Pigeon Forge Vacation Packages Allow You to Visit a Part of History

by | Jul 16, 2015 | Travel and Tourism

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Pigeon Forge is a town in Tennessee. The town is fairly mountainous. The city is very small. AS of 2010, the total population is fewer than six thousand people. Besides the Smoky Mountains, one of the main attractions is the theme park, Dollywood. The history is a large draw for many people, though.


Pigeon Forge vacation packages will give you a glimpse into the illustrious history of the Tennessee town. The name comes from an iron forge built in 1820 by a crafter named Isaac Love. The area is now known as Old Mill. The forge is named such because it is located near the Little Pigeon River. The river is so named because a flock of pigeons used to routinely stop by the banks of the river around the time that the white settlers arrived in Tennessee. Thus, the forge was named pigeon forge.

The European-American settlers found the Pigeon Forge valley by following a well-worn Cherokee footpath called the Indian Gap Trail. In the first half of the eighteenth century, settlers followed the trail to Pigeon Forge. One of the first white American settlers to the region was Colonel Samuel Wear. Wear landed in the area sometime around 1783. The Colonel erected a makeshift fort as a way station for pioneers headed west.

In 1785, the Treaty of Dumplin Creek, signed by the Cherokee, gave away most of the area to the United States.

19th Century

As Euro-American settlement increased, Pigeon Forge became more and more Western. In the first half of the 1800s, Methodist preachers would travel on a circuit around the valley. This created a large Methodist population in the region that still exists to this day. In fact, the preaching was so popular that the first guests to the region visited to hear the fiery preachers. In a way, these religious pilgrims were the first to take advantage of Pigeon Forge vacation packages though they did not have the amenities you might expect. Some of these revivals could go on for days or even weeks.

In 1841, William Love, the son of the man who had built the original forge, established a post office. He named his post office “Pigeon Forge” and the name was born. In the 1870s, someone built a spa at Henderson Springs since visiting mountain springs was very popular at the time. Urban dwellers thought the mountain water was therapeutic.

In the 1840s, John Sevier Trotter, a local entrepreneur, bought the mill and the forge. He added a sawmill to the forge. Eventually, the original forge was sold and moved, but the original mill is still in the same place. The mill is called The Old Mill and is on the National Register of Historic Places.