History Of Sevier County

Region
Sevier County, one of the larger counties in the state of Tennessee, is bordered by Blount County on the west, Knox County on the northwest, Jefferson County on the northeast, and North Carolina on the south. The county was established in 1794 and covers about 600 square miles. There are three distinct regions in Sevier County, Appalachian Mountain region to the north, Foothills region in the central portion and the Great Valley of East Tennessee, which stretches some 9,200 square miles across Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia.

Elevations in the county range from a height of 6,643 ft above sea level at Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to a low of 850 ft above sea level in the French Broad River. The French Broad River joins with the Holston River in Knox County to form the Tennessee River. The Tennessee Valley Authority dammed the French Broad River in 1943, which created Douglas Lake.

Sevier County Courthouse
Sevierville, Tennessee

The Sevier County Courthouse was completed on November 10, 1895 with Kenneth McDonald as the supervising architect. This is the fifth courthouse for Sevier Countyand was built for a little over $22,000. Limestone came from a nearby quarry and Isaac Dockery, a notable African American brick mason in Sevierville, manufactured the bricks. The centerpiece of the courthouse is the Seth Thomas clock which is located in the 130ft tall tower. This clock cost more than $1,300 and is still in flawless operation today. Several finishing touches were made over the next several months and the first court was held on October 5, 1896.

 

 

 

Harrisburg Covered Bridge

All images copyright Sevier County Election Commission.
Harrisburg, Tennessee
This grand example of a covered timber truss bridge is located in north central Sevier County just off of Old State Highway 35 near U.S. 411. The original bridge was destroyed on February 25, 1875 during a great flood inSevier County. The Trotter Covered Bridge was also destroyed along with many houses, mills and other bridges. Elbert Stephenson Early who was a resident of Harrisburg rebuilt the Harrisburg Covered Bridge later in 1875. This is the only surviving covered bridge in Sevier County and is still being used for both foot traffic and vehicles. The bridge is 83 feet long and 14 feet wide on the outside with almost 11 1/2 feet clearance inside. In 1969, the bridge was in need of much repair and restoration. The Spencer Clark Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) stepped in and financed the restoration of the bridge in 1972. The Harrisburg Covered Bridge has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

 

 

 

The McMahan Indian Mound

All images copyright Sevier County Election Commission.
Sevierville, Tennessee
The mound is located on the Forks of the River Parkway in Sevierville, across from the Sevier County Public Library.The mound is largely undisturbed, but small sections have been removed due to construction of adjacent businesses. This Mississippian substructure, 16 feet high and 240 feet in circumference, built during the Dallas phase (1200-1500), was first excavated in 1881, with artifacts being sent to the Smithsonian. Later excavations exposed nearby villages of the Woodland Indian dating from 200 A.D. to the Cherokee who roamed this valley when pioneers settled in the late 1700s. Today, weary joggers and walkers from the nearby nature trail, can stop and enjoy this beautiful setting.

 

 

 

The Old Mill

All images copyright Sevier County Election Commission.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Old Mill is a nationally recognized Historical Site and is located on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River in the heart of Piegon Forge.In the old days, it was the heart of the community and served as a gathering spot for villagers. During the Civil War, looms were set up on the second floor to make woven articles for soldiers. The area around the Old Mill was first settled by pioneers near a river in the early 1800s. The river was named Little Pigeon because of its popularity with pigeons, and the name was given to the community as well. William Love dammed up the Little Pigeon River and began construction of the first building of the Old Mill. He utilized 40-foot-long, 14"-by-14" Yellow Poplar logs, which are clearly visible even today. Huge river rocks serve as pillars to support the structure. This is one the most photographed structures in Tennessee. The mill has been in continuous daily operation since its completion in 1830.

 

 

 

 

Kodak Flour Mill

All images copyright Sevier County Election Commission.
Kodak, Tennessee
The current Kodak Flourmill was built in 1916 and stands as areminder of Sevier Counties agricultural history. The Kodak Milling Company was the first major flourmill in operation in Sevier County. Beginning in 1912, Harvey Underwood, a former employee of J. Allen Smith & Company at Knoxville, operated a flour mill in Kodak. Underwood purchased wheat from the surrounding farmers and after milling it into a flour form, he transported the product down the French Broad River to Knoxville. Harvey Underwood's son, Cecil P. Underwood, constructed a larger and more modern mill of rusticated concrete block, and sold his flour to area residents and, to the White Lily Foods Company at Koxville. The Kodak Mill closed its doors long ago, but this piece of history still stands tall today.

 

 

 

Henry's Station and The Treaty of Dumplin Creek

All images copyright Sevier County Election Commission.
Kodak, Tennessee
Adjacent to the Kodak Mill is a marker describing theTreaty of Dumplin Creek which was signed on June 10, 1785 at Henry's Station which was recently lost. This treaty made it possible for Sevier, Knox and Blount counties to be settled without resistance. An additional marker at the site reads: The only treaty made by the State of Franklin was signed here after some negotiation. Commissioners were John Sevier, Alexander Outlaw and Daniel Kennedy. Signatory Cherokee chiefs were the King of the Cherokee, Ancoo of Chota, Abraham of Chilhowee, The Sturgeon of Tallassee, The Bard of the Valley Towns and some thirty others.

 

 

 

Middle Creek United Methodist Church

All images copyright Sevier County Election Commission.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
This church is located on Middle Creek Roadbetween Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and was was built by Cisco Williams, a carpenter from Sevierville, in 1902. Middle Creek United Methodist is Sevier County's best example of a Gothic Revival style church building. Sevier County has many churches representing a wide variety of denominations including, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and others. There are many examples of small country churches in the County and several larger churches with close to 2000 members.