KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — What came before the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Park rangers and volunteers are answering that question in their annual Daisy Town Day celebration.
The Elkmont Historic District is revisiting the early 1900s to celebrate those who lived, worked and played in the area before the park was established. Volunteers will be dressed up in historical clothing, sharing stories and photos of the “Daisy Town” area in its heyday. Visitors will also be able to watch a 1928 home movie showing the area and listen to music by the local band Wild Blue Yonder at the Appalachian Clubhouse.
This celebration is set for Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Daisy Town is located near Elkmont Campground, which is six miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg.
“For almost 150 years, the Elkmont area was home to Little River Lumber Company, one of the largest logging companies that operated in the pre-park years. But by the early 1900s, the area became a popular vacation destination for members of Knoxville’s Appalachian Club. Beginning in 1910, the Appalachian Club leased land from the lumber company to create a hunting and fishing camp and build vacation homes. At one time there were over 80 structures in the area, including Daisy Town and nearby Society Hill and Millionaire’s Row,” shared the National Park Service in a release.
The Friends of the Smokies, the park’s philanthropic partner, has helped fund the restoration of many of the Daisy Town buildings. Today, there are 18 restored buildings that tell the story of the history of tourism in the Smokies.