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About the Valley

Welcome to the June 2007 issue. This issue includes both a look back and a look forward to the city of Pigeon Forge. Also, a new item for family fun has been added at both Laurel Glen and Pine Cone Lodge.



PIGEON FORGE—A Little History

In my research this month for the newsletter, I found some interesting facts about the city of Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River. Along with its surrounding cities and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge receives more than 10 million visitors a year. The city is named for the passenger pigeons that flocked to the beech trees along the Pigeon River and for the iron forge established in 1820.

The history of Pigeon Forge is also very interesting. After the establishment of Sevier County, the city of Franklin, and the signing with the Cherokees of the Treaty at Dumplin Creek, the valley, known as Pigeon Forge, was opened for settlement in the late 1700s.

The settlers followed old Indian trails (this land was once hunting grounds for the Cherokee Indians and other native American tribes) through the Smoky Mountains along the Pigeon River to what we know today as Pigeon Forge. One pioneer, Isaac Love, established an iron forge in 1820 and his son, William, built a tub mill by damming the Pigeon River. The iron forge mill, today known as the Old Mill and a National Historic Site, remains in working order today. For information about the Old Mill, see www.old-mill.com.

Pigeon Forge began mainly as a farming community, but the formation of the national park in the 1930s brought tourists to the area. The town remained a small farming town until the dedication of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 1940s. The first church and 2 general stores were started in the mid 1940s.

Pigeon Forge began promoting the city as a tourist town in the 1980s. In 1986, Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood, was opened, creating a major boost in tourists. Today, Pigeon Forge offers attractions and entertainment for every age. It has been voted one of the South’s favorite shopping spots, with more than 200 factory outlets.

PIGEON FORGE—A Look Forward

An exciting new project for Pigeon Forge, Belle Island Village, is scheduled to open in 2008. With the feeling of an Old South river town, Belle Island Village will offer excellent shopping and entertainment for the whole family.

You can look forward to browsing specialty shops plus watching local artists and craftsmen as they create their masterpieces. The specialty shops will include local crafts, arts, and collectibles.

You will find unique restaurants to suit every taste. A wide variety of concessions will feature some of your childhood favorites plus some new treats.

You and your family will not want to miss the attractions at Belle Island Village. The Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Motion Picture Museum will be a feature of the Village. The museum will feature interactive exhibits, including two theaters and 12 themed pavilions showing original clips and displaying artifacts from almost every Academy Award winning film.

Another attraction, Darrell Waltrip’s Racing Experience, will put you in the driver’s seat! You and your family will experience all aspects of the racing world from the force of going around a turn at more than 200 mph to attempting to change tires in less than 15 seconds. Or, you may want to experience being in the announcer’s booth calling the race!

The Knoxville Zoo’s Otter Cove will be an exciting attraction for the whole family. When Belle Island Village opens in 2008, you can come by and say “hello” to Belle.

Make your plans now to visit Pigeon Forge and Belle Island Village. Also, remember when you stay at a Chestnut Ridge Cabin, you are convenient to all the Pigeon Forge activities! For more information about Belle Island Village, visit www.belleislandvillage.com.


CABIN NEWS

We have added an ice cream freezer to both Laurel Glen and Pine Cone Lodge. I remember as a child my family making homemade ice cream—great family fun! The ice cream freezers are electric (no cranking) and I have also posted a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream on the refrigerators. The recipe is no-cook and contains no eggs. I hope you and your family enjoy making ice cream at one of our cabins.

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM RECIPES

Homemade ice cream is a sure recipe for family fun! In my search for a good ice cream recipe for the cabins, I found several good recipes:

VANILLA ICE CREAM I

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 cup white sugar
6 cups milk

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, salt, and sugar in freezer canister of ice cream maker; stir will. Add enough milk to bring mixture to the fill line on the canister. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

VANILLA ICE CREAM II

1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart half-and-half

Combine powdered sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla; stir until smooth. Add half-and-half. Pour into freezer container of electric freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Makes 2 quarts.

CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

1/2 gallon chocolate milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8-ounce carton non-dairy whipped topping
Milk, if needed

Mix ingredients in an ice cream freezer. If needed, milk may be added up to the FILL line on the canister. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

PEACH ICE CREAM (This one requires some cooking, but it is done in the microwave)

1 cup chopped fresh peaches
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups half-and-half

Combine the peaches with 1/4 cup of sugar and chill.

Combine 1 cup sugar with the cornstarch and salt. Blend the milk in gradually. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until thick, stirring 2 or 3 times.

Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs. Microwave, on high, about 2 minutes or until thick and creamy. Chill thoroughly.

Add the vanilla and half-and-half to the mixture. Stir in the peaches. Freeze in an ice cream freezer following manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 quarts.




IF YOU ARE PLANNING A TRIP TO THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS, PLEASE CONSIDER STAYING AT ONE OF OUR CABINS. THE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE OF A CHESTNUT RIDGE CABIN MAKE YOUR VACATION MORE FUN! CHECK AVAILABILITY AND RESERVE YOUR DATES EARLY -- MANY RESERVATIONS ARE MADE WEEKS AHEAD.

If you are interested in owning a vacation home or rental home in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, we are offering Pine Cone Lodge for sale. For purchase information, contact Timbercreek Realty & Cabin Rentals, 3121 Wears Valley Road, Sevierville, TN 37862, 1-800-837-7022, or visit www.timbercreekcabins.com. For a brochure describing Pine Cone Lodge, e-mail us at chestnut_ridge_cabins@comcast.net for more information.

Thanks for subscribing to About the Valley. We look forward to bringing you more news next month. As always, if you have any questions or comments or want to share your favorite place to visit in the Smoky Mountains, e-mail us at chestnut_ridge_cabins@comcast.net.

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