Click to Save the Elkmont Houses
The Friends of the Smokies is asking everyone to help them win a "Tourism Cares" grant, by participating in an online vote. This grant could mean $5,000 to $10,000 for historic preservation and restoration of 19 historic buildings in the Elkmont area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Please click here for more information.
Just off River Road behind Elkmont Campground in the Smokies, there's a whole town of houses that are now abandoned. Originally, these houses were vacation homes for the well-to-do in Knoxville. From 1910 till about the 1960s, families came to Elkmont for the summer. The last house was vacated in 2001.
Now the NPS has committed to refurbishing some houses so visitors can see what that part of the Smokies history was like. The park service has made the decision but getting the money is another challenge. You can read the whole park EIS
This is where you come in. This grant is given out by Tourism Cares, a non-profit arm of the tourist industry. This amount of money is peanuts, compared to what is needed to fix up these houses, but it's better than nothing and it will give some publicity to the historic artifacts in the Smokies. It's a shame that we have to get money like this rather than from our Federal Government.