Wear Cove is a valley in southwestern Sevier County, Tennessee. It runs parallel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just to its south. Like other park border regions, the history and economy of the valley are intertwined with that of the Smokies. The primary community is Wears Valley.
Wear Cove is a type of valley known as a "limestone window", created when erosion weathers through the older Precambrian sandstone and exposes the younger Paleozoic limestone beneath. The northern rim of the Smokies is dotted with limestone coves, the most well-known of which are Cades Cove and Tuckaleechee Cove. Limestone coves contain very fertile soil which lured early settlers.
Wear Cove is hemmed in by Cove Mountain to the southeast, Roundtop to the southwest, Davis Mountain to the northwest, and Hatcher Mountain to the northeast. Numerous hollows cut into the ridges throughout the cove, including Happy Hollow, Smith Hollow, and Little Cove.
U.S. Route 321 is the valley's main road, connecting Townsend in the west with Pigeon Forge in east, where it merges with U.S. Route 441. This section of 321 is known as "Wears Valley Road". Lyon Springs Road connects Wears Valley Road with Little River Road inside the national park, crossing the gap between Cove Mountain and Roundtop and emerging at the Metcalf Bottoms campground.
... The park's border paralleled Wear Cove to the south, following the crest of Roundtop and Cove Mountain ... With improvements to US-321 in the 1950s, tourist outlets began to trickle into the cove ... by Ron Ogle and Jerry Miller sought to build 400 houses on the slopes of Cove Mountain ...
... Wears Valley is named after Samuel Wear (1753–1817), a Revolutionary War veteran who erected a fort near the entrance to the valley in what is now Pigeon Forge ... The original name of the valley was "Crowson Cove," after its first settler, Aaron Crowson (1774–1849) ... Crowson arrived in Wears Valley from North Carolina in 1792 along with his friend, Peter Percefield ...
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