Excerpt From 101 Travel Bits: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Cemeteries

Time for an excerpt from our book, 101 Travel Bits: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Today's excerpt is from the book's entry on cemeteries - an unusual feature of the park that preserves its history.


"Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves many historical remnants of the men and women who lived in this part of the world before it became a national park. From homes to school buildings to churches, these historical places help preserve and teach the history of the pioneers who once populated this part of the world. Among the places preserved by the park are the cemeteries where these pioneers buried their dead.


There are approximately 150 known cemeteries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Typically, these cemeteries fall into one of two categories. The first are church cemeteries, where multiple families buried their dead. The second are family cemeteries, where one or a few specific families buried family members. The former are usually much larger than the latter, which might consist of only a handful of graves.

Reaching many of the known cemeteries is difficult because they are off-trail and in remote regions of the park. Others are easily reached. For example, in Cades Cove, there are three church cemeteries found alongside the three churches in the valley. There are also several known family cemeteries in Cades Cove, such as the Cable Family Cemetery. The Cable Family Cemetery is located off of the Wet Bottom Trail. With 46 known graves, it is larger than many of the park’s family cemeteries. It is also one that has continued to be used since the founding of the park; its most recent burial dates to 1974."


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