Rooted In appalachia
The centerpiece of The Apple Barn complex is the iconic barn itself, built in 1910 as part of a farm owned by the Mullendore family. Today it is the hub of all of the activity that makes the Apple Barn one of the area’s most beloved places to visit.
1910 - 1972
1910 - 1972
The Mullendore family farmed this fertile river-bottom land for generations, growing cattle and tobacco, and adding the farmhouse in the 1920s. Hardware store owner Bon Hicks and local pharmacist Bill Kilpatrick and his wife, Georgia, bought the 65-acre farm in the 1970s as an investment and “gentleman’s farm.”
The Kilpatricks decided to renovate and live in the farmhouse. When their sons Kevin and Kent were born, the farm became their wide and wonderful playground. In 1976, Bill, whose many hobbies included horticulture, planted a few semi-dwarf apple trees on a whim. The trees began to thrive, and the family began selling the apples each fall and experimented with making cider in an old press.
With more trees and more apples to sell, the Kilpatricks renovated the cattle barn, giving it new life as The Apple Barn. It opened the first time for about 6 weeks in fall of 1981. The 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville brought more visitors, who began asking for cider by the glass. The Kilpatricks opened the Cider Bar, with its distinctive cherry wood and onyx bar.
On “market days,” the Kilpatricks’ neighbor made fried apple pies, so good that they sold out every time. They soon added a kitchen, where that neighbor’s family still creates delicious apple pies, fritters, stack cakes and other baked goods. The General Store kept growing, adding their now famous apple butter and other local foods for everyone to enjoy.
In 1986, the Kilpatricks moved out of the house and renovated it again to create the well-known Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, now Sevierville’s oldest restaurant. First run by local restauratuer Jim Huff, the partnership later included Stokely Hospitality. The Apple Barn began year-round operations in 1987.
In 1991, The Creamery opened, selling traditional homemade ice cream and scratch-made baked goods. Soon after, the Kilpatricks added The Candy Factory to make original sweets on site, including hand-twisted candy sticks handmade on century-old equipment.
A second restaurant, The Applewood Farmhouse Grill, opened in 1995, along with the Apple Barn Winery, specializing in apple and fruit wines. The Christmas and Candle Store opened in 1999.
With a fruit-bearing life of 20-30 years, the original orchard of semi-dwarf trees began to produce less volume. In the 2010s, the orchard was replaced with dwarf root stock trees, which have a smaller footprint, can grow closer together, and yield more apples. A trellis supports the trees, heavy with the apples that become the tasty pies, ciders and apple butter that visitors love so much.
Stay in Touch.
Join for news, recipes and special offers.