Elkmont is a historic portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park once home to a resort and logging community.
Residents of the community have been gone for decades, but the cabins built to house them still remain as visible reminders of a bygone era.
The National Park Service allowed the families who owned these cabins to retain them until the early 1990s. Since then, the cabins have sat vacant, slowly deteriorating.
Now, big changes are in store for the historic structures as NPS has announced its intention to demolish 29 of the cabins and restore and preserve 19 others.
“They are stabilizing those structures, and by the end of this year we hope that they will be open for public access,” said park spokeswoman Dana Soehn.
Of the cabins slated for razing, Soehn said, “we hope to have the contractor selected by early March and then start that demolition process.”
According to Soehn, park officials are taking special precautions to preserve hardware within the cabins, things like window seals, lighting fixtures and door knobs that are unique to the era in which they were built, before the demolition takes place.
Once the project is underway a few popular trails in the areas of Jake’s Creek and Little River will be temporarily shut down.