Ms. Beulah Linn (1911-2003) succeeded Dr. Joseph Sharp as the Sevier County historian in 1971.

Ms. Linn’s family were among the first families to settle in Sevier County. In 1801, her three times great-grandfather Phillip Gobble came to Pigeon Forge from Virginia. He settled 150 acres, upon which Linn lived on a portion during her lifetime. Her ancestor’s land also included the site of the present-day Gatlinburg Golf Course in Pigeon Forge. A neighboring farm belonging to Mordecai Lewis included the Old Mill.

Her grandfather Eli Johnson “E.J.” Gobble (1862-1934) owned and operated a water mill at the junction of Boogertown and Middle Creek Roads near Pigeon Forge, and later a gasoline mill on Middle Creek. Her mother Ellen Gobble (1884-1968) taught at Williamsburg School before marrying Linn’s father William C. “W.C.” Duggan (1880-1939).

Linn’s Duggan ancestry goes back to a great-great grandfather, Robert Duggan (1759/60-1845) who served as a sergeant in the Revolutionary War.

Mrs. Linn graduated from Central High School in Knoxville and Maryville College. She often recalled the formation of the national parks through an act of Congress in 1929. Like many other area young people, she gave a dime towards the purchase of lands for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Trained as a teacher and a nurse, Mrs. Linn worked for the Sevier County School System for many years before taking up the job of county historian after the death of Dr. Joseph Sharp. She taught chemistry and general science at Gatlinburg Pittman Center High School. Although she had many relatives in the teaching profession, she recalled two special sources of inspiration for her life’s work: her sophomore biology teacher, Anna Weigle, and Luther Burbank, a researcher of botany from California who published articles in the Saturday Evening Post.

This page includes a small collection of Mrs. Linn’s works. For more information about Mrs. Linn or to view her papers and research, please visit Maples History Center.

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