Monday, November 22, 2010

Hawkins County Historical Markers

A number of Hawkins County’s historic sites are designated by historic markers placed by the Tennessee Historical Commission.  Listed below are the locations, titles and texts of the THC historical markers in Hawkins County.

Gov. McMinn’s Home
Near here was the site of “New Market”, home of Joseph McMinn, Revolutionary veteran, Governor of Tennessee, 1815-1821, and Indian agent for the Cherokee from 1823 to his death near Calhoun, on the Hiwassee River, in 1824. He is buried there.

First Settlers
About 1 1/2 miles west and north of here, in Carter’s Valley, Joseph Kinkead and John Long, first known pioneers to what later became Hawkins County, settled in 1769-70. The valley is named for Col. John Carter, who first settled here and later became a prominent member of the Watauga Settlement. Marker located on U. S. 11W, 3 miles west of Sullivan County line.

Patterson’s Mill
On the site of this mill, Robert Patterson built a fort about 1775, shortly thereafter a mill. It was one of the two stations at which the settlers took refuge during the Cherokee raid under The Raven in 1776. Marker located on U. S. 11W in Church Hill.

Carter’s Store
One mile west is the site of the store established by John Carter and William Parker. This store was pillaged in the Shawnee raid in 1774; at the Sycamore Shoals Treaty in 1775, the proprietors were awarded the whole Carter’s Valley as reparation. Marker located west of Church Hill.

Rice’s Mill
On the site of this mill, Henry Rice built and fortified a mill in 1775. Here, in 1776, the settlers took refuge from warring Cherokee. In April, 1777, Capt. James Robertson and eight other pioneers had a fight with 30 or 40 Cherokee here, in which Frederick Calvatt was scalped. Marker located on U. S. 11W, 2 miles west of Church Hill.

New Providence Church
One-half mile west is this Presbyterian Church, established in Carter’s Valley in 1780 by Rev. Charles Cummings and Rev. Samuel Doak. It was moved to its present location in 1815. A cemetery is at the old site.  Marker located on U. S. 11W, 6.5 miles west of Church Hill.

Great Indian War Path
From here north to the Virginia boundary at Bristol, the highway parallels this ancient and important Indian trail.  South of here the War Path was east of the highway, crossing the Holston at Dodson’s Ford.  Marker located on U. S. 11W, 2 miles west of Surgoinsville.

Mitchell’s Hollow
About two miles southwest, about 1780, young Joab Mitchell, who had successfully made the trip to the North Fork of the Holston bringing salt for the besieged garrison at Big Creek Fort, was ambushed and mortally wounded by Indians. Beating them off, he galloped his horse to the fort, where he died.  Marker located on U. S. 11W, 1 mile northwest of Yellow Store.

Thomas Gibbons
Born in Surry (now Sussex) County, Virginia, in 1734, he settled here in 1778, having been forcibly ejected from a homestead about 12 miles east by one Robert Young. The courts of Spencer County, State of Franklin, met in his house 1785-1787. On June 4, 1787, the first county court of Hawkins County, North Carolina, met here. Gibbons died in 1811.  Marker located on U. S. 11W, at Blevins Road at Big Creek.

Michael Looney
7.9 miles north was the homestead of this pioneer, veteran of Lord Dunmore’s War and of the Revolution, originally from Botetourt County, VA. Among his descendants were Joseph Emerson Brown, governor of Georgia during the Civil War, Joseph Mackay Brown, also a governor. Looney is buried in the family cemetery. Marker located on U. S. 11W at Rural Road 2366.

Big Creek Skirmish November 6, 1863
4 miles southwest, to the north of Big Creek, the Confederate cavalry brigades of Gen. Sam Jones, coming from Rogersville, and of Col. Henry Giltner, coming from Surgoinsville, caught between them the 2nd Tennessee Mounted Infantry (Federal) and a detachment of the 7th Ohio Cavalry, and captured the whole force. Marker located on U. S. 11W 2.2 miles east of Rogersville.

Amis House
About 1 1/2 miles south is the stone house built by Thomas Amis between 1781 and 1783. He was Captain and Commissary of North Carolina troops in the Revolution; and original member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and legislator. He established here a distillery, forge, store and tavern, at which many notables stopped.

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