National Geographic : 1962 Jul
berries, and currants were thick. Early set tlers found honeybees swarming, and bee gums became a permanent Cove feature. John Oliver's great-grandson is still alive. He is John W. Oliver, now more than 83 years old, with soft gray hair and piercing blue eyes. He is six feet four, straight as a ramrod and trim as an athlete. I traveled the length and breadth of the Cove with him and listened to his stories of the old days. He is so deeply attached to the Cove that he fought its inclusion in the park. It took court action to remove John W. Oliver. His resistance had nothing to do with dollars and cents. The Cove was his home and castle. He loved it with all his being. It hurt him to think that in those precincts, almost sacred to him, and in the churchyards where all his people were buried, curious tourists would intrude. ONE WARM MAY DAY we stopped in front of an old log house. Cumulus clouds topped the ridge of the Great Smokies oppo site us. Black Angus cattle grazed in the fore ground. In front of the house a rail fence ran in a zigzag line, disappearing around a bend. A bed of blue phacelia followed its length. The fence rails were kept in place by upright posts, two at each end, and the rails protrud- "A hog-eye rifle is whut we called it." By the time John W. Oliver was born, an improved model of the Kentucky rifle, using percussion caps, was in style. The one that he carried as a boy is still in good working order. He shows it to his son Wayne and his grandson Michael. Cabin logs were tulip poplar, the floors were pine, the shingles oak - chimney, roof, and end walls in perfect symmetry.