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5 Facts About Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge You May Not Know

View of Gatlinburg

If you’ve stayed with us, then you have probably experienced Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These cities are full of fun attractions, amazing restaurants, and are right next door to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We want to share some things you may not know about these cities with you! Check out these 5 facts about Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge you may not know:

1. Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have a few thousand residents.

aerial view of pigeon forgeEvery year, Sevier County gets about 12 million visitors. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are both located in Sevier County. This number is impressive in itself, but wait until you hear how many permanent residents live in both! Gatlinburg has about 4,000 permanent residents, while Pigeon Forge has almost 7,000. On a busy day, Pigeon Forge could have about 50,000 people in the city because of visitors. These areas are considered a small community because of the amount of people who actually live there, but they function as a large city because of the amount of visitors.

2. Pigeon Forge was named after the same man who built the Old Mill and extinct birds.

You have probably been to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. But did you know the man who built the Old Mill also helped name the city? In 1817, a man named Isaac Love built an iron forge beside the Little Pigeon River. Then in 1830, Love and his son built the grist mill next to the iron forge. The community grew because of the mill, so part of the name comes from this forge. The other part of the name comes from an extinct bird called the passenger pigeon. These birds would land in the trees next to the river where the forge was built. The last passenger pigeon died in 1914.

3. Gatlinburg is named after the most hated man in town.

downtown gatlinburgGatlinburg was originally called White Oak Flats. A man named Radford Gatlinburg moved to town in 1854. He built a general store, which also contained the only post office in town. Gatlin was known for having a feud with the most prominent family in town, the Ogles, as well as filing several lawsuits against his neighbors. Gatlin was eventually ran out of town, and the town’s name was changed.

4. Pigeon Forge is home to one of the most visited attractions in Tennessee.

The top attraction in the area is definitely Dollywood. People come from all over the country to visit this popular theme park. More than 3 million people visit the park each year. Dollywood is the most popular ticket attraction in Tennessee. It has tons of rides, shows, places to shop, and plenty of food you should experience.

5. Gatlinburg is home to Tennessee’s first pancake house.

pancake pantryIf you’ve been to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you know how many pancake houses there are in the area. But did you know Gatlinburg is home to Tennessee’s first pancake house? In 1960, Pancake Pantry was built. They have served guests of Gatlinburg ever since and are still open today! You have to try their old fashioned buttermilk pancakes or one of their other pancakes covered in fruit or other toppings.

There are probably a lot of things you didn’t know about Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Ready to come back and experience both of these towns? Look through our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals and start planning your next trip today!