Smoky Mountain Historical Society

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Nearly a half century or more ago the people who lived in the Great Smoky Mountains left their homes when the Park was established in 1934. Most of their homes have been overtaken by the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In the deep hollows, the flat valleys, and on the rocky hillsides are the burial grounds of the generations of people who lived in the Smokies from ca. 1806 to 1934.
Many of the families who settled originally in the White Oak Flats area eventually moved into the coves and valleys of what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Although many of the original slates and fieldstones have been replaced with modern monuments, those which remain are a testimonial to the craftmanship of the mountain people. Carvings of a hand pointing upward, stars, geometric designs, and an old English style lettering are on many of the slates. A sad realization is that many of the stones are unmarked and the site of the burial may become a family tradition or be unknown forever.
The National Park Service is doing a splendid job of maintaining these cemeteries, many of which are seldom, if ever, visited.
Many of the trails leading to the more remote cemeteries are very faint and difficult to follow unless guided by someone familiar with the area. Before attempting to locate these cemeteries it is best to consult the personnel of the National Park Service. The directions to the cemeteries in this section should be regarded as guides only. The cemeteries are often not recognizable until you are among the stones. It would be helpful to have the Sierra Club book, HIKERS GUIDE TO THE SMOKIES, and the Tennesee Valley Authority's quad maps to locate trails, creeks, and other landmarks in the park.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The cemeteries in this section were transcribed by Olin Watson and Glen Cardwell. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the National Park Service personnel at Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Park Archives for their help and cooperation, and to Herbert Clabo, who guided us to some of the more remote cemeteries.