Cades Cove is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is thousands of miles from Pearl Harbor. However, what you need to realize is even little Cades Cove has a remote connection to Pearl Harbor. That connection comes in the form of the Pearl Harbor Tree Cades Cove. I will be completely honest I had not heard of this tree before, but after reading about it and checking out the various videos about the tree I know this is one place I will be stopping at next time I am in Gatlinburg. So, check out all the information that we have found about the Pearl Harbor tree and make sure you make this a stop in your next trip in Gatlinburg.
Where Is The Pearl Harbor Tree
As you can imagine the Pearl Harbor Tree is located in Cades Cove. The tree is somewhat difficult to find and will require some walking though. What is even more important is you need it keep track of the mileage that you are driving as this does make it a little bit easier in the finding of the Pearl Harbor Tree.
When you go into Cades Cove you are going to find the parking area to be roughly 3.6 miles from the entrance of Cades Cove. If you are familiar with Cades Cove you might notice this is close to the Missionary Baptist Church. Once you reach this area you may notice that their are 20 parking spots near you in a pull off. Once you reach that pull off you are going to have to walk West by about a tenth of a mile. Once their you will find a clearing on the left side of the road.
Now, you are going to see that their is a tree line on the edge of the field that meets the road. This is going to be at the bottom of the hill. Once you reach this point you are going to climb up the hill to reach the Pearl Harbor tree. Then it will be a short uphill walk to the west and then you will be in the area of the Pearl Harbor Tree. The easiest way to see where the tree is, is from the metal sign that has been placed near it, but also the old tire rim that has “grown” up with the tree and is now split and looks different than when it was first planted.
History Of The Pearl Harbor Tree
As you probably know this is a tree that has been around since Pearl Harbor. However, the history of the tree is interesting as it was planted by Gilman Myers whose family had a farm in Cades Cove region. What you may not realize is that after the establishment of the Great Smoky Moutanins National Park some families were given time to move out of the park. Well, the Myers family was one of those that was given time to move.
The family was actually in the process of moving to Townsend, the nearby town, with their entire farm when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Myers was at the time worried about his oldest sons being drafted into the military as they had just reached about the age of being draftable. Like many Americans of the time he was stunned to hear the report of the Pearl Harbor attack, but also knew that America would be at war.
It was at that point that he went behind his farmhouse and found a sweet gum tree that was just a little sapling. The tree, that you see now started off as a tree that was the size of a little limb when it was planted, and dug it up. He moved the tree to an area near the front porch of his home as a memory of the attack. To provide protection to the tree Golman Myers took a rim from an older car tire and placed it around the tree. When he placed the rim around hte tree he said, “We will remember this forever.”
Now, the sign that you are able to see now and the chain was not original to the tree. Instead, the youngest son, Bernard, had a metal sign engraved. The sign was engraved on one side with his fathers name and transplanted this tree on December 7, 1941. On the back side so people will never forget what the tree was planted for and to bring back the memory to the horrible day Bernard had it engraved with Pearl Harbor.
Why Go To The Pearl Harbor Tree
I have to admit for a lot of people the Pearl Harbor tree may have no meaning at all. Instead, it will look like another tree for people to look at. However, by knowing the history of the tree you can start to see why it is so important for people to visit, just like my generation and those born in the 1970’s and 80’s have the Twin Towers Memorial, this is tree that helps bring back the memory and dedication of a country to overcome world conquest by different cultures.
The tree is one that has not changed over time except for growing bigger and stronger. This can really be see by the cracked pieces of the auto rim that are located by the tree. However, at the same time you can start to see the connection with how the country, much like the tree, has continued to grow stronger and bigger.
Is The Pearl Harbor Tree Family Friendly
Well, I have to say this is in Cades Cove. Almost anything that you can find in Cades Cove is very family friendly and the Pearl Harbor Tree Cades Cove is no different. I have found the tree to provide plenty of family bonding time, but also if you are able to get to the tree before any crowds it provides a great time for reflection.
Depending on the age of any kids you are bringing with you, it could be something as a simple reflection on the meaning of Pearl Harbor. It could be talking about the history of Pearl Harbor and why it is an important date in American history. At the same time, if your kids are younger and you do not want to burden them at a younger age with Peal Harbor, you could think about reflecting on the animals and the quietness of the forest and how it brings about a sense of peace and calm, much like Pearl Harbor would bring about 4 years later.
Features Of The Pearl Harbor Memory Tree
The features of the Pearl Harbor tree are not really something that you are going to think about. I mean it is a tree that is dedicated to the memory of those in Pearl Harbor. However, in modern times it has become a gathering point for flags and a variety of other items that are bringin about the memory of the veterans of the modern war.
If I had to pick out a single feature that you are going to enjoy it is the fact that the tree provides you with a chance to enjoy the serene beauty of Cades Cove.
- Located in Cades Cove.
- Provides time for reflection on what you are about to see.
- Is a fairly easy walk to take and reach the tree.
- The tree has the memory that it was meant to carry.
- Is located in a grove of trees now, which provide shade on hot days.
- Can be difficult to reach if you have difficulty walking.
- Depending on the crowds and how well known the Pearl Harbor tree is to people it can be crowded.
Cost Of Visiting The Pearl Harbor Tree
The cost of visiting the Pearl Harbor tree is not really that expensive. The main thing that you have to do is make sure you have the parking pass. The parking pass is starting to be required to park in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
One thing that you may bring that could cost you some money would be bottled water to drink. Still, even that is questionable and really depends on how much water you plan on drinking or need to drink. If you need the water really depends on the weather and the heat.
Final Thoughts On Pearl Harbor Tree
The Pearl Harbor Tree Cades Cove is definitely a stop that a lot of people have never considered making before. However, once you have started to find out more about the tree and the significance it makes it should make it easier for you to have a great trip. Overall, I would definitely make sure you consider stopping at this tree and just recalling the memory of the sacrifice of not only the personnel at the Pearl Harbor bombing, but for all the troops who have lost their life. Just make sure that the next time you are in Cades Cove to check out this tree and the history that it has behind it to help you recall the importance of the tree.