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  • Writer's pictureTennessee Family Vacation

A Visit to the Apple Barn in Sevierville: A Delicious and Charming Destination in the Heart of the Smoky Mountains

Updated: Apr 11

The Apple Barn in Sevierville, Tennessee, is a charming destination that offers visitors a taste of old-fashioned Southern hospitality.

This beautiful farmstead is located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

apple barn

With its picturesque scenery, delicious food, and welcoming atmosphere, the Apple Barn is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling through the area.


The Apple Barn Story

The fertile river-bottom land had been under the care of the Mullendore family for generations, where they tended to cattle and cultivated tobacco, constructing the farmhouse in the 1920s.

cattle farm

In the 1970s, it attracted the interest of Bon Hicks, proprietor of a hardware store, and Bill Kilpatrick, a pharmacist in the area, along with his wife Georgia.

Together, they purchased the 65-acre farm as an investment, with the vision of creating a tranquil "gentleman's farm."

The Kilpatricks decided to renovate the farmhouse and turn it into their forever home.

When their sons Kevin and Kent were born, the farm became a vast and joyous playground for the children.

In 1976, Bill, who had a keen interest in horticulture, spontaneously planted numerous semi-dwarf apple trees.

As the trees thrived, the family began selling the apples every fall and embarked on experiments in cider-making using an antique press.

fruit press

With an increase in trees and apples available for sale, the Kilpatricks undertook the renovation of the cattle barn, revitalizing it into what is now known as The Apple Barn.

It made its debut opening for approximately six weeks during the autumn of 1981.

The influx of visitors during the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville sparked further interest, with patrons beginning to request cider by the glass.

Responding to this demand, the Kilpatricks established the Cider Bar, notable for its distinctive cherry wood and onyx bar.

During "market days," a neighbor of the Kilpatricks became known for crafting irresistible fried apple pies, which consistently sold out.

Recognizing the demand, they expanded by incorporating a kitchen, where the neighbor's family continues to craft delectable apple pies, fritters, stack cakes, and other baked delights.

Over time, the General Store expanded its offerings, introducing their renowned apple butter and a variety of other locally sourced foods for patrons to savor.

In 1986, the Kilpatricks decided to move out of their residence and embarked on another renovation project to establish the renowned Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, which is currently recognized as Sevierville's oldest dining establishment.

Initially overseen by local restaurateur Jim Huff, the partnership later expanded to include Stokely Hospitality. Subsequently, the Apple Barn commenced year-round operations in 1987.

In 1991, The Creamery was introduced, offering patrons traditional homemade ice cream and scratch-made baked goods.

apple fritter

Shortly thereafter, the Kilpatricks expanded their offerings with The Candy Factory, where they produced original sweets onsite. This included hand-twisted candy sticks crafted using century-old equipment.

In 1995, a second dining establishment, The Applewood Farmhouse Grill, was established, complemented by the inauguration of the Apple Barn Winery, which specialized in apple and fruit wines.

Subsequently, in 1999, the Christmas and Candle Store was opened.


The Apple Orchard

With a lifespan of 20-30 years for fruit-bearing, the initial orchard comprising semi-dwarf trees started to yield less volume over time.

In the 2010s, the decision was made to replace the orchard with dwarf rootstock trees.

apple orchard

These trees have a smaller footprint, allowing them to be grown closer together, and are capable of producing a higher yield of apples.

A trellis system was installed to support the trees, which now bear a plentiful harvest of apples.

Apple Barn and Cider Mill is part of the Pick Tennessee Products (PTP) program.

This is affiliation requires Agricultural Producers to provide a high-quality agricultural product produced on a Tennessee farm.

Now, over 7,000 dwarf rootstock trees line the hillsides in the Apple Valley.

Among them, there are over fifteen apple varieties, such as Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome Beauty, Winesap, Empire, Paul Red, Cortland, and Ozark Gold.

These apples are utilized in the creation of the delicious pies, ciders, and apple butter that visitors cherish.


The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant

Currently, Applewood restaurants attract over 1 million visitors annually.

The farmstead is home to a variety of attractions, including an orchard, restaurant, cider mill, winery, and gift shop.

Visitors can spend the day exploring the grounds, tasting the delicious food and beverages, and shopping for unique gifts and souvenirs.

applewood restaurant

One of the highlights of the Apple Barn is the restaurant, which serves up delicious southern-style cuisine with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The menu features classic dishes such as fried chicken, country ham, and biscuits and gravy, as well as lighter options such as salads and sandwiches.

The restaurant also offers a range of homemade desserts, including apple pie, peach cobbler, and banana pudding.

Applewood uses over 125,000 apples every year to make its apple fritters and apple signature dishes.

Over 2.7 million apple fritters are served each year.

apple fritters

Apple Butter (and the other fruit butters) are some of the most popular items with Apple Barn visitors.

Guests enjoy over 15,000 gallons of apple butter a year!

Apple butter has its origins in early colonial America.

It was a practical way for settlers to preserve their apple harvest.

The process involves slowly cooking apples with cider or water, sugar, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until the mixture thickens and darkens, giving it a rich, caramelized flavor.

The practice of making apple butter likely originated in Europe, where similar fruit preserves were common.

However, it became particularly popular in the United States due to the abundance of apples and the need to preserve them for long periods without refrigeration.

Apple butter quickly became a staple in American kitchens, especially in regions where apples were plentiful, such as the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian regions.

It was traditionally cooked in large copper kettles over an open flame, often during community gatherings known as "apple butter boilings."

apple barn

In addition to the restaurant, the Apple Barn is also home to a cider mill that produces fresh apple cider daily.

The cider mill also produces apple butter, jams, jellies, and other sweet treats.

The Apple Barn also has a gift shop that sells a range of unique gifts and souvenirs.

Visitors can browse through the selection of pottery, jewelry, candles, and other handcrafted items, as well as pick up some fresh produce or homemade fudge.

One of the most charming aspects of the Apple Barn is its beautiful setting.

The farmstead is situated on a picturesque hillside and is surrounded by orchards, gardens, and rolling hills.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens or relax on one of the many benches scattered throughout the property.

apple barn

At Applewood Farmhouse, the dedication and longevity of its employees speak volumes about the company's culture and commitment to excellence.

With over 200 team members boasting more than 20 years of service, the restaurant not only serves delicious meals but also cultivates a sense of family and loyalty among its staff.

These seasoned employees bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and passion to their roles, ensuring that every guest experience is memorable and exceptional.

apple barn

In conclusion, the Apple Barn in Sevierville, Tennessee, is a destination that offers visitors a taste of Southern hospitality and charm.

With its delicious food, fresh cider, locally made wines, and unique gifts, the Apple Barn is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling through the area.

Whether you're looking for a hearty meal, a sweet treat, or a quiet place to relax and enjoy the scenery, the Apple Barn has something for everyone.

So pack up the car and head to Sevierville for a day of delicious food, beautiful scenery, and good old-fashioned fun at the Apple Barn.



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