Have you ever been to the Chimneys in the Smokies?  No not those Chimneys… these Chimneys!

Elkmont is one of the gems of the Great Smoky Mountains; a beautiful valley rich with history.  In the early 1900s, some of Knoxville’s elite built a series of cabins and a hotel there, which ultimately served as a summering spot.  After the formation of the National Park the cabin owners were eventually pushed out, leaving the cabins to ruin.  A number of years ago the Park Service started restoring some of the cabins that were salvageable, while demolishing the ones that weren’t.  All but one of the cabins along Jake’s Creek are now gone, and that cabin’s days are numbered as the park was already dismantling it a few weeks ago when I took these pictures.  What remains of the cabins, however, is some of the original stone work, and a number of the stone chimneys.

For me personally, I used to really enjoy photographing the old buildings in various stages of decay, and to be honest, once they started knocking them all down I hadn’t given that area much thought again.  A few weeks ago though I was there while leading a photography workshop, and happened to walk up part of Jakes’ Creek trail, and these chimneys really jumped out at me!  The fall colors were gorgeous and these chimneys just gave the scenes an interesting mood I thought.  While working with some students I starting shooting as well, and REALLY liked what I was seeing.  One of the other leaders, Sue, commented that she liked the way these scenes told the story of nature reclaiming the area.  How true!

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Elkmont Campground, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont Cg Kiosk, Elkmont Campground Rd A, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA

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