Rockefeller Monument

On September 2, 1940 President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Rockefeller family. The monument stands on the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee near Newfound Gap.

Roosevelt’s Dedication

In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the “permanent enjoyment of the people.” He spoke from the Rockefeller Monument at Newfound Gap. The monument was erected for Rockefeller’s generous donation of $5 million dollars, in memory of his wife Laura Spelman Rockefeller, that helped purchase the land for the park.

Inscription

Rockefeller Monument is a two tiered stone-structure that sits on Newfound Gap. There is a plaque commemorating Rockefeller’s generous donation. The inscription reads, “For the permanent enjoyment of the people. This park was given one-half by the peoples and states of North Carolina and Tennessee and by the United States of America, and one-half in memory of Laura Spelman Rockefeller by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, founded by her husband John D. Rockefeller.”

For the permanent enjoyment of the people
this park was given
one half by the people and states
of North Carolina and Tennessee
and by the people of the United States of America
and one half in memory of Laura Spellman Rockefeller by the
Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial
founded by her husband
John D. Rockefeller.
Plaque On The Rockefeller Memorial

Where is Rockefeller Monument?

Rockefeller Memorial is located in Newfound Gap near the center of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along US 441. The monument was built near the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina on a slight elevation above Newfound Gap’s parking area on the north side.