A surreal historic house in the Cataloochee region of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a large and vast area with exceptional natural beauty. It also contains a number of historic sites, many of which are in the Cataloochee Region on the eastern side of the park. Included in this in the historic Caldwell House. The house was completed in 1903 by Hiram Caldwell. It sits beautifully overlooking Rough Fork creek with the Caldwell Barn just on the other side. Like the other historical sites in the area, it lies open to the public for viewing although there are no furnishings present inside.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is over 800 square miles of beautiful forest that straddles a section of the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the most visited national park in the United States. This pristine region is absolutely stunning in its beauty is host to a number of natural, historical, and cultural attractions.
The Caldwell House is located just off the main road that passes through the valley, Cataloochee Entrance Road. It is about 1/2 a mile past the point where the road becomes unpaved. You can’t miss the barn which is right next to the road on the right as you are driving in. The signed house will be to the left about 100 feet off the road. The Cataloochee Region is about 70 minutes from Asheville North Carolina. There are no restrooms at the Caldwell House but there are public bathrooms at the Cataloochee Campground as you enter the region and at the historic Palmer House.
The approach to the Caldwell House is very nice. It sits back off the road only 100ft but you cross the creek and walk up a small grass field to get to the house. Of all of the historic places in the region, this one had the most personal feel to it. As you enter the house, there are notes and pictures hanging on the wall from descendants who once lived in the house. It really highlights the fact that this is not just a park attraction. It was actually someone’s house at a point in history. A place they called home and where all of their hopes and dreams were spawned. While this is true with all of the buildings in the area, this one really reinforced that fact. Armed with this knowledge it became almost surreal as you walked through the house and examined all of the rooms. A few of the rooms, like the Palmer House, had old newspapers that were used as wallpaper. These are actual historic newspapers which you can scan over to get an idea of what the times must have been like 100+ years ago.
The Caldwell House consists of numerous rooms across two stories with two gorgeous porches on the front and back of the house. There is also a barn out by the parking area that you can explore as well. There is a well placed picnic table on the back corner of the house that is in the perfect spot to relax and enjoy your visit to the Caldwell House.
With numerous other historical buildings in the area, be sure to watch all of our videos on these spots and plan enough time on your trip to check them all out!