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  Little Greenbrier School

SPECIFICATIONS:

   
  Mileage From Start: TBA Miles
  Distance To Schoolhouse: Approx. 1 Mile
  Latitude of Intersection At Metcalf  Bottoms: N35° 40.99541'
  Longitude At Schoolhouse: W83° 38.76963'
  Elevation: 1,827.53'
Take Me Straight To The Following:

     Located between Gatlinburg and Cades Cove, few tourists now of this beautiful setting of and old time schoolhouse / cemetery, and is approximately one mile from the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area!  Turn RIGHT at the intersection just past the sign that reads Mitchell Bottoms Picnic Area.  Note, there are public restrooms here on your RIGHT (there is ONE portable restroom AT the Schoolhouse parking area, but rest assured, these restrooms are the 'more excellent' choice). Continue forward past entrances to your right and left that enter the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, a sign stating fishing regulations, then you will then see signs warning you that there is a ONE LANE BRIDGE AHEAD. There IS Parking just past the bridge on your LEFT, and you can HIKE .6 miles down the Metcalf Bottoms Trail to Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse, if you don't want to worry driving the the one lane gravel road where you may very well have to back up quite a ways to facilitate getting or letting by other vehicles!  

     As your odometer nears 1.4 miles (from turning at the main Metcalf Bottoms intersection), you will see on your RIGHT a three space parking area for vehicles, then the intersection with a one-lane warning sign where Walker Sisters ONE LANE road cuts RIGHT that leads to Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse!  

     Reset your odometer, and carefully drive forward, remembering this is ONE LANE, and be prepared to possibly have to back up, so as you notice a wider spot (there is not many) keep it in the back of your mind, you may very well have to back up to this point!  As your odometer nears 1.4 miles, you will see a 'Y', keep to your RIGHT as left would take you to gated road/trail, with signs reading DO NOT BLOCK GATE, just past this on the right is a sign that reads "Walker Sisters Cabin 1.1 miles", you will also see the graveyard on your RIGHT, along with the schoolhouse.  Circling down to your RIGHT you will end up in the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse's parking area. NOTE: This is a porta-john type facility off the parking area farthest from the Schoolhouse.

     Walking through the parking area towards the schoolhouse, you will notice on your LEFT a sign reading LITTLE GREENBRIER SCHOOL.  Then across the fencerow, you will see the schoolhouse in a beautiful setting.  Passing through entrance in the fence, you can walk around the perimeter looking at this beautiful schoolhouse from all four corners!, at the far left corner is a trail (and a sign)  that leads back the .6 miles to Metcalf Bottoms picnic area. Now, walking up the steps (where you can look around from), we can now go inside where you will see many student desks, where many many students learned all they needed to know, as back in 1935 and before, they learned about Jesus, as He WAS welcome here, and in all other schoolhouses in the great United States they He allowed to prosper and for us to flourish in, where we could freely worship, and say the pledge of allegiance and pray for His guidance for teachers and children alike.  Today, our schoolhouses may not look empty, but they are more empty than this schoolhouse is right now, for this schoolhouse was never, ever empty prior to 1935, as we use to be thankful for Him being in our schoolhouse, sitting right beside us, watching each of us grow, (blowing His children 'invisible kisses' ) every class, every day, proudly smiling when the teacher asked one of His children a question, and all His children excitedly raised our hands and waved, and hoped that our teacher would make eye contact, smile, and call our name, little did we know the un-describable safety and peace that  abounds with Him,  while His angels were assigned to encamp about us.  Oops, ok...ahem...you will also notice the large 'blackboard' area, along with quite a few windows (which you can click on and look out of) that were the closest thing to air conditioning that was available back then.  Don't forget, once you enlarge any inside picture, you can then 'click' on ANY window or door, and look out and see the ACTUAL VIEW from that window or door!

     Walking out of the schoolhouse forward and slightly left you see the cemetery, where you can see a close-up of EVERY marker in the cemetery, listed ALPHABETICALLY!

     To tour through the Walker Sisters Cabin, Click HERE

 

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:
STORIES FROM THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
BY GENE AIKEN

     Built in 1881 – this little log building served as a school and church house.  This was a common practice in the Smokies – log buildings took time to build and could serve both purposes.  The people of the little Greenbrier Cove petitioned the County agreed to provide a teacher if the people would provide the building.  Tradition has it the William “Gilbert” Abbott gave the land and Ephraim Ogle provided the yellow poplar logs.  The large logs were hauled to the building site with William Walker’s steers.  The people of the community helped Mr. Walker with work around his place as payment for the use of the steers.  The logs were so large and heavy that two yoke of oxen were required to haul them.  One end of the large log was placed in the back of a strong wagon and the other end allowed to drag on the ground.

      Expert “corner men” were in charge of notching and fitting the logs at each corner.  The men entrusted with this important task were : John Walker, Ephraim Ogle, Gilbert Abbott, and Henry Clabough.  James Thomas Walker, son of John Walker, helped his father at his corner, Bill Watson was a helper at Henry Clabough’s corner, and Bill Stinnett helped Ephraim Ogle at his corner.  The corners were built with “dove tail” notches.   The notches had to be cut just right or water would run into the corners and rot the logs.  Also a mountain man took pride in the perfect joining on the logs at this important point.  Precision work with these large logs took skill and hard work.  At least one of the logs, after being hewed and set into the wall was 28” high, and he log walls were five logs high.  Straight poles were cut for the rafters and the roof was covered with boards split from white oak.  The boards were split out by Billie Ogle even though he was at an advanced age at the time – he wanted to do his part and he “busted” the boards and put them on the roof.  The floor was made of yellow poplar “puncheons” (slabs split from logs).

     The first seats in the building were of slabs with four legs, but they were without backs.  Then seats were later made with sawed lumber that had been "dressed" or smoothed.  The seats had backs but still no desks.  The photograph of the interior reproduced herewith shows the seats used in 1935-1936.  These were the last years that school was "kept" in the building.  The teacher is Herman Matthews.  The students are (left to right) Front Bench: Margaret Tallent,  Mary Moore (daughter of David Moore), Second Bench: Rowena Tallent, Betty Moore.  Third Bench: Conley Russell, unidentified Russell.  Forth Bench: Estella Moore, Helen Moore.  Fifth Bench: John Moore.  The picture on the blackboard was drawn b Ernest Moore, son of Aaron Moore.
    At the time when children went to school at Little Greenbrier life was hard.  Herman G. Matthews (the teacher) was quoted by Vick Weals about walking out to Cades Cove where he was staying at the time.  (Knoxville Journal, March 9, 1952) "I had on a pair of rubber boots that came halfway up to my knees, and the snow came up over the tops at places in the road.  The people of the Cove said it snowed all that day and night ad that the snow was 24 to 30 inches deep when it stopped.  I stayed out of school four or five weeks because of the snow."

     Facts on which this story is based are from Margaret Stinnett Crabtree's booklet: Rememberin' The Little Greenbrier School and Primitive Baptist Church.  Photographs of the school in 1935 are by Edouard E. Exline and are from the archives of the National Park Service.  Photograph of the Little Greenbrier School in 1989 is by Gene Aiken.

To Order The Book:
STORIES FROM THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
BY GENE AIKEN

Please Call: 888-853-9370
And Ask For Jane Or Richard Aiken!

 

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Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?