As the result of an archaeological excavation, required as part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, due to a road-widening project on Highway 321 through Tuckaleechee Cove, the ground work for what would eventually become the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center was laid when archaeologists discovered tens of thousands of artifacts left behind by inhabitants and civilizations that once called East TN home.
Many of these artifacts were pieces used in the daily lives of the pioneers that settled here. Inside the main building, you can trace the history of Tuckaleechee Cove, beginning with early pioneers. You’ll see artifacts from the Walker family, Cades Cove descendants and others.
A few of the items on display include basic household items such as furniture, kitchen tools/utensils, farming equipment and tools used on family homesteads, favorite toys and a replicated schoolhouse.