David C. “Crockett” Maples
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp serves as the legacy of David C. “Crockett” Maples, an original frontiersman, honored soldier, and devoted family man with an inspiring will to overcome any obstacle in his path. His amazing story is one of intrigue, tragedy, survival, and triumph. Stirred by Crockett’s incredible life and devotion to serving others, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp pledges to deliver quality food and service to everyone who visits.
Born in 1840, Crockett served as a private and corporal in Company H, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, from October 1, 1863, to June 8, 1865. Under the command of Colonel Joseph H. Parsons, the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry was assigned to small towns and communities across Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and East Tennessee. Crockett was given an honorable discharge when the company mustered out of service on September 11, 1865 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
When his service ended, Crockett returned to his wife, Mary R. Ogle and his home just north of Gatlinburg. He and Mary supported their growing family with a small supply store at the base of Mount LeConte. Crockett and Mary were known for serving hungry travelers the best home cooked breakfast in the Smoky Mountains.
Crockett being a self-proficient mountain man familiar with the terrain was asked frequently to guide people through the rugged mountain pass. During one particular winter after leading a salesman to the top of the mountain and separating from him, Crockett found himself stranded in a blizzard and nearly frozen to death. His legs suffered from such severe frostbite that they had to be amputated. However, Crockett’s unwillingness to give up kept him strong. He fashioned a pair of boots with wooden feet that he tied to his legs. With the help of two canes and his wooden feet he was able to maintain an active life until 1928 when he died at the age of 88.
Crockett literally stood as an inspiration to his neighbors, friends in the community, and to everyone who passed through Crockett’s Camp. Today, a wooden statue stands outside Crockett’s Breakfast Camp as a symbol of how determination and resilience can help anyone overcome whatever obstacles come their way.
The quality of our food and service stands to honor this true American hero who made his mark in these mountains over 150 years ago. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is still known for serving the best home cooked breakfast in the Smoky Mountains