How did Pigeon Forge get its name? 

Pigeon ForgeFirst settled in the 1780’s, Pigeon Forge’s unique name is derived from rich mountain history. Encompassing 11.6 square miles and having an elevation of just over 1,000 feet, Pigeon Forge as we know it today was a lot different not too many years ago. 

The first part of the name, “Pigeon” is derived from the Little Pigeon River, which flows straight through downtown. The Little Pigeon River is actually named for passenger pigeons (which are now extinct) that could be found roaming along the banks of the river. 

The second part of the name, “Forge” comes from an iron forge that was built along the Little Pigeon River around 1820. The complex included a bloomers furnace and water power trip hammer to smelt and mold ore into iron bars. The mill still stands today, and is what we currently know as “The Old Mill.” 

On May 29, 1841, William Love established the area’s first post office, naming it “Pigeon Forge,” forever etching the name is history. It wasn’t until over a hundred years later, in 1961, that Pigeon Forge incorporated, making it an official city in the state of Tennessee. 

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