Photographs courtesy of the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park Service
its inception in 1923, the idea for creating a national park of the
Smoky Mountains area was fraught with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Financial, cultural and political issues were overcome to create what
is today the most visited national park in our American Park system.
The following is a brief synopsis of how the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park came about and who the dedicated and visionary individuals were
that stuck with the effort for 17 years until the Park's dedication
The original idea for a Smokies national
park came from a wealthy and influential family in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Mr. and Mrs. Willis P. Davis (see below) , after returning from a visit
to western national parks, began asking, "why can't we have a national
park in the Smokies?" From this beginning, other influential citizens
of Knoxville began to echo the sentiment. Politicians, businessmen,
naturalists, and others began to join the movement for their own personal
Sometimes a movement gains momentum
due to its own sheer power-it's simply a good idea. Other movements
succeed because of strong-willed, influential, wealthy individuals with
a vision. The movement to create a national park in the Smoky Mountains
was fortunate to have both elements. But this was not to say that things
went quickly or easily-quite the contrary.
Visit Our Sponsors:
Pigeon Forge Cabins