Dock’s On The River Motel & Cabins is situated on the banks of the Little River.
The Little River comes straight out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is the place to be for good clean fun on hot summer afternoons tubing or fly fishing.
Dock’s On The River was built in 1935 by Lorene Whaley Huskey at the age of 33 as Doc’s Cabins. Lorene was from Greenbrier located just east of Gatlinburg, now a part of the National Park. Her husband Wesley Huskey died from a war-related disease. She had two children Dean Huskey and Jean Huskey. Jean died when she was 2 with a fever.
The original location was across the road from what is now Riverstone Restaurant going toward the National Park. You can still see the rock walls where the cabins once set, then known as “Doc’s Cabins“. The State of Tennessee obtained the right of way for the current road in the 1950’s and Doc’s Cabins had to relocate. The present location was then known as the “Old Sam Law Place” which consisted of a white two story house where the river cabins currently sit and the current grounds area was an apple and chestnut orchard.
Located directly behind the river cabins you can still see part of the original road bed for the main road through Townsend. The main road followed the river at that time with the railroad running where the main highway is now. The original cabins consisted of rooms 1 & 2, 4 & 5, 7 & 8, 10 & 11 and 14 with rooms 3, 6, 9 and 12 added later converting the cabins into a motel. The cabins where built by my grandmother, Mrs. Huskey, with the help of her two brothers, Dan and Clay Whaley.
To get the wood for the cabins there was a small mill set up on site and the train conductor of the Little River Railroad would stop and ask, “Mrs. Huskey, how many logs do you need today?” The logs were cut, planed, then taken into the cabins and nailed up the same day. The beautiful pine you see inside the motel came from the logging of what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
My Grandmother sold the motel to her daughter, my mother, Dean Stinnett in 1975 who then sold the motel to me, her daughter, Sharron Stinnett in 1992 but continued to work at the motel until her passing January 5, 2017.
My Grandmother passed away April 12, 2003 just shy of her 101st birthday. We have dedicated a small garden at the end of room 14 in her memory. “Grandma’s Garden” is just in the makings but we hope with time that her garden will flourish just as she did.
~ Sharron Stinnett (Third Generation Owner)