Cades Cove people were well known for their hospitality and neighborly kindness. Visiting was the order on Saturday and Sunday nights and folks would sit around sharing tall tales, jokes, puzzles, and proverbs.
Cove residents also made room for strangers. They framed in their porches to create little rooms for overnight guests traveling through. Elijah Oliver enclosed his front porch to serve as a “stranger room” or an “Elijah room” (named after the biblical prophet, not Oliver).
Reading the Wikipedia entry for Elijah, I can guess at a couple of reasons for the name. Elijah had to flee his homeland and needed hospitality. There’s also an Elijah chair set out in Jewish ceremonies and Passover to welcome the returning prophet.
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