The OFFICIAL Sevierville Welcome Center
Favorite thing: Most people who visit Sevierville will exit off I-40, and come into town via the Parkway (TN-66). Along this stretch of highway you will see 4 or 5 buildings with signs which read "Information Center" or "Welcome Center", but this is the only OFFICIAL welcome center, operated by the local Chamber of Commerce. All the others are privately operated and are trying to promote their own attractions, or book you to take a time-share resort tour.
The official Welcome Center is a very impressive new facility that stands on a small rise to the right of the highway, at mile marker 22.57, which is the distance it is from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to free information and travel brochures the welcome center also has some very interesting and informative museum-type displays about the human and natural history of the Smoky Mountain area. You'll find the folks here friendly and helpful - well worth a stop.
3099 Gov. Winfield Dunn Parkway
Kodak, TN 37764
Sevier County, Named for the Governor of Franklin
Favorite thing: Most people have never heard of the State of Franklin. But after the original 13 colonies, Franklin was formed in 1784, with hopes of becoming the 14th state. Frankin comprised the area that is today upper East Tennessee, and was named for the early American statesman, Benjamin Franklin. Sevier County and Sevierville are named for the first and only governor of Franklin, John Sevier.
The state of North Carolina originally extended all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, but the lands west of the Appalachians were sparcely populated. North Carolina ceded those western lands to the newly formed United States to pay of it's Revolutionary War debts. Delegates from this frontier territory, first known as the Watauga settlements, met in Jonesboro in 1784, adapted a constitution, elected a government, and applied for admission to the Union as the 14th state. The attempt to form a new state was unsuccessful, and the effort was abandoned after four years. Later, a much larger area, extending all the way from the crest of the Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi, was admitted to the Union as the 16th state - Tennessee. John Sevier was elected Tennessee's first governor.
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