One of the last places to go was a resort community within the part of the Park called Elkmont. This was a small village of vacation homes built by middle class families. The Park Service allowed the owners to continue to use their vacation homes for a very long time, indeed. It was not that long ago that the final family finally lost their terms on their cabin and packed up for the last time.
To my way of thinking, it's good to see all of these places gone from the Park. There are endless thousands of miles outside the Park where you can go to see vacation homes of people with more money and leisure time on their hands than most of us. As with the old Wonderland Hotel in Elkmont, I had assumed that the Park Service would allow the structures to just collapse in on themselves and let Nature take its course in the dissolution of these cabins.
But, predictably, enough whiners gave vent to calls of so-called "history" and the fate of the offensive little buildings was in doubt. Finally, a few were chosen to be preserved, using up funds that would have been far better served in other capacities in the Park. But most of them will be allowed to go the way of all dust, and some will be torn down. Soon, the old Elkmont vacation community will be absorbed by the native forests of the Great Smoky Mountains.
I, for one, will be very glad to see them gone.
Here, though, is a video I took of part of the village a few years ago when the houses were not in quite as bad a shape as they are today: