Alex Cole was one of the most industrious residents of the Sugarlands. In the early 1900s, Cole and his sons made a weekly trek across Sugarland Mountain via what is now the Huskey Gap Trail to Elkmont, where they worked for the Little River Lumber Company. As tourism increased in the mountains in the 1920s, Cole began offering his services as a mountain guide, especially for tourists wanting to hike to the summit of Mount Le Conte. Historian Vic Weals wrote that Cole's "considerable knowledge of his wilderness" made him "one of the more sought-after native guides."
The cabin is a single-pen one-story cabin measuring approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) by 18 feet (5.5 m). The walls are built of hewn logs with dovetail notching. Fieldstone and loose rock comprise the cabin's foundation, and the cabin's gabled roof is covered with hand-split shingles. The interior contains a sawn board floor and a loft, and is accessed by a sawn board door. The chimney is built of masonry rubble.