Search Meet the last family that lived in Cades Cove Meet the last family that lived in Cades Cove

Photo by Dawn Gaddis on Unsplash.

“It’s where I made a living, where I raised four girls...How quiet it was at night, and the stars that’s another thing that stood out to me, you didn’t have no street lights, didn’t have no people.”

— Rex Caughron, among the last people to live in Cades Cove, a popular destination within Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove is a national treasure, a jewel of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but Rex Caughron doesn’t bother much with going anymore.
“Very seldom do I go through the Cove,” he said. “It don’t look like Cades Cove to me.”

In another life, Cades Cove – or at least a hefty piece of it – would have been Caughron’s birthright.

The son of Kermit and Lois Caughron, Rex is a fifth generation descendant of the Shields that first settled the area, carved out a life among the mountains’ natural beauty.


Story by John Gullion