Cades Cove: The Henry Whitehead Place

The Henry Whitehead Place in Cades Cove, Tennessee, showing the original cabin in the back. May 23, 2011.

A visit to Cades Cove can be scenic, interesting and educational all at the same time.  Getting off the beaten path can be fascinating.

Betsy and I came across the Henry Whitehead Place after leaving the Cade Cove Loop Road on our way to Parson Branch Road.  The Henry Whitehead Place is really two structures in one.  The original cabin (on the right in the picture above) was built by the brothers of Matilda Shields Gregory after her husband deserted her and her young son.  Because the brothers needed to get shelter for their sister in a hurry, the cabin they built is one of the roughest in Cades Cove.  The logs were rough-hewn with a felling axe and the stone chimney was made of rubble.

In 1898 Matilda married Henry Whitehead, a widower.  Henry built one of the nicest log homes in the cove.  The home had a brick chimney, which was unheard of at the time because bricks had to be made by hand.  The cabin itself was made of square-sawed logs finished inside to be smooth and attractive.  It was also warm by Cades Cove standards since the square log construction was naturally well insulated by walls approximately four inches thick with practically no space between the logs.

The interior of the Henry Whitehead Place, Cades Cove. May 23, 2011.

Betsy took this interior shot of the new cabin, showing the square-sawed logs forming the wall.

The Henry Whitehead Place, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. May 23, 2011.

The Henry and Matilda Whitehead place is the only square-sawed log home remaining in Cades Cove.  It is, in fact, the only one left in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

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17 Responses to “Cades Cove: The Henry Whitehead Place”

  1. ladyfi Says:

    Wow – what a lovely lovely place!

  2. Kathy Says:

    What a cozy home!

  3. Mildred Says:

    Very charming pictures and interesting info.

  4. sandra Says:

    that would take a lot of sawing to get those logs squared. beautiful old cabin.

  5. diane Says:

    The wind would whistle through the cracks. Great to see how they used to live.

  6. Ginny Hartzler Says:

    This is a very interesting story. When I first saw the picture, I wondered about the two cabins, and a brick chimney and a stone one. Guess it must be lots of work to square the logs off! And I love seeing the inside, I see some graffiti has already been written there. I enjoyed enlarging all the pictures and taking a good look.

  7. Karin Says:

    Thanks George for sharing this interesting story! It looks so idyllic and I’m sure it’s romanticized to live in a cabin like this in the woods. A lovely place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to trade the comforts of our modern homes for this one! Those folks back then sure didn’t have it easy!

  8. Sylvia Kirkwood Says:

    Lovely place and what a fascinating history! Love your photos as always, George. And always great to enlarge and see the detail! Terrific! Hope your week is going well!


  9. Happyone Says:

    Thanks for the story and lovely photos.

  10. Pam Says:

    Its wonderful that they preserved the home so future generations can appreciate its history. Wonderful post and Photos, George.

    Be well, Be happy,

  11. Neal Says:

    I love those old cabins. No matter how many times I go there I always go back and look at the cabins again.

  12. MaryBeth Says:

    Wonderful pictures and great commentary, George. The stories the place could tell. MB

  13. sartenada Says:

    I enjoyed Your story very much. Also great photos which completed the story so nicely.

  14. Carletta Says:

    It looks so serene but knowing the hardships they must have faced puts a different perspective on the scene.
    Nice shot George!
    Looks like you had a lovely day to visit there.

  15. Stephany Says:

    Beautiful photos and a great post! I didn’t know it was the only square-sawed cabin left in the Smokies.

  16. Abraham Lincoln Says:

    I just saw a very old looking house with clapboard siding and the bottom boards are off making it look even worse. But under the boards are some of the largest hewn logs I have ever seen in a log cabin. What a big job that must have been to make those logs for that small house back in the day they were cut and hewn.

    Your Cades over post reminded me so much of that place.

  17. Janie of Utah Says:

    Interesting information on the old cabin, George. Your picture really shows the two different cabins joined together.

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