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Maples Manor, now The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, as it appeared in 1937 when it had only eight guest rooms.
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The reception area of The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, complete with hand-crafted maple furniture.
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The Rupps honeymooned at The Historic Gatlinburg Inn in 1976. David Cross shows them their signature on the day they arrived. If your parents stayed here, or even your grandparents, there's a good chance you'll find their signature.
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Rocky Top was written in Room 388 of the Inn. In order to preserve history, this room appears very much the same as it did in 1967.
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The birthplace of Rocky Top, Room 388.
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Wilma Maples in her rose garden shortly before her death in 2011. The rose garden is still enjoyed by those who visit.
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Known as the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg has moved far beyond a small logging community. A view at night from Crocketts Mountain shows its expanse.
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Liberace played on this piano that now is located in the Pioneer Room. Sit down and tickle the ivories for yourself.
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Rei and Wilma Maples lived in The Historic Gatlinburg Inn their entire lives. It was home to their family and they considered their guests as part of their family.
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There are registration books dating back to 1939. The guests name is shown along with the room number; no addresses are given.
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Each time we visit, we see Bunny. She greets everyone with the same smile and welcomes you to the Inn.
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The Board of Directors of The Historic Gatlinburg Inn strives to protect and honor its family legacy and to maintain the Maples's high standard of hospitality.
In the most beautiful place in the world, in the middle of what many considered one of God’s most heavenly Masterpieces, along the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River in eastern Tennessee, R.L. (Rellie or Rei as he was called) Maples lived on his family farm in a home of his own making. Unlike most of their neighbors in the small town of Gatlinburg, he put up a sign and invited visitors who were visiting the neighborhood, to come and stay with him. Known by its family name as well as for its hand-crafted hard rock maple furniture, home became Maples Manor which had eight guest rooms in 1937; as years went by, he added more to accommodate all those who dropped by. That very same year, the surrounding land and mountains were proclaimed The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was as if a call went out to the world, inviting entrepreneurs, established businesses, and yes, travelers, to make their way into the Smoky Mountains. Known as the gateway to the park, Gatlinburg moved far beyond that of a logging community to that of a tourist destination. And none made it more inviting than the Maples family.
He and his wife Wilma’s legacy remain on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. And, if you’re lucky enough to get a room in this historic property, you’ll understand the love affair that generations have had with the original Maples Manor.
Judy and Len Garrison are at home in Farmington, Georgia, just on the outskirts of Dawg country - better known as Athens. Len, an IT manager for a major Atlanta company, and Judy, an editor, author and travel writer, invite you to travel along with them as they explore the best of the South. Email them at email@example.com. Visit their website at Seeing Southern, and follow them on Twitter at @judyhgarrison, @seeing_southern, LIKE them on Facebook and on Instagram.