Did you know that there is an abandoned resort town named Daisy Town in the Great Smoky Mountains near Elkmont Campground? It’s true! Read on to learn about this unique place.
Daisy Town was originally built by the Little River Lumber Company in the early 1900s to house the employees who worked in the nearby logging operations. The Little River Lumber Company was a major logging and lumber company that operated in the Great Smoky Mountains region from 1901 to 1939. The company owned thousands of acres of land in the area and built a railroad network to transport logs to the mills.
The company established several logging camps throughout the region to house its employees, including the town that would later become Daisy Town. After the logging operations ceased in the 1920s, the area was developed into a resort town and became a popular vacation destination for families from nearby cities.
The exact origin of the name “Daisy Town” is unclear, but it is believed to have been given to the area by the early residents who lived there. One theory is that the town was named after a woman named Daisy who was a prominent resident or business owner in the area. Another theory is that the name was chosen because of the abundance of daisies that grew in the surrounding meadows during the summer months.
After the logging operations ceased in the 1920s, the area became a popular vacation destination for wealthy families from Knoxville and other nearby cities, drawn to the area for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. The resort town had numerous cabins and amenities such as a hotel and a swimming pool. It also had a clubhouse at which the residents would have parties and social gatherings.
In the mid-1900s, the National Park Service purchased the land from the owners and allowed the former residents to lease their cabins for 20 years. In the 1990s, when the leases expired, the remaining cabins were vacated and left to deteriorate. The Park Service documented the condition of the cabins and conducted surveys to determine which structures were eligible for restoration.
Today, the abandoned cabins and buildings of Daisy Town are part of the Elkmont Historic District and can be visited by hikers and park visitors who are interested in the area’s history. While the buildings are no longer for use, visitors can still see the remains of the town’s former social spaces, including the clubhouse and hotel.
In 2009, the National Park Service began a multi-year project to stabilize and restore 19 of the remaining cabins in the Daisy Town area. The project involved repairing the roofs, floors, and walls of the cabins, as well as restoring the exteriors to their original appearance.
The project was not without controversy, as some people felt that the cabins should be left in their current state of disrepair as a historical reminder of the area’s past. Others argued that the cabins should be fully restored and rented out to visitors as part of the park’s lodging program.
In the end, the National Park Service decided to stabilize and restore the cabins while preserving their historical character. Today, visitors to the Elkmont Historic District can see the restored cabins and learn about the history of the area. Most of the cabins have a document on their front exterior that discusses who owned the particular property.
You cannot camp directly in Daisy Town. However, there are several campgrounds located nearby that offer camping opportunities, including the Elkmont Campground which is located just a short distance from the Daisy Town area. The Elkmont Campground has tent and RV sites, as well as access to hiking trails and other outdoor recreational activities.
Additionally, there are backcountry camping opportunities available in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which offer a more primitive camping experience for visitors who are interested in hiking and spending time in the wilderness.
If you’re interested in visiting Daisy Town, it’s important to note that the buildings and cabins in the area are not open for overnight stays, and visitors should respect the historic nature of the site by not disturbing or removing any artifacts or structures.
Daisy Town is one of top recommendations for interesting and historical areas of the Great Smoky Mountains to explore. Book your room at Edgewater Hotel and start your Smoky Mountain adventure today!