Wears Valley Real Estate information in the Smoky Mountains
Wears Valley is one of the most picturesque places in Sevier County. The area is known for its beautiful rolling pasture land with Cove Mountain as its backdrop. Cove Mountain is the tallest privately owned mountain in Tennessee, reaching a peak elevation at 4,077 feet. Many homesites are situated so they can take in the spectacular views of Cove Mountain.
The peaceful farms and pastures bring back visions of yesterday and is one of the main reasons I call Wears Valley home. The prices of real estate in Wears Valley have seen significant increases over the years and it has become one of the most desired places in the Smoky Mountains.
Real Estate Overview:
Lots - Priced from $20,000 to $400,000 and averaging about $80,000 to $100,000
Cabins - Priced from $125,000 to $2 million and averaging about $300,000.
Condos - There are no condos in Wears Valley
Rental and Vacation Cabins
Many new subdivisions have been developed since the late 1990's including several large cabin developments with outstanding views such as Dogwood Farms, The Homestead in Wears Valley, Teaberry Mountain, and The Preserve among many others. Cabins in Wears Valley generally sell for as low as $150,000 and as high as $2 million. The average cabin in Wears Valley sells for about $300,000.
Overnight rental cabins make up a good portion of the homes in Wears Valley. There are several cabin rental management companies in Wears Valley to market your cabin. Visitors enjoy the feeling of being in the country and the mountains while still having the convenience to visit the attractions in Pigeon Forge within 10 minutes. The proximity to the Smoky Mountains National Park is also a big draw to the area. Lyon Springs Rd. in Wears Valley enables travelers to go to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic and camping area along the Little River. The Little River is well known for its excellent trout fishing waters. From there, you can drive to downtown Gatlinburg in approximately 15 minutes or Cades Cove in about 30 minutes.
Land of the gently rolling valley floor is also in high demand as you have easy building sites and outstanding views looking up at Cove Mountain. A great deal of the valley floor is pasture and farm land still being farmed, but there are a few developments in the lower elevation portions of Wears Valley. Most notable are Cove Meadows, Smoker Holler, and Garden Hills. Each of these cater to both cabin rentals and permanent residents. The gently rolling land enables for garages and easier building sites.
Permanent Residences in Wears Valley
There are several subdivisions devoted for permanent residences in Wears Valley as well as acreage and tracts of land used as private farms. Deerfield Estates and Country Meadows are among the more desirable resident communities in Wears Valley. The residents of Wears Valley range from retirees to locals who have lived in the Valley for many generations.
Lots and Land For Sale in Wears Valley
There are lots available in nearly every price range in Wears Valley. Some lots can be bought for as little as $20,000, while others sell for as much as $400,000. The average priced lot in Wears Valley is around the $80,000 to $100,000 range, depending on the view, lay of the land, and acreage. Large parcels of land are becoming more and more difficult to find in Wears Valley. Several large developments such as The Homestead have purchased thousands of acres of land. The working farms on the valley floor have been in the families for generations and most seem quite content working the land and enjoying the peaceful and beautiful Wears Valley.
Smoky Mountains National Park Access
Wears Valley has its own entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park off Lyon Springs Road, which leads to Metcalf Bottoms. On the way, you can stop by and visit the old homestead of the Walker Sisters, who survived and lived off the land for many years after the Park's creation. There have been books written about the Walker Sisters and their story is truly an amazing depiction of life in the mountains. While visiting the Walker Sisters cabin, you can view the Little Greenbrier School, a log cabin built in 1882 and used as a school for children in the community until 1935. You can view a photo gallery of my hike to the Walker Sisters cabin and Little Greenbrier School here.
Future Development in Wears Valley
Recently, there has been a lot of development in Wears Valley leading to what I believe to be as a destruction of the natural beauty of the scenic mountains. If I had it my way, Cove Mountain would remain untouched on its steep northern side and most of the pasture and farm lands would remain active farms. There has been substantial controversy regarding the High Bridge development on Cove Mountain. The "Friends of Wears Valley", a non-profit group teamed up with residents of Wears Valley to protest the plans to develop Cove Mountain at the Sevier County planning commission. Many articles can be read about the subject and you can learn more at the Friends of Wears Valley website. With that being said, Wears Valley is still a truly wonderful place to live and own property.
