The Little River Railroad and Lumber Co. Museum

As we bring another installment to our Off the Beaten Path Series we highlight the Little River Railroad and Lumber Co. Museum in Townsend TN. Many guests of The Resort at Governor’s Crossing visit and enjoy the beauty and history of Cades Cove but have no idea how close they are to a big part of the regions heritage at this small museum.

Water tower at Museum

Water tower at Museum

Located on Lamar Alexander Parkway just a mile east of Wears Valley Road, the most popular route to Cades Cove from The Resort, sits this museum of early 1900s railroading and logging. W. B Townsend, whom the town was named after, came to the region after having run a successful logging business in Pennsylvania. In 1901 he founded two companies, the Little River Lumber Co. and the Little River Railroad. Soon the lumber company owned nearly 80,000 acres of timber in what is now the Smoky Mountain National Forest.
As the two companies began to flourish; workers, their families, and other settlers moved into the area starting other businesses. Saw mills, tanneries and even tourism provided many opportunities for these settlers as the railroad serviced over 150 miles in the region. In 1924 the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Assoc. was formed hoping to turn the area into a national park. After many negotiations, W.B. Townsend sold the land, retaining logging rights for another 15 years, giving conservationists 80,000 acres to advance the park movement. By the late 1930s most of the trees had been harvested and the small camps and towns in the region began to disappear and along with them much of the history of the region.
The Little River Railroad and Lumber Co. Museum provides a small look into this history. Outside you will find a locomotive, railcars, steam engine and a logging crane. Inside the Walland Depot, restored and moved here in 1983, you will find artifacts, photos and stories about the region and the life these people lived. Alongside the depot sits a gift shop, a replica of the Elkmont Post Office, with volunteers who gladly offer more stories of the history of the railroad and logging company.

70 Ton Class C Shay Locomotive used by Little River Railroad from 1932-35.

70 Ton Class C Shay Locomotive used by Little River Railroad from 1932-35.

Walland Depot moved to this location in 1983

Walland Depot moved to this location in 1983

Train moving logs to be milled

Train moving logs to be milled

Admission is free, donations are greatly appreciated. The museum is open daily in June, July, August, and October. Also they are open on weekends in April, May and September and by appointment only November through March.
Directions from The Resort: Turn right onto Collier Drive going .5 mile to the intersection with the Parkway. Turn left on Parkway going 2.4 miles to traffic light #3 in Pigeon Forge. Turn right onto Wears Valley Rd. (Hwy 321) traveling 16 miles to the junction of Hwy 321 & Hwy 73, Lamar Alexander Pkwy. Take a right at light and proceed 1 mile, the museum will be on your right.
Directions from Cades Cove Loop Rd exit: Right on Laurel Creek Rd traveling 7.4 miles to intersection of Hwy 73/Townsend Entrance Rd. going left to exit National Park. Travel 3.2 miles Lamar Alexander Pkwy (Hwy 321 S), museum will be on your right.

Resort 2017 Schedule for Pool Side Cinema

The Resort at Governor’s Crossing announced it’s schedule for the 3rd season of their poolside movies. Guests are able to lounge, swim and even float in the lazy river while enjoy family friendly movies during the summer and early fall. The schedule is subject to change, updates will be added accordingly. In case of inclement weather the movie will be canceled. Pool Side Cinema

All movie titles link to IMDb movie review web site

5/26/2017   Monsters Inc

5/27/2017   Zootopia

5/28/2017   Frozen

5/30/2017  The Good Dinasour

6/1/2017   The Secret Life of Pets

6/3/2017   Finding Nemo

6/6/2017   Moana

6/8/2017   Monsters University

6/10/2017  Cars

6/13/2017  Happy Feet

6/15/2017  Hotel Transylvania 2

6/17/2017  The Lego Movie

6/20/2017  Sing

6/22/2017  The Secret Life of Pets

6/24/2017  Sponge Bob Movie-Sponge Out of Water

6/27/2017  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

6/29/2017  Despicable Me 2

7/1/2017   Hotel Transylvania

7/4/2017   The Lorax

7/6/2017   Despicable Me 

7/8/2017   Sing

7/11/2017  Enchanted

7/13/2017  Planes

7/15/2017  Frozen

7/18/2017  Ratatouille

7/20/2017  Up

7/22/2017  Inside Out

7/25/2017  Moana

7/27/2017  The Lego Movie

7/29/2017  Wreck-it Ralph

8/1/2017   Finding Dory

8/3/2017   The Box Trolls

8/5/2017   Minions

8/8/2017   Inside Out

8/10/2017  Cars

8/12/2017  The Incredibles

8/19/2017  Minions

8/26/2017  Brave

9/1/2017   Inside Out

9/2/2017   Frozen

9/3/2017   Despicable Me 

Day Trip from The Resort at Governor’s Crossing to the Wheatland’s Plantation

Established 225 years ago by Revolutionary War veteran Timothy Chandler, The Wheatland’s was one of the largest farms in Sevier County at its peak covering over 4,600 acres. The plantation presents a rich diverse history of the region and is also known for paranormal experiences. Many accidental and intentional deaths have been reported to have occurred at the Wheatland’s Plantation.

Wheatland's Plantation

Wheatland’s Plantation

In 1780 John Sevier, whom Timothy Chandler served with at the Battle of Kings Mountain, defeated Cherokee Indians at the Battle of Boyd’s Creek. Timothy Chandler moved his family to the Boyd’s Creek location in 1791. After his death in 1819 his son John took over the farm. The original farm house burned in 1825 and John commissioned the building of the Federal-style home to replace it. There is a mass grave of approximately 28 Cherokee warriors between the house and the creek.
One of the builders of the plantation home was Capt. William Morgan. John Chandler and Morgan built one of the first commercial distilleries in Tennessee making wheat whiskey which they shipped via inland waterways to New Orleans. By the mid 1800s they were producing 8,000 gallons of whiskey annually.
During the Civil War Union troops wintered at the plantation. After the war Chandler paid emancipated slaves and upon his death in 1875 he left a portion of land along the south side of the plantation to the former slaves. The grounds of the plantation have over 100 slaves and two Revolutionary soldiers buried here.
Marked grave sight

Many original structures remain at the plantation including the brick mansion house, a hand hewn smokehouse, summer kitchen with dining hall and a loom house. The interior of the main house retains most of its original design including handmade railings and hand carved mantels.

Smoke house

Smoke House

The Wheatland’s Plantation is open Thursday- Sunday 11AM-4PM Spring, summer and fall. Winter hours are limited, please call. Tours take around one and one-half to two hours and cost $15.00 per person for Historical Tour and $20.00 for History and Ghost Walk. For more information visit the Wheatland’s web site or call 865-365-1052.
The Wheatland’s Plantation is a little over 13 miles from The Resort at Governors Crossing. When leaving The Resort turn right on Collier Drive. Go to the intersection of Collier Dr and the Parkway, turning right. Go to the Winfield Dunn Pkwy (HWY 66). Heading North on Winfield Dunn Pkwy go about 5 miles to TN 338, Boyds Creek Hwy (there is a Pilot Service station on the left). You will turn left onto Boyds Creek Hwy and travel 5.8 miles to the Wheatland Plantation which will be on your left.map

Day Trip from The Resort at Governor’s Crossing to Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant

Many times guests at The Resort ask where is some place the locals go. Even though the famed Apple Barn is just minutes away many an area resident in desire of homegrown fruits (especially apples), produce and good eats will make the trip to Carvers in nearby Cosby Tennessee, about 25 miles from The Resort.

Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant

Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant

With the Great Smoky Mountains as a backdrop customers will see rows and rows of mature apple trees as one starts up Carver’s driveway to the old style apple sorting barn and attached restaurant. Inside the barn guests will find tables and benches full of fresh fruits and produce, much of it raised on the farm or from other local growers. Shelves on interior walls will display homemade jams, apple and peach butter, plus juices and ciders. Above the shelves on the interior west wall you will find giant wooden signs describing the different varieties of apples including their flavor and recommended uses.

Baskets of home grown apples for sale

Baskets of home grown apples for sale

After checking out the barn and stocking up on produce it might be time for some home style southern cooking as you make your way into the Applehouse Restaurant, which serves breakfast (can order up to 1PM), lunch and dinner.  The restaurant is noted for their Catfish Dinners and their awesome Chicken N Dumplings. Just like Sevierville’s Applewood Farmhouse Grill, you get delicious apple fritters with homemade apple butter along with fresh cider included in your meal at the Applehouse Restaurant. If you’re looking for some sweet treats for the trip back to The Resort check out Stacy’s Candy Store on the north side of their parking lot.

Apple Fritters with homemade Apple Butter and fresh Apple Cider

Apple Fritters with homemade Apple Butter and fresh Apple Cider

Chicken & Dumplings Fried Catfish Dinner

Chicken & Dumplings
Fried Catfish Dinner

DIRECTIONS: This is the shortest route and you will be going most of the way cross country. As you exit The Resort turn left onto Collier Drive, when you come to the stop light take a left onto Veterans Blvd. At the second stop light make a right onto Middle Creek Rd., you will then go .8 of a mile to a right on Earnest McMahon Rd. On Earnest McMahon you will go .7 of a mile and Earnest McMahon will fork left, you will then travel 1.6 miles to a stop light. Turn right at the light onto old TN 35 going .2 of a mile to a left staying on old TN 35 (the Walter’s State College campus will be on your left). You will travel .8 of a mile on old TN 35 dead ending on TN 339, take a right. (Side note; just a short distance after making the turn onto 339 you will see a sign for the Harrisburg Covered Bridge, if you have time to stop this is one of 4 remaining covered bridges in the state). On TN 339 you will go 1.3 then TN 339 will make a right hand turn (there is a small gas station/convenience store on the corner). This will now be your longest stretch as you travel 14.9 miles through the Sevier and Cooke County’s country side. TN 339 will dead end onto US 321, make a left and you are 1.8 miles from Carver’s entrance on your right. Your total distance is 23.5 miles.

Google Maps from The Resort at Governor's Crossing to Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant

Google Maps from The Resort at Governor’s Crossing to Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant

Day Trip from The Resort at Governor’s Crossing to Forbidden Caverns and Bush’s Visitor Center

Many times guests of The Resort at Governor’s Crossing inquire about things to see and do away from Dollywood and the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg tourist scene. A nice day trip of less than 45 miles round trip from The Resort can allow you to visit both the Forbidden Caverns and Bush’s Visitor Center. So load up the family, turn left onto Collier Drive at the entrance to The Resort, as we begin our road trip. Take Collier Drive to a left onto Veterans Boulevard and then a right at the intersection of Dolly Parton Pkwy (US 411). You will travel a little over 11 miles on US 441 until you come to a right on Blowing Cave Road (there will be signs advertising the Forbidden Caverns). A little over a mile on Blowing Cave Road and we will reach our first destination.

Forbidden Caverns

Forbidden Caverns

Hundreds of years ago Indians used the Forbidden Caverns for shelter. The caves river, the source believed to come from an underground lake beneath English Mountain, provided the Indians a ample source of clean water. The Indians also used flint found in the caverns to form arrowheads and Knives. After the turn of the 20th century the fresh water supply found a new use as the cave was used by moonshiners from the early 1920s to around 1943. In the early 1960s investors began undertaking the development of the caverns as an attraction for the general public. The caverns contain many calcite formations that continue to grow along with which is believed to house the largest wall of rare cave onyx or drip stones. The caverns maintain a constant temperature of 58 degrees and the average guided tour lasts about one hour. The Forbidden Caverns does charge admission, Adults $16, children 5-12 $10, four and under are free. Check the coupon books at The Resort for discounted admissions.

A. J. Bush General Store

A. J. Bush General Store

Leaving the caverns we again travel east about 4 miles to the Bush’s Visitor Center. Home of the renowned Bush’s Best Beans, the visitor center is housed in the original A. J Bush & Co. General Store. Free to the general public you can view a short film that includes an intro from Jay & Duke

Duke

Duke

as the film tells the Bush family history and shows modern processing and canning of their beans. You may also view a timeline presentation of the company from its inception. The store also has clothing, home goods and memorabilia for purchase. As you prepare to head back to The Resort conclude our day trip stop in the Bush’s Family Café for a dinner of Southern dishes and special treats.

The Resort 2016 NASCAR Speedpark Package

THIS PACKAGE HAS EXPIRED, 2017 PACKAGE WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON!

Add to your vacation fun by adding NASCAR Speedpark all day tickets to your reservation at The Resort at Governor’s Crossing. Start out with luxury accommodations, the enjoyment of our indoor & outdoor water parks plus all the other onsite amenities at The Resort and bundle in a day of fun at NASCAR Speedpark.

