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The stars were in alignment to transform the isolated hamlet of White Oak Flats into the major tourist destination that Gatlinburg is today. Settlers arrived at the end of the 18th century to farm, and a community emerged. When the ladies of the Pi Beta Phi Women's Fraternity established a school in Gatlinburg in 1912, the mountain people learned they had the skills to produce marketable, handmade items. With interest in a national park developing in the 1920s, people began to visit the area to buy handcrafts and to enjoy the scenery. Enterprising residents then built hotels and shops to accommodate them. Today, Gatlinburg supports approximately 11,000 people with an active chamber of commerce, a prize-winning community center, an outstanding public school system, a national art education center, and a nationally known public library.