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Kingsport Tennessee
It is all about seeing it as it may have been.
I have always wanted to see original Kingsport. Thus, these snapshots are historically imagined. Enjoy a slower day. Visit a few spots in Kings Port. Visit a few places before the name Kings Port was applied to this area.

Updated: 11.12.2013


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    Maps :: Kingsport

    Maps :: Kingsport


    Also View:
  • Earliest Settlements 1772
  • First Permanent Settlement 1775
  • Pendleton Grant Land 1799
  • Christianville Boat Yard 1802
  • Kings Port Project 2005
  • Long Island Aerial View


    View and Search Kingsport Tennessee Historical Event Map

    EARLIEST SETTLEMENTS:


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    Maps Redesigned/based from 'Kingsport Heritage' by Muriel Millar Clark Spoden
    purchase map here


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  • The Lochaber Treaty Line




    Reedy Creek Settlement

    Humphrey Hogan, William Anderson, 3 Roberts: Henry John David, John Clendenin, Archibald McNeal, Gilbert Christian, members of the McMillian, Williams and King families.

  • King built large mill above the cascades of the North Fork of Reedy Creek (Boozy Creek).
  • Hogan, perhaps Tennessee's first school teacher. Long Hunter. Could read but not write. Taught children how to read and cipher.
  • Gilbert Christian had homestead location chosen from his 1769 exploration. Cabin seven miles up from Holston. 38 year old lieutenant in Viginia militia and became leader of the community.

    Fall Creek Settlement

    Along the Island Road on the north banks of the Holston River. Between 1770 and 1774 eighty-five families settled at Fall Creek. Some cabins hugged the Lochaber Line six miles east of Long Island.

  • Amos Eaton of South Carolina had corn rights before 1773. 900 acre plantation on both side of the Island Road at the headwaters of Fall Creek, up the south side of Eaton's (Chestnut) Ridge.
  • Martin Roller, Moses and David Looney,Bryce Russell, Thomas Ramsey, John Cox, George Coon, John Dever, David Erwin and John Patterson.

    Reedy Creek Road

  • Built 1773 by Fincastle County Virginia
  • Through southwest Virginia and the Reedy Creek Settlement.
  • Followed much of the Great Indian Trading Path.
  • Eastern section is Reedy Creek Road. (The remainder is now Bloomingdale Pike)

    Island Road

  • Improved in 1773 by Fincastle County Virginia
  • Also Fincastle built road from the Valley of Virginia to the Watauga Settlement (Elizabethton,TN)



    Doctor Thomas Walker's Journal
    (6 Mar 1749/50 - 13 Jul 1750)
    A Record of His Travels in Present-day Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky
    http://www.tngenweb.org/tnland/squabble/walker.html

    Reedy Creek Settlement

    March 18th. The Sabbath.

    19th. We could not find our horses and spent the day in Looking for them. In the evening we found their track.

    20th. We went very early to the track of our Horses and after following them six or seven miles, we found them all together. we returned to the Duncards about 10 O'clock, and having purchased half a Bussell of Meal and as much small Homony we set off and lodged on a small Run between Peak Creek and Reedy Creek.(10)

    March 21st. We got to Reedy Creek and camped near James McCall's.(11) I went to his house and Lodged and bought some Bacon, I wanted.

    22nd. I returned to my people early. We got to a large Spring about five miles below Davises Bottom on Holstons River and Camped. (12)

    23rd. We kept down the Holston River about four miles and Camped; and then Mr. Powell and I went to look for Samuel Stalnaker (13) who I had been inform'd was just moved out to settle. We found his camp, and returned to our own in the evening.

    24th. We went to Stalnaker's, helped him to raise his house and camped about a quarter of a mile below him. In April, 1748, I met the above mentioned Stalnaker between Reedy Creek Settlement and Holstons River, on his way to the Cherokee Indians and expected him to pilate me as far as he knew but his affairs would not permit him to go with me. (14)

    March 25th. The Sabbath. Grass is plenty in the low grounds.

    26th. We left the Inhabitans (15), and kept nigh West to a large Spring on a Branch of the North Fork of the Holston. Thunder, Ligtning, and Rain before Day.

    27th. It began to snow in the morning and continued till Noon. The Land is very Hilly from West to North. Some snow lies on the tops of the mountains N.W. from us.

