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The Gatlinburg area was first settled in the 18th century by European Americans, after the Cherokee signed a treaty with the United States government to allow settlement. The city itself was founded as a resort town in 1886 by Philadelphia civil engineer William Ogle (1854–1932). It is named for Dr. George Washington Gatlin, who served as president of Sevier County's board of commissioners during its incorporation on December 30, 1886. In 1895 Gatlinburg had only four buildings and thirty residents; it grew rapidly into an important mountain tourist destination over subsequent decades due to its proximity to Knoxville and access via railroads built through nearby Dandridge from 1889-1902.