Cumberland Mountain State Park unveils restored historic cabins

With the emblem of the Civilian Conservation Corps are, from left, Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta; Chip Hillis, park manager for Cumberland Mountain State Park; David Salyers, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville; Kathleen Hansen of the Tennessee Department of General Services; and Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

CROSSVILLE – Tennessee State Parks officials Monday rededicated newly renovated cabins built during the Great Depression at Cumberland Mountain State Park.

“Today’s event is another example of these exciting times for our parks,” David Salyers, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), said. “The parks play an important role in Tennessee communities, and we know visitors will enjoy these updated cabins in the years ahead.”    

The cabins were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which constructed trails and shelters in parks across the nation. Cumberland Mountain State Park began as part of the Cumberland Homesteads project, a New Deal-era initiative. 

“The CCC cabins at Cumberland Mountain State Park have been a fixture in our local community for more than 80 years,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, said. “We are so appreciative that the repairs and updates made to them will preserve their history and enable citizens to experience what it was like to stay in them many decades ago.”

“I am delighted these cabins have been restored and that park visitors for many years to come can experience an important part of Tennessee history,” Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, said. “The CCCs were extremely important to the revitalization of this region and their remarkable work at Cumberland Mountain State Park is a proud part of our heritage. These cabins are a true treasure and I appreciate the efforts of Commissioner Salyers and the Department of Environment and Conservation in seeing this restoration completed.”  

The cabins were fully restored to return them to their original rustic charm while inconspicuously adding modern conveniences such as central heat and air and dishwashers. A few original furnishings were returned to the cabins and the rest were hand-made to replicate the cane and hickory style from when the cabins first opened.

Cumberland Mountain State Park is on the Cumberland Plateau, located around Byrd Lake, a man-made lake created by the impoundment of Byrd Creek in the 1930s. The park provides numerous recreational activities, including hiking, swimming, picnicking and interpretive programs. The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain Golf Course is one of the most sought-after sites among the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear Trace courses in Tennessee. In addition to the cabins, overnight accommodations at the park include more than 140 campsites for tents and RVs and a designated place on the overnight trail for backcountry camping.

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