History of Pigeon Forge

Check it out: Inside Pigeon Forge shares some of the best pronunciations and spellings of popular areas like Pigeon Forge and Sevierville TN.

Pigeon Forge welcome signPeople have come from all over the world to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and the surrounding areas. When you visit, you’ll notice that everyone in the area has a love for the Smokies and the Pigeon Forge area, so you’ll fit right in. But do you know that many people don’t pronounce “Pigeon Forge” correctly? How do you say it?

Here’s a few of the different pronunciations we’ve heard:

  • Piggin’ Forge
  • Piggin’ Forg
  • Pig eon Forge
  • Pig Eon Forgie

Really, pronouncing Pigeon Forge is actually quite simple. Pigeon is like the bird, and Forge is like an iron forge (that’s actually where the name Pigeon Forge came from, too!)

Many people often spell it weird as well. Here are some popular misspellings you may have seen:

  • Pidgeon Forge
  • Pidgeon Forg
  • Pidgin Forge
  • Pidgin Forg
  • Pigin Forge
  • Pigin Forg
  • Pidgen Forge
  • Pidgen Forg

So where did this odd name for a city come from? Here’s what we know:

In 1820, Isaac Love established a furnace and iron forge, the community’s first business. The name Pigeon Forge is a combination of the iron works and the Little Pigeon River that flows through the town.

In the 1700s and early 1800s, the river’s banks were lined with beech trees. Beechnuts were a mainstay in the diet of Passenger Pigeons, which made the river a natural stopping point for huge flocks of the now-extinct species.

So to make a long story short, the Little Pigeon River was named after the pigeons (or maybe just one little pigeon?) that flocked to its banks. The town was established around the river and an iron forge became the trademark of the area…hence the name “Pigeon Forge.”

But wait! There’s more! The city of Pigeon Forge is located in Sevier County. Far too many people mispronounce Sevier and Sevierville (the city beside Pigeon Forge) as well! I often hear people call it “Seever” when it actually sounds like “Severe.” It is named after John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee, who happened to be from this area.

So there you have it. You now know how to pronounce Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, and Sevierville! Now you’re an expert at pronouncing those names and you’ll fit right in with the locals when you visit!

When you’re looking for fun things to do in the area when you visit, don’t forget to check out all of our information on the best attractions in Pigeon Forge!

5 thoughts on “History of Pigeon Forge”

  1. Also most visitors pronounce Wears Valley as though it were "wares" and the locals say "weers".

  2. Hello!

    Whatever became of the business The Copper Collection in Pigeon Forge? Was this an individual entrepreneur or bigger? Where can one find an old catalog of it’s collection?

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