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.
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.
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!