Posted on January 15, 2020
Before you start exploring the history behind the Family Inn, you must first learn about the history of Gatlinburg to get a little information about the hotel. Gatlinburg is a city that many people will visit. It is also the location of a Family Inn that has a darker secret than you would think. Walking up to the Inn, you wouldn’t think twice about entering. However, after hearing the stories about it, you may not even want to enter. Let’s talk about the history of Gatlinburg and the Family Inn.
The first people to settle in the Smoky Mountains were a family called the Oglesby family. They would move to the mountains from South Carolina. This was in the 1800s. During this move, they would also change their name to Ogle. The father would work with the Cherokees to help build the cabin that he and his family lived in. When he was done building this home, he would return to get his children and wife. However, he would die of Malaria not long after he returned to South Carolina. However, that did not stop his children and wife from moving to this new cabin.
It was at this time that the city was known as White Oak Flats. The name was due to the trees that surrounded the area. After the years have gone by, more and more people found themselves migrating towards this small town. Most of the people who would settle here were people who had fought in the Revolutionary War. Most of them from North Carolina. The town would grow and businesses would start. Plus, a church formed in 1835. The first school for the town would be finished in 1867. This school would only be operational for three months out of the entire year.
It was in this year that a man named Radford Gatlin would gain fifty acres of land. He would purchase this land and it joined the land that was owned by the Ogles. It was at this time that Gatlin would also claim thousands of acres from what is Sevier County. He would obtain notoriety because of a disagreement within the Baptist Church. This disagreement would supposedly cause a fistfight in the area. Keep in mind that no one really liked this man and he was not popular.
It was at this time that Gatlin would also open a post office and a store. The general store would have the post office inside the store. The town would not change its name until the post office was opened. No one is really sure about how the name changed or the specific aspects to this day.
Even though this man had high success rates, the town hated him because he was very outspoken. Plus, he also had a public feud with the original members of the city. Even after the town would change its name to his, Gatlin would be banished because of the political beliefs that he held.
The Growth of Tourists
It was at this time the tourists would grow. It was in 1937 that R.L. Maples would sell his property and move to Gatlinburg. They would build an inn that would house the tourists. To this day, the inn is operational and in use. This is one of the only hotels that still is used and operational to this day. Plus, it is the original hotel in Gatlinburg.
It was in 1954 that a SkyLift would open. This would become another hit with guests and people would return often to see this view. However, tourism would come to a halt in 2016.
Issues in 2016
It was at this time that there were many wildfires that would destroy much of the town. Thousands of acres of land were destroyed within days. This also would mean that residents, as well as tourists, would be displaced. This did not stop the city. The city would soon rebuild. They would band together to get the job done. There are still remnants of the fire to this day, however, the tourism aspect is back and stronger than before.
The famous SkyLift was destroyed during this fire. However, it was rebuilt and would be better than it was before too. There is also a SkyBridge that would allow people to experience more on their trip.
The City Today
This town is a very popular destination, especially for weddings. There are millions of visitors each year and there are the beautiful Smoky Mountains. There are many hotels and inns available. Just remember, this town started because a woman decided to take her children to the cabin that her husband built for them. And because of them, the Family Inn is what we know and love today.
Family Inn Hotel
The Family Inn Hotel can be described as an older hotel. It hasn’t been updated that much but still provides what people need. If you are considering staying here, it is important to remember that the hotel is older and it has that type of feel. However, with that being said, the hotel has many amenities. Plus, the staff is there for all your needs. The hotel will have all your modern appliances such as a television and such. However, the decor may feel dated. With all that being said, the hotel keeps itself clean and ready for whoever has the guts to stay the night. Now, you may be wondering what we mean by that. Well, this hotel is haunted and many people know about that. In fact, that is why some people refuse to spend the night here. Let’s talk about the haunted part of the hotel.
There is a story that states that an elderly woman had died in the hotel. It is said that she stayed to work an extra shift to help pay bills for her children. She was a woman who worked hard and wanted nothing but the best. However, during this extra shift, she was killed. Someone had murdered her. It is said that this woman’s spirit has never left the building or moved on.
People who stay here can often see her watching over them. People state that she will watch you at three in the morning while you are sleeping. She will be at the end of your bed causing you to feel watched. However, when you wake up, you may catch a glimpse of her and then she is gone.
This is something that former night-shift workers had experienced. This man would work the night shift. He stated that when you work alone, you are never alone. He states that you will hear things that aren’t there and it makes you feel watched.
A couple visited this hotel for their anniversary. They went into town one night to watch fireworks and when they came back, their television was on. They remember turning it off before they left as part of their checklist. The woman would sit on her bed and saw a shadow go from her nightstand to the door.
It is said that you shouldn’t be scared because she is not going to hurt anyone. She is just watching over the people to make sure that they don’t result in the same fate that she did. She is a kind and caring woman who is even kind after her death.
Without the history of the town, you may not understand why this hotel was needed. This town was growing and needed to accommodate more visitors. That is why the hotel is where it is today. That is also why many people state that they see a spirit that has yet to move on after her tragic untimely death. Learning about the history of a place is something that you should do before you go anywhere. If you visit the Family Inn, let us know if you experience any paranormal activity.