A Cades Cove moonshine saga: Part one—The mysterious murder of George Powell Jr.

George Powell Jr. and wife Martha Greg Powell of Chestnut Flats in Cades Cove, Tennessee. Provided by France Rogers via Find a Grave.

Editor’s note: This is the first of two articles revisiting a notorious murder in the community known as Chestnut Flats in Cades Cove and the dangerous but lucrative enterprise of distilling illegal spirits in the Great Smoky Mountains prior to the creation of the national park. Late afternoon, December 11, 1897, George Washington Powell Jr. […]

Lewis Redmond, the ‘King of the Moonshiners’

This illustration of Redmond's capture was featured in "The True Life of Maj. Redmond, the Notorious Outlaw and Moonshiner."

No one was more responsible for the romantic image of the moonshiner than Lewis Redmond. His story was chronicled in newspapers including the New York Times and the Atlanta Constitution, the National Police Gazette (a periodical geared toward the curious public), a short book entitled The True Life of Maj. Redmond, the Notorious Outlaw and […]

Quill Rose: Making moonshine and telling tales on Eagle Creek

Aquilla “Quill” Rose, who writer George Ellison called a “Civil War veteran, fiddle player, storyteller, moonshiner, and hunter,” is the first of several famous or infamous moonshiners in the Smokies region who will be featured in this column. Dan Pierce in Corn from a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains (GSMA, 2013), identified Rose […]

Moonshining in and around the Great Smokies: Part 2 – the process

With some variations, all moonshiners used common techniques for making illegal whiskey. The process, bolstered by a few secret tricks of the trade, was passed down through the generations. Former revenue agent John Wesley Atkinson in After the Moonshiners By One of the Raiders: A Book of Thrilling, Yet Truthful Narratives provided extensive details on moonshine […]

Moonshining in and around the Great Smokies: Part 1—The economics

f a moonshiner could produce just one gallon of his 'mountain dew' each evening, he could employ a farm hand to do his hard work while he could spend his days hunting and fishing.

In the not-too-distant past, moonshiners were common in the Smoky Mountains and throughout the Southern Appalachians. They were mountaineers who made part of their living manufacturing spirits by moonlight in the hidden coves and caves in order to evade taxes levied by the United States government. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law a tax […]

Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320