A visit to Cades Cove can be scenic, interesting and educational all at the same time. Getting off the beaten path can be fascinating.
Betsy and I came across the Henry Whitehead Place after leaving the Cade Cove Loop Road on our way to Parson Branch Road. The Henry Whitehead Place is really two structures in one. The original cabin (on the right in the picture above) was built by the brothers of Matilda Shields Gregory after her husband deserted her and her young son. Because the brothers needed to get shelter for their sister in a hurry, the cabin they built is one of the roughest in Cades Cove. The logs were rough-hewn with a felling axe and the stone chimney was made of rubble.
In 1898 Matilda married Henry Whitehead, a widower. Henry built one of the nicest log homes in the cove. The home had a brick chimney, which was unheard of at the time because bricks had to be made by hand. The cabin itself was made of square-sawed logs finished inside to be smooth and attractive. It was also warm by Cades Cove standards since the square log construction was naturally well insulated by walls approximately four inches thick with practically no space between the logs.
Betsy took this interior shot of the new cabin, showing the square-sawed logs forming the wall.
The Henry and Matilda Whitehead place is the only square-sawed log home remaining in Cades Cove. It is, in fact, the only one left in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park.