CLIMATE: Nice during spring & summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring
Scattered residents. Sunshine can be located as Kinsel Springs on SR 231 just West of Townsend, TN. Check out Cades Cove nearby. This is another ghost town area that was bought out by the Smoky Mountain National Park. Several homes, farms, and businesses have been preserved there.
REMAINS: Swinging Bridge, Maybe a few old cabins
|Sunshine or Kinsel Springs apparantely was established by S.J. Kinsel. He built a home here as a retreat and it expanded into a resort area with cottages, general store, and recreational pavilion. In 1914 a hotel was built. Vacationers from Knoxville would come by train every Sunday to the stop. The adults would relax on the large verandas while the children would play in the Little River. Sunshine activities were swimming, horseback riding, golf, tennis, etc. According to www.blountweb.com Mr. Kinsel donated land to a women's organization called the International Sunshine Society. It was incorporated into a community in 1925 and included a post office. According to locals it was "pretty hoppin" place until the 1950's when the hotel burned down. One interesting point to make is that the locals say that it was not known as Kinsel Springs but as Sunshine. The name of Kinsel Springs appeared after the hotel burned down. This might be true since the pictures from the period show the station as Sunshine, TN not Kinsel Springs, TN. When the railroad was pulled out suddenly by the Little River Lumber Company the Walland Highway was used extensively to access the area. Never the less, the town is gone now except for the renovated swinging bridge, which lead to the hotel, and the Old Walland Road across Little River from the hotel site. Many Knoxville old timers remember the weekly trip to Sunshine when they were kids and swimming in the Little River. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin