It was not until 1912 that a public settlement school was formed in Gatlinburg. Created by the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, the school not only provided academic and practical education, it also contributed to a rebirth of Appalachian arts and crafts and the “cottage craft industry” movement.
With the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, tourism boosted the area’s economy.
Many of the displaced mountain families moved into town, either developing new enterprises or taking jobs in new hotels, restaurants and service facilities to meet the needs of the burgeoning tourist industry. Progress slowed considerably during World War II. But, by war’s end, tourists returned with a vengeance, and the sleepy little village of Gatlinburg expanded to meet the demands. Incorporated in 1945, it has since developed into a four-season resort and convention mecca.
Along with this growth and expansion commercially, Gatlinburg has retained its rich history of being the gateway to hiking in the Smokies, as we see in the picture to the left. The Bearskin Lodge, located right on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a great place to stay for anyone who wants to explore the trails, whether young or old.
Our Gatlinburg hotel is proud to be associated with the people and history of this area.