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How Pigeon Forge Got Its Name

Pigeon Forge is famous for being a playground that's perfect for families, couples and groups visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. But it’s easy to forget that Pigeon Forge was once a peaceful farming town — one with the strange name.

Actually, Pigeon Forge got its name by combining two popular characteristics of the area. The first is the passenger pigeons that once called the city home. Although they are now extinct, the pigeons were very predominant during the time of the early settlers. The second part of the city’s name comes from the old iron forge that was located along the Little Pigeon River.

The Smoky Mountain history behind the area’s first forge was that it was built in 1790 by Mordecai Lewis after he received a 151-acre land grant from the government. However, it wasn’t until 1817 that Lewis’s son-in-law, Isaac Love, built the now-famous iron forge. Iron was one of Tennessee’s first true industries, outside of logging and farming.

In 1830, Love and his sons built a gristmill next door to the iron forge. The milling business eventually overtook the ironing business in profitability, so the family ceased iron production at the forge. However, quite a community had developed around the building. So, when the first post office opened, it was only proper to honor the forge in the town’s name.

Fast forward to today…

Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains have come a long way from their humble roots. Now, this beautiful part of the country draws 11 million guests every year. Let Americana Inn & Suites be home base during your stay! Our newly renovated budget hotel features 165 guest rooms with plenty of amenities. We’re centrally located and convenient to restaurants, shops, entertainment and, of course, to the Smoky Mountains. For more information, give us a call today.

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