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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Spence Cabin

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 
 
Spence Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 12, 2021
1. Spence Cabin Marker
Inscription.  The cabins constructed in this area of Elkmont, called Millionaire’s Row, were developed toward the end of the lumbering boom on prime real estate along the river. Somewhat removed from the more densely populated Daisy Town, these cabins offered more privacy for their owners, and ready access to the community swimming hole.

The Spence Cabin was one of the largest and most impressive. Constructed in 1928 for Alice Townsend, the third wife of Colonel W. B. Townsend, the house was originally called River Lodge.

After the formation of the national park in 1934, lifetime leases were negotiated that allowed families to continue to spend summers vacationing in Elkmont. In 2001, the last of the leases expired. The last leaseholders of this cabin were the Spence family from Knoxville.

”Elkmont was a huge playground and a wonderful place to spend the summer… we were always so busy and occupied and enjoying the Elkmont area [with] all the other kids that happened to be there, that we didn’t think too much about our parents.”
—Herb Handly, Elkmont resident
 
Erected by National Park Service,

Marker detail: Colonel W. B. Townsend image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Colonel W. B. Townsend
Colonel W. B. Townsend, president of the Little River Lumber Company, had successful lumbering and railroad operations in Pennsylvania and Kentucky before coming to Tennessee.
Click or scan to see
this page online
United States Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1928.
 
Location. 35° 39.22′ N, 83° 34.733′ W. Marker is near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in Sevier County. Marker can be reached from Little River Road just south of Jakes Creek Road B, on the left when traveling south. Marker and subject cabin are about 1/10 mile east of Little River Road. Access to Little River Road is via Elkmont Road, about 4˝ miles west of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 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. Rare Mountain Forest (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elkmont Historic District: Appalachian Club (about 500 feet away); Daisy Town's Eclectic Architecture (about 800 feet away); The Appalachian Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Quite a Social Place (approx. 0.2 miles away); Back to Nature (approx. 0.2 miles away); Appalachian Clubhouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wonderland Hotel (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gatlinburg.
 
Regarding Spence Cabin. Contributing property, Elkmont Historic District, National Register
Marker detail: “Millionaire’s Row” image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: “Millionaire’s Row”
Some of the larger, more well-appointed cabins were located along the Little River in what was referred to by some as “Millionaire’s Row.” The residents included high ranking officials of the Little River Lumber Company and Railroad.
of Historic Places #94000166.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Elkmont Historic District
 
Also see . . .
1. Spence Cabin "River Lodge". The large cottage was built in 1928 as a vacation home for Alice Townsend, wife of Colonel Townsend, who owned both the Little River Lumber Company and the Little River Railroad. The cabin was part of the Appalachian Club resort community, whose members escaped to the mountains in summer to enjoy tennis, picnics, dances, and swimming in the chilly waters of the river. The National Park Service has restored River Lodge to its historic appearance and it is now available for day use rental. (Submitted on May 27, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Spence Cabin. (professional quality video tour of Spence Cabin) (Submitted on May 27, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Appalachian Club Swimming Hole image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Appalachian Club Swimming Hole
The Appalachian Club swimming hole was located just below the Spence Cabin.
Spence Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 12, 2021
5. Spence Cabin Marker
(marker on left • Spence Cabin in background)
Spence Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 12, 2021
6. Spence Cabin
 
 
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 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 27, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 15, 2021