Like many mountain streams, Roaring Fork is volatile. While the stream presents as a peaceful trickle on any given day, it quickly becomes a raging
whitewater rapid after a mild rain shower. The "roar" of the water is amplified by its echo on surrounding mountain ridges.
This is where, in the very early 1800's, William Ogle (1756–1803) and his wife Martha Huskey (1756–1826) would live, becoming the first
Euro-American settlers in the Gatlinburg area. Their children quickly spread throughout the area. One grand-son, Noah "Bud" Ogle, would build a farm
on nearly 400 acres of the land.
Ogle's cabin and outbuildings were built in the late 1880s and early 1890s. The land was poor and rocky (the National Park Service later claimed it
was "unsuitable" for farming), and Ogle mostly grew corn. The land did include a sizeable apple orchard which grew multiple types of apples. Ogle's
relatives were allowed free use of his tub mill, while others were charged a small percentage of meal. Excess corn and apples were shipped to markets
in Knoxville. Ogle's wife, Lucinda Bradley Ogle, was a local midwife.
Along with the surviving structures and typical mountain farm outbuildings, Ogle's farm included a so-called "weaner cabin." A weaner cabin was
typically a small cabin near the main house where the farmer's children could live for a brief period after marrying. Several of Ogle's sons lived in
the Ogle weaner cabin after their respective marriages. The weaner cabin is no longer standing, although a pile of rubble remains from its
In the 1920s, several investors established a 796-acre (322 ha) commercial apple orchard and ornamental nursery known as "Cherokee Orchard" just south
of the Ogle homestead. When the Tennessee Park Commission began buying up property for the creation of the national park in the late 1920s, the owners
of Cherokee Orchard threatened to fight a major appropriations for bill for the park's funding if their land was condemned. The orchard's owners
dropped their opposition in 1931 in exchange for a long lease on the property.
The Noah Ogle cabin consists of two cabins sharing a single chimney, known as a "saddlebag" cabin. The cabins were built approximately five years
apart, the second cabin being added as Ogle's family grew. Both cabins measure 18 feet (5.5 m) by 20 feet (6.1 m), and each consists of one story and
a loft. Each cabin has a split-oak shingled roof, a sawn board floor, and hearths made of rubble. The cabin's windows were initially shuttered, but
eventually replaced with glass. One cabin has a small window near the floor that allowed chickens to enter to escape predators.
The Ogle barn is the last remaining four-pen barn in the park. It consists of four 11-square-foot (1.0 m) pens, each one story with a loft, covered by
a split-shingled roof. Like the cabin, the barn's walls are constructed of hewn logs connected by half-dovetail notches. The park service made
numerous repairs to the barn in the 1960s.
You can easily see all of the damage caused by the recent wildfire. It's great to know that many of the oldest historical sites were not damaged.
Pretty amazing when you consider that over 2,000 structures were lost in the fire.
I wasn't able to get any video of the mill. Apparently there were some hungry bears just getting out and about in the area. I didn't see them, but
didn't want to risk disturbing them. Hopefully I can get back soon and get some more video of the place. I'll go back a little later in the spring and
get more of the historic sites, once the Roaring Fork Trail opens for the season.
I hope you guys like the video and will consider coming to visit us here in Gatlinburg.
edit on 26-3-2017 by esteay812 because: (no reason given)
Glad you liked it. I've lived here all my life and finally realized I was taking some of these things for granted.
It's great to get out and see places like this. I really think that everyone lives near great things and I'm happy to be able to share some of these
places from my home with you guys. Hopefully it will inspire others to go check out their own hometown history, maybe share it with us, and possibly
even visit my town to see some of these things.
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