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The History Behind Cumberland Jack’s Name

Every business puts a lot of thought behind their name. It ties into their values, mission, hopes, and dreams. We wanted all of those things when we were thinking about what to call our Gatlinburg restaurant. Since we’re mere minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we wanted our name and theme to uphold the rich past the mountains have. If you want to find out more about how we chose our name and the history behind it, keep reading!

Humble Beginnings of LeConte Lodge

leconte lodge in the great smoky mountains national parkWith the national park movement well underway in the 1920s, people called for a park to be established in the southeastern United States. People who were passionate about conservation created the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association, and they worked tirelessly to convince politicians that a national park in the area would conserve the beauty and wildlife, as well as benefit the country. To fully convince the political elites, the GSMCA planned to take dignitaries on an adventure to the tallest mountain peak in the Smokies, Mount LeConte, to convince them that the mountains were the perfect place for a park.

After seeing the incredible terrain, the officials agreed that the area should be preserved as a national park. About a year later, the GSMCA wanted to create a permanent lodge where hikers could rest after climbing Mount LeConte, but they needed someone to manage it.

Finding Paul Adams

The man who was awarded the job was named Paul Adams. His love for the great outdoors started young, because his family would partake in weekend family nature walks together. They would also go on camping trips to the Great Smoky Mountains, and Adams co-founded the East Tennessee Ornithological Society in 1923 alongside several other local legends, including Harry Ijams.

Ijams was the one who helped land Adams the job of creating and managing the first Mount LeConte campsite through the GSMCA during the summer of 1925. Adams took pride in spearheading the project, and he brought his own companion along, his beloved dog nicknamed Cumberland Jack.

Adventures of Adams and Jack

Adams had gotten Jack, a German Shepherd, as a companion and a protector. Cumberland Jack proved to be both over the course of his life. Jack was loved by all of the people who stayed at LeConte Lodge during their time living there. Jack was known for wearing a saddlebag where he could carry supplies back up to the lodge. Many times, Adams would write out a grocery list, and Jack would go to the Ogle store in Gatlinburg to pick up the supplies and bring them back up the mountain in his saddlebag.

Cumberland Jack’s in Gatlinburg

When we learned the history of this dynamic duo, we knew that we wanted to name our Gatlinburg restaurant after them. Our mission is to offer companionship, provide hungry travelers with nourishment needed to get them where they want to go, and give them unmatched service. We want to carry on the legacy of Cumberland Jack through these actions, so we knew there was no better name for us!

After learning the history behind Cumberland Jack’s name, you know you’ll want to come eat with us the next time you’re in town! We have plaques hanging in the restaurant with photos of Adams and Jack, so you can learn even more about them. Have questions about our Gatlinburg restaurant? Reach out to us, and we will be happy to answer them!