NASCAR Speedpark Sevierville TN

NASCAR Speedpark Sevierville TN

General all day admission tickets are for unlimited rides on the following tracks: Rookie, Competitor, Qualifier, Baby Bristol, Family 500, Young Champions, Smoky Mountain Speedway (must have a valid driver’s license) and Slidewayz. Plus unlimited use of Bumper Boats, Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf Course, Exciting Kiddie and Family Rides, and Rock Climbing Wall.
General admission tickets are required for anyone entering NASCAR Speedpark. Tickets are good any one day in the 2016 season and are non refundable.
Go to our special package on-line booking engine, choose your dates and applicable rate type (our standard every day rate is called Rack, if you are a member of AAA, AARP, own a business or are a government employee you may select those applicable discounted rates). If available you will be offered the opportunity to upgrade, and then a box will appear where you can add tickets or other items. Look for the NASCAR Speedpark logo and select the tickets needed. (If you require more than 4 tickets select 4 and then you will be able to add additional tickets). Speedpark ticket prices are $24.00 each and this includes all taxes and fees. Tickets will be billed for at the time of making reservation and will be included in the deposit. 
The packages are available for stay dates 4/1/2016 to 11/26/2016 on-line and must be reserved 2 days prior to arrival. You must have Java Script enabled on your computer to view these rates. You may also call 800-497-5749 to reserve your package.
Check NASCAR Speedpark’s web site: https://nascarspeedpark.com/hours-and-info/ for schedule and hours of operation.

Whisper of the Pines

Whisper of the Pines was designed and built exclusively for The Resort at Governor’s Crossing by Viz Art in Houston, TX. Weighing in at over 180 pounds and taking over 4 weeks of production, the 140 hand blown flutes and bulbs give a unique entry into The Resort.

Whipser of the Pines

Artists found inspiration right here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As you make your way up the Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte you come across several areas of evergreen trees. One such area suffered from a blight several years ago killing most of the trees leaving a vast expanse of barren tree trunks. Today evergreens have begun to grow back filling in the void around the brown. Whisper of the Pines depicts the beauty of this area utilizing the striking and uncommon ratio of brown to green in this section of the park. On the hike to Mount LeConte you can see life shooting out amongst the brown in every which way with no rhyme or reason. The natural spires and juxtapositions of blown glass imitate the very beauty of nature. And when there is a gust of wind the new trees whisper to you to let you know that they are there and becoming more vigorous then ever before.

The Resort at Governor’s Crossing 2016 Pool Side Cinema Schedule

The Resort at Governor’s Crossing has announced a tentative schedule for 2016 for their very popular pool side cinema. The Resort started showing Family Friendly Movies this previous year from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Due to overwhelming popularity and requests from guests the schedule has been extended adding 12 additional show dates.

Pool Side Cinema
Weather permitting the movies will start around 8:30 PM.
Schedule is subject to change.

Mar. 19….Ratatouille
Mar. 26….Big Hero 6
Apr. 2…….Planes
Apr. 9……The Box Trolls
Apr. 16…..Inside Out
Apr. 23….Tangled
Apr. 30….Happy Feet
May 7……Brave
May 14….Hotel Transylvania
May 21….Planes Fire & Rescue
May 27….Despicable Me
May 28….Despicable Me 2
May 29…..Minions
May 31…..Frozen
June 2*…..Aladdin
June 4……Cars
June 7…  .Hotel Transylvania
June 9…..Toy Story 1
June 11…..Cars
June 14…..Monsters University
June 16…..The Parent Trap
June 18…..Frozen
June 21…..Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
June 23…..A Bugs Life
June 25…..Despicable Me 2
June 28…..Enchanted
June 30*…..Aladdin
July 2…….Minions
July 5…….The Lego Movie
July 7 …….Pocahontas
July 9…….Up
July 12…..Frozen
July 14…..The Wizard of Oz
July 16…..Finding Nemo
July 19…..The Muppets (2011)
July 21…..Back to the Future
July 23…..The Lego Movie
July 26…..The Lorax
July 28*…..Aladdin
July 30…..Inside Out
Aug. 2.…..Frozen
Aug. 4…...Finding Nemo
Aug. 6……The Incredibles
Aug.9…….Up
Aug. 11…..Monsters Inc.
Aug. 13…..Minions
Aug. 20.….Finding Nemo
Aug. 27…..Frozen
Sept. 2….. Finding Nemo
Sept. 3…...Minions
Sept. 4.…..Inside Out
Sept. 10….Monsters Inc.
Sept. 17…..Wreck-It Ralph
Sept. 24…..The Lego Movie

* Indicates a change from original scheduled movie

Pigeon Forge Area Restaurants Open Thanksgiving

A listing of restaurants open and their hours of business in Pigeon Forge for Thanksgiving 2015, information compiled Nov. 18, 2015.

