By Michele Canney
The historic Clinic building on the Parkway will find a new home after being donated by Anakeesta to the Sevier County School District. Also known as the Watson House, the building is thought to be Gatlinburg’s very first clinic.
Built in 1910 by Andrew Ogle, the location served as the community’s first hospital and was used by the Pi Beta Phi fraternity to train others in health and hygiene care. Famed nurses, Phyllis Higgenbotham and Marjorie Chalmers, treated many patients at the Clinic building.
In mid-October, Layman Construction and House Moving will handle the relocation of this historic treasure. Relocation costs will be paid by Anakeesta property owners.
Once moved to its new home at the Pittman Center, the school district plans to create an authentic historic village where students will enjoy a hands-on learning experience to explore the rich history of Gatlinburg.
Anakeesta owners, Bob and Karen Bentz, worked closely with school superintendent Dr. Jack Parton to coordinate the building’s successful relocation. “We understand the historical significance and importance of the buildings on our site,” said Karen Bentz. “We are thrilled that the school district will utilize this valuable landmark to educate and teach the next generation of Gatlinburg children.”
In addition to the move of the Clinic building, work will also begin on the city sidewalk in front of the Arrowcraft building on down to the entrance of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. In cooperation with the city, the sidewalk will be raised to a level that will allow easy access and a natural pedestrian flow into the Anakeesta site. Access into Premier Parking and Arrowcraft will remain available during this pre-construction phase.
Preparations are being made for Anakeesta Village, a new mixed use development that consists of two major components that utilize the two acre Parkway parcel and a 55+ acre Mountain parcel. Anakeesta Village and Lodge on the Parkway is being designed to accommodate a unique 105 room mountain themed hotel with 35,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and an outdoor plaza.
AerialQuest on Anakeesta Mountain will be home to an exciting aerial adventure park with aerial trekking courses, racing zip lines, observation tower, canopy walks and more. Anakeesta Village and AerialQuest will be connected by an aerial lift that departs from the lobby of Anakeesta Lodge on the Parkway. The entire project is slated to open in the spring of 2017.
The historic Ogle cabin, also located on the Parkway property, is slated to be donated to the City of Gatlinburg and relocated later in the year.