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Restoration and demolition planned at Elkmont

Work is underway to demolish some buildings and restore others in the Elkmont Historic District of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with some trail closures planned as a result.

Four structures in the area are slated for preservation in the Daisy Town area of Elkmont — Levi Trentham Cabin, Mayo Cabin, Mayo Servants’ Quarters and Creekmore Cabin. By November, park staff expect to have repointed masonry features, replaced rotted wood, painted and repaired windows, roofs and doors. The area will remain open to the public throughout the work project, but campers should expect noise during the day excepting quiet hours. 

In addition, 29 structures slated for demolition are expected to be removed by May 26. These structures are located along Jakes Creek Trail and Little River Trail, and both trails will be closed during demolition to accommodate heavy equipment. Access to the river near the structures will also be restricted. The closures will be in effect Monday through Friday — from March 6 to 24 on Little River Trail to remove six structures in an area known as Millionaire’s Row and from March 27 to May 26 on Jakes Creek Trail to remove 23 structures in an area known as Society Hill.

The restoration and demolition will help carry out a 2009 memorandum of agreement between the National Park Service, Tennessee State Historic Office and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The park engaged in a series of public planning efforts from 1992 to 2008 that led to the final agreement defining the disposition of the 74 structures remaining at Elkmont. The agreement designated 19 structures for preservation and 55 for demolition. To date, two structures have been fully restored and four have been removed. The park continues to seek funding to complete the work.