Meet country music legend Dolly Parton, pictured in a bronze statue capturing her lively, positive nature. Millions of visitors from around the world have stopped to see Dolly’s statue outside the Sevier County Courthouse in Sevierville. Come see why this statue is worth a stop when you’re visiting the Smoky Mountains.
Honoring a Hometown Girl
The statue is a tribute to the local girl, from a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River, who ended up putting this region on the map. Dolly was one of 12 children in a poor but loving family. Her early promise as a musician spurred her to head for Nashville the day after she graduated from high school.
Dolly was already one of the country’s biggest stars--songwriter, singer, actress, businesswoman, and philanthropist--when she launched her Dollywood theme park in 1986. Soon, the county wanted to honor Dolly, who never forgot her Sevierville days, and whose efforts bring jobs and tourists to the area.
Local sculptor Jim Gray created the statue, devoting 2,000 hours to the work. Gray placed his Dolly on top of a mountain stone, representing her Smoky Mountain roots. Dolly helped unveil the statue in 1987.
Dolly herself calls the statue “one of the things I’m proudest of in my whole career, in my whole life, really.” She says her dad was so proud of the statue that he carried a bucket of soapy water in his truck and would scrub the pigeon droppings off it at night.
To find the statue, just follow signs to the courthouse. Street parking is easy. Take selfies, with the graceful red brick courthouse in the background. The courthouse, with its clock tower and golden twin domes, is on the National Register of Historic Places and worth a look.
Dolly still loves Eastern Tennessee and it loves her back. You’ll love this gorgeous landscape too. Book a Smoky Mountain vacation cabin and come visit Dolly while you’re here.