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History of Tennessee :: Yancey Tavern :: Kingsport


Yancey Tavern

[possible location]

At the foot of Eden Ridge (originally Heaton Ridge or Eaton Ridge) on the east side was built a fort known as Heaton's Fort. It was erected by the settlers of Reedy Creek and Cook's Valley, and was one of the first structures of the kind in the county. The Yancey Tavern, a famous house of entertainment, was built near this fort. Russell's fort stood on the Snapp's Ferry road, about six miles from Blountville.
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Eaton's Fort -Sullivan County; erected by Amos Eaton and the settlers of Reedy Creek; his log house part of Yancey's Tavern; one of oldest structures in Sullivan County. Henderson's Station-Greene County; settlement began in 1778.

BLOUNTVILLE (AP) - One of the state's oldest standing houses, believed to have been built as early as 1740, hit the auction block Saturday. Yancey's Tavern was auctioned along with 16 other tracts of land by the family that has owned the real estate since 1889.
The home, a barn and the land, somewhere under 20 acres according to owner Connie Redmond, had been in the family for seven generations.
According to the book "Historic Sites of Sullivan County," the house has served as a residence, a tavern a stage stop - and one of the earliest homes to the Sullivan County Court.
The house is two log cabins put together and a rear kitchen that was added later. It has been vacant, save for old furnishings, since 1962.
Rann L. Vaulx bought the lot with the house grouped with a lot behind it for $47,000. He said he will be studying the history of the home as work is done to restore it to its original design.
Plaster will be removed from one side of the house so the logs and chinking will be visible. That side will be turned back into the post office, which it served as from about 1820 to sometime during the Civil War. The other side of the house, which served as a courthouse, tavern and inn, will keep its more updated look.
"I'd like it if school children could come see it," he said. "It'll be open to the (Daughters of the American Revolution) and other groups like that."
Although the belongings were removed, interested buyers still noted the hand-hewn logs, fireplaces and other items that made the house a historian's dream.
"We believe they used the trap door in the living room to hide from Indians," Redmond said.
Furniture was donated to The Exchange Place, including old slave tables, feather beds, and rope-strung beds.

National Register of Historic Places
Yancey's Tavern (added 1973 - Building - #73001850)
E of Kingsport on TN 126, Kingsport
Historic Significance: Event
Area of Significance: Exploration/Settlement
Period of Significance: 1750-1799, 1800-1824, 1825-1849, 1850-1874, 1875-1899
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Commerce/Trade
Historic Sub-function: Restaurant
Current Function: Agriculture/Subsistence, Domestic
Current Sub-function: Single Dwelling2

Sullivan County was the second county formed in what is now Tennessee, and included all the part of Washington County lying north of a line formed by the ridge dividing the waters of the Watauga from those of the Holston, and extending from the termination of this ridge to the highest point of the Chimney Top Mountain.
The act was passed in October, 1779, and in February, 1780, the county court was organized at the house of Moses Looney, at which time a commission was presented appointing as justices of the peace Isaac Shelby, David Looney, William Christie, John Dunham, William Wallace and Samuel Smith. Isaac Shelby exhibited his commission dated November 19, 1779, appointing him colonel commandant of the county, and D. Looney of the same date appointing him major. Ephraim Dunlap was appointed Stateís attorney, and John Adair, entry-taker.
The court adjourned to meet at the house of James Hollis. As the records of this court were almost destroyed during the civil war, but little is now known concerning it. For a few years the courts were held somewhere in what is now the western part of the county, at the Yancey Tavern, near Eatonís Station, or at the house of Mrs. Sharp, near the mouth of Muddy Creek, and possibly at both places.

More Resources:

  • Another possible location : Yancey Tavern I-81
  • http://timesnews.net/printarticle.dna?_StoryID=3411054
  • http://www.tennkin.com/d0/i0002142.htm
  • http://www.americashistoricplaces.com/historytennessee/index.htm

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