4 Fun Facts About the History of Gatlinburg TN

aerial of Gatlinburg TN

4 Fun Facts About the History of Gatlinburg TN

As you know, our attraction is located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg. Our business was founded by individuals who have a passion for exotic cars and the mountains. If you have never been to the area before or you are just curious how it expanded to become the place it is today, let’s look at 4 fun facts about the history of Gatlinburg TN: 

1. The Town is Named After the Town Villain

Did you know that Gatlinburg was named after the most hated man in town? While the Ogle family first occupied the town, Gatlinburg was named after Radford Gatlin. He moved to the town in 1854 but quickly became known as the hateful man. He was known for constantly bickering with his neighbors and his pro-Confederate sympathies were not met kindly in strongly pro-Union East Tennessee. If you are wondering why the town was named after Gatlin, it’s because the area’s first post office was placed in his general store. However, just five years after moving to the area, Gatlin was chased out of town.  

2. Home to Tennessee’s Oldest Pancake House 

Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg

Who doesn’t love pancakes? When you visit Gatlinburg, you have the opportunity to visit Tennessee’s oldest pancake house. In 1960, Pancake Pantry opened its doors in Gatlinburg. While there are now numerous breakfast restaurants in the Smokies, that wasn’t the case before the 1960s. The founders, Jim and June Gerding, had made many trips to the Smoky Mountains before they decided to take the leap of faith to open up their own restaurant. Now more than 60 years later, it’s safe to say that they made the right decision as the restaurant is still visited frequently by locals and visitors alike. 

3. High Drama During the Civil War 

As you could probably guess by Gatlin being chased out of town largely due to his political views, the Civil War was a hot topic in Gatlinburg. Very few people owned slaves in the Smoky Mountains, and fewer than 20% of voters in Sevier County favored breaking away from the United States. As strong supporters of the Union, residents fought for the freedom of the slaves and wanted to remain as one unified country. However, as history tells, the rest of the state of Tennessee felt differently and in 1861 the state became a member of the Confederacy.

4. Known as the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains 

Smoky Mountains

One of the biggest draws to the area comes from the natural history of Gatlinburg TN. The town is known as the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains as it is located right on the edge of the national park. Once you enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can explore over 800 miles of hiking trails that include everything from breathtaking waterfalls to historic buildings. Even if you don’t want to explore the park, you can still enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery as you stroll the streets of downtown Gatlinburg! 

Our exotic car experience can’t wait to join in on the marvelous history of Gatlinburg TN! Be sure to check out our full collection of hyper and supercars that you will be able to see at Speedwerkz! We look forward to seeing you! 

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