Built in 1889, the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church stands as a reminder of days gone by in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Located 2.0 miles back the Little Cataloochee Trail, the small, white church sits atop a ridge off to the left of the trail. A tall belfry, which was added around 1914, still houses a bell which you can ring if you so desire.
The interior is typical of most old country churches…very plain and filled with several wooden benches and a large wood-burning stove to help keep the congregation warm on those cold mountain days of yesteryear.
Worship services were held once or twice a month at the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church and were respectful but also informal, as men of the congregation would frequently come in and out during the services. Outside they would gather and share the latest gossip, whittle, smoke and chew tobacco.
A fenced-in and well-maintained cemetery descends down a gentle slope in the front of the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church and is the final resting place for many of the early settlers of the Cataloochee settlement.
Each year around Memorial Day, or “Decoration Day,” as its commonly called in the south, descendants of these early Cataloochee families still gather at the church for reunions. They will hold a church service, decorate the graves in the cemetery and have a pot luck dinner.
The Little Cataloochee Baptist Church is a wonderful destination if you’re looking for a hike that’s not too difficult and one that lets you get a little glimpse of what life was once like in the good ole’ days of the Great Smoky Mountains.