- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Cumberland Gap National Historical ParkIUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Fog forming over the gap.
Location Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, USA Nearest city Middlesboro, Kentucky Coordinates Coordinates: Area 20,508 acres (8,299 ha) Established June 11, 1940 Visitors 883,663 (in 2009) Governing body National Park Service
Established on June 11, 1940, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Cumberland Gap is a sizable natural break in the Appalachian Mountains.
The park lies in parts of Bell and Harlan counties in Kentucky, Claiborne County in Tennessee, and Lee County in Virginia. The park contains the Kentucky-Virginia-Tennessee tri-state area, accessible via a short trail.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park covers 20,508 acres (8,299 ha), and saw 883,663 visitors in 2009.
The Cumberland Gap Visitor Center is located on U.S. Highway 25E just southeast of Middlesboro, Kentucky and just northwest of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The visitor center features a museum with interactive exhibits about the Gap's role as a transportation corridor, an auditorium that shows films about the area's cultural and natural history, a book store and the Cumberland Crafts gift shop. The visitor center is open each day of the year except Christmas Day.
The gap was long used by Native Americans, as many species of migratory animals passed through it from north to south each year. It was fertile hunting territory and the only easy cut through the mountains from the southern wintering grounds of wild deer and buffalo to their northern summer range. Starting around 1775, the Gap became the primary route of transit for American settlers moving west into Kentucky; between 1775 and 1810 as many as 300,000 settlers may have used the Gap.
Two families by the name of Hensley and Gibbons moved to Brush Mountain to escape the many changes that were taking place in the early 1900s. Eventually, more family members followed and a community was begun. A church and school was established under the jurisdiction of the Bell County School System of Bell County, Kentucky.
Settlers continued their pioneer lifestyle until future generations began accepting employment and marriage partners off the mountain. Sherman Hensley, the founder of the settlement, was the last to leave in 1951.
The park preserves the natural beauty of the surrounding area while focusing on historic preservation. Included in the park is Hensley Settlement, an early 20th century Kentucky mountain community that has been preserved by the park service as representative of the early settler's life on top of Brush Mountain.
Tours through the old Hensley Settlement, trips into Gap Cave, also known as Cudjo's Cave, (once used for shelter by traveling Indians and settlers), living history events, campfire programs and demonstrations of the settlers' lifestyle provide a glimpse of life in the past, Appalachian music festivals and concerts provide another view of the life in this area.
The former roadbed of U.S. Highway 25E through the park has been restored to an early 19th century wagon path. This was made possible with the 1996 completion of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, which rerouted US 25E under the park.
- Hensley Settlement
- ^ a b Cumberland Gap NHP Annual Visitation (All Years) National Park Service. Retrieved on 2010-09-12
- ^ a b Luckett, William W. (1993, reprint). Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Retrieved on 2009-09-13
- ^ Visitor Center National Park Service. Retrieved on 2010-09-13
- ^ Kriplen, Nancy (September 13, 2009). "The Cumberland Gap, the Notch America Squeezed Through". The New York Times. http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/travel/13journeys.html. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- ^ Eddy, Pam (July 8, 2009). "Protecting the Pioneer Spirit at Hensley Settlement". The Middlesboro Daily News. http://www.middlesborodailynews.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Protecting+the+Pioneer+Spirit+at+Hensley+Settlement%20&id=2892758-Protecting+the+Pioneer+Spirit+at+Hensley+Settlement. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- ^ Cumberland Gap Tunnel Retrieved on 2010-09-13
- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
- Cumberland Gap at American Byways
- Guide to records (administrative files) from the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Protected Areas of Kentucky Federal
