Townsend real estate listings are updated every 2 hours. A city located in Blount County along the Little River, Townsend is most popular for it natural surroundings and laidback atmosphere.
Townsend is one of several entrances into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Unlike the commercialization of nearby Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, it has rightfully earned its reputation as “the peaceful side of the Smokies.” Townsend is home several museums and artisans relating to the history of the Great Smokies, a handful of mom-pop restaurants, some non-chain motels and several businesses geared toward outdoor sports like tubing and kayaking. While the area has seen recent growth, it continues to maintain its natural beauty.
Originally known as Tuckaleechee Cove on the Little River; the area was inhabited as early as 2000 B.C.. The Cherokee arrived around 1600, and built a series of small villages along the river. Colonist arrived in the late 18th century and by this time the Cherokee had abandoned these villages. In 1900, Colonel W.B. Townsend, of Pennsylvania, purchased 86,000 acres of land along the Little River, stretching from Tuckaleechee Cove all the way to Clingmans Dome. A year later Townsend received a charter forming “the Little River Lumber Company” and the community having sprung up around the mill was named after him. Shortly thereafter the “Little River Railroad” was constructed from Walland, TN to Elkmont for the transport of lumber.
The rapid destruction of the forests of southern Appalachia caused great concern. Col. Townsend, initially opposed the efforts of the conservationist, but in 1926 sold at base price 76,000 acres of his Little River Lumber tract to what eventually became the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. By the 1930s, nearly two-thirds of area forests had been cut down.
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