Newfound Gap in Sevier County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
New Gap, New Road
—Great Smoky Mountains National Park —
I do not . . . favor the scarring of a wonderful mountainside just so we can say we have a skyline drive. It sounds poetical, but it may be an atrocity.
Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, 1935
It’s not easy to travel through the mountains. Even driving the Newfound Gap Road is a challenge. That’s probably how many mountain people felt – blessed – when they began using the “new-found gap” in the latter half of the 19th century, and the name stuck.
The move to establish Great Smoky Mountains National Park was led more by economic boosters than conservationists. Auto clubs, who wanted good roads through beautiful scenery, pushed hard for the park. In the late 1920s Tennessee and North Carolina began a road-building race to reach Newfound Gap to open up the developing park to tourism. The road was completed in 1932. That April the first visitors drove on it over Newfound Gap.
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Early park supporters believed building park roads would bring economic prosperity to the region. Ben Morton, for whom this overlook is named, was such a believer. As Knoxville’s mayor and a member of the Knoxville Auto Club, he and others did much to boost the building of the Newfound Gap Road, which today is one of the most pleasurable and scenic roads
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 35° 36.788′ N, 83° 25.424′ W. Marker is in Newfound Gap, Tennessee, in Sevier County. Marker is on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) ¾ mile north of Clingmans Dome Road, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, at the Morton Overlook on Newfound Gap Road. Marker is in this post office area: Gatlinburg TN 37738, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rockefeller Memorial (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Great Smokies (approx. 0.2 miles away in North Carolina); The Appalachian Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away in North Carolina); Hands That Built (approx. 0.2 miles away in North Carolina); “To the free people of America” (approx. 0.2 miles away in North Carolina); Land of Diversity (approx. 0.2 miles away); People of the Mountains (approx. 0.2 miles away in North Carolina); A Mountain Sanctuary (approx. 0.2 miles away in North Carolina). Click for a list of all markers in Newfound Gap.
More about this marker. The background of the marker features a 1930s photograph of a car on the Newfound Gap Road. A photo of Ben Morton
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 308 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.