Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Elijah Oliver Place

Elijah Oliver was born in Cades Cove in 1824 and was the son of John Oliver, the first white settler in the cove.
Today you can visit the Elijah Oliver Place via an easy 0.5 mile walk from the Cades Cove loop road. It's the most remote of the cabins in Cades Cove but it's a short, pleasant walk and will give you a glimpse of what life was like for the early pioneers of Cades Cove.  It's just far enough away from the road to discourage a lot of tourists (most of which never get out of their car) from making the hike back in.

Elijah moved his family out of the cove prior to the civil war, but returned later and bought this property in 1865.

I'm not sure why, but in all the years we've been coming to the cove, this is the first time we were here.
 Located in a clearing, surrounded by a beautiful forest, I can't imagine a more picturesque setting to build a cabin and raise a family.
  I get nostalgic for the old ways of life when I visit places like this, although I realize nothing was easy back then and they worked very hard to make a living. The Olivers, like most families in the area were almost entirely self-sufficient and raised nearly everything they needed.

Oliver was also a deacon in the Cades Cove Primative Baptist Church for 37 years.

Parking for the Elijah Oliver place is on the left at milemarker 4.5 from the beginning of the loop road. The trail starts across the road from the parking area. The trail is a wide graveled path that starts at an open area and soon crosses a stream on a narrow foot bridge.

The Myers Barn
 At 0.2 miles you will pass a large hay barn built in the 1920s.

A few turkeys were on hand to greet us when we arrived, but soon ambled off into the woods.

The original cabin was enlarged when Elijah purchased another cabin and attached it to their home. This was the kitchen and the breezeway created between the two cabins was called a "dog-trot". I guess this was the eighteen hundreds version of the split-level!!

The stairs leading up from the kitchen into the main living area.

Cades Cove people were well known for their hospitality and kindness. The room on the right side of the porch was called a "Stranger Room" and was used for overnight guests passing through the area.

 The fireplaces in the house.

 I think the little building to the far left was a smokehouse.

Springhouses were built over the source of a spring.  The spring water flowed into a trough inside the springhouse and provided storage for food that would otherwise spoil.
This brought back a lot of memories. The house my grandma lived in when I was a little girl had a spring in the basement and that's how she kept her food cold until she got a gas refrigerator. My grandma was amish and never had electricity.

The thin log coming out of the front continues to channel the water out of the springhouse.

One last look back as we are leaving. Corn crib in foreground and barn in background.

On the way back to the trailhead we heard a pack of coyotes howling not very far away.  If you have never heard coyotes......well, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It was a little unnerving but we weren't too concerned until another pack on the opposite side responded. I was sure coyotes were going to burst out of the woods and have me for dinner, but I'm told coyotes are more afraid of humans than we are of them. I don't believe that of the Cades Cove coyotes though because they have become too accustomed around people and expect handouts from them.

I never get tired of the views in Cades Cove. To me it's a little bit of heaven on earth.

Can you imagine living here and seeing this every day?  I just can't get enough of these mountains!


  1. Cades Cove very much looks like Paradise. ALL the buildings are so unique and reflects how difficult living off the land must of been but at the same time the area does look like so serene and beautiful. I would love to visit this place and see those lovely Mts. Thanks for sharing all these photos. Happy Spring. Hugs Judy

  2. Carolyn HostetlerApril 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Makes me want to go back. Never get tired of the Smokies no matter how often I'm there. I guess we never walked back to that Oliver place. I thought we stopped at all of the places. Nice photos.

  3. Gorgeous photo's. I love that you got to see such a wonderful historic area. I hope to see Cade's Cove on our next trip!

  4. What an absolutely beautiful area. I could look at that everyday and feel serenity. It is certainly been preserved well, but the property is so peaceful. Driving down that lane has to be very calming.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Wow! I have never been to a place like this though I would love to experience "life" in such setting. Thank you for sharing these wonderful and lovely photos. Btw, would you like us to be each others' follower?

    Take care,
    Farida :)

  6. I see you've been back in my neck of the woods!! How lucky I am for Cades Cove to be practically in my back yard. And this cabin is one of my favorites. It's a shame more people won't get out of their cars and walk that pleasant pathway to this cabin. We also enjoy walking to it from the Abrams Falls trailhead. Didn't know if you knew you could do that. Just cross the bridge at the start of Abrams Falls trail and then turn to the right instead of the left. Still a very short walk, but a beautiful one!

  7. Carolyn HostetlerApril 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Pearl, Since I can't post on Betsy's site you ought to tell her to take a trip to Watkins Glen in New York ( Finger Lakes Region ) and hike the Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park. You were along on that trip weren't you? Her and her friends like waterfalls like we do and there they would be able to see 19 waterfalls in a 1 1/2 mile hike. Trail is closed from Nov. to early May.

  8. Carolyn...I've thought of doing a post on that trip even though it was several years ago. I found my pictures and I am working on it. Would I ever love to go back there!!

  9. Carolyn HostetlerApril 17, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Helen and I keep talking of going up there sometime. She has never been there. If Sam ever stays here long enough when she comes up from Fla for the summer and it's nice so we can hike the gorge without rain we'd like to go.