Pigeon Forge, before it became to be known as that, was a hunting ground for the Cherokee and other Native American tribes. Through a treaty in the late 1700’s it was opened up for settlement and was settled in 1788 principally by Scots and Irish who were reminded of their homeland’s highlands by the Smoky Mountains. In 1820 Isaac Love founded his iron forge for which the town gets half of it’s name. The other half of the name comes from the fact that in this area were a great number of the now extinct passenger pigeons living. In 1830 Love’s son, William Love, dammed the Little Pigeon River and built the first part of what is now referred to as The Old Mill, which is still operational and in business today. In 1841 the first post office was built and named the area Pigeon Forge. Settlers continued trickling in and the town remained as a small, rural farming town until shortly after 1940 when the Smoky Mountain National Park was dedicated. The town slowly grew until in 1961 when the town became a city through incorporation. Pigeon Forge slowly began to grow a little faster until about the mid 1980’s when their efforts to drum up tourism finally paid off with the advent of Dollywood making a home there in 1986. Since then Pigeon Forge has been on a steady climb and has become one of the more popular tourist destinations in the Southeast.