    28th. We travelled to the lower end of Giant's Ditch on Reedy Creek. (16)

    29th. Our Dogs were very uneasie most of this night.

    30th. We kept down Reedy Creek and discover'd the tracks of about 20 Indians, that had gone up the Creek between the time we camped last night, and set off this morning. We suppose they made our Dogs so restless last night. We camped on Reedy Creek. (17)

    March 30th. We caught two young Buffaloes one of which we killed, and having cut and marked the other we turn'd him out.

    31st. We kept down Reedy Creek to Holston where we measured an Elm 25 ft. round 3 ft. from the ground. we saw young Sheldrakes we went down the River to the north Fork and up the north fork about a quarter of a mile to a Ford, and then crossed it. In the Fork between the Holstons and the North River, are five Indian Houses built with loggs and covered with bark, and there were abundance of Bones, some whole Pots and pans some broken. and many pieces of mats and Cloth. On the west side of the North River, is four Indian Houses such as before mentioned. we went four miles below the North River and camped on the Bank of the Holstons, opposite to a large Indian Fort. (18)

    April ye 1st. The Sabbath. we saw Perch, Mullets, and Carp in plenty, and caught one of the large Sort of Cat Fish. I marked my name, the day of the Month, and date of the year on Several Beech Trees.

    2nd. we left Holston and travelled through Small Hills till about Noon, when one of our horses being choaked by eating Reeds too gredily, we stopped having traveled 7 miles. (19)

    3rd. Our hourse being recover'd, we travelled to the Rocky Ridge. I went up to the top, to look for a pass but found it so rocky that I concluded not to attempt it there. This ridge may be known by Sight, at a distance. To the Eastward are many small mountains, and a Buffaloe Road between them & the Ridge. The growth is Pine on the top and the rocks look white at a distance. we went Seven miles this day. (20)

    4th. We kept under the Rocky Ridge crossing several small Branches to the head of Holly Creek. we saw many small licks and plenty of Deer. (21)

    5th. we went down Holly Creek. There is much Holly in the Low Grounds and some Laurel and Ivy. About three in the afternoon, the Ridge appeared less stony and we passed it, (22) and camped on a small Branch about a mile from the top. my riding Horse choaked himself this evening and I drenched him with water to wash down the Reeds, and it answered the End.

    6th. It proving wet we did not move.

    7th. We rode 8 miles over Broken ground. It snowed most of the day. In the evening our dogs caught a large He Bear, which before we could come up to shoot him had wounded a dog of mine, so that he could not travel, and we carried him on Horseback till he recovered.

    8th. The Sabbath. Still Snow.

    9th. We travelled to a river, which I suppose to be that which the Hunters call Clinches River from one Clinch a Hunter, who first found it. (23) we marked several Beeches on the East Side. we could not find a ford Shallow eneugh to carry our Baggage over on our Horses. Ambrose Powell Forded over on one horse and we drove the others after him. We then made a raft and carried over one load of Baggage, but when the raft was brought back, it was so heavy that it would not carry anything more dry.

    Foot Notes:

    10 Summers states that "Peak Creek enters the New River near the village of Newburn, in Pulaski Co.," and that Reed Creek was "Probably Reed Creek in Wythe County." The 1751 Fry-Jefferson map, however, shows Peak and Reedy as only a few miles apart, both on the west side of the New River, which seems more likely since Williams states that Max Meadows is the present (1928) name of the Reedy Creek site near McCall's, and that "James McCall served in Col. William Christian's campaign against the Cherokees in 1776."

    11 Williams begins his transcription with this date, but shows the above as "bought what Bacon I wanted."

    12 Summers identifies this location as "the Middle fork of the Holston, which joins the South Fork of Holston near Abingdon and forms the Tennessee," adding that "The Holston was called by the Indians first the Cat-Cloo, afterward the Watauga. It took its name, its present name, from an early hunter and explorer named Holston or Holstein." Stephen Holston, a corn hunter, settled on the Holston sometime prior to 1749 when the above-referenced 1751 Fry-Jefferson map referred to this as "Holston's River"

