Fourteen souls perished and more than 145 people were wounded in the terrible fires that swept through Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg last week. More than 1,700 structures were burned as well. 

Our hearts go out to those who have lost so much. We’re lifting you up in prayer. The timing – so close to Christmas – makes the loss particularly painful.

In addition to all those who live and work in Eastern Tennessee, every year more than 11 Million Americans visit Gatlinburg with those they love. They come to vacation in charming cabins in the breathtakingly gorgeous Smokey Mountains. For many, seeing these beautiful cabins go up in smoke feels like a personal affront. A horrifying fire has consumed the place that you have visited many times, and have built lasting memories in and around. Our hearts go out to you too.



Amidst the ashes, smoke, and dust, shine a few beams of winter sun. The dreadful fire may have reduced your cabin to ashes, but it cannot, and will not, take away the precious memories you’ve created with your loved ones over the years.

The cabin life lives on in your heart and mind through the memories you’ve made. This can’t be taken away by fire, or by anything else. Nurture these memories, enjoy them, gain strength and encouragement from them. When the time is right, they will burst forth in a new way. Perhaps in a way that you can’t envision now.

At Riverwood Cabins, we’ve said from the start that the most important part of what we do is to build cabins so that you can make memories, but we may never have truly appreciated just how important these memories are. For hundreds of people in the Gatlinburg area, memories are all that they have left.

As we continue to mourn the lives lost and figure what it’s going to take to rebuild, let’s join together and celebrate with each other by recounting and sharing some of #OurCabinMemories.

Share your favorite cabin memory with us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #OurCabinMemories so everyone can follow along.


About Patrick

Patrick loves working at Riverwood Cabins. He and his wife Mary June are blessed with four kids (two girls, and two boys)! Patrick is a family man who is passionate about faith, family, food, and friendships, and he loves to get away to the cabin several times each year.

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