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park • Fort Donelson National Battlefield
StateBlue Licks Battlefield • Big Bone Lick • Carr Creek • Columbus-Belmont • Dale Hollow Lake • E. P. "Tom" Sawyer • Fishtrap Lake • Fort Boonesborough • General Burnside • John James Audubon • Kincaid Lake • Kingdom Come • Lake Malone • Levi Jackson Wilderness Road • Lincoln Homestead • Mineral Mound • My Old Kentucky Home • Nolin Lake • Old Fort Harrod • Paintsville Lake • Pine Mountain Trail • Taylorsville Lake • Yatesville LakeOther Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission () Visitor Attractions of the Eastern Mountain Coal Fields ParksStateFederal
Big South Fork • Cumberland GapInterstate
Barthell Coal Mining Camp • Bell County Coal House & Museum • Bell County Historical Society Museum • Big Sandy Heritage Center • Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp • Bobby Davis Museum and Park • Breathitt County Museum • C.B. Caudill Store & History Center • Cloverfork Museum • Coal Miners' Museum • Cumberland Inn Museum • David A. Zegeer Coal-Railroad Museum • East Kentucky Science Center • Elkhorn City Railroad Museum • Harland Sanders Café & Museum • Highlands Museum and Discovery Center • Kentucky Coal Mining Museum • Kentucky Folk Art Center • Knox Historical Museum • Magoffin County Pioneer Village and Museum • Marie Stewart Museum & Craft Shop • McCreary County Museum • Morgan County History Museum • Mountain Homeplace • Mountain Life Museum • Northeastern Kentucky Museum • Swamp Valley Museum • U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum • Wolfe County History Museum
Forests Reservoirs Natural features Miscellaneous Protected Areas of Virginia FederalNational Trails State
Bear Creek Lake · Belle Isle · Biscuit Run · Breaks Interstate · Caledon Natural Area · Chippokes Plantation · Claytor Lake · Douthat · Fairy Stone · False Cape · First Landing · Grayson Highlands · High Bridge Trail · Holliday Lake · Hungry Mother · James River · Kiptopeke · Lake Anna · Leesylvania · Mason Neck · Natural Tunnel · New River Trail · Occoneechee · Pocahontas · Sailor's Creek Battlefield · Shot Tower · Shenandoah River · Sky Meadows · Smith Mountain Lake · Southwest Virginia Museum · Staunton River · Staunton River Battlefield · Tabb Monument · Twin Lakes · Westmoreland · Wilderness Road · York River
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Amelia · Big Survey · Briery Creek · Chester F. Phelps · Cavalier · Chickahominy · Clinch Mountain · Crooked Creek · Dick Cross · Fairystone Farms · Featherfin · G. Richard Thompson · Game Farm Marsh · Goshen and Little North Mountain · Hardware River · Havens · Hidden Valley · Highland · Hog Island · Horsepen Lake · James River · Land's End · Mockhorn Island · Pettigrew · Powhatan · Princess Anne · Ragged Island · Rapidan · Saxis · Stewarts Creek · T. M. Gathright · Turkeycock · Weston · White Oak Mountain
Other Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation · Virginia Department of Forestry · Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries · Virginia Landmarks Register National Historical Parks of the United StatesAbraham Lincoln Birthplace • Adams • Appomattox Court House • Boston • Cane River Creole • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove • Chaco Culture • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal • Colonial • Cumberland Gap • Dayton Aviation Heritage • George Rogers Clark • Harpers Ferry • Hopewell Culture • Independence • Jean Lafitte • Kalaupapa • Kaloko-Honokōhau • Keweenaw • Klondike Gold Rush • Lewis and Clark • Lowell • Lyndon B. Johnson • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller • Minute Man • Morristown • Natchez • New Bedford Whaling • New Orleans Jazz • Nez Perce • Palo Alto Battlefield • Paterson Great Falls • Pecos • Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau • Roosevelt Campobello International Park • Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front • Salt River Bay • San Antonio Missions • San Francisco Maritime • San Juan Island • Saratoga • Sitka • Thomas Edison • Tumacácori • Valley Forge • War in the Pacific • Women's Rights Full Alphabetical List U.S. National Register of Historic Places Topics Lists by statesAlabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming Lists by territories Lists by associated states Other Category:National Register of Historic Places • Portal:National Register of Historic Places
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