    13 Summers states that "Samuel Stalnaker was probably, as his name indicates, one of the early pioneers from the Lower Shenandoah Valley or from Penn. of German descent, the family having numerous representatives in the Valley. He was doubtless a hunter and Indian trader who had visited the Cherokees and was acquainted with the route to Cumberland Gap, upon which Dr. Walker had never been or he would not have needed a guide. It was from him evidently that Dr. Walker received information as to certain localities he was about to visit, as Clinch River, Cave Gap, and other points of which as he advanced into Kentucky, he gave previous information. It was not improbable that the route from the Ohio River to the Cumberland Gap and the Cherokee country, which at that time was defined and known as "the Warriors Path" was travelled by hunters and traders, and that Stalnaker was acquainted with it personally or from others. On Fry and Jefferson's Map, 1751, Stalnaker's settlement is put down as the extreme western habitation." [not found]

    Williams also discusses Stalnaker's, about which he states: "Stalnacker's was a noted place in colonial days. The command of Col. Wm. Byrd, III, of Westover, encamped there during the winter of 1760-1761 before proceeding to the Tennessee Country against the Cherokees. (Williams, Memoirs of Lt. Henry Timberlake, 36, 37). Stephen Holston's cabin was on the head-springs of the Middle Fork of Holston River about nine miles above Stalnacker's. Holston did not remain there long. Disposing of his "corn rights" -- to a hundred acres for each acre planted in corn -- to James Davis, Holston and a party of friends constructed canoes and passed down the river into the Tennessee, the Ohio and the Mississippi as far as Natchez. This notable adventure fixed his name to Holston River. No record of the journey exists; Holston was not a journalizer. As Walker's Journal indicates[,] that stream was so called in 1750 (See Thwaites, Wither's Chronicles of Border Warfare, 50, note by Draper. Further as to Stalnacker: Smyth's Tour, I, 313)."

    14 Summers notes that "From the fact that Dr. Walker was here in 1748, historians have fallen into the error of stating that it was in this year that he went to Cumberland Gap, in company with Col. James Patton, Major Charles Campbell and others, but there is nothing upon which the assertion remains except a misty tradition. It is doubtless based upon the fact that these gentlemen, in 1748 Dr. Walker being one of the number, made an exploration with a view of taking up lands, as some of them did, on the Holston. This region then began to excite attention for settlement and the following year the boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina was extended to a point beyond that at which Doctor Walker was this day." He also adds that "The Cherokee Indians occupied East Tenn. and a part of Northwest Georgia adjacent. They were at times, and until 1759, friendly and very faithful to the Whites, furnishing volunteers in the early part of the French and Indian War. They were thus deadly enemies of the Shawnees and other tribes north of the Ohio, but in the Revolutionary War they united with them under British influence against the Americans."

    15 Summers interprets Walker's phrase "left the Inhabitans" as meaning that he had "past the frontier of civilization."

    16 Summers notes that Reedy Creek "Enters the South Fork of the Holston River a short distance above its junction with the North Fork." Williams states that "This Reedy Creek rises in Washington County, Va., just above the state line, and flows into the South Fork of Holston at the present Kingsport, Tenn. Its head-springs are at the base of Walker's Mountain,named for Dr. Thomas Walker, the journalist."

    17 Williams suggest that the Indians were "Either the Cherokees or Shawnees on hunt or going to war."

    18 Williams notes that "At the mouth of Reedy Creek is Long Island of Holston, one of the most historic spots in the Old Southwest. Strangely enough, the Island is not mentioned by Dr. Walker. It was an ancient and revered treaty ground and rendezvous of the Cherokee Indians. The houses found opposite the Island evidenced its use by them, an, perhaps, by early white traders to their towns lower down the Valley of the Tennessee. Dr. Walker's entry is, however, the first glimpse of the spot in recorded history." Summers, too, makes mention of Long Island, stating that Reedy Creek "empties into the Holston at the Foot of Long Island, a noted locality in the early history of Tenn. Nearby a fort was erected by advice of Washington in 1758, by Col. William Byrd, which was later known as Fort Patrick Henry. Just below the mouth of Reedy Creek is the town of Kingsport, Sullivan County, and a short distance below the town the North Fork puts into the Holston. It was at this point the treaty of Watauga was held March, 1775, when the Cherokees sold to Richard Henderson And Company the land in Kentucky called Transylvania."

