Elkmont Tennessee

Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, my mother, turned 80 this week. My husband and I have been putting together a video of her life to show at the big party next weekend. Rummaging around in thousands of old family photographs has been a time-consuming and moving experience. The pictures can be sorted in many ways: by family line, by age, by geography, by topic. I was surprised at how many pictures I have of family members visiting the Grand Canyon since 1941, how many photos feature animals (especially cats), and how many were taken at Elkmont.

Elmont was a vacation community near Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. My great grandparents built a cabin there before the the Great Smoky Mountains became a national park in 1934. Later, the Elkmont camp ground was built across Jake’s Creek behind our cabin. In 1994, my mother helped to create the Great Smoky Mountains Elkmont Historic District that preserves some of the cabins from destruction. She developed a book about Elkmont in 2006.

You can tour Elkmont by video on Ghost Town Elkmont Houses – Smoky Mountains Tennessee (2007) and National Park – Great Smoky Mountains Elkmont Historic District Update (2008). Here are some of our family pictures of Elkmont and “Dear Lodge”, cabin number six also called the Creekmore Cabin.

1925 Elkmont swimming hole
1925 Evelyn and friends, Elkmont swimming hole

1915 Walter and Ellen Van Gilder
(my great grandparents)
1890 Walter and Ellen Van Gilder at Elkmont
. 1915 Hanging Bridge
Over Jake’s Creek
1900 plank bridge Jakes Creek Elkmont TN
1916 Appalachian Club Members
at the Wonderland Hotel
1906 Appalachian Club Members, Smokey Mountains Tennessee
. 1965 Elkmont
Cabin 6
1965 Uncle Richard, Aunt Mary,
Aunt Louise at Jake’s Creek
. 1967 my mother
1977 my brother Peter
with Grandma on the cabin porch
. 1980 Inside Cabin 6:
Grandma, Aunt Mary, J.T. Higdon
1991 My Mother’s Trophy for
Elkmont’s Most Original HorsDoeuvres
1991 Elkmont award
. 2008 J.R. and Midge Higdon –
Elkmont Cemetery
2008 Elkmont6 Cemetary Higdon Stone by Jessica
2008 Elkmont – Creekmore Cabin
. 2008 Elkmont – Cabin 6
2008 Elkmont5 Creekmore Cabin by Jessica

2008 Great Smoky Mountains
Images Copyright 2008-2011 by Katy Dickinson and Jessica Dickinson Goodman


Filed under Home & Family, News & Reviews

8 responses to “Elkmont Tennessee

  1. Lena

    I enjoyed this so much!!!

  2. Wow, I loved the old photos and can’t wait to share them with my wife Janet!
    We both love Elkmont.

  3. Julie

    My family had a cabin, too. My parents have the best stories about going up there in the summer. I remember not long ago they told me the whole story about how the residents one by one had to either leave or turn over their property as the Parks Service took it over. Dad said his great aunt lived there year-round during her last years, practically alone up there. It makes me sad what happened to this place! I bet our families knew each other. I need to find out which cabin was my great great aunts.

  4. debbie

    I so enjoyed finding this! My family visited last month and was in awe. Ever since, i can’t find out enough about Elkmont. I would have loved to have known someone or been a part of this era. I woulx have loved to have seen the old Wonderland Hotel.

  5. Pingback: Creekmore Family Reunion, Knoxville Tennessee | KatysBlog

  6. Julie Fuqua

    I am glad I found your blog. I loooove the mountains and their history. I just came back from a visit to Elkmont and visited the Creekmore cabin. I have become obsessed with learning everything I can about it. At present I am reading LAST TRAIN TO ELKMONT and have read THE SAGE OF ELKMONT, UNCLE LEM. They tell about personal history and the logging, but not really anything about the hotel or the people who lived in the vacation cabins. I would love to read you mothers book and her first hand acount about it. It is what I have been looking for. I enjoyed the pictures also. I have seen the cabins in all states of decay and have not seen any pictures of them when they were inhabited. Thanks to your mom some of them are going to be saved.

  7. rosabel

    Is this article related to the same place? It’s pretty cool find and your post shares great insight/history in the place.

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