Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - 57

historic journals and maps and soil
from the tunnel excavation, the sixfoot dirt path that Daniel Boone
forged through the wilderness was
restored.
It's a walk worth taking. Thirty
thousand native saplings planted in
the late 1990s have taken root, and
deer and wild turkeys are proliferating. You can hike on Wilderness
Road Trail to the historical Cumberland Gap Pass. If you're feeling energetic, you can switchback up the
mountain on Harlan Road Trail to
the Pinnacle, from which you can
see the notch of the Gap and the
three states that meet here. Straight
below lies the town of Cumberland
Gap.
In 1995, when I last visited Cumberland
Gap, things were booming. Three
local visionaries known as Gap Enterprises were bringing the town of
200 back to life. John Stanley and

Clyde Moore had made their money
in coal; Chris Gibbs from nearby
Lincoln Memorial University had
been a Dunkin Donuts franchiser.
And they were on the go.
Chef John Stanley's Ye Olde Tea
and Coffee Shoppe drew diners from
as far away as Knoxville and Lexington. A convention center and amphitheater and stage had been built.
A bakery and sandwich shop opened
in the relocated train station. A forty-room Victorian Inn was planned,
and cabins and chalets envisioned
for the 2,600 acres the men owned
on Brush Mountain.
John Stanley, Chris Gibbs and
Clyde Moore are gone now. Ye Old
Tea and Coffee Shoppe is called Angelo's Pizza in the Gap. The convention center has been bought by
Lincoln Memorial University. The
current Cumberland Gap Inn looks
more like a 1950s overnight stop
than a Victorian inn.

But Steve Moore's frame shop
and gallery remains on Colwyn
Street, and he's as welcoming as he
was in 1995. He remembers the
days of Gap Enterprises as "great
times," declining to talk about what
happened after the Tunnel opened
and Route 25E skirted the Gap. He's
found his niche, and his customers
are loyal.
Moore compliments the Lincoln
Memorial students who now live in
the Gap.
"They're great kids, and volunteer for everything. The LMU
Osteopathic School students practically run our Volunteer Fire Department."
LMU students are everywhere in
the Gap. The coffee bar in the Pineapple Tea Room on Colwyn Street
is filled with young faces, laptops,
and quiet conversation. The Pineapple Tea Room used to be Webb's
Country Kitchen, and I'd be lying
January/February 2018 57



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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - 3
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - Cover4
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