5 Fun Facts About the History of Sevierville TN
Located just a short drive away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevierville TN is one of the nation’s top family vacation spots. Before it became a major destination for travel and tourism, Sevierville had a long and fascinating history filled with memorable characters and nationally significant events. To help you prepare for your next vacation, we’ve put together five fun facts about the history of Sevierville TN.
1. Sevierville Was Named After Governor John Sevier
Sevierville and Sevier County both take their name from John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee. A native of Virginia, Sevier first came to prominence during the Revolutionary War, when he led the Overmountain Men to victory in the Battle of Kings Mountain. After serving as brigadier general of the Southwest Territory, John Sevier was elected governor of the newly formed state of Tennessee, a position he held for six terms. Sevier is also famous for his bitter rivalry with Andrew Jackson, a feud that nearly culminated in a duel in 1803!
2. Dolly Parton is Sevierville’s Favorite Daughter
Dolly Parton is undeniably Sevierville’s most famous resident. Born in 1946, the fourth of twelve children, Dolly was raised in a two-room cabin in Locust Ridge. As a child, Parton performed on local radio and TV shows in nearby Knoxville. After graduating from high school, Dolly moved to Nashville where she launched an incredible career in country music that has spanned five decades. Despite her success, Parton never forgot where she came from and has helped make her hometown the popular vacation destination it is today. As a way of saying thank you, the city of Sevierville erected a statue in Dolly’s honor in front of the Sevier County Courthouse in 1987.
3. Sevierville Was Once Part of “The Lost State of Franklin”
Before Tennessee existed, Sevier County briefly formed part of “The Lost State of Franklin.” Named after Benjamin Franklin, this territory in modern-day Northeast Tennessee petitioned Congress to become America’s 14th state in 1785. When their bid for statehood was rejected, Franklin thumbed its nose at the federal government and essentially became an autonomous nation with its own constitution and court system.
John Sevier served as Franklin’s governor, where he earned an annual salary of 1,000 deer skins, as the state had no paper or coin currency. The experiment in self-rule ended in 1788 after North Carolina re-assumed control of the region. The new state of Tennessee was admitted to the Union in 1796.
4. The Lodge at Five Oaks Has Deep Roots in Sevierville
The Lodge at Five Oaks has its origins in 1925 when Dr. John W. Ogle and his wife Blanche purchased around 128 acres in Sevierville. They named their farm “Five Oaks” after the five small oak trees that John planted in the front yard. Dr. Ogle traveled to most of his patients on horseback, so he wanted a home that was near the center of Sevier County. The Ogles’ estate was famous for its beautiful farm house, Tennessee Walking Horses, and welcoming atmosphere.
5. Sevierville Supported the Union During the Civil War
The Civil War was the most trying time in the history of Sevierville TN. Although Tennessee had joined the Confederacy in 1861, the Smoky Mountain area was a bastion of abolitionist and pro-Union sentiment. In fact, Sevierville was home to a relatively large community of free African Americans. During the war, the residents of Sevierville suffered from frequent looting, harassment, and confiscation of property at the hands of both Union and Confederate troops.
Where is Sevierville TN?
We mentioned before that Sevierville was a top vacation destination, but the truth is many who visit don’t even realize they are in Sevierville! This small town is next to Pigeon Forge, often getting overshadowed by all the popular attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The truth is, Sevierville has just as many exciting things to do and explore. Sevierville is only about an 8 minute drive from Pigeon Forge, and 14 miles from Gatlinburg. It’s not hard to find!
The Lodge at Five Oaks Today
Today, The Lodge at Five Oaks carries on the Ogle’s hospitable spirit with its farm-inspired lodging in the Smoky Mountains. Steeped in the history of Sevierville TN, The Lodge boasts hardwood floors, luxurious bedding, and the friendliest staff in town. Of course, we also offer all of the modern amenities you desire on vacation, such as flat screen TVs, free WiFi, and walk-in showers. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of Sevierville hotel rooms!