    In respect to the Ford mentioned by Walker, Williams states: "This ford was in use as the crossing-place of one of the great highways from the Valley of Virginia to the Valley of the Tennessee until 1818 when a bridge was constructed by Rev. Dr. Frederick A. Ross across the North Fork immediately at its junction with the South Fork. Ross built his "Rotherwood" mansion on an eminence on the west bank of the North Fork, at the end of this bridge. The steel highway bridge now across the river is located just a few feet above the ruins of the old bridge. Ross, Rotherwood, 12-14. The "four Indian houses" mentioned by Walker probably stood on the site of "Rotherwood." The huge elm referred to in this entry yet stands, but is in a dying condition. Its trunk measures twenty-two feet in circumference and its branches have a spread of one hundred and fifty feet. The tree stands over a spring on the north bank of the North Fork of the river, just below an old mill, operated by Ross as a cotton mill and later known as Jordan's woolen mill, which is yet standing." (Ib., 22.) Williams adds that the Indian Fort is "At or near the present Solitude Ford of Holston."

    19 Summers notes that "On leaving the Holston River his route was northwest," and Williams that they travelled Williams: "Up a small creek that runs into the Holston at Solitude Ford along a road of the present time that leads northwesterly to Carter's and Stanley's Valleys." Williams identifies the "Reeds" as "Cane, frequently called by early travelers "Carolina cane."

    20 Summers identifies the Rocky Ridge as "The Clinch Mountain which runs through part of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in a northeasterly direction, a very regular chain with gaps at long intervals. The small hills refered to are the paralell outliers of the Clinch Mountain" In reference to the Buffalo Road, Williams states that "The explorers naturally followed the buffalo trails through the wilderness. Now following the Stanley Valley road of the present day, up Stanley Creek and over a divide to Big Creek, in Hawkins county, Tenn."

    21 Williams identifies Holly Creek as "Now called Big Creek."

    22 Summers states that Walker "crossed Clinch Mountain most probably at Looney's Gap and reached the Clinch River above the present site of Sneedville, Hancock County Tenn. Thence he went up Greasy Creek northwestward and entered the narrow valley between Newman's Ridge and Powell's Mountain, running paralell to the Clinch. The former, or Eastern Ridge, as Dr. Walker calls it, is twenty-five hundred feet high, and the latter, or Western Ridge, two thousand feet high as shown by the excellent contour map of the U. S. Geological Survey, with the details of Dr. Walker's route as indicated by his journal agrees with striking accuracy." He adds that "On the 11th Dr. Walker went down Big Sycamore Creek, which runs southwest between these ridges, to its junction with an unnamed creek coming into it from the southwest. He travelled up the latter by a buffalo road over several divides, and on the 12th reached Powell's River, ten miles from Cumberland Gap." Williams also identifies this crossing as "Looney's Gap of the Clinch Mountains, named for a leading pioneer family. John Looney lived in the section in 1779. (Journal of Daniel Smith, Tenn. Hist. Mag., I, 54.)."

    23 The 1751- Fry-Jefferson map lists this river as the "Pelesippi or Clinches River," and Williams identifies the location as "Clinch River, crossed near Sneedville, the county seat of Hancock County, Tenn." Summers describes the Clinch as "A tributary of the Tenn. running paralell with the Clinch Mountain, rising in Tazewell and Bland Cos. Va. and interlocking with the Bluestone River and Wolf Creek, tributaries of New River."

    Both Williams and Summers comment on the fact that Haywood's Civil History of Tennessee mistakenly states that the Clinch wasn't so named until 1761, Haywood having ascribed its naming to a tradition that the river was named by a party of hunters: "They named Clinch River and Clinch Mountain from the following circumstance. An Irishman was one of the company; in crossing the river he fell from the raft into it, and cried out clinch me, clinch me; meaning lay hold of me. The rest of the company unused to the phrase amused themselves at the expense of the Irishman and called the river Clinch."

    Williams adds that "Notwithstanding the fact that Walker describes the river as being one hundred and thirty yards wide at the place of crossing, Justin Winsor has him crossing "to the head of Clinch River and entering Cumberland Gap." The Mississippi Basin, 277," and Summers notes that Walker's "correct nomenclature of the River indicates that he had received information concerning the route travelled from Stalnaker or other source."
  •   Images 10   Bays Mountain 2     ExchangePlace 1     Holston River 2     Netherland Inn 4   

     

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