History of Wears Valley
Wears Valley is named after Samuel Wear (1753-1817), a Revolutionary War veteran who erected a fort near the entrance to the valley in what is now Pigeon Forge. The original name of the valley was "Crowson Cove," after its first settler, Aaron Crowson (1774-1849). While no one is sure why its name changed, the valley was using its current name by 1900.
Crowson arrived in Wears Valley from North Carolina in 1792 along with his friend, Peter Percefield. This was a period of elevated strife between the Cherokee and the fast-encroaching Euro-American settlers. Wear's Fort was attacked in 1793, with Wear leading a punitive march against the Cherokee village of Tallassee shortly thereafter. In May of 1794, Percefield was killed in a Cherokee attack. Crowson rode to Wear's Fort to get help, but the Cherokee had fled by the time he returned. Several settlers marched onward to Great Tellico to the west, where they murdered four Cherokee while they slept. Percefield was buried on a hill in the eastern half of Wear Cove in what is now Crowson Cemetery. Later that year, Crowson received a land grant for this plot of land.
Along with Crowson, other early settlers in Wears Valley included a Revolutionary War veteran named William Headrick (1744-1839), who arrived in 1821, and John Ogle (1788-1841), a War of 1812veteran and son of the first settlers in Gatlinburg. Another War of 1812 veteran, Peter Brickey (1769-1856), arrived in 1808. Brickey operated a large farm and distillery in the valley until his death in 1856. The log house he built shortly after his arrival still stands in Smith Hollow (between Wears Valley and Townsend) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Like many other farms in Wears Valley, the Brickey farm was ravaged by the U.S. Civil War. Isaac Trotter, who operated the iron forge at Pigeon Forge reported a Cherokee raid in Wear Cove in 1864. Earlier in the war, a Union army passed through the valley en route to dislodge the troops of Will Thomas who were entrenched in Gatlinburg.
Sometime after the war, Alfred Line (1831-1897) established a farm at the base of Roundtop Mountain, near the southern half of Wear Cove. Line Spring, a clear mountain spring which flows down from the slopes of Roundtop, gave its name to a small recreational area that developed in this part of the cove. In the 1880s and 1890s, mineral-rich mountain springs were thought to have health-restoring qualities, and provided an early form of tourism for the mountain regions. In 1910, D.B. Lawson, the son of a circuit rider who had purchased the Line farm, constructed the Line Spring Hotel. The hotel boosted the valley's economy by providing a market for local farmers.
Around 1800, Crowson and several other settlers erected a crude log church known as the Bethlehem Church. The church was used by both Methodists and Baptists throughout the 1800s, with Baptist services being conducted by an elected pastor and Methodist services being conducted by circuit riders. On occasion, both congregations would meet in a mini-revival known as a "union meeting." In 1886, both Baptists and Methodists constructed separate structures, although union meetings were still fairly common.
For most of the 19th century, funerals in Wears Valley were held at Headrick Cemetery, near the valley's western entrance. A large oak tree provided shelter for funeral-goers, although cold weather and rain often made apparent the need for a building in which to conduct indoor services. In 1902, according to local lore, the oak tree was destroyed by lightning, and in response, the residents erected Headrick Chapel on the cemetery's grounds. The chapel was shared by four Baptist and Methodist congregations, with funeral services having priority. The chapel's bell would ring once for every year of the deceased's life, a tradition still observed by the inhabitants of Wears Valley. In 2001, Headrick Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
In 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established. The park's border paralleled Wears Valley to the south, following the crest of Roundtop and Cove Mountain. With improvements to US-321 in the 1950s, tourist outlets began to trickle into Wears Valley. Cabin rentals and outdoor supply stores are among the more common tourism-oriented venues in the valley today.
The source of the history of Wears Valley is from Wikipedia. Contributions were also made by Brian Stansberry who has created several good history sources about the Smoky Mountains and captured great photos of the Smoky Mountains while hiking.