The graveyards still stand today and one is located along the loop road. Most of the headstones are so eroded that the inscriptions are either completely worn away or illegible. But you can walk through and read some of them. I felt pretty creeped out so I just stayed outside the barrier and quickly headed away.
The churches and graveyards were abandoned during the Civil War. Most Cades Cove residents, like most people in western North Carolina, sided with the Union and most left when the Confederates swept through.
In the 1800's, Cades Cove was home to some 600 people who built homes and churches and pretty much lived a quiet life until the national park was created. The loop road passes about 15 or so of the old cabin homes that were built by these early settlers. You can stop at each as there is a story behind every one, but, if time is limited, its best to pick one or two. But don't miss the primitive Baptist Church, shown in the photo. The freestanding church was organized in the early 1800s. Adjacent to the church you'll find a graveyard, which is quiet an eerie sight.
Pretty much anywhere you go in East Tennessee you can find someone playing Bluegrass music. The picture I have posted was taken at Ober Gatlinburg on top of their sky lift. Certain times of the year you can hear a 3 man bluegrass band. I could sit there all day!!!!! Im not sure when they are there but both time I caught them it was in the Fall.
At any Visitor Center within the park you can obtain the Smokies Guide. This newspaper guide is very informative for trip planning, park info, special reports, events and visitor information.
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