A brief history of Cataloochee Ranch

Cataloochee Ranch was founded by “Mr. Tom” and “Miss Judy” Alexander in 1933 and was originally located in the serene and beautiful Cataloochee Valley. In 1938 Mr. Tom purchased a large part of the present Ranch property on Fie Top Mountain from Verlin Campbell, the “Potato King” of Haywood County. From Verlin he inherited a sturdy stone and log cattle barn, now the main Ranch house, and several derelict cabins and sheds. The eroded pasture land was littered with stumps and old potato crates, but it provided a number of excellent “bold” springs. Its 5,000-foot elevation bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park also created the ideal combination of extraordinary mountain views and wonderfully cool summer temperatures.


Mr. Tom died in 1972; Miss Judy remained a gracious hostess until her death in 1997. To this day, the Ranch is still managed by third-generation Alexander family members.


What Guests Are Saying

Read More Testimonials
“Your collective knowledge of hospitality, horses and the people business made this a vacation we’ll hold dear in our memories.”
– L.C., June 10
  “This trip has been the most wonderful trip. This is my third year and probably the best year ever.”
– H.T., June 5

2017 Season


Please see our home page for details about upcoming events.

Read the latest Ranch newsletter

View all news, events and press here

Mountain Fever by Tom Alexander

Edited by Tom Alexander, Jr., and Jane Alexander Bright Mountain Books, Fairview, North Carolina, 1995


Mountain Fever chronicles one man’s love affair with the vanishing human culture and verdant natural history of the southern Appalachian mountains. This account by Cataloochee Ranch co-founder Tom Alexander, enhanced by bountiful historical photographs, tells the story – and the stories – of a traditional way of life that is rapidly disappearing from the modern world.