Alamo Steakhouse 908-9998 4PM-9PM
Auntie’s Anne’s Cinnabon 286-7001 10AM-6PM
Baskin Robbins Ice Cream 453-3337 11AM-Midnight
Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que 429-2200 11AM-9PM
Big Daddy’s Pizzeria 429-7171 4PM-9PM
Bojangles 286-9534 5:30AM-Noon
Burger King-South 453-9789 6AM-11PM
Burger King-North 453-2615 6AM-11PM
Cakes By Bakin’ Bishop 774-1117 Call for Hours
Calhoun’s  868-1500 10AM-10PM
Captain Jims 453-0003 12PM-9PM
Corky’s Ribs & BBQ 453-7427 4PM-10PM
Cracker Barrel-South  428-4613 6AM-10PM
Cracker Barrel-North 908-4459 6AM-10PM
Denny’s Diner-South 774-5047 24 Hours
Denny’s Diner-North 428-2411 24 Hours
Domino’s Pizza 429-1818 10:30AM-1AM
Dude’s Daiquris 286-3800 Call for Hours
Dunkin Donuts 365-1396 5AM-9PM
Flapjacks Pancake Cabin 908-6115 7AM-1PM
Funnel Cake Factory 453-3623 Call for Hours
Geno’s Pizza 428-2496 11AM-1AM
Golden Corral 453-1827 11AM-7PM
Happy Days Dinner 774-7707 11AM-9PM
Hard Rock Café’ 430-7625 11AM-Midnight
Harpoon Harry’s 428-2006 12PM-8PM
Hardee’s 774-7687 5AM-10PM
IHOP 429-2335 6AM-2PM
Iron Boar Saloon 429-7779 2PM-9PM
J T Hannah’s 428-4200 11AM-9PM
Jimmy Buffet’s Margariaville 210-8530 11AM-8PM
Kentucky Fired Chicken 453-4371 10:30AM-9PM
Kinkaku Japanese Steakhouse 774-7598 12PM-11PM
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts 428-3222 7AM-11PM
La Cieliton Lindo Mexican Restaurant  286-9145 Call for Hours
Loui’s Grill  428-2700 7AM-11AM & 5PM-8PM
Mad Dog Creamy 774-5558 4PM-10PM
McDonalds 453-9351 24 Hours
Mama’s Farmhouse  908-4646 11AM-9PM
Margaritaville Coffee 366-1170 7AM-6PM
Mel’s Diner 429-2184 7AM-Midnight
No Way Jose’s 429-7779 2PM-9PM
Old Mill Pottery House Café 453-6002 10:30AM-8:30PM
Old Mill Restaurant 429-3463 10:30AM-8:30PM
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen 366-1510 10:30AM-6PM
Reagan’s Broken Egg Pancake House 453-4600 7AM-12:30PM
Reagan’s House of Pancakes 428-0652 7AM-12:30PM
Ruby Tuesday 429-5665 11AM-9PM
Sawyer’s Farmhouse Restaurant 336-1090 8AM-2PM
Shoney’s North 453-1806 6AM-11PM
Shoney’s South 428-3453 6AM-11PM
Smoky Mountain Brewery 868-1400 Noon-11PM
Smoky Mountain Pancake House 453-6746 7AM-Noon
Starbuck’s 429-3124 5:30AM-6PM
Subway North at Fast Stop 429-2709 24 Hours
Taco Bell South 908-1193 Call for Hours
TGI Friday’s 453-1750 4PM-10PM
The Fudgery 286-0119 Call for Hours
The Sweet Shoppe of the South 286-0119 Call for Hours
Wood Grill Buffet 429-3120 10:30AM-8:30PM
     
ALL Information Subject to Change    

NQC Returns to Pigeon Forge in 2015

The National Quartet Convention will return to Pigeon Forge Sept.27-Oct. 3, 2015. The ultra modern LeConte Center will again be this years venue for the biggest week in Gospel Music. Scheduled performers include the Kingdom Heirs, Mark Trammell Quartet, Booth Brothers, McKameys, Perrys, Kingsmen, and many more. Tickets are available for both daytime and evening events.NQCThe city of Pigeon Forge has informed us Jake Thomas Road will be closed daily to general traffic beginning Sept. 27, 2015 at 2PM until Midnight through Oct. 3, 2015. The section of Jake Thomas Rd. between Walgreen’s entrance and Teaster Lane will close to accommodate loading and unloading of shuttles, trolleys and motor coaches for the NQC.