when everyone has a computer/camera/phone in their pocket, arrived in a car with A/C, and has machines that do the large majority of the
hard work. Life was different for the people in the mountains, even by the standards of their own time.
Oh yes, I am sure there were many kids who left the area. Most of the families had 5+ kids, some had more than 10! What's pretty cool about the town
is how many ancestors still live and work here. Bales, Ogle, Rayfield, and several other families are still very prominent in the area. Most of them
own hotels and shops in town and many others are in local politics and education.
edit on 22-4-2017 by esteay812 because: (no reason
The funny thing about a lot of these cabins, if you see what looks like a small door near the ground, it's not for their cats. A lot of these places
built the small doors that connected the outdoors directly to the indoor home, for their. . . chickens!
You can imagine how valuable the farm animals must've been to these people and losing even one animal could really make it hard to feed everyone.
Their solution? Build a small door so the chickens could run into the house if any predators were attacking!
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