Inside Miller’s Cove

Before the arrival of permanent European settlers to the area, Walland was part of a vast Cherokee hunting ground.  Walland is situated in what became known as Miller’s Cove.  This small valley is created by a ridge of Chilhowee Mountain and part of the Little Pigeon River watershed area.  The fertile ground was home to elk and deer and bear and though those animals, with the exception of the elk, are still in these areas at the time the numbers made the area a food source for the indigenous people of the mountains.

Early 1900s Home of James Martin

By the 1780s the first permanent European settlers were arriving in the area. They followed the Cherokee trails into the mountains and found this small cove that would one day be called Walland.  Seeing as the Great Indian Warpath passes through present day Maryville, the people that settled this area built forts to protect themselves and the communities they were trying to establish.  Miller’s Cove takes its name from the Miller brothers that built cabin homes in this area around 1800.  Though they were not the first settlers, it is their name that got donated to the valley.

In 1893, The Walton and England Leather Company sent one of its employees to the Miller’s Cove area to see if there was a suitable place to put a tannery.  And though they also established a tanneryin the newport area, the Miller’s Cove tannery became a huge source of industry.  A tannery was established in Miller’ Cove and a small company town grew up around the facility.  In fact, the name Walland comes from the fusion of the name of the tannery – Walton and England.  When the tannery burned in 1931, the industry in the area shifted to lumber, via the Little River Lumber Company.  The railroad of the lumber company was attached to the railroad that the tannery had established and thus Knoxville and the outside world were connected to Walland and Elkmont, inside what would become the National Park.

When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded, the area picked up the burgeoning tourism industry and the visitors to the area have been the major part of the economy ever since.  When the Foothills Parkway was approved, one of the first section to be completed was the portion that connected Walland and Chilhowee Lake.  Walland, though it is a narrow spot on the road between Maryville and Townsend, still has lots of historical value and cultural value to the area.

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Next time you are headed to Cades Cove and you will be passing through Townsend, stop in Walland and look around.  This was a site for some of the first major industries in the Smokies.  You might be surprised at what you find in the Walland area.

Foothills Milling Company

Fine Dining in Maryville, TN

Are you looking for a fine dining opportunity while you are vacationing in the Smokies?  Or maybe you are a local to the Smoky Mountains and you want to try something new?  Give Foothills Milling Company (FMC) a try.  They provide fine dining in a casual atmosphere.  They also provide fantastic service that is second to none in the Smokies.  This family owned and run restaurant has been providing dining experiences that keep people coming back year after year for special occasions and celebrations.

The owners and staff of Foothills Milling Company try to bring something different to the tables of their restaurant while still keeping the southern location of their restaurant in sight.  Their blend of the unusual and down-home cooking makes them one of the places for every foodie that visits the area to eat.

Let’s cut to the chase and look at the menu:
For appetizers:  goat cheese tarts made with Vidalia Onions, fried green tomatoes served with a tomato pepper chutney and pulled pork spring rolls – fried spring rolls filled with pulled pork – eclectic and very southern.

For Entrees:  venison on the menu (try finding that anywhere else on the Tennessee side of the Smokies), Shrimp and Grits, Foothills Choucroute Garni (duck leg, knackwurst, braised pork shoulder) and of course Steak & Potatoes done Foothills Milling Company style.

Foothills Milling Company is located near downtown Maryville.  If you are staying in the Townsend area or spending time in Townsend, on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, you are not very far from Maryville.  Follow Lamar Alexander Parkway out of Townsend and watch the signs for Maryville.  Call ahead for times and reservations.  You can even make reservations online and save yourself some time and a phone call.

FMC has gathered a loyal following.  Their dedicated staff wants to thrill your tastebuds.  They want to satisfy both your appetite and your need for a great night out.  Check their specials when you arrive, the chef chooses the special depending on what is in season and available at the time.  Remember, if you want great food in a great environment there is only one place you need to look:  Foothills Milling Company.

Foothills Milling Company
315 S Washington St
Maryville, TN

Little River Trading Company

Hiking, Climbing, camping, biking, kayaking

Little River Trading Company (LRTC) is one of the best outfitters in the Smokies. And here is just one reason that you need a good outfitter close by:

You have come to the Smokies, ready to spend several days in the mountains, hiking and camping – roughing it.  You stop at a hotel for the evening before you start your adventure in the National Park.  You are repacking your gear for the hundredth time to make sure you have everything you need.  As you are going through the check list you find that you have left one of the sleeping pads at the house… 8 hours away.  What do you do?

You pay a visit to the Little River Trading Company in Maryville, TN – right outside of Townsend and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  They will have what you need so that you can start your adventure on time and with the knowledge of knowing that you have bought a quality product from a company that knows their gear.

Little River Trading Company covers almost every outdoor adventure that you can think of.  From kayaking to camping, mountain biking to hiking and climbing, they have gear and clothing for anything you have planned.  When you walk in the front door of their retail location you will be in one of the best outdoor adventure clothing shops that you will ever find.  At the back of the clothing area is their climbing shop and footwear.  Next to the clothing is a camping and hiking shop carrying all the gear you might need for a day or a week or a month on the trail.  Past that is the Cycology bike shop (opened in 2006), this is the premier mountain bike shop in the Smokies and though you can’t mountain in the Smokies, they good folks at Little River Trading Company can certainly set on the right path to finding trails to bike one.

Here are just some of the Brands that you will find at Little River Trading Company:

  • Asolo
  • Bluewater
  • Birkenstock
  • Camelback
  • Chaco
  • Columbia River Knife and Tool
  • Croakies
  • Five Fingers
  • Kavu
  • Kelty
  • Leki
  • Life is Good
  • Marmot
  • Merrell
  • Mountain Hardwear
  • Mountainsmith
  • National Geographic
  • Ocean Kayak
  • Old Town
  • Patagonia
  • Teva
  • Timbuk2
  • The North Face
  • Vasque
Here is the best reason to go to Little River Trading Company: the staff.  The guys and gals at LRTC use the gear that they sale.  They are outdoor enthusiasts.  They hike, they climb, they mountain bike.  You are not going to big box store to buy something from someone that has never spent even on night outdoors, you are buying from someone that spends their free time enjoying those outdoor activities for which they sale the gear.  They are experts and they can tell you what you actually need when you are backcountry camping or climbing because they have already been there and done that.

Little River Trading Company
2408 E Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN