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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gatlinburg in Sevier County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Wonderland Hotel

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 
 
Wonderland Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 12, 2021
1. Wonderland Hotel Marker
Inscription.  The Wonderland Hotel that once stood at the top of this road was the social center of the Wonderland Club. The hotel was originally built in 1912 to attract tourists seeking a mountain getaway, but by 1919 it had become a private, members-only club. The club counted among its members doctors, lawyers, and businessmen, mostly from Knoxville, and even included Tennessee Governor Austin Peay. Opened to the general public in the early 1970s, the Wonderland offered 26 unique guest rooms and a dining hall that was known for serving excellent home-cooked meals. It closed in November 1992.

The resorts at Elkmont, including the Wonderland and Appalachian clubs, helped expose the Smokies’ scenic beauty to a wide variety of influential visitors, and also provided gathering places for park boosters in the 1920s.

”I watched them dance at the Wonderland Club Hotel. I used to go down on Saturday night and watch them dance. We’d stay outside on the porch and you could look through the windows and see them dancing.”
—Winfred Ownby, Elkmont native
 
Erected by National Park Service, United States

Marker detail: Wonderland Hotel Guests image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Wonderland Hotel Guests
(marker background image)
Click or scan to see
this page online
Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 35° 39.752′ N, 83° 35.37′ W. Marker is near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in Sevier County. Marker is on Elkmont Road 1.1 miles east of Fighting Creek Gap Road (Little River Gorge Road), on the left when traveling east. Marker is located within the Elkmont Historic District in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, about 4½ miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gatlinburg TN 37738, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Quite a Social Place (approx. ¾ mile away); The Appalachian Club (approx. ¾ mile away); Appalachian Clubhouse (approx. ¾ mile away); Elkmont Historic District: Appalachian Club (approx. ¾ mile away); Daisy Town's Eclectic Architecture (approx. 0.8 miles away); Back to Nature (approx. 0.8 miles away); Laurel Falls Trail (approx. 0.8 miles away); Rare Mountain Forest (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gatlinburg.
 
Regarding Wonderland Hotel. Site is included within the Elkmont Historic District, National Register of Historic Places #94000166.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Elkmont Historic District
Marker detail: Little River Railroad image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Little River Railroad
Little River Railroad’s first passenger train stop in Elkmont was the Wonderland Hotel.

 
Also see . . .
1. Wonderland Hotel (Wikipedia). The Wonderland Hotel was built in 1911 at Elkmont, Tennessee by the Wonderland Club Company and was dismantled and partially preserved in 2005 by the National Park Service. It burned down in early 2016. The Wonderland Hotel was a two-story wood frame structure, built from local materials, including large chestnut boards harvested nearby. The steps to the Hotel originally started at the Little River Railroad tracks and went to the top of the hill that the hotel sat upon where river rocks were cemented into the top of the stairs spelling out the word "Wonderland". (Submitted on May 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Elkmont, Tennessee: Resort town. In 1911, Townsend gave Charles Carter several acres of land on a hill overlooking Elkmont with the stipulation that Carter build on it within one year. In 1912, Carter made good on the promise when he opened the Wonderland Hotel. Billed as a resort lodge, the hotel contained 50 rooms with an extensive balcony looking out over the valley and Meigs Mountain. As membership in the Appalachian Club proved remarkably difficult to obtain, several rejected Knoxvillians purchased the Wonderland Hotel site and formed the Wonderland Club in 1919. Along with the hotel, 10 or so cottages were erected on
Marker detail: Wonderland Hotel image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Wonderland Hotel
The hotel featured a wrap-around porch with a view of Blanket Mountain and ample space for social gatherings.
the hill. (Submitted on May 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Wonderland Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 12, 2021
5. Wonderland Hotel Marker
(trail behind marker leads uphill to former Wonderland Hotel site)
Wonderland Hotel Fireplace Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 12, 2021
6. Wonderland Hotel Fireplace Ruins
(uphill from marker at former Wonderland Hotel site)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 15, 2021