One of a kind cabin built from old tobacco barns and timbers from sawmills
About Gary Whidden
I own a retirement mobile home park and my wife is a retired Biology teacher in Frostproof, Florida.
Gary Whidden purchased this Cabin in 2015
Why Gary Whidden chose Johnson City
The river property came into my mother’s family in the 1890’s. My great grandfather built the family homestead. In 1901 (pre-dam) a flood came and damaged the home. With mules and logs they moved the 3,000 square foot, 2 story home across the creek and placed it on higher ground. Before the dam was built in the mid 1940’s, the river would sometimes look like a creek, at other times it would rise and come out its 50 foot banks. In the winter, the river would freeze and my great grandparents would cut squares of ice from the river and bury it in their home for later use. Before the bridge, there was a natural shelf that allowed the horse and buggies to cross the river in front of the cabins. The ground was farmed until I received it in 2003. My mother was raised on the property, until she married my father in 1947 and moved to Florida. We vacationed here every year, so I have always loved this place. I wanted a place of my own but hated the idea of having it sit empty most of the time. I am in the rental business in Florida so I decided to build something that could be rented when we are not able to be here. At that time, there were no buildings on the property so I was able to start from scratch. I really like the character of horse barns and thought, why not build one that could house people. So, in 2004, we built the cabins and it has been a great adventure! This past winter, we completed our retirement cabin. The cabin has three bedrooms, three baths, and an apartment on the lower level. We hope you choose us for your lodging in East Tennessee. We know you will enjoy it. - Gary and Patty Whidden
What makes this Cabin unique
Beautiful river and mountain views. Close to major shopping and leisure activities.
Pool / Spa
Pets allowed - Well behaved, non aggressive dogs are welcome. Well behaved, non aggressive dogs are welcome.
No smoking - Smoking outside only.Smoking outside only.
Max guests: 9 (sleeps up to 9 adults)
Minimum age of primary renter: 25
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Damage and incidentals
You will be responsible for any damage to the rental property caused by you or your party during your stay.
Social distancing at its finest
My wife and our 3yr old daughter stayed in the cabin for just two nights, unfortunately. It was everything we wanted and then some! Super easy check-in process (door code). The kitchen was to die for and was fully stocked with literally anything that you need. I wish we had stopped to grocery shop prior to getting to the cabin, as it was about a 10-15 minute drive to the nearest grocery store. Huge rooms and bathrooms...plenty of towels...plenty of toilet paper (even during quarantine, lol), and plenty of fire wood (although it would have been nice if there was a small load already up on the back porch...it was pouring the night we got there and we really wanted to have a fire up on the porch and sit in the hot tub). Speaking of the hot tub...it was absolutely beautiful sitting in it and listening to the river down below. Initially, we had planned on bringing our two dogs but changed our minds at the last minute, which we ended up being thankful for. The river is super fast and they absolutely would have been swept away in the current if we had brought them and they had jumped in. I'm sure there are plenty of spots nearby that are slower, but for my two dogs, it would have been difficult keeping them out of the river and even though they are great swimmers...the current still would have been too much. The property manager was fantastic and came down literally within minutes of contacting him. There are a few games for adults, but not too many...so maybe bring some of your own. Plenty of seating, both indoor and outdoor. The deck off the master bedroom was absolutely perfect, as was the entire experience in the cabin. Just know...looks can be deceiving...this place is massive and we were pleasantly suprised! We will definitely be returning!!!
Love this cabin! Our get away during Covid! Was assured of the cleanliness and they lived up to that! Convenient location. Fishing and relation in a beautiful cabin! The owners were very responsive when we contacted them! Highly recommend!
Great place to come on motorcycles
came on motorcycles. Had a bunch of rain but the place is so awesome we hung out and had a great time. Well be back
Amazing unique cabin!
This was an amazing cabin. The eclectic mix of reclaimed woods used throughout was perfect. All 4 bedrooms had their own baths. The cabin was well stocked and had extras. We ran out of toilet paper in 1 bathroom & paper towels, I sent a note to the manager & he was over with it before I was even back downstairs! Directly next to the river & a beautiful large covered porch on 3 sides of the cabin. The Lee family from California would love to stay again!
Christmas on the Watuaga River
Instead of gifts this year, we decided to spend time with family for Christmas. The Cedar Cabin was a great venue for us to relax and spend quality time together. This was such a unique cabin and the attention to those details did not go unnoticed. We got lucky with the weather being in the
mid-60's and we were able to utilize the outdoor space which was fantastic. We loved sitting on the back porch, being in the hot tub, sitting by the fire and just relaxing by the river. The open space downstairs accommodated our family well and we appreciated the Christmas decorations! Everyone commented on it being one of our best Christmas' ever. Thanks so much for allowing us to use your home for our family!
Directions from I-26. Take I-26 to SR91 North for 2.9 miles. Turn left on Smalling Rd. Watauga River Cabins will be 1.9 miles on the left just before the Smalling Bridge.