They spanned several decades, with some facing age 90 and others still middle-age. Whatever their ages, however, the 38 gathered at the front of the room at Valley View Lodge for “Precious Memories: A Cades Cove Homecoming II” all shared a strong common denominator. They all lived in Cades Cove and loved coming “home” to talk about those days of growing up in the Cove.
Precious Memories II was part of the Townsend Winter Heritage Festival held Thursday through Sunday in Townsend. The Cades Cove gathering was held at Valley View Lodge. Participants took time to tell their stories and listen to some “rebuttals” as they recalled childhood antics.
Hosted by the Cades Cove Preservation Association, the reunion brought together former Cove residents to share stories, thoughts and memories of their time in Cades Cove. This year marks the 190th Anniversary of the Cades Cove community. Although most were required to leave when the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in the 1930s, a few were allowed to remain as lessees.
Stories during the afternoon included hiding moonshine in the butter churn, trips to Maryville, riding to Townsend School with 15 school children in a 1938 car and picking apples that became a snack for the bears before the apples got home.
The CCPA also has a museum at 1004 East Lamar Alexander Parkway. It is operated by the Blount County Historic Trust and the Cades Cove Preservation Association.